WASHINGTON — There’s another quirk in the Obama administration’s new health insurance system: It lacks a way for consumers to quickly and easily update their coverage for the birth of a baby and other common life changes.
With regular private insurance, parents just notify the health plan. Insurers will still cover new babies, the administration says, but parents will also have to contact the government at some point later on.
Right now the HealthCare.gov website can’t handle such updates.
It’s not just having a new baby that could create bureaucratic hassles, but other life changes affecting a consumer’s taxpayer-subsidized premiums. The list includes marriage and divorce, a death in the family, a new job or a change in income, even moving to a different community.
Insurers say computerized “change in circumstance” updates to deal with family and life developments were supposed to have been part of the federal system from the start.
But that feature got postponed as the government scrambled to fix technical problems that overwhelmed thehealth care website during its first couple of months.
“It’s just another example of ‘We’ll fix that later,’” said Bob Laszewski, an industry consultant who said he’s gotten complaints from several insurer clients. “This needed to be done well before January. It’s sort of a fly-by-night approach.”I have gone through all these life changes myself or has my wife. It took somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes filling our forms and registering phone calls to accommodate the same when the all knowing, beneficent and incompetent government wasn't involved. Assuredly, everyone will avoid going through life changes while the one size fits all, government monopoly waits to interpose its will.