KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Is Floating Toward The Cloud?

The Wall Street Journal reports that Inc.'s cloud is picking up steam in the Obama administration's attempt to revamp the federal online insurance marketplace. Meanwhile, news outlets also report on the latest developments regarding exchanges in Colorado and New Hampshire.

The Wall Street Journal: Floats To Amazon’s Cloud In Revamp
The Obama administration has turned to Inc. to host certain components in the latest sign that cloud is gaining traction in the government sector. The move will give the government more flexibility in the amount of computing power it uses to run its health exchange, experts say, allowing it lower costs outside of peak usage periods (Boulton, 6/6).

Denver Post:  Colorado Health Insurance Exchange Asks For Carrier Fee, Sets Budget
The board of Connect for Health Colorado will consider Monday whether to begin charging insurance carriers $1.25 a month for each policy on their books to generate more than $13 million for the state health exchange. "The carrier assessment is a big deal," Connect for Health chief executive Patty Fontneau said at a meeting of the exchange's finance committee on Thursday. Approval of the assessment on carriers will be critical as federal startup grants are exhausted and the exchange must become financially self-sufficient, Fontneau said. The exchange must generate all new revenues beginning Jan. 1 (Draper, 6/9).

Health News Colorado: Exchange Board Frustration Mounts Over Spending
Colorado’s exchange managers have triggered confusion among their own finance committee board members on the eve of a critical vote Monday over future spending and revenues. Health News Colorado on Thursday reported that board members were concerned that exchange managers had spent $10 million over the past year to sign up about 8,000 people through face-to-face enrollment centers. On Friday morning, Connect for Health Colorado managers said they actually expect to spend about $6.6 million on the assistance sites this fiscal year, which extends through the end of June (McCrimmon, 6/6).

The Associated Press:  New Hampshire Businesses Vexed By Insurance Delay
New Hampshire businesses aren't happy with the latest delay in the small group health insurance market created by the Affordable Care Act, but some are more understanding than others. Companies have been able to purchase coverage in the Small Business Health Options, or SHOP, marketplace from brokers and insurance companies since last fall, but the online enrollment portal isn't expected to launch until November. The state's insurance commissioner is seeking to delay a key feature that would allow employees to pick their coverage from a list of plans, saying he is concerned about maintaining a stable and competitive group market and wary of repeating the problems associated with the rocky rollout of the portal for individual consumers (Ramer, 6/8).

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