Covered California Site Taken Offline Again for Weekend Repairs
Over the weekend, Covered California officials took offline the website's enrollment feature to conduct unspecified maintenance, U-T San Diego reports.
The officials sought to correct technical issues discovered during the first two weeks of open enrollment (Sisson, U-T San Diego, 10/19).
Background on Challenges
When the exchange opened for enrollment on Oct. 1, the site's home page took several minutes to load and continued delays were reported throughout the enrollment process.
During the first week of open enrollment, the exchange was taken offline twice to address:
- Repeated error messages; and
- General slowness (California Healthline, 10/8).
In addition, an online directory of doctors and hospitals last week was removed from the website because of inaccuracies and slow performance (California Healthline, 10/15).
Directory Work Still Underway
Anne Gonzales -- a spokesperson for the exchange -- in an email said that problems with the directory of providers associated with exchange plans stem from insurance companies incorrectly coding doctors' specialties.
Before reposting the directory online, Gonzales said officials are working to:
- Retool the data;
- Verify the data; and
- Test the system.
She said, "We recognize that many consumers will base their plan selection on the provider network, so we're anxious to get the directory online."
Exchange To Release Less Enrollment Information
Meanwhile, exchange officials say they no longer will reveal the number of applications completed via Covered California. Earlier this month, officials announced that more than 16,000 households completed applications during the first five days of open enrollment.
Gonzales said that releasing the number of completed applications was "bonus information" offered after the first week and that officials now will release only the number of applications started.
"We want to choose those numbers that we believe are going to be most reflective of consumer interest," Gonzales said, adding, "[W]e believe that applications started covers it all" (U-T San Diego, 10/19).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.