Ruh-roh: Receiving Facelift

by Cathy Miller on June 17, 2014

in Health Insurance

Vector repairs shop icon isolated on white backgroundThe debut of was anything but pretty.

  • System crashes
  • Missing applications
  • Customer service with few answers

It’s a nightmare no one wants to revisit.

Let’s hope the announcement of an overhaul is not a warning sign of enrollment terror yet to come.

HealthCare.Gov Facelift

Those of us who spent years in health insurance appreciate technology challenges.

  • When the system is good, all is right in the world
  • When the system is bad, chaos ensues

One simple programming mistake causes huge processing errors. had more than one simple programming mistake.

I remember reading predictions of’s failure on health insurance industry sites long before its debut.

Not the politically-motivated doom-and-gloom predictions, but rather the I feel your pain experience of technology vendors.

Technology is the backbone of the health insurance industry.

  • Enrollment technology
  • Premium billing and collection
  • Provider contracting
  • Plan designs with covered services, exclusions and limitations
  • Claims processing and auditing
  • Customer service interface

The industry knows Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither is online enrollment capabilities.

As the clock ticked closer and closer to the deadline, we knew there was not enough time for testing. And retesting. And testing some more.

The latest overhaul has a timeline totaling five months. Five months for a system with considerable challenges.

  • A new government contractor for the site
  • A revamp of problem-plagued basics like the coverage application
  • Automated payments to insurers
  • A new comparison tool for consumers
  • Future plans for cloud computing and mobile device optimization

May the force be with you.


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Notice of Disclaimer –Cathy Miller is not an attorney or health care provider and cannot provide legal or health care advice. The information provided is for your general background only, and is not intended to constitute legal or health care advice as to your specific circumstances. We recommend you review legislation with legal counsel and visit your physician for health care issues.

BigStock Photo Credit



{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A. June 17, 2014 at 5:28 am

I know the reasons- which are valid and important for the proposed “upgrade”… I just have less faith (and that’s a heck of an overstatement) that the practitioners will achieve them sans heartbreak (hopefully, NOT the actual kind).
Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A.´s last blog post ..Whoops, there goes another kilowatt dam!My Profile


Cathy Miller June 17, 2014 at 6:41 am

I understand the “why” as well, Roy, and share your lack of faith. 😉
Cathy Miller´s last blog post ..Ruh-roh: Receiving FaceliftMy Profile


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