KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

New, Improved Gets Praise, But Problems Persist

Administration officials lauded the website fixes and said that 750,000 users logged on Monday, but insurers continued to have concerns about the transfer of inaccurate data and automated subsidy calculations.

Politico: Obamacare Fix Wins Applause, But Troubles Remain
For House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra, the new, improved Obamacare website is better than it was — but the law won’t be a success “until every American who has a chance to qualify for these health insurance policies gets it.” For Jeremy Milarsky, who works for one of the “navigator” groups in Missouri that’s helping people sign up, the website is improved enough to make the job easier, mainly because of a new health plan browser feature that actually works (Nather, 12/4).

McClatchy: HHS Temporarily Scraps Automated Payments For Insurers
With the automated payment system for the federal health insurance marketplace still under construction, the Obama administration will temporarily require insurers to manually submit their payment requests beginning in January. The marketplace was supposed to calculate the amount of premium tax credits and cost-sharing benefits that low- and middle-income enrollees were eligible for after they sign up for marketplace coverage. The financial assistance would then be sent electronically to insurers to help pay for coverage (Pugh, 12/3).

CQ HealthBeat: Insurers Kicking The Tires On Fixes For Healthcare.Gov Enrollment Foul-Ups
Insurance companies are scrambling this week to see if the problems with enrollment data that federal officials say have been fixed actually are working. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services officials say they have fixed most — but not all — of the bugs on that either prevented insurers from getting any information about people that enrolled in their plans or gave them inaccurate data (Adams, 12/3).

The Hill: WH Contests Report On Website Problem
The White House contested a report Tuesday that found that as many as a third of completed applications through the ObamaCare website were incorrectly transmitted to insurers. White House press secretary Jay Carney said the figure “does not reflect at all” circumstances “that are happening today” (Sink, 12/3).

The New York Times: Even With Website Fixes, Troubles Persist In Applying For Insurance
While Obama administration officials were heralding the improvements with the website, saying that 750,000 users logged on Monday, hundreds of people took to the website’s Facebook page and other social media platforms to report mixed results (Preston, 12/3).

USA Today: 1 Million People Visited Health Care Website Monday
One million people accessed on Monday, its first weekday of operation since a team of technology experts finished a series of fixes aimed at stabilizing the troubled website, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Tuesday (Kennedy, 12/3).

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