Wednesday, December 04, 2013
White House Tells Obamacare Subscribers to Make Sure They're Really Enrolled
White House spokesman Jay Carney said the White House is "very mindful of making sure that consumers who want coverage starting in January are able to get it." But there's no guarantee.
In fact, Carney said the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is "reaching out directly to consumers" who have chosen a health insurance plan, reminding them to pay their first premium -- and asking them to make sure they are really covered:
"So there's a joint effort to reach out to those who have enrolled to make sure that every step is being -- that they know they need to take all the necessary steps to ensure that that coverage kicks in," Carney said on Monday.
The problem involves the transmittal of information from the faulty healthcare.gov website to the actual insurers.
According to Carney, "CMS is having daily conversations with issuers to get feedback from them." He said the administration has made "a number of significant fixes to the so-called 834 forms," which send a subscriber's information to the policy issuers. "We expect the info now sent to insurers to be vastly improved. But we're going to continue to work with issuers to make sure that whatever remaining problems exist are addressed and fixed."
Asked if he can assure people who sign up if they will "definitely" have coverage beginning on Jan. 1, Carney responded, "Well, I think what I would say is that CMS is reaching out to those who have enrolled to make sure that they know the steps that they need to take to ensure that coverage kicks in, that if a consumer enrolls in a plan by December 23rd and makes their first payment by the date set by their insurers, they are covered beginning January 1st. And if consumers are not sure if they are enrolled, they should call our customer call center or the insurer of their choice so that they can be sure they're covered by January 1st.
"So we're making -- this is a high priority, making sure that those who are enrolled are aware of the steps that they need to take, including that they need to pay their premiums on time for coverage. We're working with insurers to make sure that those who are enrolled know this information, and we're reaching out -- we're telling consumers that if they're not sure if they're enrolled, they should call the call center or their insurer directly." ....
"Can you imagine? You think you've signed up. You go to get coverage because you need health care. You go there and you find out that, in fact, you haven't been signed up. That is a huge issue because what does someone do at that point? How do they work their way through the bureaucracy to actually verify they've been signed up? I see this as much of an issue as the access issue on the health care (website). The fact that that has not been fixed is a huge problem."
See also: Obama Admin Admits 126,000 Obamacare Enrollments Might Not Be Real
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).