KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Getting Obamacare To Harder-To-Reach Groups

Reaching underserved populations who are newly qualified for coverage remains a major concern and challenge to advocacy groups like Families USA. For insurers and government officials, the target is healthy people who will help balance new risk pools.

Politico: Direct Sign-Up For Obamacare Subsidy Enrollees Still Bumpy
Nearly two-thirds of the way through the Obamacare sign-up season, most insurers are still having trouble with direct enrollment of individuals who qualify for subsidies. Upgrades have been promised to the feature of designed to facilitate this process, and carriers and brokers are trying to stay optimistic that they’ll come in time to help enroll a rush of applicants ahead of the March 31 deadline for 2014 coverage. “They’ve made a lot of progress, but there’s still a lot to do. We’re told all of the critical changes will be completed during this open enrollment period,” said Michael Mahoney, a senior vice president with GoHealth, a private online insurance brokerage that is selling exchange plans (Norman, 1/24).

Politico: Getting Obamacare To The Hardest-To-Reach Americans
While Obamacare’s botched rollout made enrollment difficult for many Americans, certain groups continue to face coverage barriers that extend far beyond a troubled website. In fact, the individuals involved -- from homeless people and recently paroled inmates to former foster-care children -- often aren’t even aware they are eligible for benefits. Reaching underserved populations who are newly qualified for coverage under the law’s Medicaid expansion remains a major concern and challenge, according to advocates speaking Saturday at the Families USA Health Action conference in Washington, D.C. (Kalter, 1/26).

NPR:  The Healthy, Not The Young, May Determine Health Law's Fate
Now that the problems with the balky website are largely fixed, the Obama administration is finally feeling comfortable enough to launch some of the outreach it planned for last fall. Its top target: young adults, specifically those between 18 and 35. ... But people have started to wonder just how critical those young people really are to making the health exchanges operate smoothly. "There's been this incredible focus on reaching young invincibles and getting them to sign up for insurance," says Larry Levitt, senior vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation. "But it turns out the invincible part is actually much more important than the young part" (Rovner, 1/24).

The Philadelphia Inquirer: Spreading The Word That ACA Works
Janice Churchill went to Bright Hope Baptist Church on Martin Luther King Day to proclaim the word. … If Congreso de Latinos Unidos is any indication, people in those communities are already snapping up low-cost ACA plans (Calandra, 1/26).


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