Illinois Obamacare Call Center Opening May Be Delayed
September 30, 2013
With Obamacare going into effect officially on October 1, there are a number of different states that are scrambling to make sure that their health care exchanges are up and running. In the President’s home state of Illinois, Governor Pat Quinn says that its health care exchange will not be ready to go when the law goes into effect. The call center that is set up to give people plenty of information about the new law will be delayed for at least one day, with state officials hoping that October 1 could still be an outside goal.
The call center is supposed to take questions from consumers when it does open. The delay has apparently been caused by the state not being able to reach a contract agreement with Chicago Lighthouse. Chicago Lighthouse is the non-profit organization that state officials first chose to run the call center. Jennifer Koehler, the director of the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace talked about the delay in a recent release and said she didn’t expect the delay to be a protracted one.
Koehler says that the state began working on the call center in March, when the federal government told the state they could operate a separate call center. A contract was agreed to shortly thereafter with Chicago Lighthouse, but the organization then had to go through a five week review period.
It doesn’t appear that training the people who will be working in the call center is part of the problem. By all accounts, when the contract is officially agreed to, the call center will be up and running at full capacity. The state has been taking steps to make sure that when the call center does open, there aren’t a whole host of problems adjusting to a large call load. The state began talking about the comparable plans. In total, there are more than 165 health insurance plans from a total of eight carriers will be offered up to the citizens of the state.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson
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