Bill To Add IT Experts to Calif. Exchange Board Fails To Advance
On Thursday, the California Senate Health Committee held back a bill (SB 972) that would have added two seats to the Covered California board and required that two board members be IT experts, KCRA reports.
The bill was introduced by Sen. Norma Torres (D-Pomona) after the exchange website experienced technical difficulties during its first open enrollment period (Shams, KCRA, 4/24).
Background on Site Problems
During the exchange's open enrollment period from October 2013 to mid-April, its website experienced several technical problems, such as:
- Slow loading times for the enrollment feature;
- Repeated error messages;
- Inaccuracy and slow loading times for a directory of providers included in health plan networks (California Healthline, 10/21/13); and
- A software malfunction that caused thousands of consumers to have to resubmit their information (California Healthline, 3/3).
Torres said, "If the board doesn't know what the problems are or how to address the problems, then how can we hold them accountable?”
However, opponents of the bill -- including committee Chair Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) -- applauded Covered California's performance during the first open enrollment period.
Hernandez said that Torres will be able to alter her bill, but the reworked legislation likely will not include requirements for a larger board or IT-related members, according to KCRA (KCRA, 4/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.