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posted by LaminatorX on Tuesday March 18 2014, @09:58AM   Printer-friendly
from the same-thing-over-and-over-again-and-expexting-different-results dept.

GungnirSniper writes:

"CGI Group, the Montreal-based IT consulting company behind the botched rollout of the Federal Healthcare.gov site, has been removed from the Massachusetts Health Connector project. This comes about two months after being removed from Healthcare.gov, and a few weeks after CGI admitted the MA site 'may not be fully functioning by the end of June, and that one option under consideration is to scrap the multi-million-dollar site and start over.'

Like Oregon's similar troubles, Massachusetts uses paper submissions as a workaround to meet Federal sign-up requirements. 'The paper backlog fell to 21,000 pending applications, from 54,000 two weeks ago.'

If you are in the US, have you used Healthcare.gov or a State equivalent? If you are not in the US, do you use similar online systems in your nation?"

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Vanderhoth on Tuesday March 18 2014, @10:44AM

    by Vanderhoth (61) on Tuesday March 18 2014, @10:44AM (#17998)

    Canadian here. We get health cards shortly after we're born. You go to a hospital/doctor show them your health card and get whatever care you require. Somethings aren't covered, but other than some medications nothing I can think of at the moment.

    You can still get regular insurance from Blue Cross, Manulife, etc... to cover what ails you. I have additional insurance through my employer, as is common for most skilled labor, and my wife works for Manulife so she also has additional coverage. We also have several life insurance policies through a couple different insurance companies.

    I have lived in the States, my mother is currently a nurse in South Carolina, so I'm following the health care debacle pretty closely. You guys are pretty screwed, but not for the reasons you might think. The ACA (a.k.a Obamacare) is a bad idea, but only because it doesn't go far enough to bring you guys on par with the rest of the developed world. On top of that you have the Tea Party who are trying as hard as they can, and succeeding, to make things worse than the need to be. They're like a spoiled child that can't have their way so they're going to flip the table with the birthday cake on it so no one can have any. That's just my an outside perspective though.

    --
    "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Angry Jesus on Tuesday March 18 2014, @02:00PM

      by Angry Jesus (182) on Tuesday March 18 2014, @02:00PM (#18085)

      I agree with you - the problem with the opposition is that, as messed up as obamacare is, the opposition has been in complete denial about the problem that obamacare is trying to fix. The denial is so deep, that Mitt Romney (aka mr romneycare which was the blueprint for obamacare and thus obviously knows better) was forced to say ridiculous things like emergency rooms were a viable form of healthcare for the poor. [washingtonpost.com] The opposition has provided nothing even close to an alternative solution to the problem. They could do a real public service if they stopped their ineffective focus on the welfare to citizens part of Obamacare and started working to whittle down the welfare to corporations part of Obamacare.

      On the other hand, for me, one of the biggest problems with centralized healthcare systems like in Canada and the UK is the risk to doctor patient confidentiality. Like Canada giving health records to US border control [www.cbc.ca] and the NHS planning on selling 'anonymized' data [wired.co.uk] and doing a data dump to Google systems. [theguardian.com] Given the corporate tentacles in obamacare, I think we'll see even worse in the USA soon enough.

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by Vanderhoth on Tuesday March 18 2014, @02:35PM

        by Vanderhoth (61) on Tuesday March 18 2014, @02:35PM (#18102)

        I don't disagree with anything you said.

        It doesn't make it right that that kind of data breach happened in Canada, but these things are already happening in the US [computerworld.com] without a centralized system like Canada and the UK. Also if you think the NSA is collecting metadata on US citizens, but is for some reason deciding it doesn't care about medial records. I'm sure the US has everything it already needs (and doesn't need) to know about you. It's also unclear if the records in the Canadian case were willfully provided to the US border guards, which still doesn't make it right, but we all know the NSA has been reaching out further than the US.

        --
        "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Absinth on Tuesday March 18 2014, @03:54PM

      by Absinth (2711) on Tuesday March 18 2014, @03:54PM (#18135)

      Just a precision, when putting the emphasis on "Montreal..botched IT..." please keep in mind that CGI FEDERAL [washingtonpost.com] is a US based subsidiary [washingtonpost.com] of CGI GROUP.

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by Vanderhoth on Tuesday March 18 2014, @04:10PM

        by Vanderhoth (61) on Tuesday March 18 2014, @04:10PM (#18145)

        I'm glad you noted that. I've read in a number of places that CGI is a Canadian company, and as such Canada was taking quite a bit of flack for the issues in the exchange. I hate to point out that if someone has a problem with a Ford or GM product we don't blame America for building sub-par vehi... ah... never mind, blame Canada as the song goes.

