Insurers frustrated with federal exchange technical glitches


As insurers are gearing up for the launch of health insurance exchanges in less than a month, many are frustrated with the federal government's handling of the technical aspects, including glitches that are still unresolved. 

Technical problems beleaguering the federally-run exchanges are affecting how medical charges and deductibles are listed, Reuters reported.

On a conference call last week with the federal government's information technology contractors, insurers expressed their frustration with some of the technical problems that showed incorrect medical costs and deductible information on a preview website of the online marketplace, people with knowledge of the call told Reuters.

A Florida Blue official, for example, said information listed for a health plan it will sell on the state's exchange is misleading as the preview website showed some medical services had no charges. It should have stated there would be no charge after a deductible is met.

And an Aetna official said its policies were included on Ohio's exchange, even though the insurer has withdrawn from that state's marketplace.

Another insurer, Delta Dental of Wyoming, said the exchange listed its plans that cover parents plus children as having zero deductible. "That will be misleading if it pops up as a zero deductible and will put us on the hook if they go to the dentist" and expect not to pay a deductible, a Delta Dental staffer said on the call, according to Reuters. "We're concerned about that."

Other insurers said that despite repeatedly asking for certain errors to be corrected, they still have several outstanding requests with the exchange help desk. After insurers complained for more than two hours on the conference call, a federal IT representative said, "I hear your frustration, and we're doing all we can."

And in other technical delays, a government report last month found security testing for the data hub that will connect state health insurance exchanges is behind schedule, FierceHealthIT previously reported.

To learn more:
- read the Reuters article

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