The healthcare law best known nationwide as Obamacare, which mandated health insurance for all, is supposed to begin tomorrow, and millions of Californians are expected to start enrolling in the exchange set up by the state under the brand Covered California.
California officials are stating that the health insurance exchange, built to comply with the Affordable Care Act, will be ready on Oct. 1, an article from Bloomberg states.
At a recent Sacramento board meeting, however, Bloomberg mentions that Diana Dooley, the chairwoman of the California Health Benefit Exchange, said:
“To be ready and functional to launch is in itself a miracle.”
Officials said last month that they were still testing the website’s technology, according to the Bloomberg piece, and there was a chance consumers might have to go through licensed brokers or use the telephone hotline.
But a test of the website had exchange officials reporting that it is ready, and Anthony Wright, executive director of a consumer advocacy group, is quoted in the piece, having said:
“The puzzle pieces are coming together, and some of the final pieces are being put in place.”
The health law sets up a system of state-based online and telephone exchanges that will sell insurance from private providers to people who don’t have coverage, and it makes government subsidies (in the form of a tax credit) available to people with low- to moderate-incomes,
Not so fast, however, says House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa of California, who issued a statement in response to reports that the Administration will delay online enrollment for small-business exchanges.
“While President Obama was busy telling Americans that an increasingly unpopular law is ‘here to stay,’ ‘sources’ from his Administration were telling reporters that there would be yet another delay, this one denying small businesses the ability to enroll online through insurance exchanges. We already know that Obamacare is expensive, confusing, and raising health insurance costs for ordinary Americans. It is obvious that the Administration is just as unprepared for Obamacare’s October 1st start date as the rest of the country. So far the White House has issued delay after delay for parts of the law they find inconvenient, however, American families and individuals who will bear the brunt of the law have gotten no such relief.”
The Oversight Committee also issued a staff report concerned about the “Navigators and Assisters” who will be helping millions to enroll in the Obamacare programs.
The possibility exists, apparently, that Americans enrolling in Obamacare exchanges could be at risk for fraud and identity theft.
The big worry exists for a “lack of proper safeguards to protect sensitive, personal information.”
You can read the full report here, and for the latest updates, check out the California healthcare website.