Private Insurance Sector May Take On Larger Obamacare Role

Sunday, 10 Nov 2013 09:52 AM

By Elliot Jager

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Facing pressure from the public and Washington lawmakers, the Obama administration may be laying the groundwork for using the insurance industry to directly sign up large numbers of uninsured Americans, The Washington Post reported.

Insurers have been working behind-the-scenes on contingency plans should they be asked to step-in and take a larger role, The Post reported.

The White House is also turning to private insurers for technical help to fix the HealthCare.gov site. Starting this week industry computer specialists will work directly with those writing code for HealthCare.gov.

It was a "tacit acknowledgment that the federal insurance exchange" might not be fully operational as promised by Nov. 30, according to the Post.

Various contractors led by Quality Software Services have been working to repair the defects on the federal site.

Obamacare had always envisioned that consumers would be able to purchase insurance directly from the private sector, as part of a working HealthCare.gov site. Like the use of call centers and in-person enrollment assistants, these options were seen as ancillary to – not as workarounds for – the HealthCare.gov site, the Post said.

Should the insurers' sites become the chief way to buy coverage, it would chip away at the side-by-side comparison model that HealthCare.gov had been meant to provide.

Individual insurers are not obliged to inform customers about other available health plans, except for pointing them to the HealthCare.gov site.

Insurers have themselves been thwarted by the online system's technical glitches which has blocked them from connecting to the part of HealthCare.gov that determines whether a potential enrollees' income qualifies them for government subsidies.

One alternative being considered would be to invite insurers to provide interim subsidy estimates, using a formula approved by the government. To take on this task the private sector would want to be compensated for underpayments and not be penalized for any overpayments, the Post reported.

Jeffrey Zients, the Silicon Valley expert who has been called in to manage the crisis for the White House, told reporters that the site still remained "a long way from where it needs to be," according to the Post.

Related stories:

Official Who Oversaw Obamacare Website Will Retire

Obamacare Is Old Wine in a New Bottle

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Variety's Wallenstein: How Obama Took Sony's Crisis From Bad to Worse

Sunday, 21 Dec 2014 15:53 PM

If there are such things as textbooks in the field of crisis management, the Sony Pictures hack might end up in the chap . . .

Fox News Blocked From Dish Network

Sunday, 21 Dec 2014 15:20 PM

Dish Network subscribers were unable to watch Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network on Sunday when the channels  . . .

Pakistan Makes Arrests in Taliban School Carnage

Sunday, 21 Dec 2014 14:31 PM

Authorities made several arrests in the case of the Taliban school attack that killed 148 in the northwestern city of Pe . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved