PPACA Phone Enrollment Process Also Encountering Problems

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Applications for insurance coverage through the exchanges submitted over the phone use the same computer system as HealthCare.gov, meaning they will encounter the same glitches, according to "War Room" notes from meetings between Obama administration officials.

The notes — obtained and released by House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) — show officials agreed it was best to tell people to use paper applications rather than the call center to enroll in health plans under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. However, paper applications won't necessarily get processed more quickly, and everyone is "stuck in the same queue" at the end of the day, according to the notes.

The federal government uses the same portal to determine eligibility no matter what method people use to submit applications, according to a report from The Hill.

A Democratic staff member on the House Oversight Committee and HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters told The Hill the notes Rep. Issa released this week contain information that is several weeks old. Ms. Peters said federal officials have made "significant progress" during those weeks because of a "tech surge" meant to identify and repair issues with the federal exchange.

Since its launch last month, the federal exchange site has experienced numerous technical issues, such as people not being able to create accounts and crashes reportedly due to high traffic. HHS and CMS leaders have said they're working to fix the issues and should have HealthCare.gov running smoothly by the end of this month.

More Articles on Health Insurance Exchanges:
Officials: HealthCare.gov Will Run Smoothly by End of November
Obama Administration: 700k Have Applied for Coverage Through Exchanges
Most Exchange Enrollees Applying for Medicaid 

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