N.J. Gets New Insurer; Oregon Shifts To Healthcare.gov
One year in, separating fact and political fiction about the Obamacare marketplaces remains difficult, reports CBS News. Other outlets report exchange developments in New Jersey, Colorado, Oregon and Minnesota.
CBS News: One Year In, Obamacare Marketplace Still Subject To Political Spin
One year after the disastrous launch of HealthCare.gov, the federal website that serves as the Obamacare hub for dozens of states, the views on the 2010 health care law are decidedly mixed. According to the CBS News/ New York Times poll released two weeks ago, 51 percent of Americans disapprove of the Affordable Care Act while 41 percent approve. The split comes down along partisan lines -- 83 percent of Republicans said they disapprove of the law, while 67 percent of Democrats approve of it (Condon, 10/1).
Asbury Park Press: Oscar To Sell Health Insurance In New Jersey
Insurance company Oscar Health Insurance said Tuesday that it will enter the New Jersey market this year, bringing with it easy-to-use technology designed to connect consumers with their doctors. The decision by the New York-based company marks the fifth insurer that will sell policies on the Obamacare exchange when open enrollment begins Nov. 15. That’s two more than last year. Oscar will join AmeriHealth NJ; Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey; Health Republic Insurance of New Jersey and UnitedHealthcare on the insurance exchange that sells policies to consumers who aren’t covered by their employers. Last year, more than 160,000 New Jerseyans signed up for coverage through the federally operated exchange. Those consumers are a small fraction of the overall insurance market. But the Affordable Care Act has made them a priority since they are most at risk to go without coverage (Diamond, 9/30).
Health News Colorado: Exchange Board Approves $3.5 Million In Additional IT Expenses
Colorado exchange managers are spending an additional $3.5 million on an IT contract, but declined to say specifically why they needed to pen a deal with Oracle. CGI is the primary IT contractor for Connect for Health Colorado and the state exchange has spent millions in tax dollars building a portal where Coloradans can buy health insurance (Kerwin McCrimmon, 9/30).
Fox News: Oregon Pols Debate Over When To Pull Plug On Costly Obamacare Website
Cover Oregon was supposed to be a shining example of ObamaCare at its best. The state insurance exchange for the state of Oregon received $300 million in federal grants to launch a state-of-the-art website. But it never worked, and not a single Oregonian was able to sign up for health care from start to finish. So now, Oregon is in the process of pulling the plug on the site and switching over to the federal exchange and HealthCare.gov -- but the question is, how quickly they can do it (Springer, 10/1).
Oregonian: As Cover Oregon Marks The One-Year Anniversary Of ‘Go-Live,’ Health Exchange’s Struggles Continue
A year ago on Sept. 30, insurance agents around Oregon were feverishly preparing to use the state's new health exchange website to help enroll consumers – only to be stunned by a dire-sounding directive. With open enrollment beginning the very next day, Cover Oregon officials told agents to immediately stop scheduling new Cover Oregon client appointments until further notice, due to technical problems. Officials said the problems could be cleared up by the weekend. One year later, those technological problems are continuing and the exchange has become a national case study in good intentions gone wrong (Budnick, 9/30).
Meanwhile, two insurers join a private exchange in Minnesota to compete for employers' business -
Minneapolis Star-Tribune: Blue Cross, Medica Join Bloom Health’s Online Insurance Market
In a sign that online exchanges are becoming an increasingly popular way to sell health insurance, the state’s two largest insurers will join a single private exchange and compete head to head for employers’ business. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and Medica plan to sell a suite of health plans through an online marketplace developed by Minneapolis-based Bloom Health, in what was described Tuesday as a first-of-its-kind arrangement in the state (Crosby, 9/30).