KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

State Legislators Contemplate Flaws In New York’s Online Insurance Marketplace

Testimony during a New York State Senate hearing Monday explored problems that have emerged during the rollout of New York State of Health. News outlets also reported the latest related developments from Maryland and California. 

The New York Times: Mixed Reports On State Health Exchange
New York is enrolling a significant number of young subscribers on its health insurance exchange, but many of those already enrolled have raised questions about rules that limit which doctors they can see, or are having problems finding out if their doctors are covered, according to testimony at a State Senate hearing on Monday (Hartocollis, 1/13).

The Associated Press/Wall Street Journal: Legislators Cite Flaws In NY Health Exchange
State legislators cited problems Monday with the rollout of the federal health overhaul in New York, with constituents complaining about lost insurance coverage, higher premiums and confusion and limitations of medical networks. Nearly 300,000 New Yorkers have been enrolled in private insurance or Medicaid since October with the average cost 53 percent lower than comparable individual insurance coverage, Donna Frescatore, executive director of the state's new health marketplace, New York State of Health, testified at a Senate oversight hearing (1/13).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: New York Consumers Frustrated By Insurance Delays
Last weekend, Rob Cuillo had a severe stomach bug, and he began thinking it might be time for a trip to the emergency room near his home on Long Island. … But then he remembered he hadn’t received his insurance card from Empire Blue Cross. He had enrolled in the plan through the New York State of Health, the state exchange for purchasing coverage under the Affordable Care Act (Mogul, 1/14).

The Washington Post: Brown Says Health Exchange Problems Were Not Conveyed To Him But Still Accepts Blame
The day before he was to testify about an emergency bill that would help those who were unable to sign up for health insurance through the state’s exchange, Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) said Monday that he was kept in the dark about the severity of the problems that led to the calamitous debut of the state’s online health marketplace (Johnson and Wagner, 1/13). 

Los Angeles Times: State Tells Cigna To Stop Using Covered California Exchange Name
California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris told insurance giant Cigna Corp. to stop selling health plans bearing the name of California's health exchange because it was deceptive. Cigna opted out of participating in the Covered California exchange when it launched last year. But the company continued selling policies outside the exchange and labeled some of them "Covered California" plans (Terhune, 1/13).

And, in news related to the federal online insurance marketplace -

The Washington Post: CMS Replaces Executives Who Departed After Troubles
In a letter to employees, CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said the agency promoted Tim Love to serve as chief operating officer and appointed Dave Nelson as its new chief information officer (Hicks, 1/13).

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