Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet

Written By: Jason Shafrin - Nov• 28•13

What happens if you’re having Thanksgiving dinner and the topic turns to health care.  Or worse, the status of Healthcare.gov and the Obamacare Health Insurance Exchanges.  What do you do? How do you sound in the know, even if you’ve been slacking off any haven’t ready my blog for months?  The Wall Street Journal provides a nice “cheat sheet” for the status of Healthcare.gov.

Q: Why didn’t HealthCare.gov work?

When the site launched on Oct. 1, nearly three million people swarmed to check it out. But, it only took a few hundred piling on for a key part of the site to crash. Obama administration officials initially said web traffic was the main problem, but it soon became clear major coding flaws, poor website design choices and years of bungled management led to problems that ran much deeper.

Q: When is it going to be fixed?

Saturday is a big day for Affordable Care Act watchers: It’s the self-imposed deadline for administration officials to repair the site.

Q: How many people have signed up so far?

About 100,000 people had obtained private insurance coverage through HealthCare.gov, which serves consumers in 36 states, as well as the 14 state-run exchanges, including in California and New York, as of Nov. 2. The White House goal for the first month had been 500,000 total enrollees. But, in a sign things are getting better, the federal site had cleared 40,000 enrollees by Nov. 8, up from 27,000 a week before.

Q: And what kind of people are enrolling?

The law’s long-term success rides in large part on whether healthy young people can be wooed to sign up. States running their own exchanges and some insurers reported their early enrollees were skewing old, but California reported a better mix last week.

Q: What about Grandma’s Medicare?

Tell her not to panic: HealthCare.gov’s problems don’t matter for people who already have Medicare. Also, anyone covered by their employer can take a deep breath.


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