Companies created high-volume health care exchanges…in the 1990s

Charles C. Johnson reports: While implementation of the federal Obamacare exchange continues to prove vexing to the government, the private sector solved the problem more than a decade ago.

President Obama promised this week that the “best and brightest” will take over building the busted website because of widespread “glitches.” He might have consulted the half dozen insurance companies that built successful website before his presidency.

HealthAxis in Pennsylvania successfully launched a website offering health insurance in 19 states in…1998. Another company, eHealthInsurance in California, launched a site allowing thousands to buy health insurance in 1999.

Press releases for both companies stressed the ease with which applicants could enroll in the system, essentially offering what President Obama has claimed the exchanges would offer.

“ offers consumers access to the leading plans at the very best prices, and they can enroll on-line quickly and confidentially,” said Dave Dias, General Manager of, in 1999.  “The site gives people an easy way to purchase health insurance with no sales pressure or bias, just information.”

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Obamacare’s Troubles are Only Beginning

Peter Suderman writes: Right now, most of the problems with Obamacare’s online insurance exchanges are with the signup process, particularly in the 36 exchanges being run by the federal government. But there are deeper, more fundamental problems looming even if the surface web-accessibility problems are largely fixed.

For example: Just because someone has completed the online enrollment process doesn’t mean that they’ve actually gotten coverage. Reports indicate that many of the applications that are making it through the system don’t actually have enough data for insurers to process the enrollee.

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