KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

170,000 Oregon Residents Enrolled In Coverage

Cover Oregon officials reported that 170,000 residents signed up for new health coverage effective Jan. 1 despite problems with that state's site. Meanwhile, Anthem Blue Cross extended the payment deadline for Connecticut applicants until Jan. 15, and MNsure officials are under pressure to get their site working smoothly.

The Oregonian: About 170,000 Oregonians Enroll In Health Insurance Despite Exchange Problems
About 170,000 Oregonians used the state or Oregon's health insurance exchange to enroll in health insurance effective Jan. 1, according to statistics released Tuesday. A joint release from the Oregon Health Authority and Cover Oregon stressed that enrollment proceeded despite problems with the health exchange website that forced consumers to submit paper applications to be processed by an army of temporary hires (Budnick, 1/7).

The CT Mirror: Anthem Extends Payment Deadline For Obamacare Customers
With some customers still waiting to receive bills or have their payments processed, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is extending the deadline for customers to pay their first month’s premium to Jan. 15. The five-day extension means that people who signed up for coverage through the state’s health insurance exchange, Access Health CT, by Dec. 23 will receive coverage retroactive to Jan. 1 as long as they pay their premium by next Wednesday. Anthem is the state’s largest health insurer and also dominates the market on plans sold through the Connecticut’s health insurance exchange (Becker, 1/7).

The Star Tribune: Pressure Building For MNsure Officials
As MNsure officials scramble to eliminate the problems bedeviling the state’s health care exchange, they are facing a growing swirl of constituencies demanding accountability. Gov. Mark Dayton has strongly criticized one major vendor and publicly demanded improvement since the bumpy rollout of the website in October. The state legislative auditor launched a review Tuesday to determine to what degree vendors and state officials are responsible for the problems. And a committee of state legislators will convene Thursday demanding answers for a program envisioned as a gateway to health insurance for more than 800,000 Minnesotans this year (Crosby, 1/7).

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