        --
        "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by BradTheGeek on Tuesday March 18 2014, @10:48AM

    by BradTheGeek (450) on Tuesday March 18 2014, @10:48AM (#18000)

    While there was some clunkiness, in general it worked fine. The biggest issue I had was that marking a plan for comparison to others would reset the view to the top of the page for no reason. When scrolling through 80-200 plans this makes finding your place again difficult. Otherwise it seemed to work okay. Also, there were huge differences in the plans offered, but little -real- explanation. This is not a tech issue rather than a political/corporate one. I do not think I am unintelligent, and I had issues thinking my way through some of the plan options. I can only imagine what issues others have with this facet of the process. I think this is deliberate obtuseness on the part of the providers, and as such is a sociopolitical issue, and not a technical one.

    • (Score: 1) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday March 18 2014, @05:55PM

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday March 18 2014, @05:55PM (#18187) Journal

      Since we were explicitly asked for anecdotes by the summary I'll throw in mine:
       
      Signed up via the Colorado exchange. No problems. Got coverage for my wife and I for about half the cost of COBRA from her previous employer. We pay $355 /mo total for their "bronze" plan.

    • (Score: 1) by moo kuh on Tuesday March 18 2014, @09:55PM

      by moo kuh (2044) on Tuesday March 18 2014, @09:55PM (#18261) Journal

      healthcare.com? Wrong site. Did you mean healthcare.gov? I would be very afraid of what healthcare.com is doing with the information you gave to them. No offense, but that detail matters, and at the risk of coming off like a bit of a jerk, I would mod your comment down overrated if I didn't reply because healthcare.com != healthcare.gov. We are talking about government owned sites. At the bottom of healthcare.com's main page there is a disclaimer stating they are not affiliated with any government organization.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by jimbrooking on Tuesday March 18 2014, @10:51AM

    by jimbrooking (3465) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 18 2014, @10:51AM (#18001)

    I am a volunteer and retired IT guy and webmaster for a pretty sucessful database-driven site. I got certified to assist people who want help signing up at healthcare.gov in mid-February. I have been through the somewhat lengthy process of establishing an account on hc.gov, getting a list of qualified plans, going through pros and cons with clients, and letting them choose one. The site has been responsive (weekdays and weekends), a little pedantic, and offering confirmations, opportunities to backtrack and fix errors all along the way. I noticed a very few glitches along the way, probably not obvious to a non-technical type, and easily worked around. My view is that the site works as intended without hangups or delays and is really not a terrible design at all. The implementation was obviously botched, but the rough spots people were complaining about in October and November were not at all evident.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Vanderhoth on Tuesday March 18 2014, @11:43AM

      by Vanderhoth (61) on Tuesday March 18 2014, @11:43AM (#18015)

      It's because of people who don't want to use the system and want it to fail. If you want something to fail you'll latch on to any reason you can possible come up with and blow it out of proportion to make people listen to you.

      ZOMG!!! RED is an angry colour that's driving me crazy and making me kill small woodland creatures and it's the Presidents fault!!!! Impeach! Impeach! Impeach! Yes, that's how ridiculous it sounds to the rest of us, especially when forced to watch Fox News. I lost my Dad to Fox News [salon.com] and we aren't even Americans.

      --
      "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 18 2014, @11:58AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 18 2014, @11:58AM (#18021)

        well, at least it's not kuro5hin.org.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by c0lo on Tuesday March 18 2014, @12:54PM

        by c0lo (156) on Tuesday March 18 2014, @12:54PM (#18044) Journal

        I lost my Dad to Fox News and we aren't even Americans.

        I can't think of a more astonishing situation: their generation [wikipedia.org] when [wikipedia.org] young [wikipedia.org].

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
        • (Score: 4, Funny) by Vanderhoth on Tuesday March 18 2014, @01:03PM

          by Vanderhoth (61) on Tuesday March 18 2014, @01:03PM (#18049)

          Damn hippies...

          --
          "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
        • (Score: 3, Funny) by Angry Jesus on Tuesday March 18 2014, @01:28PM

          by Angry Jesus (182) on Tuesday March 18 2014, @01:28PM (#18068)

          > I can't think of a more astonishing situation: their generation when young.

          There is a saying, loosely attributed to Edmund Burke:

          "If You Are Not a Liberal at 25, You Have No Heart. If You Are Not a Conservative at 35 You Have No Brain"

          FWIW, if that is true, it would make me a heartless idiot.

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Thexalon on Tuesday March 18 2014, @05:05PM

            by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 18 2014, @05:05PM (#18163)

            That quote is simply enlightened self-interest: Conservative policies tend to be about preserving assets for those who have them. Liberal policies tend to be about supporting those with no assets so they are at least not dying on the streets.

