Covered California Running Relatively Smoothly Compared To HealthCare.gov
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Aired 10/30/13 on KPBS News.
The Covered California site had some glitches in its first few days but officials say they're processing 180,000 applications for health coverage.
California’s online health insurance exchange celebrates its one-month anniversary on Friday. So far, Covered California is faring much better than its federal counterpart.
The Covered California website had some glitches in its first few days of operation. But things have been running fairly smoothly since then. Officials say they've had more than 2 million unique visits to the site, and they’re processing 180,000 applications for health coverage.
In contrast, the federal website has frequently been down because of poor design and other technical issues. As a result, enrollment in Obamacare has been problematic for people who live in 36 other states.
Covered California spokeswoman Lizelda Lopez said fortunately, our state has its own exchange.
“We’re trying to just make sure that people understand that our website is very different," Lopez said. "It’s coveredca.com. It’s not tied to the federal website. However, if they go to healthcare.gov and they say they’re a resident of California, they will be sent to our website.”
Lopez admitted Covered California has some issues with one of its key features: a searchable database of physicians. The search functions by specialty and ZIP code still aren’t working right.
Nonetheless, Lopez said they hope to have everything functioning soon.
“I think we just need to make sure that the website is as accessible as we can make it, that’s it open 24 hours," Lopez said. "Sometimes we’ve had to take it down in the middle of the night, to make sure that we are making the appropriate fixes. And I think we’re getting there, slowly but surely.”
Open enrollment will be available on Covered California until the end of March.