While computer crashes, glitches, and other technological difficulties have plagued the federal government’s HealthCare.gov site, California’s exchange site is experiencing much less-severe growing pains.
HealthCare.gov is a federally run health care marketplace serving 36 states. Because of the technical issues, the federal government has set up an IT task force. However, it will be some time before the site is fully operable. IT experts continue to work on the site and officials with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have set a November 30 deadline for having a fully functioning site.
In contrast, the California’s state-run exchange, Covered California (CoveredCA.com), is running a much more smoothly as it ramps up to serve the state’s uninsured.
California was one of the first states to begin planning and implementing a health insurance exchange website. According to Peter Lee, Covered California’s Executive Director, 2.2 million people have visited the Covered California site and about 126,000 have created accounts through October 19th. (Tracy Seipel, San Jose Mercury News, 10/28/2013)
Consumers have been able to access CoveredCA.com to compare plans, examine health care options and rates and begin the application process. Covered California helps individuals determine whether they are eligible for premium assistance that is available on a sliding-scale basis to reduce insurance costs, or whether they are eligible for low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal.
Covered California serves the state’s uninsured and offers access to 11 health plans serving the state of California.