Exchange glitches force insurers to fix errors by hand


The technical glitches plaguing federal-run health insurance exchanges have caused insurers to receive faulty or incomplete information. To rectify some of the problems, insurers have taken to fix errors by hand.

In some cases, insurers have received electronic files they can't open or are unusable because they're missing so much information on new enrollees. The flawed or partial data means some consumers might not actually be covered even if they sign up for a health plan, reported Bloomberg.

The problem is the federal exchange website sends a batch of new enrollments each night to insurers. These electronic files are routine for insurers, but it's a new responsibility for the marketplaces, which have been sending files that are either corrupt or missing data.

Although insurers can fix these problems on an individual basis now, when enrollment is still slow and relatively infrequent, that may not be practical as the Dec. 15 enrollment deadline comes closer. That's when industry experts predict a large boost of consumers signing up for coverage.

"If you've only got a dozen bad enrollments, that's OK, but what are you going to do when you have 200,000 bad enrollments?" Bob Laszewski, an insurance industry consultant, told Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, insurers are frustrated with a general lack of transparency from federal and state officials running the online marketplaces, which have so far shared very little enrollment data with them, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

To learn more
- read the Bloomberg article

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