KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Survey: More Than 10 Million People Received Help From ‘Assisters’

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, about 28,000 assisters nationwide were involved in helping as consumers explored their new health insurance options under the ACA.

The New York Times: Groups Under Health Act Are Said To Aid Millions
More than 4,400 consumer assistance programs created under the Affordable Care Act helped an estimated 10.6 million people explore their new health insurance options and apply for coverage during the initial six-month enrollment period, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation survey (Goodnough, 7/14).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Obamacare Help Was In High Demand, Survey Shows
Signing up for Affordable Care Act insurance was nothing like that. It involved questions about income, taxes, family size and immigration status. And in most places in the country, there were myriad choices of plans with subtle differences between them. Guess what? People looked for help on the decision. During the Affordable Care Act’s first open enrollment period, about 10.6 million people received personal help from navigators and other enrollment assisters (Gold, 7/15).

Politico Pro: Survey: ACA Assisters Had Big Role With State-Run Exchanges
In-person assisters played a big part in the 8 million sign-ups of the first Obamacare enrollment season, particularly in states running their own health exchanges, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation survey. The survey, released Tuesday, found that assister programs working with state-run exchanges helped twice as many people as programs in states that relied on for 2014 enrollment. They had a built-in advantage, though: Kaiser estimated that nearly half of the 28,000 assisters nationwide worked in those 16 states and District of Columbia — where just about a third of uninsured Americans live (Villacorta, 7/15).

The Hill:  Obamacare Assisters ‘Key’ To 2015 Enrollment
Navigators and assisters who educated consumers about health insurance options during ObamaCare’s first enrollment period will likely continue to play a “key role” according to a new report. An analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation says assister programs helped educate 10.6 million people about their health insurance options but in some cases the programs had to turn people away because they didn’t have the resources to meet demand. During the 2014 enrollment period 12 percent of assisters said demand for their services far outpaced their abilities. Matters only got worse by late March when 24 percent of assisters said they couldn’t meet demand (Al-Faruque, 7/15).

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