Glitches continue on, small business exchange

Despite all the improvements that federal officials have made to to prepare for the second enrollment period, insurers remain concerned that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) hasn't perfected a system for informing them when existing consumers switch plans, reported the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Back-end issues with are preventing HHS from telling insurers that consumers have left for another company, FierceHealthPayer previously reported. And if a lot of people switch, insurers will have to reconcile all their member records to cross check names on each other's lists, notes the Inquirer

Independence Blue Cross (IBC) stated that it worked around the technology issues last year, and that while issues remain on the federal exchange, the insurer will do its best to ensure a smooth enrollment process for consumers, Judimarie Thomas, senior director of external affairs for IBC, told the Inquirer

"There is still work that needs to be done on the back-end system," Clare Krusing, spokeswoman for America's Health Insurance Plans, told the Inquirer. "It's an issue we have on the radar and working toward finding the right solution that works for consumers."

Meanwhile, HHS is working to address defects found on the small business health option program (SHOP) exchange, The New York Times reported. Since HHS announced a soft launch for the small business exchange, allowing companies in five states to start accessing the marketplace next month, small business owners and insurers have found defects in the marketplace.

For example, some health plans that have already been approved for the exchange didn't appear online, and some premiums were incorrectly listed as percentages instead of dollar amounts. And the SHOP exchange didn't work well on some web browsers, such as Internet Explorer and Firefox, according to The Times

HHS officials said they hope to fix the problems before enrollment opens in a few weeks, The Times noted.

To learn more:
- read the Philadelphia Inquirer article
- see The New York Times article