The impact of the troubled online federal health insurance marketplace — healthcare.gov — has been felt by many Americans trying to manage the transition to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as “Obamacare”.
And now we have a numeric representation of the impact — last week the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released enrollment numbers since the opening of the health insurance marketplace on October 1.
The numbers, not surprisingly, are lower than expected (full HHS report):
Enrolled in exchange insurance plans since Oct 1: 106,185
Projected in September: 464,920
As you would expect, here at Virginia Medical Plans, we too have been impacted. The technical difficulties with the federal website, along with cancellation notices and now shifting strategies announced last week have sent our clients scampering for information and solutions. Our efforts to enroll our clients continue to be thwarted somewhat by the troubled federal website.
Help from National Association of Health Underwriters
Virginia Medical Plans is a member of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU). NAHU helps insurance professionals like us do the best job we can to meet the needs of our clients by providing ongoing education, advocacy, and professional development.
In its continued efforts to help us through the rocky rollout of the Affordable Care Act, NAHU sent this message to its members last week:
“NAHU has been in touch with HHS and CMS [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] on virtually a daily basis since healthcare.gov was launched. We have had no access issues in terms of getting in touch and speaking with people at CMS and they have staff specifically dedicated to attempting to solve agent and broker registration issues. Progress on the issues we have raised has been slow but we are working on a strategy that will allow us to hopefully solve the problems from a different angle.”
What this means to you — our clients — is that, by working with us to enroll in a health insurance plan, you are not going it alone. Along with our 20+ years of experience, you also have the resources of a nationwide organization working behind the scenes on your behalf.
So check back frequently as we continue to keep you posted here on all the latest developments. And, as always, give us a call if we can be of assistance.
Please be patient as we manage a high volume of calls and emails.