Opinion

July 14, 2013

Will health care exchanges be ready on time?

In less than three months, on Oct. 1, millions of Americans are expected to sign up for health insurance on the new state and federal exchanges set up under the Obamacare law.

But with time growing shorter, many of the people who are expected to make that system run smoothly are still waiting for instructions from the federal government.

For instance, the law provides funding for navigators, who will help consumers fill out the proper forms, determine if they qualify for health care subsidies and answer questions about different types of coverage. But the grants to organizations to act as navigators aren’t expected to be announced until August. That will leave less than two months to train hundreds, perhaps thousands, of individuals across the nation in a complex and ever-changing system. How are these navigators going to help consumers make informed decisions about their choices if they themselves don’t know all of the answers?

Meanwhile, the nation’s insurance brokers and agents are also waiting to see what sort of training and certification they’ll need to help their customers work through the exchanges.

Two weeks ago, the Obama administration announced it would delay a part of the health care law. The law requires all firms with the equivalent of 50 or more full-time employees to offer those workers health insurance starting Jan. 1, 2014. The administration announced it would delay that requirement for one year, saying that the government would not be prepared to enforce it and needed more time to develop the systems needed to enforce it.

Officials are scrambling to set up the health care exchanges, but at this point it isn’t clear whether the federal government will be ready to roll them out on Oct. 1.

 

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Sacrifices worth honoring

    Members of the Dalton City Council were recently approached by representatives of the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart with a request to declare Dalton a Purple Heart City. Council members indicated they will approve the request.

    July 24, 2014

  • We must do better

    The numbers tell a sad tale.
    Registered voters: 36,843.
    Cards cast: 5,307.
    That means the turnout for Tuesday’s runoffs in Whitfield County was a measly 14.4 percent, according to unofficial results from the Whitfield County elections office.

    July 23, 2014

  • Letter: Control immigration

    Thousands are starting to pour into our country, and things are getting personal. Why would we end up the bad guys if we turn away children who aren’t ours? How does it make us better people to let one man steal from our children and stand by and do nothing?

    July 23, 2014

  • Helping with Book Blast betters the community

    The school test results are in, and students in Whitfield and Murray counties mostly improved from a year ago, mirroring or exceeding average scores of their peers.

    July 23, 2014

  • Mark Millican: Guns are already everywhere

    Though it happened over 30 years ago, the image is still vivid.

    July 22, 2014

  • Charles Oliver: Former officer works overtime improperly

    Stephen F. Hall has pleaded guilty to theft by deception and falsifying a government record.

    July 22, 2014

  • Dalton council should seek answers

    Judicial elections in this area are usually pretty staid. In fact, they are generally nonexistent, since most judges run unopposed.

    July 21, 2014

  • Letter: Something to think about

    It has been better than four months now since Malaysia Flight 370 went missing. During that time we have heard all kinds of speculation, conjecture and opinions as to what happened to it. The only certainties to emerge are that the Malaysians fumbled the ball early on and there are some understandably distressed loved ones left to deal with their losses.

    July 21, 2014

  • Don’t forget the runoff

    Most folks are either getting ready for or still recovering from their summer vacations. So it’s easy to forget that Tuesday is an election day. A runoff election day to be precise.

    July 20, 2014

  • Be excited about a new grocery store, but stay loyal to the Green Spot

    The Daily Citizen reported on the front page of the July 15 newspaper that Dalton could get a new grocery store.

    July 19, 2014