CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Programmers and administrators are working overtime to iron out kinks in Nevada’s online health insurance exchange system before it opens for enrollment in about two weeks.
Officials with the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange told board members Thursday that testing has been a challenge and is behind schedule.
Because of that, they are focusing on fixing glitches that could hinder core functionality, leaving less urgent problems for later.
“Our priority is the consumer experience,” Jon Hager, executive director of the exchange, told the board.
Nevada’s exchange has been two years in the making to prepare for implementation of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which requires everyone to have health insurance by Jan. 1 or face a penalty.
“It’s not going to be perfect,” exchange spokesman CJ Bawden said Friday.
Computer delays, pages that won’t load, could be an issue and cause frustration for users.
Worse would be if information is incorrectly calculated.
There are a lot of moving parts, even in a techno world, that need to hum in unison. The state exchange website, called Nevada Health Link, will synch with a federal hub with data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Social Security Administration and Internal Revenue Service to verify citizenship status and income.
The website, www.nevadahealthlink.com, must also jibe with and state databases and direct users to appropriate pages in the application process based on answers to online questions.
It’s supposed to be a convenient, one-stop shopping portal, a place where people can compare and buy insurance policies, be directed to Medicaid or other services for the poor if they qualify, and have federal subsidies calculated if income thresholds are met.