Covered Calif. Enrollment Portal, Doctor Directory Remain Offline
As of Sunday, the enrollment portion of the Covered California website remained offline after being taken down last week to fix software glitches, KCRA reports (Hoff, KCRA, 2/23).
Last week, glitches in the enrollment software were found after the portal was taken offline for scheduled maintenance and upgrades. Specifically, the website was ending users' sessions in the middle of the application process.
On Thursday, state officials took down the enrollment function and posted a temporary message notifying consumers that it was offline.
The exchange had said that the portal would be back online by Friday (California Healthline, 2/21).
Officials later said they hoped the glitches would be fixed by Monday morning (KCRA, 2/23).
Provider Directory To Remain Offline
In related news, Covered California said a consolidated directory of doctors and hospitals that was removed from the exchange website earlier this month will not be back online for at least several months, the San Francisco Business Times' "Bay Area BizTalk" reports (Rauber, "Bay Area BizTalk," San Francisco Business Times, 2/21).
The directory of health care providers associated with exchange plans originally was scheduled to be available during the first week of open enrollment -- which began Oct. 1, 2013 -- but it was delayed and did not go online until a week later.
The physician directory then was taken offline later that month because of:
- Inaccuracies; and
- Slow loading times.
In addition, some consumers had reported problems identifying which plans' networks would include popular provider groups.
Covered California published an updated directory in November 2013.
Earlier this month, Covered California again removed the directory from the exchange website because some providers were falsely listed as accepting insurance plans that were not a part of their network (California Healthline, 2/10).
On Friday, exchange spokesperson Anne Gonzales said, "We have no plans to restore the consolidated provider directory at this time," adding, "[W]e are working on it, and it may be up again sometime in the fall."
However, Gonzales noted that the exchange website will continue to provide consumers with links to insurers' physician directories.
According to "Bay Area BizTalk," a source at Covered California said the exchange is developing a new platform that will list thousands of physicians from 11 health plans ("Bay Area BizTalk," San Francisco Business Times, 2/21).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.