Even as the Obama administration is busy taking a victory lap of sorts for recent Obamacare website corrections, the New York Times reported on Sunday that healthcare.gov is still busted.
While the front end experience customers see may appear to be improved, insurers tell the New York Times that the all-important back end that sends an individual’s enrollment information to insurers is not functioning properly. Specifically, customer information is being scrambled or in some cases lost entirely, leaving citizens to believe they have successfully enrolled only to find out later that they have no health insurance.
“Health plans can’t process enrollments they don’t receive,” said America’s Health Insurance Plans trade group spokesperson Robert Zirkelbach.
One insurance executive told the Times that until Obamacare officials fix the new round of problems, citizens will be fooled into thinking they have coverage when, in fact, they do not.
“Somehow people are getting lost in the process,” said the insurance executive on condition of anonymity. “If they go to a doctor or a hospital and we have no record of them, that will be very upsetting to consumers.”
The problem, say industry experts, is the Obama administration’s failure to finish building the failure-plagued healthcare.gov website.
“Until the enrollment process is working from end to end, many consumers will not be able to enroll in coverage,” said America’s Health Insurance Plans trade group President Karen M. Ignagni.
The new and improved Obamacare website suffers additional problems beyond the back end insurance malfunctions. According to ABC News, “the website continues to experience unscheduled outages at least 5 percent of the time, and officials signaled that there are still concerns about slow-downs during high traffic periods.”
In addition, the Obama Administration announced the day before Thanksgiving that the entire small business half of healthcare.gov was not finished in time and will need to be delayed at least a year until after the November 2014 midterm elections.
What’s more, as The Hill reported on Monday, the Obama administration has once again failed to finish the Spanish version of the Obamacare website, a project that “has been languishing for months.”
Even if the broken Obamacare website is repaired, it remains to be seen whether enough Americans will enroll to hit the administration’s seven million enrollment target. According to the latest RealClearPolitics poll average, 57% of Americans are now against Obamacare.