Two Months And Counting: Concerns Turn To Enrollment Outreach, Marketplace Readiness
As the health law's open enrollment period nears, challenges include getting the message out to people who may qualify for new coverage and making sure the online insurance marketplaces are functioning.
The Hill: New Challenges For Obamacare's Second Year
The Obama administration is facing new challenges in ObamaCare's second year. The health insurance exchanges are set to re-open for enrollment in just two months. This countdown has the White House and federal health officials bracing to see if the system encounters any fresh technical problems. The whole team is focused on avoiding the chaos of last year, when HealthCare.gov, unable to handle even a small number of users, floundered for months. Now, after a full recovery for the site, the administration has much to boast about the healthcare law. The exchanges surpassed 8 million enrollments, bringing down the rate of uninsured Americans (Viebeck, 9/8).
Kaiser Health News: Rural Enrollment Presents Continuing Health Law Challenges
Americans living in rural areas will be a key target as states and nonprofit groups strategize how to enroll more people in health law insurance plans this fall. Though millions of people signed up for private insurance or Medicaid in the first year of the Affordable Care Act, millions of others did not. Many live in rural areas where people "face more barriers," said Laurie Martin, a RAND Corp. senior policy researcher. Brock Slabach, a senior vice president at the National Rural Health Association, said "the feds are particularly concerned about this" (Luthra, 9/8).
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: UGA Forced To Shutter Health Insurance Navigator Program
A new state law has forced the University of Georgia to shutter its health insurance navigator program that helped more than 33,000 Georgians — many of them from rural areas — buy coverage on the Affordable Care Act’s online insurance marketplace (Anderson, 9/7).
In related news, how health law grants have boosted access to care in Miami as well as continuing issues with Oregon's exchange.
Miami Herald: ACA Grants For Innovative Programs Boost Medical Care In Nine Miami Area Schools
Sitting in a small clinic at North Miami Beach Senior High School, Nick Contreras, a 15-year-old student, waited in front of a closed-circuit, high-definition television camera while a dermatologist examined his forehead, chest and back on a screen in her office — 13 miles away. The Skype-like system, which connects nine schools in North Miami Beach, North Miami and Overtown and is known as telemedicine, has been in use for almost five years for remote appointments in dermatology and endocrinology. Now the system is being expanded with a $4 million award to the University of Miami from an Affordable Care Act grant program for "innovative" programs (Madigan, 9/5).
Oregonian: Thousands Of Oregonians Could Owe Money At Tax Time Under New Cover Oregon Error
Thousands of Oregonians may owe money or see their tax refunds reduced by the Internal Revenue Service next year thanks to Cover Oregon errors that resulted in inaccurate tax credits awarded by the health insurance exchange to reduce individuals' premiums. According to one internal estimate, more than 10,000 Oregonians likely are affected, out of more than 50,000 receiving tax credits through the exchange, according to an informed source who was not authorized to comment on the issue (Budnick, 9/5).