Monday, December 02, 2013

ACA HEALTH CARE - Is the Federal Exchange Site Ready?

"Is ready for its close-up?" PBS Newshour 11/30/2013


HARI SREENIVASAN (Newshour):  Starting tomorrow administration officials hope the website will be able to service as many of 50,000 Americans at once.  Their goal is to sign up seven million people by the end of March.  For more about all this we are joined by Sharon Pettypiece, she’s a healthcare reporter for Bloomberg News who has worked the beat for the past decade.

Thanks for joining us.

It’s odd for me to be almost asking for a website update – but how is it doing?  Is it better than those problems we heard about?

SHANNON PETTYPIECE:  Well, it’s better than October 1st, that’s for sure but that doesn’t mean too much because if you remember October 1st, people were logging on and not getting past the homepage.  They have been making progress.  But as of (late) last week, myself and my colleagues were out talking to people – talking to consumers; talking to insurance brokers; talking to non-profits that were trying to sign people up – they were saying that this site is still in pretty rough shape.  A couple people gave it four out of ten as far as its functioning, obviously ten being the best.

One of the problems we’re hearing about most from people is that though the site has improved and now you can get to the last step – you can create an account, shop around for plans, find out if you are eligible for subsidies – but you get to the point where you say ‘OK, I’m ready to buy insurance,’ which if you recall is the whole point of this website, that’s where it locks up.  That’s where it breaks down.  So only a trickle of people is actually being able to buy an insurance plan.

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