Insurance carrier vents frustrations with Nevada Health Link


Video by

Insurance carrier vents frustrations with Nevada Health Link

By Michael Lopardi. CREATED Feb 26, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- First, it was consumers and brokers. Add insurance companies to the list of stakeholders who are venting frustrations over Nevada's health insurance exchange.

Nevada Health COOP chief project officer Bobbette Bond said the carrier is often missing information for new enrollments, leading to confusion and anger for new customers.

"The technology should work and anybody that's gotten trapped in the system, that's a failure," Bond said.

The insurance organization is the first to publicly vent about problems with the system, which has come under scrutiny in the last few months for web glitches and enrollment problems.

Bond told Action News the company is talking publicly about the problems to be a voice for its customers and to make sure state officials and developer Xerox hear customer concerns.

"We want the Nevada Health Link to do what it was set up to do so the COOP can then take care of those members," Bond said.

In the meantime, the organization is working with members on temporary insurance cards to get coverage.

"No matter who you speak to, everybody knows there's a problem. The problem is nobody wants to resolve the problem," said exchange customer Allan Rosenberg.

Rosenberg said he is happy with the COOP, but not happy with the health link. He purchased a COOP plan in October, but the organization never got information on his cost-share reduction, a discount, from the health link. Rosenberg has pain in his fingers and needs surgery on his hand. Without the discount information, the surgery cost soars an additional $4,000. As a result, Rosenberg had to reschedule the operation several times.

"One wonders why the information hasn't been sent over on behalf of consumer," Rosenberg said.

Health Link spokesman CJ Bawden told Action News that exchange staff is monitoring weekly conversations between Xerox and the carriers to make sure the carriers are getting the information they need.

Xerox spokeswoman Jennifer Wasmer said the company has corrected nearly two-thirds of "high priority" system fixes. 

"A specialized team has been deployed to resolve carrier issues so their specific issues are understood and actioned quickly," Wasmer said in a statement. "The carriers - and Nevadans - are getting answers to their questions about Nevada Health Link, and the system is improving. We aren’t there yet, but we are on the way."

The state board overseeing the exchange is set to meet on Thursday afternoon. On the agenda: a progress report on the problems and the search for an interim director. Exchange executive director Jon Hager announced he is resigning effective March 14.