You Won’t Believe How Many Federal Dollars This California Exchange Is Wasting on Enrollment

January 24, 2014

Last week, California’s health insurance exchange, Covered California, boasted enrollment of 625,000 people in insurances plans between Oct. 1 and mid-January.

Now the exchange is under fire for dumping millions of federal dollars into a half-baked marketing and advertising campaign to get Californians covered, despite receiving feedback from insurance agencies and consumer advocacy groups that cite obvious problems with their enrollment procedures.

Among those plaguing the exchange are glitches on the online enrollment site, confusion with applications, and unusually long wait times at call centers.

California Covered’s Executive Director even admitted, “”Many have had a less-than-ideal experience.”

Additionally, the exchange was faulted for failing to reach Latinos, highlighting yet another obstacle for the minority community in their effort to get coverage.

The $155 million federal grant will use $4.5 million to target Latinos and another $5 million to appeal to young people in an effort to get them signed up on the exchange. Proponents of the Affordable Care Act have stressed success of the law is contingent on both demographics showing up big.

Yet all the federal grants in the world couldn’t make ObamaCare sound like a good deal to voters. That’s why young people are rejecting ObamaCare in record numbers.  Voters have made it clear that they’re not for ObamaCare. It’s time their Democrat-elected representatives start hearing the call.

From AP:

After celebrating its enrollment numbers earlier this week, California’s health-insurance exchange came under heavy criticism Thursday for its lackluster efforts to sign up Latinos and for continued paperwork problems that have left untold numbers of consumers in limbo.

Members of Covered California’s board of directors also questioned some of the exchange’s spending priorities. Specifically, they wondered whether millions of dollars planned for a ramped-up marketing and advertisement campaign was the right approach when consumer advocacy groups and insurance agents say systematic problems persist and are discouraging thousands of people from getting coverage.

Those groups cited continued long wait times on the exchange’s three telephone call centers, numerous problems with the online enrollment site and multi-week lag times in getting policy paperwork transferred from the exchange to insurance companies.

“This is not a marketing issue. Awareness without access does not get you to where you want to be,” said Deborah Lazaro, a certified insurance agent.