Exchange glitches still cause coverage problems, frustrate insurers

Thousands of consumers still lack proper health insurance coverage despite signing up for exchange plans during the open enrollment period and paying their premiums, reported the Wall Street Journal. That's due to problems with exchange enrollment systems and the slow, drawn-out response from federal and state officials, according to insurers.

The Obama administration said about 8 million people obtained health insurance through, but there is no hard data on how many of those consumers have experienced coverage issues. And the coverage issues come despite insurers telling a Congressional panel in May that up to 90 percent of exchange enrollees already paid their first premiums, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

The glitches mostly involve consumers who purchased a plan and paid their premiums but have been waiting months for a life event, such as getting married or having a baby, to take effect. Others weren't actually covered despite paying their premiums.

Some states have reported delays: Minnesota has about 6,500 requests pending for changes due to a life event, and Oregon has a backlog of more than 8,000 life event requests. Other states operating their own exchange, including California, Nevada and Massachusetts, have faced similar hiccups in actually providing coverage.

"We are absolutely committed to continuing our work with states ... to help resolve outstanding technological issues in an effort to ensure that consumers get the coverage they need and cases are resolved," Aaron Albright, a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, told the WSJ.

He added that the inspector general for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is currently examining state-based exchange operational glitches. For example, and several state exchanges have been unable to resolve many inconsistencies regarding subsidy eligibility.

To learn more:
- read the Wall Street Journal article