The White House has done a complete reversal on paper applications for its disastrous HealthCare.gov website, according to the Weekly Standard.
As the Obamacare exchange suffered a series of problems, the administration initially encouraged people seeking health insurance through the Obamacare marketplace to use the option of filling out paper applications if they had online problems.
But with the deadline for health insurance coverage less than three weeks away, the government has switched focus back to filling out forms on the website and not paper applications due to fears that the latter will not be processed in time. Uninsured consumers must sign up for health insurance by Dec. 23rd to be able to receive coverage under the Affordable Care Act starting January 1st.
But people who are having troubles completing an online application and then attempt to download a paper application will find a link that says, "Sorry, we cannot find that page" when they click on it. There are several other places on the exchange that also link to a "paper application" page that bring up the same "sorry" message.
The Weekly Standard also reveals that there's a new page on the website, added on Monday, informing consumers how to sign up for a plan after initially having used a paper application or telephone to apply. However, that page does not include a link to the paper application.
According to The Hill
, enrollment counselors facilitating the insurance sign-up process have been advised by the Obama administration to stop using paper due to concerns that the process will not be completed in time.
Mike Claffey, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Insurance, said that he had received guidance from the feds "recommending that folks apply online as opposed to paper."
The new problem facing the Obamacare sign-ups came to light as Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asked her department's inspector general to investigate the performance of private contractors in the flawed launch of the website.
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