Sarich, vice president of strategy at
See also: What went wrong with HealthCare.gov – and what now
Because CMS -- the division of the
Today, he said, because of the lack of functional back-end systems, simply sending QHP holders accurate bills and paying claims accurately depends on manual work-arounds.
Sarich said the big life and health insurers have the luxury of spending many years to develop big IT projects, and can do so quietly, out of the public eye. But even many of those projects fail, he said. He thinks getting the public exchanges systems to work properly could take three to five years, in part because of the exchange systems will have to connect with what, at least for now, are antiquated systems that rely heavily on floppy disks and COBOL.
Sarich criticized the focus on HealthCare.gov, the HHS exchange enrollment portal. "Your portal is nothing more than a window," he said. "All the stuff behind the scenes wasn't there."
Sarich suggested that exchange managers and exchange QHP issuers should probably be thinking about ways to make any "manual work-arounds" they use to get around the lack of functioning enrollment and back-end systems as automated as possible, by using technology such as optical character recognition scanning to reduce the amount of paper involved.
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