KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

State-Based Marketplaces Want Feds To Decide Who Is Exempted From Mandate

At least seven states have criticized an administration proposal to make state-run marketplaces responsible for determining eligibility for mandate exemptions. Meanwhile, Oregon's Legislative Counsel's Office says the exchange board does not have authority to scrap the state exchange in favor of the federal one. The legal opinion is not binding.

The Washington Post's Wonkblog: The Obamacare Change That's Unpopular In Blue States
State-run health insurance exchanges are squabbling with the Obama administration over who should be responsible for deciding who deserves a free pass from Obamacare’s unpopular individual mandate. At least seven state exchanges have sharply criticized an administration proposal that would shift responsibility for determining eligibility for mandate exemptions onto the state-run marketplaces in the 2015 enrollment period, scheduled to open Nov. 15. The states warn they don't have the technical ability or funding to handle requests from people seeking a pass from the Affordable Care Act’s requirement to obtain insurance coverage or pay a fine. Some states have urged the Department of Health and Human Services to dump the proposal, while others are asking to delay its implementation by at least a year (Millman, 4/30).

The Oregonian: Cover Oregon: Legal Opinion Could Toss Exchange Into More Turmoil
In the latest wrinkle for the state’s problem-plagued health care exchange, a new legal opinion says the Cover Oregon board does not have the authority to dump the state exchange and switch to the federal one, as the board said Friday that it plans to do. The opinion from Oregon’s Legislative Counsel Office, issued Tuesday, is not binding. But it threatens to throw the exchange, with a website that has never fully worked despite a cost of $248 million, into more turmoil (Zheng, 4/30).

Minnesota Public Radio: MNsure Names Leitz Its Permanent CEO
MNsure's board of directors has decided to give interim CEO Scott Leitz the job permanently. Credited with improving the operation of the online health insurance marketplace, Leitz will lead the organization through a critical time. He and MNsure leaders must decide whether MNsure's technical infrastructure can be salvaged or scrapped (Stawicki, 4/30).

The Star Tribune: Interim CEO Leitz Gets Nod To Lead MNsure Long Term
The MNsure board of directors on Wednesday gave its full support to Scott Leitz to run the agency for the future. Leitz has been serving as interim CEO since mid-December, when former director April Todd-Malmlov resigned over technical problems with the online health insurance exchange. "Scott's created some positive momentum, and I'd like to remove doubt about the leadership of the organization and remove the 'interim' from his title,” MNsure board Chairman Brian Beutner told members. The board discussed instituting a national search, but decided to put that off (Crosby, 5/1).

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.