Senior administration officials and health insurance executives in a meeting at the White House on Wednesday discussed ways to eliminate technical glitches on the Obamacare website and bolster enrollment in the online exchanges.
“We are collaborating closely with the insurers to address problems we have witnessed in what are called ‘834’ forms and in direct enrollment,” the White House said of the meeting. “To that end, we have worked with the insurers and the ‘alpha teams’ we jointly established made up of insurers’ technology experts and CMS technology experts, to iron out kinks in the both the 834 forms and in direct enrollment.”
So-called "834 forms" are essentially a reporting tool that allows insurers to identify consumers and what they are looking to purchase. Thus far, the information has often been transmitted inaccurately to insurers, even for the lucky few who have been able to sign up for the health exchanges on the problem-plagued website.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Marilyn Tavenner and White House chief of staff Denis McDonough attended the meeting with executives from Aetna, Humana, CareFirst and other insurance providers.
The White House organized the meeting in the face of growing outcry from both Republicans and Democrats to the botched rollout. Earlier Wednesday, White House press secretary Jay Carney announced that CMS would hold daily briefings for reporters to illuminate progress on fixing the website.
The administration has been criticized of late for failing to crystallize the problems with the online exchanges and how long it will take to fix them.