Hoosier Response to Updated Healthcare Site
December 2, 2013 — Healthcare and volunteer organizations are starting a second push to build awareness of the nation’s healthcare exchange now that federal government officials say the website is working smoothly.
Officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services say about 90% of people who go on the health exchange website are now able to successfully complete applications.
That’s good news for the some 800,000 Hoosiers who still don’t have insurance. Only 700 Hoosiers were able to sign up in the first month the exchange was online.
But human resources and health care expert Chris Schrader says even if the front end of the website is working, that doesn’t mean people are actually getting insurance because the government isn’t getting the data to the insurance companies, “What has started happening is people who thought they had enrolled; they’d been through the whole process so they assumed the plan they had chosen was the plan they were getting. So they’ve started calling insurance companies saying where’s the information, I should have gotten something by now. The insurance companies are saying we don’t have anything.”
Still, health care groups are starting another round of awareness campaigns. Indiana Hospital Association’s vice president of government relations Brian Tabor says many groups have been saving up resources, “I think you’re going to see more advertising on radio, television, print and other places because people had been keeping their powder dry until the website was improved.”
People have until December 23rd to enroll if they want to get coverage by January 1. Until then, Tabor says groups need to target populations that have largely been ignored, such as rural areas that do not have trained navigators to guide them through the process.
By Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Gretchen Frazee