Because there’s a really, really, really bad warning sign coming out of DC.
Just days away from launch, the District of Columbia’s health marketplace is announcing a pretty significant delay.
While the D.C. Health Link will launch a Web site on October 1, shoppers will not have access to the their premium prices until mid-November. The delay comes after the District marketplace discovered “a high error rate” in calculating the tax credits that low- and middle-income people will use to purchase insurance on the marketplace.
The insurance marketplaces, if working as plan, are supposed to spit out an estimate for a tax credit after a shopper enters in some basic information about where she lives and how much she earns. In the District, that won’t happen next month. Instead, the eligibility determination will be made “off-line by experts” by early November.
Translation: they’re going to have to do the tax credit calculations by hand. And DC is forecasting that it’ll take at least a month to get the system working, which means that it’s going to take at least three months and they’re going to end up eating an error rate that will be about three times as bad as they originally expected.
And DC is supposed to be one of the exchanges where things were to work smoothly.