In October, Obama took to the Rose Garden to praise Connecticut’s state-run ACA exchange, Access Health CT, for being a rare success story among the nationwide failures of state exchanges and the federal exchange. Local CT media was quick to point out his speech was misleading, however. In his push to encourage the young to sign up, Obama mentioned that one-third of Connecticut enrollees were under 35, and were now receiving “a good deal at low cost.” In reality, a full two-thirds of that one-third had signed on for Medicaid or CHIP, programs which fit the description of “welfare,” not “a good deal.”
Now, further information has surfaced regarding the supposed Connecticut “success story,” and that information points to “massive failure requiring an investigation and firings” being the more accurate descriptor.
The Hartford Courant, in an article titled “Misinformation Marred First Month Of State Health Website“, points out that the Connecticut exchange produced inaccurate information for every single individual plan the site was offering.
The website for Access Health CT, the state’s new health exchange, had incorrect information online about deductibles and co-insurance impacting all 19 individual health plans from the three insurance companies that offer those plans through the exchange: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut, ConnectiCare, and HealthyCT. The 12 small-group plans were unaffected.
Access Health CT would not say how the problem started, or who was responsible. The exchange did say that the problem was discovered in late September and was fixed by Oct. 30.
The exchange said a letter was mailed to 2,408 people who bought plans from the starting date of Oct. 1. A spokeswoman did not respond to a request Wednesday for the number of enrollees who changed their plans after receiving the letter.
John Javaruski, a 62-year-old retired actuary from Farmington, said he received a letter dated Nov. 1 after he signed up for an Anthem plan with a $2,000 out-of-pocket maximum and zero deductible. According to the revised schedule of benefits attached to the letter, Javaruski’s plan jumped to $6,250 out of pocket and a $3,000 deductible.
Note the timing: Access Health CT knew of the systemic failure in late September, and claims to have fixed the problem by October 30.
Obama gave his Rose Garden speech on October 21. He praised Connecticut as a success story — with greatly misleading comments regarding under-35 enrollment — a full month after the state was aware of a colossal problem.
Did Obama get briefed on the catastrophe and choose to continue anyway? Or was he, yet again, “unaware” he was peddling falsehoods?
“Here in Connecticut, people are signing up for affordable health care insurance at numbers that outpace our original expectations,” he said. “Connecticut is leading the nation.”
“Unfortunately there are probably thousands of people in Connecticut who aren’t going on the website because they think the state’s system isn’t working,” Murphy explained. “Well it is — and that’s the message we wanted to get across today.”