KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Groups Say Md. Health Insurance Exchange Problems Could Leave People Without Jan. 1 Coverage

In the meantime, despite considering delaying the launch of the exchange, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley said Thursday that he is confident that problems with the website will be fixed and that the exchange will meet its goal of enrolling 260,000 by the end of March 2014.

The Washington Post: Md.'s Troubled Health Exchange Prompts Groups To Warn Uninsured About Jan. Coverage
Problems with Maryland's online insurance exchange, including with paper applications that were supposed to provide a fail-safe backup plan, are so severe that community groups have begun warning uninsured clients that they may not obtain coverage as intended by Jan. 1. State officials began this week to contact all people whose applications are still pending, urging them to contact the state call center, try the state Web site again or get in touch with a certified insurance broker for help (Sun, 12/12).

The Baltimore Sun: O’Malley Considered Delaying Exchange Launch
Gov. Martin O'Malley acknowledged for the first time Thursday that he briefly considered delaying the Oct. 1 launch of the state's health insurance exchange when staff members raised concerns about potential problems. The anticipated glitches turned out to be major problems as the Maryland exchange, designed to provide one-stop shopping for the 800,000 uninsured Marylanders, experienced one of the nation's most troubled launches (Cohn and Cox, 12/12).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: O'Malley Confident Health Exchange Will Meet Goal
Despite a rocky start with health care reform, Gov. Martin O’Malley said Thursday he is still aiming to meet the goal of enrolling 260,000 people in private insurance and Medicaid through the state’s health care exchange by the end of March. O’Malley, outlining how the state is addressing challenges to enrolling people, said most of the problems with the exchange’s website have been addressed. He said a computer glitch relating to tax credits should be fixed this week. A more stubborn problem involves screens freezing, and O’Malley says progress has been made diagnosing the matter (12/12). 

The Washington Post: O’Malley Says Md. Closer To Fixing Remaining Major Problems With Health Exchange
Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) acknowledged Thursday that Maryland’s online health insurance exchange had "a very rocky launch" but provided a largely positive prognosis for fixing the remaining glitches and boosting enrollment in coming months. "The bottom line is more people are getting though the site from end to end," O’Malley told reporters during an afternoon briefing (Wagner, 12/12).

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