Americans Swarmed Affordable Care Act Application Centers after the deadline for coverage beginning January first was extended by an extra day. Federal agencies say the extra time was given to ensure that those unable to sign up before the deadline due to heavy website traffic would have a second chance, but despite this extra time and preparation website resources are strained and call centers are struggling to answer all the phones. This comes after news that numbers of applicants are much lower than projected, leaving many wondering why there is so much trouble in getting the applicants sorted and settled.
Proposed in 2010, the Affordable Care Act was intended to change the fundamentals of how the American health care system worked, but even after three years of debate and fine tuning the new system is still off to a rocky start. Intending to allow insurance to be sold across state lines, encourage small businesses to band together to buy bulk insurance for employees, increase limits on tax-free health savings accounts, cap malpractice lawsuits, and offer tax credits on health expenses, there are just as many Americans that support the Affordable Care Act as who oppose it. Those who applied and paid their first bills will have coverage starting on January first 2014. Over two million Americans have applied so far, and less than 500,000 people will be without insurance due to cancellation of old polices.
Although enrollment numbers climbed steadily in the months leading up to the deadline, there were fewer people calling or logging on to sign up for the Affordable Care Act than expected. In October 227,000 people applied, dropping to 137,000 in October before shooting up to 890,000 applicants in December. Along with the extra time on the deadline, the application system was changed from automatically enrolling all who qualified and excluding those who opted out, to one where those who were interested needed to step forward. This change took place in the middle of the three month push to get those interested signed up, and Americans Swarmed Affordable Care Act Application Centers in a bid to get coverage just under the deadline.
In addition, hardware and software issues plagued the application website throughout the enrollment period, leaving some people no choice but a last ditch effort to be heard just before the deadline. As a result extremely high traffic volume swamped mail rooms, call centers and web sites alike. Extra staff were called in across the country, many to answer technical questions and to guide users through the online application as well as portals run by state sites. It is expected that staff will be working through new years to get all of the applications sorted and into the system, with coverage beginning on January first a non-negotiable portion of the Affordable Care Act. After Americans Swarmed Affordable Care Act Application Centers, volume is expected to gradually decline as predicted numbers of late adopters trickle in through the coming months.
By Daniel O’Brien