KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Software Crash Viewed As Root Cause Of Exchange Delays

The New York Times reports that a major software component crashed under the pressure posed by millions of visitors last week to the federal online insurance marketplace. Still, other technical issues beyond traffic also are at work, and some insurers say they are getting faulty and incomplete data from the new U.S.-run health exchange.

The New York Times: Health Exchange Delays Tied To Software Crash In Early Rush
The technical problems that have hampered enrollment in the online health insurance exchanges resulted from the failure of a major software component, designed by private contractors, that crashed under the weight of millions of users last week, federal officials said Monday (Shear and Pear, 10/7).

The Hill: Obamacare Crash Not Just Traffic
Problems plaguing online enrollment in Obamacare are not just due to high traffic, but are being compounded by structural problems at, the federal government portal where people can shop for medical insurance. The Obama administration is now scrambling to fix technical troubles that contributed to a bruising debut last week for the new insurance marketplaces (Baker and Viebeck, 10/8).

Bloomberg: Insurers Getting Faulty Data From U.S. Health Exchanges
Insurers are getting faulty and incomplete data from the new U.S.-run health exchange, which may mean some Americans won’t be covered even after they sign up for an insurance plan. While it’s not clear how widespread the problem is, the reports from industry consultants are the first hint that the technical troubles faced by consumers trying to enroll in health plans under the Affordable Care Act may also be hitting the insurers (Armstrong and Nussbaum, 10/8).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Insurers, Others Say There's Still Time To Fix Online Glitches In 'Obamacare'
The federal government’s biggest foray into online commerce has left millions of tech-savvy Americans thoroughly bewildered. But the insurance industry and others experienced with rolling out new programs say there’s still enough time to fix the glitches with President Barack Obama’s health care law before uninsured people start getting coverage on Jan. 1 (Alonso-Zaldivar, 10/8).

Politico: Obamacare Exchange Websites Still Full Of Glitches And Errors
The second week of Obamacare enrollment started a lot like the first: with error messages. Glitches continued crippling online enrollment in new Obamacare exchanges on Monday, despite assurances by the White House that the consumer experience would markedly improve this week (Cheney and Millman, 10/7).

USA Today: Health Care Exchanges Working Out Kinks A Week Later
A week after the launch of the health insurance exchanges that are the centerpiece of the health care law, the federal and state-run sites are working out the bugs. Technical difficulties are keeping many people from enrolling or even from setting up accounts. Though consumers, including Busch, are frustrated, administration officials and state spokespeople say the sites were overwhelmed by demand, problems are being addressed, and there will be plenty of time for people to sign up once the bugs are worked out (O’Donnell and Kennedy, 10/8).

The Associated Press: Health Secretary Sebelius To Visit Florida Today Amid Obamacare Web Delays
The Obama administration promised "significant improvements" in accessing the federal health overhaul website this week, after taking down the system for maintenance over the weekend. But many in Florida were still unable to enroll at the start of week two (10/8).

CQ HealthBeat: Does Big Exchange Turnout Include The Young And Healthy
A constant thread through analysts' comments about the early interest in health insurance exchanges is that there are many more shoppers than anyone expected. Does that mean many young and healthy people are shopping? Insurance industry sources aren't embracing that theory yet. And a definitive answer probably won’t come before January, they add (Reichard, 10/7).

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