Officials: Covered California On Track for Open Enrollment on Oct. 1
Covered California officials say the online health insurance marketplace will be open for enrollment on Oct. 1 as scheduled, despite concerns about potential delays, the Los Angeles Times' "Money & Co." reports (Terhune, "Money & Co.," Los Angeles Times, 9/9).
Background on Exchange
The state health insurance exchange primarily will serve individuals and small businesses.
Supporters hope that the exchange will function similarly to websites like Amazon and Expedia, allowing users to choose among various health plans through an easily navigable online store (California Healthline, 9/4).
Update on Readiness
Covered California officials said that the exchange website underwent testing and will be ready to enroll residents on time.
Peter Lee -- executive director of the exchange -- said the site is "in very good shape," adding, "We have gone through the testing, and we are planning for all systems go Oct. 1 with the full range of enrollment options."
However, Lee said he does not expect a large number of people to begin using the exchange next month because the coverage will not take effect until January 2014 and because residents can enroll until March 2014. He said enrollment numbers likely will increase in November.
The state still must train about 20,000 enrollment counselors and certify 12,000 insurance agents to sell plans on the exchange, according to Lee.
"We won't have everyone I would like to have trained as of Oct. 1. Will there be enough? I think so," Lee said, adding, "It will be a crunch the next six weeks."
Lee added that the state has not yet connected with a federal data hub designed to verify enrollees' information, such as Social Security numbers.
If the hub is not ready by Oct. 1, he said California's exchange still can enroll residents in health coverage and verify such information at a later date ("Money & Co.," Los Angeles Times, 9/9).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.