ObamaCare Clusterfuck: ObamaCare will take three years to settle down, says new IA insurance commissioner
I'd hate for the processing of paying for health care to be boring! Desmoines Register:
The soft-spoken former life insurance company executive expects the turmoil to last a while. Eventually, he said, people will adjust to the new realities of the health insurance market and won’t face unpredictable costs or changes in coverage. “But I think that’s at least three years out,” he said at his Des Moines office. “I think it’s probably going to be a few years before the market can really digest what’s happening. There’s just a lot of unknowns right now.”
But nobody knows anything:
Estimates vary wildly about how many people will use the exchange to buy insurance. “We just don’t know enough about the consumer behavior. We know there are roughly 250,000 Iowans who don’t have employer-based insurance today that could qualify for some level of tax credit on the exchange. But I can’t tell you what their purchasing decisions are going to be,” Gerhart said.
One big factor could be the complicated application process. A draft version of the federal application is 15 pages [26, unless they've changed it], which Gerhart termed “a little absurd.” Once those applications are filled out, people would face the prospect of sorting through competing insurance plans on the exchange.
The insurance division will assist with trying to educate Iowans about how they would sign up. The national program also calls for independent groups to provide specially trained “navigators” to help citizens figure out the process and choose the right insurance plans for their families. The state is still setting rules navigators will have to follow, but Gerhart is confident some groups will want to participate.
“We’ll have navigators, I just don’t know who it’ll be yet,” he said. “They could be unions. They could be community groups — Kiwanis could be one, or a PTA could be one.” He added that federal officials probably will oversee that part of the system, including about 30 hours of training for each navigator.
The federal government is providing $600,000 to hire navigators, and Gerhart’s office will encourage Iowans to use their services or ask an insurance agent for help. “I don’t know too many people who have actually sat down and gone through their health policies and picked the right plan,” he said. “Most people get it through their employer, or an agent or an adviser of some kind, so I think we’ve got a lot of work to do around that.”
So, if I have this straight, nobody knows how to buy insurance online. If user experience design work has been done, it must have been done on prototypes, since none of the real systems are ready. So the health exchanges could end up being Insanely Great, or like Windows 8. Nobody knows. The people who are to train
consumers citizens how to buy insurance online have not been selected. From the OH experience, it's not clear who is to pay them, or whether there will be enough of them. Oh, and the target population who is supposed to benefit from ObamaCare tends to have less experience than average with computers, and (being poor) may not even be computer owners.
NOTE Will the "navigators" have fiduciary responsibility? I doubt it. It would be nice to know, though, what regulatory regime they come under.