Exchange sites tie up loose ends

January 1, 2014

Federal and state exchanges scrambled in December to remedy the workarounds

Some 400 fixes to heathcare.gov were completed by a self-imposed deadline of November 30. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reports that 29,000 people enrolled in health plans in just the first two days of December, dramatically outpacing the 26,700 enrollments gained throughout all 31 days of October, according to spokesperson Julie Bataille.

"We expect our numbers to increase, given the technical improvements to the Web site," she says.

Meanwhile, Covered California, the state-operated exchange, reached out to the California Association of Health Underwriters in early December for help in entering information from thousands of paper applications previously submitted by certified agents. The online application process was discovered to have glitches when Covered California originally opened for enrollment in October, so paper application forms were requested by exchange officials as a short-term workaround.

Since October, agents have filled out the 32-page paper form for thousands of new healthcare consumers and submitted them to Covered California by fax and U.S. mail.