Gov't Complicates Adding Babies to Health Coverage


Participants in the new health care exchanges are running into big roadblocks over relatively minor changes. For instance, parents trying to add a new baby to their health insurance will find it more difficult.

With private insurance, consumers simply notified their insurer and made the change. But the Associated Press reports it's not that simple under the Affordable Care Act because of one key reason.

"There's a third party involved: the government. And see any of these changes could affect what the government pays for your care and what you pay for your care and the kind of subsidy that you get with your premiums. So, therefore, it's not as simple as calling the insurer you have to bring the government into it, too," AP reporter Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar said.

Right now HealthCare.gov can't handle such updates so the "add a baby" feature was postponed as the government scrambled to fix all the technical problems during the sites overhaul.

The site's technical inadequacies also complicated other life changes affecting a consumer's taxpayer-subsidized premiums. A change in married status, a death in the family, a new job, or a change in income, even moving to a different community are all changes that will take more time to process now that the government is involved.

After the federal system is ready to process changes, parents will have to contact the government to bring their records up to date.

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