California's O-care Exchange
It ain't goin' so well.
In the last three business days, I, as one who's been involved in California's health care industry for over 30 years, have spent nine hours in face-to-face seminars and two more hours in a CoveredCA sponsored webinar.
Sadly, as of now, there are zero plans with rates or benefits approved for sale by either of California's two state insurance regulatory bureaucracies --
From a webinar on Sept. 28:
(Due to various internal issues, CoveredCA has not finalized the format of their agent contract and received subsequent legal approval of that contract from the California regulators. Until the contract is approved by those regulators no one can sign it and become officially approved to sell the plans.)
Responding to the "elephant in the room" question of whether plan rates and benefits would be available for consumers to purchase and agents to sell as of the 10/1/2013 target launch date, Mr. Patton elaborated at some length that we should understand that with 13 carriers in the SHOP, each of whom was offering multiple plans, the regulators had a lot of work to do, and only a certain amount of time in which to complete it. He continued by saying that although he expected that plans and rates would be approved and announced by October 1, and that he had no reason at all to believe that they wouldn't be, he hoped that everyone would remember the immense workload, understand that all parties were doing their best andtrying very hard to achieve that goal.
Not exactly equal for a mid-income individual.
The slide showed a 2013 $500 deductible, $30 office visit copay plan with what was offered as an equivalent 2014 plan, a $1500 deductible, $20 office visit copay plan.
The author asks:
1 -- If California, the alleged national leader, is this far behind where they promised to be and where they should be to have a viable, functional product available by October 1, how far behind the deadline are all the rest of the states and the federal government?
2 -- If CoveredCA is this far over their heads in getting ready to sell these brand new plans to millions of people all over California, how ready are they going to be to administer, service, and satisfy those millions of people as customers once they sign up for coverage?