At work, I have been going through a few weeks of…well, if I can’t call it Hell, it can at least be described as Purgatory. I work for a health insurance company which is participating in the Oregon insurance exchange, and we have been flooded by calls from new members. Almost everyone in the company has been on the phones, talking to people who are frustrated about having to deal with Cover Oregon (the state exchange) and frustrated about having to deal with us.
Which leaves me with some questions. Yes, the Cover Oregon website and phone line have been a fiasco, sort of like the federal healthcare.gov operation was when it first started. But–and I can’t get into too many details here, because it’s a public blog and this is my employer I’m talking about–the company I work for was not exactly prepared for all the new business coming our way, either. We were understaffed, so customers have been on hold for long times, often only to have the phone system hang up on them. We’re not always sure where the applications of the new members are, or what their status is. And yes, our website has been so overwhelmed by the amount of people trying to use it that it has experienced–can I use the word?–glitches.
If we were a government agency, the conservatives would be all over us. Healthcare.gov was bashed for the exact same things that are happening to us, by the usual suspects who say government can’t do anything right. Yet I’m not hearing any commentary from our local talkers about the problems at the insurance providers. It’s as if our mistakes somehow don’t count because our company is run for private profit.
It makes no sense to me. But I know that our glitches are not going to be talked about the same way the government glitches were, because they can’t be used for a political purpose. And it doesn’t make a difference to my daily life. I’ll keep taking the angry calls, anyway.