KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Insurers Worry About Back End Repairs To

The system that is supposed to deliver consumers' information to insurers still needs to be repaired -- with only 30 days to go before coverage is supposed to begin for many people. Meanwhile, Bloomberg News reports that because of another software problem insurers will initially estimate what they are owed by the government rather than have the government calculate the bill.

NPR: A New Worry Looms Online For The Affordable Care Act
As the Obama administration scrambles to fix the glitch-plagued site, experts are beginning to worry about another problem that may further impair the rollout of the Affordable Care Act. Health insurance companies say they're seeing numerous errors in a form that plays a vital part in the enrollment process. The problems are manageable so far, but many worry about what will happen if enrollment surges in the weeks to come (Zarroli, 11/30).

The New York Times: Insurers Claim Health Website Is Still Flawed
The problem is that so-called back end systems, which are supposed to deliver consumer information to insurers, still have not been fixed. And with coverage for many people scheduled to begin in just 30 days, insurers are worried the repairs may not be completed in time (Pear, 12/1).

The Wall Street Journal: Insurers Seek To Bypass Health Site
Insurers and some states are continuing to look for ways to bypass the balky technology underpinning the health-care law despite the Obama administration's claim Sunday that it had made "dramatic progress" in fixing the federal insurance website. Federal officials said they had largely succeeded in repairing parts of the site that had most snarled users in the two months since its troubled launch, but acknowledged they only had begun to make headway on the biggest underlying problems: the system's ability to verify users' identities and accurately transmit enrollment data to insurers (Radnofsky, Schatz and Ante, 12/1).

Bloomberg: Obamacare Payment System To Insurers Changed In Setback
Parts of the Obamacare enrollment system used to pay insurers are being pushed back from January in the latest technology delay for the president’s U.S. health-care overhaul. The administration is setting up a temporary process to send companies the federal subsidies used to help millions of Americans buy coverage because the online system won’t be ready as planned, said Aaron Albright, a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Insurers will estimate what they are owed rather than have the government calculate the bill (Nussbaum, 11/30).

The Wall Street Journal’s CIO Report: White House Tracking Performance With Real-time Analytics
Administrators of used Web analytics software to track the insurance exchange’s performance in real-time in order to identify and fix issues hampering users of the website. The software, from startup New Relic Inc., was a key tool that led to several fixes, including a new feature that alerts consumers via email when the exchange is available to process their requests. However, it’s not clear whether these improvements are enough to ensure that connections between the federal exchange and databases managed by health insurers necessary for completing insurance transactions will work properly (Boulton, 12/1).

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