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Keller @ Large: Health Connector Fix May Not Be Cure-All For Those In Limbo

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BOSTON (CBS) – Gov. Deval Patrick last month assured worried customers that the collapse of the state Health Connector website wouldn’t leave people who applied through the dysfunctional system in the lurch.

“We’re not going to let anybody go without insurance,” the governor said. “It’s not going to happen.”

But concerns over the website have lawmakers on edge.

“This is about constituents that I have who are now unsure if they’re going to be on the hook for the lapse of coverage,” Rep. Marjorie Decker (D-Cambridge) said.

Sarah Iselin, the governor’s hand-picked expert in charge of fixing the Health Connector, cautioned applicants caught in the bureaucratic meltdown to carefully document any medical costs they incur while in limbo.

“When we get through that backlog we’re moving people into what we’re calling a temporary coverage program,” Iselin said.

“Once they’re in that coverage program we are working to ensure that it’s retroactive to the beginning of the month in which that application was processed. So we’re hopefully able to make people whole in that way.”

Iselin encouraged people whose coverage was denied by providers while they were in limbo to call the Health Connector.

“We’ll try and work through and see what we can do,” she said.

Asked what all the fixes will cost, Iselin replied, “You know, we don’t know the answer to that question yet.”

Iselin said it may be mid-November before the site is fully operational, a huge embarrassment for state officials who now concede they tried to build the Cadillac of health-care websites, but many millions of dollars later, are stuck with an Edsel.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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