KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Federal Officials, Software Specialists Working To Simplify Healthcare.gov Enrollment Application

Their goal is to make the process easier during the next enrollment season. Meanwhile, Enroll America held a meeting to rally its troops as the organization also looks ahead to the next sign-up period.

CQ Healthbeat: Simpler Enrollment Application Planned for Fall Health Law Sign-Up
Federal officials and software engineers are working on a simplified application to install on the federal insurance website healthcare.gov during the upcoming enrollment period. The goal is to make things easier both for consumers and the website, which collapsed under the pressure of high volume during the first days of last fall’s sign-up window. Application 2.0 will be “for people who don’t have complicated financial assistance needs, so we think it could be a high percentage of people who are signing up,” said Paul Smith, a software engineer who was part of the technical rescue team that helped Obama administration officials patch healthcare.gov in the months after its disastrous launch on Oct. 1 (Adams, 6/17).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Enroll America Pushes Ahead To Second Enrollment Period
Enroll America convened a national conference this week in Washington to review the strategies that proved successful during the inaugural Affordable Care Act open enrollment period and to gear up for the next one, which will start Nov. 15. Organizers also want to ensure that the navigators and organizations working toward enrollment maintain their energy -- despite reports of backlogged Medicaid applications and continuing struggles in some state-run exchanges (Gillespie, 6/18).

Politico Pro: Sebelius: Obamacare Prevailed Despite ‘Very Daunting Odds’
In her first public appearance since stepping down from HHS, Kathleen Sebelius praised advocates of the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday for overcoming major challenges and exceeding enrollment expectations despite “relentless” political misinformation and obstruction. “We were facing very daunting odds,” Sebelius said, speaking to hundreds of enrollment assisters, health care leaders and government officials at Enroll America’s first conference in Washington. “You absolutely stepped up to the plate,” she said. The question is whether such opposition will persist as more Americans gain coverage under the law (Villacorta, 6/17).

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