KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Minn. Workers Got Bonuses For Work On Troubled Exchange; Colo. Reports Robust Jan. Enrollment

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports on the bonuses awarded to 14 managers before the insurance website went live. In other state marketplace news, Colorado officials say about 67,000 people and businesses signed up for coverage this month. Exchanges also make news in Maryland, Massachusetts and Oregon.

The Star Tribune: 14 MNsure Managers Got Bonuses For Work On Balky Website
As the state rolled out its troubled health insurance exchange, MNsure managers received bonus pay totaling $26,354 for work done in the three months leading up to the Oct. 1 launch. In all, 14 managers were awarded lump-sum payments that ranged from 1.5 to 2.5 percent of their annual salaries, according to state data. It was based on work done from July 1 to Sept. 30. Former Executive Director April Todd-Malmlov, who resigned in December in the midst of the problems, did not receive a bonus (Crosby, 1/30).

Health News Colorado: January Health Sign-Ups Robust, Board Wants Better Data
January sign-ups for Colorado's health exchange have been more robust than managers expected with a total of about 67,000 individuals or small business employees signed up for private health exchange through late January. Managers for Colorado's exchange, Connect for Health Colorado, expected January sign-ups to slow considerably after a big rush to buy health insurance in December. But about 15,000 additional Colorado customers have bought private health plans this month, managers said  (McCrimmon, 1/29).

Health News Colorado: Insurance Upstart Captures 10 Percent Of Exchange Market
The Colorado HealthOP, a new member-run health insurance co-op, said nearly 7,500 patients have signed up so far for its new health insurance plans. "It's really a vote of confidence for a consumer-operated health plan. People are interested in taking control of their health and health care, and are hungry for a different model," said Julia Hutchins, CEO of the HealthOP. The HealthOP is the only insurance carrier in Colorado to release its enrollment numbers since Colorado's exchange opened on Oct. 1 (McCrimmon, 1/29).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: O’Malley To Sign Bill On Health Exchange Problems
A measure to help people get health insurance retroactive to Jan. 1, if problems with a state website kept them from doing so, will be taking effect. Gov. Martin O’Malley is scheduled to sign emergency legislation on Thursday in Annapolis to put it into effect immediately (1/30).

WBUR: State's Health Care Website Draws Criticism
Anna Eves paid $1,065 in late December for private insurance through the Connector. In January, the bank confirmed that the Connector had cashed her check, but she had not received any information about an insurance plan, so she called the Connector. "The girl there said, 'Yep, we got your check, but you're not covered,'" Eves said. ... Now even longtime supporters of Massachusetts’ landmark effort to cover uninsured residents say the state’s performance is unacceptable (Bebinger, 1/30).

The Lund Report: Parrish And Shields Want Lawmakers Insured Through Cover Oregon
In a short but busy February legislative session, state legislators would get their insurance through Cover Oregon under one proposed bill while legislators have introduced a second bill designed to prevent future government debacles like the one that befell this fall's rollout of the state health insurance exchange (Gray, 1/28).

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