Help from insurers vital to HealthCare.gov repair

The Obama administration is receiving more technical and enrollment help from insurers to solve and bypass problems with HealthCare.gov, The Washington Post reported.

This development is "tacit acknowledgment" that despite 24/7 repair efforts, the federal health exchange might not work properly by the Nov.30 deadline, according to the article.

Insurers sent in a cavalry of technical professionals to help government employees and contractors fix the website, particularly parts used to enroll customers and generate enrollment data. And experts who write code for insurers are beginning to do likewise for HealthCare.gov, the Post noted.

Though insurers have embraced calls to fix the federal exchange mess, the Post highlights some concerns: Problems with the federal online system put insurers at a disadvantage. During one step in enrollment--determining whether income qualifies people for government health insurance subsidies--insurers must link to part of the federal system that doesn't work. As a result, some payers have a queue of potential customers who want to buy insurance but can't.

If this problem isn't fixed soon, insurers contemplate asking the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to approve a method of estimating subsidies and giving tax credits based on the estimates until the system can properly determine accurate amounts. 

The continuing dysfunction of the federal exchange has become an administrative nightmare for the White House, as FierceHealthcare previously reported, with unforeseen consequences that keep bringing the word "glitch" to the forefront of national attention. 

For more:
- read the Post article

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