Sunday, June 23, 2013

Obamacare 100 Days and Counting

In 100 days the Obamacare health insurance exchanges will open for business . . . in a manner of speaking. In addition to shoppers hoping to stock up on sale prices for health insurance no doubt many will have questions.  

Who will answer them?

A company called Vangent.
The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that Vangent's call centers will receive 42 million calls about the federal marketplaces this year, a daily average of up to 200,000; plus answer 2,400 letters and 740 e-mails, and host 500 Web chats daily. Customer service representatives will take consumers through the process -- from shopping for a plan to enrolling.

Never heard of Vangent?

They are the same folks that answer the phone at 1-800-MEDICARE.
"The number of calls they are likely to get will probably dwarf anything they saw in Medicare."Vangent declined requests for interviews.
Currently averaging 60,000 calls a day that is expected to spike to 200,000 daily.
No problem.
But these folks will be trained, right?
An HHS official said call-center representatives would "undergo extensive training" about the health law and basic insurance issues but could not provide more details. 
Top secret.
Wonder if the NSA will be monitoring calls?
 Employment ads  for the call centers' "temporary customer service representatives" seek applicants who have a high school diploma or equivalent and six months of telemarketing or secretarial experience.
An HHS spokeswoman said that customer service representatives will answer questions by reading from HHS-approved scripts and provide state-specific information. However, she would not provide examples of the scripts or say whether they were tested with consumers.
Six months experience OR a high school degree.
Reading answers from a script.
What could possibly go wrong?

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