KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Despite Some Success, State Health Exchanges Get Mixed Reviews

Though most of the state-run online insurance marketplaces have not been hobbled by the same types of difficulties that marred the federal exchange's launch, some states are successfully enrolling their residents while others still confront hurdles.

Politico: State Health Exchanges Are Showing Mixed Results
On the Obamacare racetrack, Washington, Kentucky and New York are leading the pack. Relatively free of the technical problems that have plagued the federally run insurance exchanges -- but still encumbered by some glitches of their own -- the 15 state-run exchanges tell a varied story. Some states are charging ahead on enrollment while others have run up against roadblocks (Cunningham, 11/5).

Kaiser Health News: Oregon's State Exchange May Be Worse Than
As the federal government consumes humble pie over failures in the health insurance exchanges, some states that have set up their own exchanges are also struggling. Oregon has yet to enroll one single person, and it's been reduced to pawing through paper applications to figure out eligibility. When Cover Oregon opened Oct. 1, executive director Rocky King was excited. He’d been preparing for years. 'Day one, we are accepting applications. And staff at the Oregon Health Authority and Cover Oregon are ready to process those applications,' he said on opening day (Foden-Vencil, 11/4).

Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): 'Odious, Embarrassing' System Driving Down Health Sign-Ups
Colorado has no quick fix for a seemingly endless Medicaid application that health exchange board members believe is driving away customers and decreasing the number of people buying health insurance through Colorado’s new multi-million dollar health exchange. Finger-pointing between state and exchange managers escalated on Monday as exchange board members said Colorado should have been better prepared and that the state's lagging system is an embarrassment (Kerwin McCrimmon, 11/4).

A new studies estimates the number of people who will be eligible for subsidies when shopping on the exchanges --  

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: 17 Million People Eligible For Premium Subsidies, Study Finds
Seventeen million people who are now uninsured or who buy their own health insurance will be eligible for tax credits next year to help purchase coverage on the health law's online marketplaces or exchanges, according to an analysis released Tuesday (Carey, 11/5).

Politico: Kaiser Study Sees Broad Access To Insurance Subsidies
Nearly six in 10 people eligible for the insurance exchanges next year will qualify for subsidies to help buy coverage, a new Kaiser Family Foundation analysis says. The group estimates that 29 million Americans will qualify to shop on the new state-based marketplaces — and 17 million of those earn little enough that they could collect income-based subsidies. More live in Texas, California and Florida than anywhere else (Cunningham, 11/5).

Meanwhile, here's the latest news about - 

The Hill: HHS: Expect Outages At HealthCare.Gov
Federal health officials said that consumers can expect further outages at Obamacare's troubled enrollment portal as the site undergoes repairs in the next four weeks. A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) downplayed the site's semi-regular breakdowns, widely interpreted as a sign of the deep technical problems facing repair teams (Viebeck, 11/4).

Modern Healthcare: 'Significant Fixes' Made To HealthCare.Gov's Electronic Submissions Process, CMS Says
Obama administration officials reported progress Monday in fixing problems with electronic submissions between the federal insurance marketplace and insurance companies. They also claimed consumers' ability to complete enrollment applications has improved (Dickson, 11/4).

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