KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Call Centers Open In Several States As Exchanges Ramp Up

Reports on developments regarding federal and state exchanges in Texas, Minnesota, Washington, Wisconsin and California.

Texas Tribune: Uncertainty Lingers As Insurance Exchange Rollout Nears
The federal government is spending millions of dollars to promote health care coverage via new marketplace exchanges, but with only a few weeks left until their debut, some Texans say they've been left with more questions than answers (Zaragovia, 9/3).

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Ringing Phones Mark First Link To MNsure Health Insurance Exchange
More than two dozen call center operators took their places in neat rows of private cubicles Tuesday, providing the first official link between consumers and the state’s new health insurance exchange. The phone lines in the exchange’s downtown St. Paul headquarters were ringing. Operators took more than 200 calls in the first five hours, each lasting about four minutes, officials said (Crosby, 9/3).

The Associated Press: Call Center Will Answer Questions On Health Care
Washington residents will be able to start the process of buying insurance through the state's health exchange next month, but many likely still have a few questions about their insurance options. A Spokane-based toll-free customer support line will start taking calls at 1-855-923-4633 starting at 7:30 a.m. PDT Tuesday, and potential customers will have a live person to talk with about plan choices, costs and what kind of subsidies they might be eligible for (La Corte, 9/4).

The Associated Press: Insurance Rates Released By Walker Administration Questioned By Health Care Advocates
Health care advocates called into question information released Tuesday by Gov. Scott Walker's administration showing dramatic rate increases for insurance plans to be sold through the new marketplace created under the federal health care law. The marketplaces, or exchanges, will be open for enrollment starting Oct. 1 with coverage beginning Jan. 1 (Bauer, 9/3).

California Healthline: Exchange Ramps Up As Deadline Nears
There's the rollout of the media campaign, the community outreach effort, the health care provider outreach, finalizing details with health plans, coordinating insurance agents, creating call centers, coordinating with federal officials, working with the state and counties on a Medi-Cal expansion interface, establishing a small-business program, and launching an online eligibility determination and enrollment system. That's a pretty full plate (Gorn, 9/3).

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