State Insurance Exchanges Wrestle With Rollout Issues
In Iowa, an insurer uses sarcasm to woo consumers to buy policies away from the federal website. In Minnesota, insurers list problems which may keep consumers who think they've enrolled in a plan from being covered on Jan.1. Developments in Oregon and Colorado are also scrutinized.
The Associated Press: Iowa Insurer Pokes Fun At Federal Website In Ads
The television ads show a series of medical mishaps: a man kicking the wrong leg in a reflex check, a urine sample bottle that won’t open for a frustrated patient and a blood pressure cuff letting out a strange noise when the doctor presses the plastic bulb. After each scene, a narrator says: "Things don’t always work like they’re supposed to. Good thing the government exchange website isn’t the only place to buy health insurance" (Lucey, 12/8).
Kaiser Health News: Minnesotans Who Think They Signed Up For Health Insurance May Not Be Enrolled
In the most vivid detail yet, Minnesota's top insurers have laid out a list of technological problems that they say may keep people who've enrolled in a health plan from being covered on Jan. 1. Insurance carriers selling plans on the state's insurance marketplace say enrollment information they're getting from MNsure, is inaccurate and incomplete - and that time is running out to fix these problems (Richert, 12/8).
The Oregonian: Cover Oregon: Take Care In Applying Those Advanced Premium Tax Credits
So if all goes as state officials hope, Oregonians who've applied for insurance through Cover Oregon will receive enrollment packets in the mail this week. If you're among them, and you want coverage by Jan. 1, you'll have until Dec. 15 to finalize some fairly complicated choices. You'll have to pick which insurance plan (or plans) best suits you or your family. You'll also have to decide – if you're eligible - how much of a tax credit to take and when to take it (Hunsberger, 12/7).
The Oregonian: John Kitzhaber Says Extending Oregon Insurance Plans To 2014 Is Legal
Gov. John Kitzhaber said Friday that Oregon’s legislative lawyers got it wrong when they ruled the state’s insurance commissioner was out-of-bounds in allowing insurers to extend some health plans into 2014. More than 140,000 Oregonians faced Dec. 31 cancellations of their health insurance until Oregon Insurance Commissioner Laura Cali announced that insurers could extend those policies until the end of next year (Gaston, 12/6).
Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): Exchange Boss Withdraws Request For Pay Hike
The head of Colorado’s health exchange is withdrawing a request for a raise. … The news came after the Denver Post reported that Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, planned to introduce legislation in Congress barring CEOs of state health exchanges from getting taxpayer-supported bonuses or raises. … [Patty Fontneau, the CEO and executive director of Colorado’s health exchange] gets paid $190,550 a year and received a 10 percent bonus last December (Kerwin McCrimmon, 12/6).
Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): ‘Don’t Give Up,’ Commissioner Urges Angry Ski Resort Residents
Colorado Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar wants to reduce high health costs in mountain resort communities, but can’t fix anything until 2015. Salazar met with a standing-room crowd of irate Summit County residents on Thursday to hear their concerns and explore solutions for health insurance rates that are up to three times higher than other parts of the state. The area is home to several of Colorado’s premier ski resorts including Keystone, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain and Arapahoe Basin (Kerwin McCrimmon, 12/6).
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.