Oregon Confronts New Costs, Deadlines In Switch To Federal Exchange
In addition, allegations are emerging about the Wentzville, Mo., processing center that handled paper applications for new health law insurance coverage.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Members Of Congress Seek Probe Into Federal Exchange Processing Center
A former employee at an Affordable Care Act processing center in Wentzville recalls having so little work to do that she played board games while some co-workers slept. Lavonne Takatz, 42, worked at the center in Wentzville from October to April. “We played Pictionary. We played 20 Questions. We played Trivial Pursuit,” she told the Post-Dispatch Wednesday. Such allegations have spurred members of Missouri’s congressional delegation to call for investigations of the taxpayer-funded center in Wentzville, one of three nationally that are contracted to process paper applications for the new health-care law (Kulash, 5/15).
The Oregonian: Cover Oregon Aftermath: State Faces New Deadline, And $35-Million Price Tag May Be Conservative
With the next open enrollment for health coverage only months away, Oregon's decision to hook up to the federal insurance exchange for an estimated $5 million solves only part of the state's dilemma. The remaining task could be tougher -- and more expensive -- than expected. The ballpark estimated cost for what Oregon still has to do is another $35 million, and officials acknowledge that figure could be conservative (Budnick, 5/14).
In other news related to the online insurance marketplaces, a legal challenge regarding the tax treatment of subsidies some consumers can receive to buy coverage from these marketplaces continues --
The Associated Press: Appeals Court Hears Health Care Tax Credit Case
A federal appeals court heard arguments Wednesday in a lawsuit claiming the Obama administration’s health care reform law provides tax subsidies only to people who buy insurance through state-run exchanges. Four Virginia residents are challenging an Internal Revenue Service regulation that makes the subsidies available to low- and moderate-income residents regardless of whether they buy policies through state exchanges or one established by the federal government. Virginia is among 34 states that chose not to establish its own health insurance exchange (5/14).