Consumers are signing up for insurance benefits through the federal exchange by completing paper applications, yet reports indicate President Barack Obama’s administration wasn’t on board with the plan at first.
With Americans having troubles using the federal health insurance marketplace, navigators began using paper applications to ensure consumers were able to sign up for exchange-offered plans. However, according to CNN, government officials were concerned allowing Americans to fill out paper applications rather than going through the website would result in consumers not having health insurance by March 31, 2014. While the process is slower than originally intended, government officials noted the exchange’s technical glitches resulted in call centers receiving nearly 30,000 requests for paper applications.
“Navigators are seeing people very frustrated and walking away, so they are turning to paper applications to protect their reputations as people in the communities who can help, even though paper applications will not have a quicker result necessarily,” notes from a recent meeting of administration officials said, according to The Wall Street Journal.
According to the Journal, officials were also worried the paper applications would improve the consumer experience with the site, but not help as much as was needed. While the Journal noted the paper applications will still require completion through the federal government’s infrastructure, they are helping consumers make progress in securing health coverage.