- (Photo: Reuters/Stephen Lam
The healthcare exchanges that were created under the Affordable Care Act continue to be plagued with problems with insurance companies are revealing they are receiving faulty data slowing the process even more.
Executives at several health insurance companies have revealed they have received data from online marketplaces that contains errors, such as duplicate enrollments and the submission of incomplete forms.
"The longer this takes to resolve…the harder it will be to get people to [come back and] sign up," Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini told The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. "It's not off to a great start," he said, adding, however, that he believes the marketplaces are "here to stay."
One of the more problematic issues that arose other than slow websites was the difficulty that many users experienced in trying to set up accounts.
"If you can't set up an account ... you can't enroll," Brett Graham, of Leavitt Partners, a consulting firm run by former Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt.
Despite those error messages and other shortcomings that were affecting the websites there are those who continue to be optimistic.
"We have seen progress every day," said Nasim Zahran of Miami's Borinquen Medical Health Care Centers, where hundreds of people are waiting to enroll in coverage.
"Today was the first day that we got all the way to the last screen. But then an error screen popped up saying the site would be down for 72 hours," Zahran said.
Healthcare.gov saw 14.6 million unique visits in its first 10 days which was more than expected and produced hopes that demand for quality, affordable healthcare would be greater than first thought.
Experts say the administration has until mid-November to fix any problems or risk jeopardizing its goal of signing up 7 million people in the first year of the open exchanges.
The number includes roughly 3 million healthy young adults whose participation will help offset the higher cost of insuring sicker and older beneficiaries.
Still, others were expecting some problems with the roll-out but are confident that over time workers will be able to correct those issues.
"Today is the start of preseason," Katie League, an outreach and enrollment manager at Health Care for the Homeless in Baltimore, told CBS. "You know, not every quarterback is ready on the first day of preseason."