State insurance exchange director: 'Our reality now a little different'

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- They say the plan goes out the window when the first shot is fired.

And that's essentially what Your Health Idaho Director Amy Dowd told lawmakers about the maiden voyage of the state's health insurance exchange.

"Our reality is (now) a little different," she told a joint legislative health care task force Monday. "We've built our brand, and launched outreach. However, the federal technology hasn't been working."

Self-imposed time constraints forced Idaho to rely on the federal technology, at least for this first year.

But both Democrats and Republicans in dozens of states say the federal technology is a disaster.

"It really makes the enrollment process challenging," Dowd told KBOI News. "The availability is hit or miss. Some people are enrolling, but sometimes they're not able to."

Dowd told state lawmakers because of the federal technology failure, she has no accurate numbers about how many Idahoans have enrolled in the state insurance exchange so far. But she hopes to have those numbers in a matter of weeks.

From the glass half-full perspective, though, Dowd told lawmakers the state is responding swiftly to the challenge, adding more tools to its website and people at call centers and assistance centers to help Idahoans navigate the confusing roll out of Obamacare.