Colorado’s New Health Exchange Running Late
The state's "Kentucky-style" system won't be ready until just days before open enrollment begins Nov. 15, while a third Colorado exchange official announces she's leaving. In Oregon, meanwhile, a consultant writes a blistering critique of that exchange and the governor's plan for its future.
Health News Colorado: Exchange COO Joins Exodus, New System Late
Colorado’s 2.0 “Kentucky-style” system that is supposed to simplify the way people get health insurance won’t be ready until days before the Nov. 15 open enrollment starts. And as Colorado’s health exchange enters its busy season, a third “chief” has announced she’s leaving Connect for Health Colorado. Chief Executive Patty Fontneau departed in August. Chief Financial Officer Cammie Blais left two weeks ago. And Chief Operating Officer Lindy Hinman announced her resignation and plans to leave next month after open enrollment begins (Kerwin McCrimmon, 10/14).
Oregonian: Report Cover Oregon Didn’t Want Submitted Shows Criticism Of Politics, Disagreement With Kitzhaber
A report that Cover Oregon officials privately asked a top consultant not to submit last month is an eye-opener: It provides a blistering critique of the health exchange's history, decries the politics of recent decision-making and significantly disagrees with Gov. John Kitzhaber's plan for the future of the exchange, according to documents obtained by The Oregonian (Budnick, 10/14).
Meanwhile, Virginia receives $9.3 million to sign people up for coverage -
The Associated Press: Virginia Receives Funds To Aid In Health Care Signups
Virginia is getting $9.3 million in federal funding to help residents sign up for health insurance. Gov. Terry McAuliffe said the money will help hire more than 100 people to help with enrollment that runs from Nov. 15 through Feb. 15. The governor's office says the grant will play a large role in helping McAuliffe implement his plan to expand health care to more than 200,000 Virginians. State officials say about 300,000 Virginians who are qualified for tax credits if they purchase insurance on the Federal Marketplace remain uninsured. The grant awarded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services allows Virginia to partner with the Virginia Community Healthcare Association and the Virginia Poverty Law Center (10/15).
And on the topic of Medicaid expansion -
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Missouri Still Processing Medicaid Applications From Healthcare.gov
With just one month remaining until enrollment for 2015 opens on HealthCare.gov, the state of Missouri is still processing thousands of Medicaid applications left over from last year. Officials with the Missouri Department of Social Services said in an oversight hearing Tuesday that staffers are very close to processing the remaining 2,853 Medicaid applications from the federally facilitated online health insurance marketplace. In all, the department received 55,665 Medicaid applications from last year’s open enrollment period, which the department began receiving from the federal government in February 2014. Most of the applicants for Medicaid were ultimately deemed ineligible. Missouri officials say the federal government did not automatically kick out these ineligible applications and instead sent them to the state, which helped create a backlog (Liss, 10/15).
Richmond Times-Dispatch: Governor Placed Angry Call To Puckett Following Vote Scuttling Medicaid Expansion
A fuming Gov. Terry McAuliffe left a voice message for former state Sen. Phillip Puckett, D-Russell, after a June vote in the Virginia Senate that — due to Puckett’s resignation several days earlier — effectively [scuttling] the governor’s bid for Medicaid expansion. The call, one of at least two McAuliffe made to Puckett, and confirmed by Puckett’s attorney, reflected the governor’s personal rancor toward the former senator over the impact of his resignation. It allowed Republicans to block an attempt to draw down federal health care dollars that McAuliffe wanted to use to expand Medicaid coverage to thousands of uninsured Virginians (Nolan, 10/14).