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Now that we are in our third year of the Affordable Care Act many of us have prepared ourselves for the ongoing nightmare of working with our clients to qualify for Marketplace subsidies. The last two years have been marked with website crashes when we tried to enroll individuals electronically and interminable time on hold waiting to get through to the Marketplace to enroll by phone. Following that were losses of subsidy due to alleged failure to provide documents requested and terminations of coverage when insured’s updated information with the Marketplace. The road has certainly been full of obstacles coming into the third open enrollment.

Imagine my surprise today when we were able to help two of our clients update their Marketplace accounts with relative ease. It seems that some of the Marketplace systems are now able to retain information we have previously provided electronically. More than that, we can now access these details and successfully update enrollment decisions for 2016! At least it looks that way.

Last year we enrolled most of our clients by phone with very helpful and courteous Marketplace representatives. This year we may be able to update our clients’ elections electronically and free up these representatives to handle more complex issues. What a terrific change of experience that would be for all parties!

I am sure we will run into many road blocks in the next few weeks so I encourage everyone to get their 2016 health insurance renewals handled early in the open enrollment period. Right now systems are “go”, so let’s take advantage of that. December 15 will come sooner than any of us are prepared for, but for now I give thanks for the system improvements we have experienced so far.