Regardless of where you live, you are likely well aware of the blunders of the Healthcare.gov rollout. Even with what felt like crippling problems in the early days, most of the kinks were largely worked out by December. What you might be less familiar with, however, is that several state-run exchanges are still experiencing their own problems – some of them downright debilitating.
Oregon, for example, just made a “beta” version of its online marketplace available in late February – a failing that lost some people their jobs. Maryland and Minnesota, among others, haven’t fully resolved issues and glitches that have limited access to their marketplace websites. Even Massachusetts – the state that blazed the trail for the reforms in the Affordable Care Act – still doesn’t have a website capable of enrolling individuals eligible for subsidies.
As envisioned, the marketplaces were intended to be the single access point to subsidies. However, the Administration announced last week that it will make subsidies available on a retroactive basis for individuals who were unable to determine their eligibility due to these widespread glitches — even for those who purchased qualifying coverage outside of a marketplace. Some in Congress are saying that this, along with other Administration “fixes” and delays, aren’t even legal.
Four weeks remain before enrollment closes for the first year of Obamacare. It’s hard to know how well enrollment is keeping up with expectations, but there’s no doubt that it has and continues to be an uphill battle for proponents of the law. Only time will tell if the Administration’s controversial attempts to ease the transition will be effective.