A CMS spokesman said the agency has designed the re-enrollment process so that HealthCare.gov will send an enrollment transaction to insurers for everyone who should be re-enrolled, the spokesman said. “Issuers who do not receive a transaction for a member can safely let their policy end.”
But an insurance company representative who did not want to be named said insurers would prefer to get an affirmative notification of members' termination to avoid any mix-ups. The agency already sends out such termination notices when a consumer switches plans midyear due to a change in life circumstances. That leaves open the question as to why the agency cannot send such termination transactions to address insurer concerns. When asked, the CMS spokesman said the agency is “exploring the extent” to which it can send such transactions.
There's also anxiety about the new enrollee login system. Exchange officials scrapped the old login system, called EIDM, and replaced it with a new one. Observers hope it will provide a smoother, more intuitive experience for consumers. But the replacement login system is in testing and won't be broadly available for inspection by the insurance community until October. Open enrollment starts Nov. 15. “If there are glitches, there's not a cushion,” said Ferris Taylor, chief strategy officer at Arches Health Plan, a consumer-governed co-op insurance in Utah.
Dan Schuyler, the senior director of exchange technology for Leavitt Partners, predicted HealthCare.gov's customer experience will be better for 2015 than it was for 2014, arguing that the cloud technology provided by Amazon Web Services will make a difference. But, he cautioned, the customer traffic may be so heavy that site performance will still slow down.
Follow Darius Tahir on Twitter: @dariustahir