KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Sebelius Ramps Up Enrollment Push

The Obama administration unveiled a revamped website, the centerpiece of its campaign in more than 30 states to enroll people in health coverage, as well as a 24-hour consumer call center. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius aims to enroll 7 million people by late March with help from major sports franchises and moms.

The New York Times: U.S. Unveils Health Care Web Site And Call Center
The Obama administration announced new steps to expand coverage under the federal health care law on Monday, less than a week after the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress, found that the federal government and many states were "behind schedule" in setting up marketplaces where Americans are supposed to be able to buy insurance (Pear, 6/24).

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: 'Obamacare' Insurance Publicity Campaign Steps Up
The Obama administration showed off its work to prepare to sign up millions of Americans for new health-insurance products on Monday, unveiling a revamped version of the website that will be a centerpiece of this fall's official enrollment campaign. The website uses a Q-and-A format and includes a video describing the experience of shopping for coverage through new insurance exchanges as well as a live-chat feature, in the hopes of raising people’s awareness of the law. A new hotline that people can call is also up and running (Radnofsky, 6/24).

Marketplace: 1-800-Obamacare (Audio)
Repeat after me: ‘We’ve got to get people to sign up, we’ve got to get people to sign up,’… That’s the mantra at CMS for the next eight months as the federal government furiously tries to construct a health insurance exchange system that makes it as easy as possible for people to get health insurance. The latest effort: The Obama administration today launched its new website and the 24-hours-a-day consumer call center to help Americans prepare for open enrollment and ultimately sign up for private health insurance (Gorenstein, 6/24).

CNN Money: Question About Obamacare? Here’s A Number To Call For Help
The administration on Monday launched a toll-free helpline and revamped its site to answer basic questions about the state-based health insurance exchanges that will open for enrollment in October. A Spanish-language site,, is also available. The helpline, 800-318-2596, is available 24/7 and can provide assistance in 150 languages. There is also a new live-chat feature on (Luhby, 6/24).

Politico: Kathleen Sebelius: Exchange Enrollment Goal Is 7 Million By End Of March
For Obamacare the magic number is 7 million. That's how many people the Obama administration hopes to enroll in its new health insurance marketplaces by the end of March. It is starting a huge public education campaign to get people on board with hopes for an assist from the NFL and other professional sports leagues (Haberkorn, 6/24).

CQ HealthBeat: CMS Launches Website, Call Center In Bid To Kick-Start Outreach
The Obama administration announced Monday a relaunch of its website and a new call center that will be open 24 hours a day as part of its effort to help consumers begin enrolling in the new health law marketplaces on Oct. 1 (Reichard, 6/24).

To get the message out, top health officials are seeking assistance from the National Football League -

Kaiser Health News: NFL's Help Sought On Promoting Obamacare Insurance Plans
Top federal health officials are in talks with the National Football League to promote the health law’s insurance marketplaces that begin enrolling people Oct 1. … Sebelius said the administration is also talking to other major sports franchises about improving public awareness of the Obamacare online insurance exchanges, which are a critical way the federal health law expands insurance coverage (Galewitz, 6/24).

McClatchy: Wanted: Moms And Athletes Needed To Help Sell Health Care Overhaul
The Obama administration continued to implement the national health care overhaul on Monday with the launch of a redesigned consumer information website, a new 24-hour Affordable Care Act hotline and plans to huddle with the National Football League. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said she’ll ask the NFL, other sports leagues and even mothers for help in spreading the word about getting people enrolled for health coverage next year – especially younger adults (Pugh, 6/24).

And here's how it's playing on the state level -

Kansas Health Institute: Getting The Word Out About Obamacare
The big push by federal officials to get the word out in the next few months about the Affordable Care Act mostly will bypass Kansas, but even in this generally anti-Obama red state there are organizations and community groups gearing up to inform the public about the new health insurance exchange scheduled to launch on Oct. 1 (Shields, 6/24).

CT Mirror: Health Insurance Exchange Starts Marketing Itself, Obamacare
There are more than 337,000 people without health insurance in Connecticut, and a new marketplace for buying coverage called Access Health CT is intended to make a dent in that number. In just over three months, it will be open for business, ready to enroll people in private health plans that take effect next year. But first, the uninsured need to know it’s there, and how to use it. So will people who have coverage but want another option. And so, Access Health -- the state's health insurance exchange, created as part of the federal health reform law -- is undertaking a major marketing campaign. It will include broadcast advertising in English and Spanish, major and ethnic newspapers, billboards, and posters in convenience stores, clinics, beauty salons and barber shops, trying to get a few points across: Federal health reform is happening (Becker, 6/24).

California Healthline: State Gearing Up For Public Education Campaign Targeting Latinos
Eager to maintain the state's reputation as a leader in implementing the Affordable Care Act, California officials are putting the finishing touches on a plan to send thousands of newly hired emissaries to spread the word about health care reform. Officials hope their massive public education and outreach campaign starting next month will reach deep into hidden pockets of the state and attract a large pool of newly insured individuals into Covered California, the state's health insurance exchange. Exchange officials hope to enroll 1.4 million next year from a pool of about 5.3 million who will be eligible (Hart, 6/24).

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