KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Nearly 700,000 Applications Completed Through Online Marketplaces

The Obama administration said Thursday that 700,000 people have completed applications for coverage in the health law’s new marketplaces — a key step before people can begin shopping for insurance plans. The update came as officials responded to complaints about the numerous glitches consumers are encountering as they try to shop for health insurance.

Los Angeles Times: Nearly 700,000 Applications Completed At Heatlhcare.Gov, Officials Say
Nearly 700,000 applications for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act have been completed, administration officials said Thursday, although they would not release data on how many people successfully enrolled in insurance plans despite problems with the online marketplace. The updated figure comes as administration officials tried to respond to complaints and finger-pointing from the contractors who built the troubled website, www.healthcare.gov (Hennessey, 10/24).

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: Health-Insurance Applications Near 700,000
Nearly 700,000 Americans have completed applications for health insurance using federal and state insurance marketplaces, an Obama administration spokeswoman said Thursday, trying to parry characterizations of the health-law rollout as a failure and a disaster. Thursday was the first of what the administration says will be daily briefings by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, the agency in charge of the problem-plagued HealthCare.gov website (Dooren, 10/24).

Reuters: Obamacare Applications Near 700,000
About 700,000 applications have been submitted for U.S. healthcare coverage being offered through new exchanges created by President Barack Obama's healthcare law, a U.S. official said on Thursday. The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released the number during an update for journalists about the healthcare marketplace, which has had a rocky rollout since enrollment in the new plans began on Oct 1 (10/24).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Administration Says 700,000 Have Applied For Coverage
The Obama administration said Thursday that 700,000 people have completed applications for coverage in the health law’s new marketplaces — a key step before people can begin shopping for insurance plans (Galewitz, 10/24).

The Washington Post: State Insurance Boards Frustrated With Obamacare Technical Glitches
Commissioners responsible for overseeing insurance industries in states relying on the federal government to run health-care exchanges are hearing from consumers who can’t log into Web sites, and some aren’t hearing back when they call Washington for answers. At the same time, the Department of Health and Human Services says its Web site, HealthCare.gov, is working better every day. More than 700,000 applications have been completed, many through the Web site, according to a department spokeswoman (Wilson, 10/25).

Meanwhile, in related news -

The New York Times: In White House Pitches, Rosy View Of Health Care Site
Just days before HealthCare.gov went live with disastrous results, top White House officials were excitedly briefing lawmakers, reporters, Capitol Hill staff members and Washington pundits on their expectations for the government’s new health care Web site. … In fact, the rosy presentations set President Obama up for even more criticism when the portal was swamped by millions of people who quickly found out they could not log on. The technical problems that emerged have raised questions — still not entirely answered — about how much the president’s aides knew, or should have known, about the site’s troubles (Shear and Stolberg, 10/24).

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