Tuesday, October 15, 2013

CIGNA to Brokers: Don't Use Exchanges for a Month Because We Think Subsidy Calcs are Wrong

... For instance, one major insurance carrier, Cigna, sent a notice Wednesday to insurance brokers instructing them to wait until November to try to sign up customers who might qualify for a subsidy, according to Joseph Mondy, a Cigna spokesman. He said that the company does not yet trust the reliability of the part of the exchange that is supposed to calculate the tax credits that will, for the first time, help some Americans pay for private health coverage.

Cigna is one of the insurers that has built its own online “portal” for brokers to use, but that portal must communicate with the federal exchange to find out about a potential subsidy.
Cigna is selling health plans via the federal exchange in four states: Arizona, Florida, Tennessee and Texas. Mondy said the carrier has seen “multiple enrollments” coming through for the same customer on the same day.

A Blue Cross Blue Shield plan in a Southern state said that it has also gotten simultaneous reports of the same consumers enrolling as of Jan. 1 and cancelling as of Dec. 31, 2014.

“It’s a glitch that . . . needs to be fixed,” said a spokesman for the plan, who, like most insurers interviewed, spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid antagonizing the Obama administration.
Compounding the confusion, these electronic enrollment files are missing a critical element that they were built to include: a time stamp that would let a health plan track whether a consumer’s last step on the site was to actually sign up. ...

Excerpted from the Washington Post, by Amy Goldstein and Ariana Eunjung Cha.