            Most 25-year-olds have no assets, because they get junior-level pay and have had no time to save up any meager surplus they manage to acquire. (Plus they might be spending the money in stupid ways, because they're 25). So being liberal is in your self-interest because you're more likely to need that extra support for broke people.

            Many 35-year-olds, by contrast, have assets, because they now get senior-level pay and have had a decade to sock it away or turn it into a house or invest it. So being conservative is in your self-interest because you want to make sure nobody else takes what you've worked so hard to acquire.

            These are far from universal, of course, but they explain how the quote is commonly perceived as reality.

            --
            The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
            • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 18 2014, @05:10PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 18 2014, @05:10PM (#18165)

              I don't think "enlightened" is the right modifier here. In fact, I think you can just stick to "self-interest" alone in order to fully capture the motivations of the people who say it (who invariably consider themselves to be in the group who "have a brain.")

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by randmcnatt on Tuesday March 18 2014, @11:55AM

    by randmcnatt (671) on Tuesday March 18 2014, @11:55AM (#18019)
    I watched my sister in law work through the process this month. It all went well (except she got sent back to the sign-in page twice) until she started actually ordering the policy, when she got a message that something was wrong with the site so come back in a few days. When she got back to it, she had to start the whole process again, everything she had already entered was forgotten.
    --
    The Wright brothers were not the first to fly: they were the first to land.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 18 2014, @01:13PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 18 2014, @01:13PM (#18054)

      It all went well (except she got sent back to the sign-in page twice)

      So it didn't all go well??

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by spxero on Tuesday March 18 2014, @01:18PM

    by spxero (3061) on Tuesday March 18 2014, @01:18PM (#18060)

    The problem I've had with it is the pricing. To cover myself and my family would cost me roughly 4x what it does through my employer for significantly less coverage. I haven't been following it as closely as I should, but from what I've read on the failures is that for people like myself with a wife and a couple kids it's too expensive and they're just getting health care through their employer. The "successes" I read follow how so-and-so is able to get health care at a huge discount because they have some sort of disability or life predicament. So where is the subsidy coming from? It's not coming from my health care plan, because I've chosen to stick with my MUCH better employer plan. How is this a sustainable model?

    • (Score: 2) by tibman on Tuesday March 18 2014, @02:57PM

      by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 18 2014, @02:57PM (#18114)

      It doesn't have to be a subsidy. Could just be less of a ripoff. Employers can usually negotiate cheaper rates too.

      --
      SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
    • (Score: 1) by tomp on Tuesday March 18 2014, @02:58PM

      by tomp (996) on Tuesday March 18 2014, @02:58PM (#18115)

      Why would you look to a government program for insurance when you have an employer that provides it for you? What's next, bashing unemployment benefits because they don't offer the same pay as a good job?

      You have an employer that provides good health benefits. That's great. Unfortunately, not every one has that.

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Vanderhoth on Tuesday March 18 2014, @03:50PM

        by Vanderhoth (61) on Tuesday March 18 2014, @03:50PM (#18134)

        I'm not sure that's what they were getting at. My understanding was their employer decided to drop the insurance the employer were previously providing for their employees.

        The way it was described leads me to believe the employer is doing this on purpose though to seed some hate for the ACA. It seems like the employer's dropping their employees insurance at a time that's going to force their employees to rush around in extra confusion and cause unwarranted stress for both the employees and add to an already overburdened system.

        Who do you think will get blamed for the additional headache this is going to cause the employees? Maybe my tinfoil's on too tight, but it seems to me people are going to blame the healthcare exchange, the ACA and Obama and this will be held up by the GOP as a shining example of how the ACA has failed people rather than people wondering why the heck did the employer wait till the last minute to drop their company insurance plan. Kind of like the lady that lost her "not worth the paper it was printed on" insurance because it didn't meet the basic requirements, then turned around and blamed the ACA that she had no insurance and refuses to look for another plan, which I stumbled on to with StumbleUpon here [addictinginfo.org]

        Seems a little skulduggery to me.

        --
        "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
        • (Score: 3) by Vanderhoth on Tuesday March 18 2014, @06:42PM

          by Vanderhoth (61) on Tuesday March 18 2014, @06:42PM (#18202)

          I'm realizing I responded to the wrong post, this was suppose to be in response to this [soylentnews.org]

          --
          "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
      • (Score: 1) by spxero on Tuesday March 18 2014, @03:55PM

        by spxero (3061) on Tuesday March 18 2014, @03:55PM (#18138)

        You're right- not everyone does. But the cost doesn't seem to line up with the benefit. My employer isn't paying that much more than I am for my coverage (I pay roughly $350/mo), but to get this coverage through the ACA would cost me somewhere around $2k/mo. Unless forced to, I don't see too many people signing up at $2k/mo to help subsidize the people only paying $100/mo.

