Under private insurance, when parents welcome a new baby, they simply have to notify their health care provider to extend their coverage to their newborn. However under the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), it may not be that easy.
"We are currently working with insurers to find ways to make changing coverage easier while we develop an automated way for consumers to update their coverage directly," said Obama administration spokesman Aaron Albright, according to the Associated Press.
According to the AP, having a new baby isn’t the only difficult thing to change under Obamacare health plans. In fact, any “change in circumstance” — marriage, divorce, moving, death in the family, new job — that might result in a premium adjustment will require that both insurers and the government be notified. And as of right now, it’s not possible to make changes in circumstance on Healthcare.gov’s online marketplaces due to an inability for the site to handle such changes. Though insurers say that the availability of a function for people to make the changes should’ve been part of the online marketplaces from day one, it is something that the White House is still working on.
"It's just another example of 'We'll fix that later,'" said Bob Laszewski, an insurance industry consultant, according to the AP. "This needed to be done well before January. It's sort of a fly-by-night approach."
Of course, President Obama and other administration officials have come under fire for their trial-and-error approach to implementing the new health care reforms. From the website’s tumultuous launch to having to admit that the administration was wrong about already-insured Americans being able to keep their plans if they liked them, it hasn’t been a smooth journey for the launch of Obamacare’s key provisions. Still, the administration maintains that the Affordable Care Act and its reforms are going to be very beneficial to the American people.
"The essence of the law, the health insurance that's available to people, is working just fine," Obama said.
For more information on the Affordable Care Act and how you can enroll, take a look at Medical Daily’s Obamacare Survival Guide.