LA Times: California spends $13.4 million to fix Obamacare service woes
California’s health insurance exchange hired two outside firms for $13.4 million to address long wait times for consumers calling about their Obamacare coverage.
Covered California said it will pay $9.8 million to Faneuil Inc. and $3.6 million to Maximus Inc. to add more call-center capacity during the next open enrollment season starting Nov. 15.
“We had call response times that were far too long,” said Peter Lee, the exchange’s executive director. “We were swamped.”
Many consumers and insurance agents have complained about the exchange’s shoddy customer service and long hold times. In August, the exchange answered 1% of calls within 30 seconds, far short of its 80% goal.
The average wait time was under five minutes Thursday, according to the exchange.
Lee said the exchange is nearly doubling its service-center staff to 1,300 to help more than 1 million Californians renew their health-law policies by Jan. 1. The first batch of renewal notices for 2015 went out this week.