Opinion

Technical difficulties

I don’t know if you noticed last week, but we had another — what I’d call a passive — delay. The administration pushed back its deadline for publishing carrier plan offerings on the federal exchanges.

This appears to be more of a reflection of a technical issue more than anything else. And, as we’ve reported before, it’s a clear, if subtle, indication that the biggest obstacle to the exchanges will be technical rather than political. And no one is talking about it, which worries me even more since nearly everyone I’ve talked to expects more people to sign up for the exchanges online than via any other medium.

And if the people who actually need to sign up, and actually know about it, try to sign up online and are met with a crashed web page blaring “404 Error,” who’s to say they’ll keep trying? My bet is they’ll give up right there and then. It’ll be like watching a video on AOL back in the early 90s: just not worth the trouble. Which begs the question, what’s the backup plan?

And the feds aren’t alone, I’d wager, just the biggest example. More than a few states have already been announcing delays of their own. And no one’s talking about moving that Oct. 1 open enrollment date.

So, again, I suggest brokers remain as critical as ever. Stay tuned. 

And now a little housekeeping:

First, our 10th annual (already?!) Benefits Selling Expo will be here before we know it, too. We’ll be getting together April 1-3 in Colorado Springs, at the landmark Broadmoor Hotel. You really won’t want to miss it. That being said, I’m still looking for speakers. I’d love to have some of you there presenting, and sharing your stories of what you plan to do with your practice in the new year. Shoot me an email or give me a call.  

And finally, I’d like to thank everyone for the heartfelt calls, messages and emails about my dad. He’s still in intensive care, but I’m told he’s doing fine — all things considered. It’s nice to know, that despite our quarrels over the years — whether it's over PPACA, a presidential election or the fate of 401(k)s — when it comes down to it, we’re all in this together. We fear the same things, love the same people and are simply trying to do what’s best for our families. I appreciate each and every one of you.

About the Author
Denis Storey

Denis Storey

Denis Storey is editor for BenefitsPro.com and Benefits Selling magazine. He can be reached at dstorey@benefitspro.com.

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