KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Exchanges Look To Software And Sports Teams

News outlets report on enrollment activities, including efforts to recruit sports teams, as well as the testing of software for the new online insurance marketplaces.

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Test Driving The Obamacare Software
All the outreach in the world won’t count for much if the Obamacare ticket counter doesn't work. Behind the campaign to educate the uninsured about the Affordable Care Act is the assumption that software to sell the plans will be ready and user-friendly by Oct. 1, when enrollment is supposed to start. That assumption is not universally shared. Some wonder if systems will be tested and finished on time. Others worry the programs will lead consumers to make dumb insurance choices (Hancock, 6/27).

Politico: Recruiting Local Sports For Team Obamacare
President Barack Obama's love of the Chicago White Sox is no secret, but he'd probably be an even bigger fan if his hometown baseball team goes to bat for Obamacare. It’s not just the Obama administration looking to join forces with professional sports leagues to enroll people in health insurance. Some states are also looking to get a lift from local teams this fall, when millions can start signing up for coverage (Millman, 6/27).

Philadelphia Inquirer/Kaiser Health News: Navigators Will Play Key Role As Marketplace Launch Nears
This new venue is expected to raise a tsunami of questions from consumers. Where will potential enrollees turn if they can't use the Internet or don't speak English? Consumers can call on "navigators," trained people who will provide face-to-face assistance. Or, it is hoped, the navigators will call on them (Diamond, 6/27).

Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): Exchange Bracing To Slash $9 Million
Colorado’s health exchange managers are bracing to cut expenses by about $9 million because federal sequestration is expected to axe 7.5 percent from a $125 million federal grant designed to help launch the exchange. Exchange CEO and Executive Director Patty Fontneau said during a finance committee meeting this week that managers are expecting a 7.5 percent cut in the newest implementation grant. Fontneau said some programs might have to withstand higher cuts than others because managers have already signed some contracts for services or technology so they cannot spread the cuts evenly across all programs (Kerwin McCrimmon, 6/26).

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