Now that the GOP hostage-taking is done, the media is ready to pay attention to the Obamacare rollout. It is been frought with problems — access to the website, errors on the website, transfers of data to the insurance companies and it just sounds like the failure of the century. Certainly something like this *should* roll out better, but I can’t think of a tech rollout that I’ve seen that has been glitchless. If you’ve used Faceboook long enough, you know that every time they change their interface, the place is glitch-city until they fix it. Facebook is not the same as Obamacare, of course, but Obamacare isn’t the only health care initiative that had a great many issues when it rolled out. So how about a reminder?
Under the ACA, each state is supposed to create and manage a medical insurance marketplace where people who aren’t covered by insurance can buy plans. Delaware’s Health Insurance Marketplace website went live this AM — although the details of the exchange and the insurance options on offer are not yet available. I’m mildly surprised that California and NY got theirs up earlier — I had thought at one time that Delaware was pretty far ahead of the planning curve for planning and implementing this. Which is probably a misconception on my part.
Today is supposed to be the last day of this Supreme Court session so all of the breathless press vamping waiting on the ACA decision officially turns into lots of breathless punditry sometime after 10AM today. I’m posting this thread for everyone to have a place to start posting your own prognostications and links to people who are doing a good job at discussing the issues involved.
Back in June, we discussed the actions of KWS to apply for waivers from the medical cost ratio rule for two insurance companies so that they can continue to pay commissions to brokers and sales agents. Since then, HHS has finalized its rule that requires that the costs to pay premiums or other support to brokers and sales agents be categorized as Administrative Costs and therefore included to the maximum 20% overhead allowed by the ACA. Delaware’s own Insurance Commissioner voted in a recent NAICS action to vote on a resolution that recommends that Congress exempt the fees insurance agents and brokers from medical loss ratio calculations (pdf) and that HHS revive their rulemaking to exclude brokers and agents from the the administrative costs of insurance companies.