Wall Street Journal Article Claims Health Exchange Website Problems Are Lowering Enrollments

It's no secret that the rollout of the Affordable Care Act health insurance exchanges has been anything but smooth sailing. The exchanges were supposed to make it easy for people who are uninsured or just want a better health care plan to compare plans and shop for the best prices. So far, technical glitches in the federal website healthcare.gov and many state health care sites have resulted in lower than expected enrollment numbers.

A Wall Street Journal article, "Tech Troubles Slow Some State Exchanges" (Nov. 11, 2013), took a look at some of the problems. EPFMC Managed Care Supervisor Susan Ramirez, who was interviewed for the article, noted that problems with California's health exchange website have slowed enrollment locally. About 7 million people are expected to sign up for coverage under ACA by the end of 2014. Still, the technical troubles are causing a lot of concern:

As officials struggle to fix technical problems with the new federally run health-insurance exchange, some states that are operating their own programs are facing similar problems.

Oregon hasn't fully opened its website to the public and is directing residents to insurance brokers and counselors. Maryland officials Friday delayed until April the opening of its small-business exchange, so they could focus on improving a website that has prompted many residents to apply on paper. 

"We are not satisfied with the way things are going," Rebecca Pearce, executive director of Maryland's exchange, told a state board Friday.

The Congressional Budget Office projected in May that seven million Americans overall would sign up for private coverage through new health-insurance exchanges by the end of 2014. Fourteen states and the District of Columbia are running their own health-care exchanges; the federal government is running HealthCare.gov in the other states.

Read the rest of the Wall Street Journal article, "Tech Troubles Slow Some State Exchanges" by Spencer E. Ante and Jennifer Corbett Dooren.