Exchanges continue to struggle with technical problems
Ongoing problems with the federal insurance exchange network in the U.S. may mean that the enrollment goals for HealthCare.gov may be impossible to meet. Exchanges throughout the country began operation on October 1, 2013, but relatively few people have been able to apply for coverage through exchanges managed by the federal government. Severe technical issues crippled HealthCare.gov in its early weeks, making it impossible for many people to apply for health insurance coverage through the federal exchange network.
Agency lowers estimates concerning enrollment
The Congressional Budget Office had originally estimated that some 7 million people would sign up for coverage through exchanges in 2013. The coverage for these people would have begun on January 1, 2014, and the federal agency suggests that a significant portion of these consumers would have been paying less for their insurance coverage than they had from coverage they received through private providers. The issues that have crippled the federal exchange network, however, may make it only possible for some 4 million people to enroll for coverage.
CMS facing serious deadline
Another issue that may affect enrollment in the future is a deadline facing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The agency is tasked with instituting the financial management system that is required to issue subsidies that are being offered by the federal government. These subsidies are meant to offset the cost of health insurance policies purchased through exchanges, but if CMS cannot meet its deadline, the system that manages these subsidies may not be ready.
Federal government vows to fix problems
Health insurance remains a controversial issue in the U.S., even as some of the problems associated with the Affordable Care Act are being laid to rest. The federal government has received harsh criticism from consumers and businesses alike concerning its handling of exchanges and the implementation of federal law. Indeed, President Barack Obama has acknowledged this criticism and has vowed to remedy the issues crippling federal exchanges as soon as possible.