KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Investigators Find HHS Officials Missed Warnings About Healthcare.gov’s Early Troubles

The Washington Post reports that 18 written warnings that the online insurance marketplace was off course were overlooked. Meanwhile, Connect For Health Colorado, the state's health exchange, is contemplating shifting some operations to its federal counterpart, and many Connecticut residents who signed up for coverage missed their first payments.

The Washington Post: HHS Failed To Heed Many Warnings That HealthCare.gov Was In Trouble
During the two years before the disastrous opening of HealthCare.gov, federal officials in charge of creating the online insurance marketplace received 18 written warnings that the mammoth project was mismanaged and off course but never considered postponing its launch, according to government investigators. The warnings included a series of 11 scathing reviews from an outside consultant — among them a top-10 list of risks drawn up in the spring of 2013 that cited inadequate planning for the website’s capacity and deviations from usual IT standards. ... The long trail of unheeded warnings is among the findings from an exhaustive two-year inquiry by HHS’s Office of Inspector General into the failings of HealthCare.gov, which crashed within two hours of its launch on Oct. 1, 2013. (Goldstein, 2/23)

The Denver Post: Connect For Health Colorado Considers Whether To Ask Feds For Help
Connect for Health Colorado board members met Monday to consider whether the health insurance exchange will remain independent or shift some operations to its federal counterpart. Out of concern for the exchange's long-term stability, state legislators requested the committee develop alternatives to remaining a stand-alone operation. (Munio, 2/22)

The Connecticut Mirror: About 8,000 CT Exchange Customers Didn’t Pay First Bill
About 8,000 people who signed up for coverage through the Connecticut’s health insurance exchange missed the deadline for their first payment and lost coverage, exchange CEO Jim Wadleigh said Monday. “This number is bigger than we were anticipating,” Wadleigh said. Just over 116,000 people signed up for private insurance through Access Health CT, the state’s exchange, during the open enrollment period that ended Jan. 31. (Levin Becker, 2/22)

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