D.C. exchange delays parts of Obamacare

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As has been the case elsewhere around the country, the Obamacare exchange in Washington, D.C. will not be ready on October 1st.

DC Health Link, the Obamacare exchange in the nation’s capital, announced Wednesday that the online exchange will not be able to make new Medicaid eligibility determinations. It will also not be calculating tax credits for private insurance “due to a high error rate discovered through extensive systems testing.”

According to DC Health Link’s announcement, people seeking those services will be able to create an online account through the exchange, however their initial eligibility will be determined “off-line by experts.”

People who submit an application for tax credits will receive and eligibility determination by “early November.”

The DC Health Link assured however that the exchange will open by the Oct 1 deadline.

“DC Health Link – the District of Columbia’s new online health insurance marketplace – will open October 1,” Mila Kofman, executive director of the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority, said in a statement. “It will have new affordable health plan options for small businesses and residents in the District.”

“While many core features will be available on October 1, DC Health Link is not deploying one function,” she added. “We have developed procedures to ensure affected residents will not experience a delay in coverage, while we continuously enhance functionality with new tools and features.”

NBC News notes that the D.C. exchange’s hiccups put it in the same category as exchanges in Colorado and Oregon, which have experienced problems due to information technology issues.

The Obamacare exchanges launch on Tuesday. Coverage begins on Jan 1, 2014.

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