Good News: The Government Doesn't Know How Much You Should Be Paying for Health Insurance

Katie Pavlich

9/23/2013 7:19:00 AM - Katie Pavlich

We're eight days away from the official launch date of the Obamacare exchanges, which will launch next Tuesday. Although the employer mandate has been delayed, the individual mandate is still in place, forcing regular, everyday Americans to comply with the exchanges by October 1. The problem? The government doesn't know exactly how much you should be paying for health insurance. More from the Wall Street Journal:

The government's software can't reliably determine how much people need to pay for coverage, according to insurance executives and people familiar with the program.

Government officials and insurers were scrambling to iron out the pricing quirks quickly, according to the people, to avoid alienating the initial wave of consumers.

Four people familiar with the development of the software that determines how much people would pay for subsidized coverage on the federally run exchanges said it was still miscalculating prices. Tests on the calculator initially scheduled to begin months ago only started this week at some insurers, according to insurance executives and two people familiar with development efforts.

"There's a blanket acknowledgment that rates are being calculated incorrectly," said one senior health-insurance executive who asked not to be named. "Our tech and operations people are very concerned about the problems they're seeing and the potential of them to stick around."
Not surprisingly, instead of inserting a delay, the Obama administration is going to iron out the kinks as we go.

The Obama administration says open enrollment will begin Oct. 1 on schedule. "We may encounter some bumps when open enrollment begins but we'll solve them," said Gary Cohen, director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, one of the main offices within Medicare charged with developing the exchanges, in congressional testimony on Thursday.


Meanwhile, major companies like Walgreens and Home Depot are continuing to drop health coverage and are dumping their employees into the government exchanges, which are improperly calculating costs.