Healthcare.gov Has Trouble Recognizing New Babies

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More embarrassing problems for Healthcare.gov. The Associate Press reports that the beleaguered healthcare website can’t yet update a consumers’ plan in the event that they give birth to a bureaucracy wrecking bundle of joy. And, it’s not just newborns: the ability to update a plan with a divorce, changed income, a death in the family or a move to a different country is a features that will be “available later”.

“We are currently working with insurers to find ways to make changing coverage easier while we develop an automated way for consumers to update their coverage directly,” said an administration spokesman, Aaron Albright.

To be sure, it’s not that newborns are now left to fend for themselves in the unforgiving world; they still can be covered, but it will be difficult to know how much parents will be paying, given the variety of discounts they could be eligible for.

The inability to deal with life events isn’t the only major issue with healthcare.gov: software defects have left more than 100,000 of medicare recipients without coverage, reports The Washington Post. The administration is scrambling to advise consumers seeking care to work with their local states’ agency, while they fix the federal shortcoming.

There is some good news, however. The administration may just meet it’s Spring goal of 7 million new insured consumers. As expected, there was a surge of enrollment around the December deadline, bringing the total of newly insured to over two million. If momentum continues, there could be enough new enrollees, in large part from youg people, to bring down healthcare costs for everyone.

But all of this trouble may have been avoided if the Health and Human services had let tech companies and startups build their own websites from the beginning.

[Image Credit: Flickr User Victor Bezrukov]