Insurers that stayed out of California’s state-based health insurance exchange in 2014 are now asking if they can possibly participate in 2016.
Covered California had glitches in 2014 and still has glitches. Today is supposed to be the plan selection deadline for consumers who want exchange qualified health plan (QHP) coverage to take effect by Feb. 1. Some consumers converged on Twitter to complain about website and call center problems.
“Almost convinced that Covered California isn’t a real thing, but just a sentient collection of hold music and password error messages,” one would-be customer posted on Twitter.
But Julianne Broyles, a representative from the California Association of Health Underwriters, said at the exchange program’s December board meeting that the open enrollment period for 2015 coverage — which started Nov. 15 and is set to end Feb. 15 — has been going much more smoothly this year than it was going at this time last year, according to a batch of minutes included in a Covered California board meeting packet.
Brandon Cuevas, the chief executive officer of UnitedHealth of California, and Kevin Nazemi, co-founder of Oscar, a new carrier that’s trying to appeal to millennials, paid the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchange the compliment of writing letters asking for slots on Covered California’s shelves.
For 2014, managers of the exchange encouraged insurers to get on the exchange early by saying they would require insurers to sell exchange QHPs in 2014 to be in the exchange QHP market in 2015.