        As an aside, a few years back I lived in a state where I was terminated and unable to get unemployment benefits because the Workforce Commission liked the employer's story of why I was terminated better than mine.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by velex on Tuesday March 18 2014, @03:08PM

      by velex (2068) on Tuesday March 18 2014, @03:08PM (#18122) Journal

      This is similar to my experience as well. I don't think sustainability is what congress was looking for. It's clear this is little more than a golden handout to insurance companies, and it's unclear that this handout is even coming from tax money.

      Instead of this ACA mess, simply divorcing health insurance from employment would have done a lot more good. Why can't I just get the rates that are offered to my employer? Why can't I pay for a plan of my own choosing with before-tax money? Why are companies being forced to limit employees they don't want to offer insurance to 29.5 hours? When that finally hits, working two jobs will become the norm! Insanity!

      Personally, the right wing lost me when they started talking about free Obamacare sex changes. Do they even know what "Obamacare" is--the whole thing that "Obamacare" means paying a private company? Do they even understand that "Obamacare" doesn't provide anybody anything for free except perhaps superseding some things like county health plans and perhaps moving around where the money comes from when somebody without insurance goes to the ER?

      The left wing are no heroes for moving forward with the ACA after it became apparent that the right wouldn't let anything that wasn't a disaster through, but I'm not sure the right wing even knows what they're talking about.

      These failures to roll out online exchanges are something else, but it all comes down to the same thing. It's government pork for big corporations at the expense of the economy and the middle class. No problems have been solved by the ACA.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 18 2014, @06:05PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 18 2014, @06:05PM (#18189)

      The health care exchanges are not intended for use by people who already have good insurance trhough a group policy (such as your employer). The exchange is for private insurance. if you don't have a job, or your employer doesn't offer insurance (many don't), then it is the best way.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by bucc5062 on Tuesday March 18 2014, @01:45PM

    by bucc5062 (699) on Tuesday March 18 2014, @01:45PM (#18078)

    As a new process, I feel the experiences may vary from person to person signing up for our catastrophic care insurance. I call it that, because the majority of people will not be able to afford, or want to pay for the healthcare they had before the ACA.

    My company felt it did not want to support its employees healthcare benefit so it dropped all coverage. The next day I am scrambling to get coverage for the compay policy would end in less them two weeks. Quickly I discovered how stupid out system is when I was told that while I could sign up before March 1st, I would not get actual coverage till April. WTF? When I pushed and explained that our dear company had dropped us after the cutoff date the responds was, tough shit. Rules are rules.

    In a country where my president tells me he wants to make sure I am covered, I get to pay for my first month, but not get covered for 30 days, because I missed some fucking line on a calendar? If I buy car insurance I am covered that day, but health insurance...naaaa, gotta wait. In the end the company extorted the employees to pony up their bill for one month. God Bless America.

    The healthcare.gov system worked pretty well for me. Guided me quickly to plans and helped me look at the crappy choices I had available. The worst part was after choosing, it took close to a week for the insurance companies to get the records. First a first world country, we attempt to imitate the worst of third world government and social caring.

    --
    The more things change, the more they look the same
  • (Score: 5, Informative) by microtodd on Tuesday March 18 2014, @02:29PM

    by microtodd (1866) on Tuesday March 18 2014, @02:29PM (#18098) Homepage Journal

    Yes. I'm (semi-recently) self-employed. When my COBRA ran out after 18 months I used the exchange to find a healthcare plan. It was actually not too bad. Less expensive than COBRA at least. And a decent coverage, too. I have a wife and 2 younger kids so I needed "real" coverage, not just catastrophic.

    But yeah, my conservative friends and family don't want to listen to my anecdotes and facts. In fact, my republican Mom's semi-angry incredulous response was, "You got Obamacare?!!?!?!?!". I didn't really know how to respond to that question. I have a plan with a private company, Humana. I don't qualify for any subsidies. So what does that question even mean?

    So my anecdote is that the exchange works fine. But that's my experience.

    • (Score: 1) by spxero on Tuesday March 18 2014, @02:33PM

      by spxero (3061) on Tuesday March 18 2014, @02:33PM (#18100)

      Out of curiosity, what are you paying? I have a wife and two younger kids as well and a slightly-better-than-catostrophic plan was going to cost me roughly $800/mo. If I wanted vision or dental added to any of that it was well over $1k.

