Covered Calif. Website To Go Offline To Add Small Business Exchange
Covered California officials have announced that the state health insurance exchange website will be taken offline for up to two days beginning this weekend so that officials can add a new small business marketplace to the site, the Sacramento Business Journal reports (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 11/8).
Under the Affordable Care Act, the Small Business Health Options Program allows small businesses to offer either a single plan to all of their workers or select a benefit level and allow employees to choose among several plans offered at that level (California Healthline, 9/23).
Details of Site Shutdown
The website will be taken offline at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16 and might not be restored until 6 a.m. on Nov. 19, officials said.
Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access, said, "Even though Covered California is doing relatively well ... there [are] still upgrades to do."
He added, "It's not our preference to have the system down a day or two, but that's what it takes."
The work was discussed during the exchange board's Oct. 24 meeting, but officials have no plans to publish a news release on the site shutdown.
Wright said that a public news release about taking the site offline could "needlessly alarm folks."
An additional shutdown is planned for Jan. 1, 2014, to link the exchange to Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program, and make other upgrades. The website could be offline for up to four days at that time, according to the Journal (Sacramento Business Journal, 11/8).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.