Michael Ollove of Stateline reports that there could be a significant amount of frustration and confusion when it comes to the Affordable Care Act’s online healthcare exchanges.
Much of the confusion stems from the sheer size of the program: the IRS, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Medicare, and the Treasury are just a few of the agencies involved in the online exchanges. Information will be compiled from all of these agencies, helping to determine a participant’s eligibility, potential tax credits, and more.
In order to make the exchanges work, all of the government agencies involved will have to share information, update their computer systems, and streamline their data-gathering process. It has been only three years since Congress passed the Affordable Care Act; IT experts say that this is not nearly enough time to accomplish the Herculean requirements of the program.
Combining information from so many government agencies into the healthcare exchanges is one of the biggest troubles for Obamacare. It is also the largest and most extensive IT project in history.
So what kind of problems can you expect from the online exchanges?
One expert that Ollove interviewed fears that the amount of data being shared by agencies could breed confusion. He worries that when participants sign up at the exchanges, they will be told that they do not qualify and should turn to Medicaid instead…only to have Medicaid inform them that they are not eligible and need to return to the exchanges.
The potential for confusion is astronomical, especially considering the large number of people who are expected to sign up for the online exchanges.
One of the biggest troubles for Obamacare would be if people have a bad experience with the exchanges and then decide not to try a second time.
If you do have a difficult time with the online exchanges, try not to lose heart. As frustrating and confusing as they might be, your health is very important. Stick with it and you will reap the rewards of better health coverage!