Obviously this is Mitt Romney’s fault.
With three weeks left in the year, not one of the thousands of Massachusetts residents who need to enroll in new health insurance plans by Jan. 1 has been able to do so through the state insurance marketplace that was revamped to comply with the national Affordable Care Act.
About 126,000 people enrolled in health plans subsidized by the state have until March to choose a new plan and can keep their current coverage until then. But thousands of others are depending on a new plan to start on the first of the year, and some worry that their coverage will not be ready in time. Their anxiety has only been heightened by stubborn technical problems, such as a snag this week that blocked many people from signing in to the website.
Hopefully this gets squared away so Auntie Zeituni and Uncle Omar can get their “free” healthcare.
Gina Kamentsky of Somerville has been trying to enroll through the Massachusetts Health Connector for weeks. Her insurance plan, bought through her partner’s former employer, expires this month. Because of expensive medications and a doctor’s appointment she cannot miss, the 54-year-old artist from Somerville said she needs coverage in January. Plus, the landmark 2006 state health insurance law, the model for the national law, requires her and most others to have coverage.
Kamentsky was first stymied by the widespread technological problems. At the end of October, she filed a paper application. She has been stuck since then in a shuffle of documents and on long calls with customer support staff, but she feels no closer to being enrolled.
“There’s no feedback,” she said. “There’s no way to tell if anything has been processed. Time is ticking away.”
Good thing Obama’s tech experts are all over it.
The $69 million website was built by CGI, which helped develop the much-maligned federal health insurance site, HealthCare.gov. The Health Connector website, by communicating with federal databases and the state Medicaid program, was meant to give users a place where they could find out which insurance subsidies they qualify for. But that function of the website has not worked.
Can we call this a failure yet?
“This is a mess,” Fields said. “The sad thing is that the people who are going to get hurt are the people that they’re trying to help.”
Look at the upside: If you can’t get in, nobody can steal your ID.