By Matt Murphy
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
BOSTON -- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Wednesday approved the state Health Connector's request to extend existing coverage plans for 124,000 subscribers beyond March 31 for another three months until June 30, as the state tries to sort through its extensive information technology problems.
The extension will also cover 30,000 individuals who have been placed into temporary coverage plans as they await permanent assignment to MassHealth or another subsidized or non-subsidized plan, according to Sarah Iselin, the governor's new special assistant in charge of overseeing the Health Connector web fix.
Iselin and members of the Connector staff were briefing board members Thursday on the status of efforts to repair the faulty enrollment website and speed the process for enrolling consumers offline.
Thanking the board for their support during a challenging period, Connector Executive Director Jean Yang broke down into tears as she told the board that she has had to tell her hard-working staff that they are not doing good enough, and those staffers are "embarrassed to tell their family and friends they work for the Connector."
Yang said the staff has been working day and night to help enroll people who need coverage but cannot access it through the web site.
"The workarounds we have put in place are not working well enough. It's not reliable enough and it's not fast enough, which means we have to do more," Yang said.