Problems Plaguing Website for Covered Calif. Enrollment Counselors

TOPIC ALERT:

Enrollment counselors for Covered California are encountering a variety of problems on a website that they use to help consumers sign up for health coverage, the Los Angeles Times reports (Brown, Los Angeles Times, 11/16).

Background

Nearly 60,000 state residents signed up for coverage through the exchange during the first six weeks of open enrollment, according to an announcement Covered California made last week.

In addition, the rate of enrollment appears to be increasing, as the number of people signing up for exchange plans increased from an average of 1,000 daily in October to an average of 2,400 daily in the first 12 days of November (California Healthline, 11/14).

State officials estimate that 80% of consumers will want help from navigators when signing up for coverage through the exchange. About 16,000 navigators are needed statewide to assist those consumers, according to exchange officials (California Healthline, 10/31).

Details of Website Issues

Enrollment counselors have reported several glitches with the site designed to help them enroll individuals in health plans offered through the exchange, including:

  • Freezing;
  • Mislabeled links for Spanish-language applications;
  • Inaccurate cost estimates and coverage levels;
  • A disabled online chat function; and
  • Other issues.

Some counselors have given up trying to use the site and instead have begun printing off English-language versions of enrollment applications and helping Spanish-speaking individuals fill them out, according to the Times (Los Angeles Times, 11/16).

Daline Magee
Thank you so much, Kevin!! I gladly took your suggestion and opened the application in Google Chrome and it worked perfectly! I have completed the application, been successfully enrolled, and have chosen my plan. I am extremely happy. I wonder whether we can get this information to others who are experiencing the same problem with the Covered CA application? I was delayed by a full five weeks due to the browser I was using; and your suggestion on Google Chrome was directly on target. Is it possible to post a suggestion directly to the website? Thanks (again!)
Kevin Hamilton
Read the comment concerning the website. We have had problems with it since the beginning but have simply gone to paper apps which are available at all the county offices. At Clinica Sierra Vista in Fresno we processed over 800 applications in October alone. We expect to double that this month. As for the web site. We have found more utility and less "glitch-ness" when using it in Google Chrome. This forced us to upgrade the operating systems on a lot of our computers as our IT folks determined our old Windows XP couldn't find a compatibility with the Covered CA software. This concerns me as many of our patients cannot afford new computers every year or two. The contractor needs to work with the major OS providers to come up with "patches" that resolve these problems. On the other hand, I celebrate that over 800 uninsured people will have insurance come January 1st! Kevin Hamilton
Daline Magee
I have been attempting to complete the online application for several weeks and have been unable to get past the first page. When I click the "continue" button, it jumps right back to the personal info page--is anyone else having this problem? Is there a fix for it? Or am I doing something wrong?

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