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by microtodd on Tuesday March 18 2014, @02:53PM

        by microtodd (1866) on Tuesday March 18 2014, @02:53PM (#18109) Homepage Journal

        $800 month about right, I pay 750. My COBRA was a little over $1,000. The deductible is a little high, $1000, but I just cover that in an HSA so 750 + (1000/12) = 833. One thing about Obamacare/ACA is it removed pre-existing conditions restrictions so switching wasn't a big deal.

        That being said, I'm less than 12 months in and my family is pretty healthy. Maybe if something bad happened I'd be screwed.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by spxero on Tuesday March 18 2014, @03:26PM

          by spxero (3061) on Tuesday March 18 2014, @03:26PM (#18127)

          I guess my view is just a little skewed then- I pay roughly $350/mo for my family of 4 with a $600 deductible for the family, $500 for an individual, $25 copay and $50 for emergencies... all with no pre-existing conditions. Two years ago my son was born before our plan was treated as a "cadillac plan" and we walked away with no hospital bill whatsoever. It sucks that having excellent health care is so closely tied to my employer, but I'd rather have what I have now than pay twice as much for half the coverage.

          Does your $750 include vision and dental?

          • (Score: 1) by microtodd on Tuesday March 18 2014, @04:30PM

            by microtodd (1866) on Tuesday March 18 2014, @04:30PM (#18151) Homepage Journal

            no vision and no dental.

            Yeah I can see where if you paid your employer plan of ~$200 per payperiod there's a lot of sticker shock. Maybe I'm not expecting enough from the system? I guess I'm just trying to be pragmatic. Healthcare and insurance costs tend to destroy you when you try to start your own business.

      • (Score: 1) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 18 2014, @04:43PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 18 2014, @04:43PM (#18155)

        Wow,

        that's screwed up. I paid 180 euro for half a year. That's with the second most coverage out there. (single rooms in hospital and other extras, since even the basic insurance is required by law to cover most of the actual healing.) With a heart-defect from birth, (2 open heart surgeries and 2 minor heart surgeries so far, last one from 2011)

        Together with the parts the insurance doesn't cover I think I paid about 944 euro in 2011 for all medical costs: Including, 6 general doctor visits, heart medication (4 separate prescriptions) for a year, 2 dental visits, the heart surgery, the different tests to find out what was wrong (including CT's,MRI, echo,...) and a control visit to the hospital half a year later (again with a lot of tests, no MRI this time though).

        We do pay higher taxes than the US, but not using a big portion of the taxes for war means our health care isn't the only thing that's superior. (Think teachers that are well paid)

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by skullz on Tuesday March 18 2014, @03:55PM

    by skullz (2532) on Tuesday March 18 2014, @03:55PM (#18137)

    I tried to at least browse all through October with no luck but then I'm in one of the states that decided it would be a good idea to just sit back and let it crash. And it crashed, hard.

    Now it is much better but still needs a lot of work.

  • (Score: 1) by mgcarley on Wednesday March 19 2014, @02:52AM

    by mgcarley (2753) on Wednesday March 19 2014, @02:52AM (#18372) Homepage

    New Zealander here - had automatic coverage for more or less everything (had to pay a few hundred for glasses when I was a kid, but that's about it. Dental care was free at school). Doctor visits cost a nominal fee (usually $20 or less).
    Migrated to Japan - got automatic coverage as a resident.
    Migrated to France - got automatic coverage as a resident.
    Migrated to Finland - got automatic coverage as a resident. I think I paid $9 for an Ambulance ride once. Did pay quite a bit for one doctor's visit, but that was to get some vaccinations and a WHO card for travelling to some exotic places.
    Migrated to India - no coverage to speak of, but medical care ridiculously cheap, even at private hospitals. Insurance also very cheap. As is medicine (even the brand-name stuff). Got some free care at a government-run hospital once, but that was only for a minor visit. ...and now, currently in the USA, likely to migrate (at least partially) - dreading what I'm going to be paying for healthcare and stuff.

    Have always been self-employed, so have never had insurance provided by my employer, though considering getting a job with medical benefits in the US because of this whole medical system. Travel insurance when coming to the US costs 3x what it does for visiting anywhere else in the world (including the Middle East - for a 42 day trip to Asia/ME, cost was about $200; same company, same plan for US coverage cost about $600).

    When the time comes, am likely going to send the Mrs to NZ (or Panama - you get a card at the border, even as a tourist, don't remember what it covers though) for childbirth rather than having a US hospital bill.

    --
    Founder & COO, Hayai. We're in India (hayai.in) & the USA (hayaibroadband.com) // Twitter: @mgcarley