KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Consumers Share Tales Of Success, Frustration Buying Coverage

A couple of consumers vaulted into the headlines as the first to complete the sign-up process for health coverage through new online marketplaces. Other shoppers, including those who have coverage but who are looking for better, lower-cost options, tell their stories, too.

The Wall Street Journal: Meet One Of The First Obamacare Enrollees
While millions of consumers stared down error messages on the online insurance marketplaces launched this week, some did make it through to shop the slate of coverage choices under the new federal health law. Leslie Foster, a 28-year-old freelance filmmaker in Hollywood, is among the first to sign up for an insurance plan (Weaver, 10/3).

Politico: Rare Health Exchange Enrollee Gets 15 Minutes Of Obamacare Fame
Chad Henderson, a college student who is one of the few people to have signed up for health insurance on a federal exchange, is having his 15 minutes of Obamacare fame. The 21-year-old Georgian and former Obama campaign volunteer hit "send" on his online health insurance when the exchanges opened Tuesday, and was catapulted quickly into the Obamacare spin wars (Cheney, 10/3).

The Associated Press: Texans Bypass Website Glitches To Get Health Care
Luis Veloz wasn't going to wait for the federal government to work out the kinks in its website before enrolling in the nation's new health insurance system. Instead, he rushed to fill out a paper application and mailed it in, eager to have a plan that would prevent him from racking up major medical bills like his parents. As Texas residents encountered difficulties with the website for a second day, those trained to assist with the process said callers are simply asking for a nearby location where they can complete the process the old-fashioned way: in person and on paper (Plushnick-Masti, 10/3).

Reuters: Covered And Looking For Deals, Insured Americans Shop Obamacare
Stephanie Desaulniers is among the millions of Americans seeking information on new Obamacare health insurance plans launched this week, not because she lacks coverage, but because she's ready for a better deal. The 26-year-old geologist has health benefits through her employer, an environmental consulting firm in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania (Skinner, 10/2).

Kaiser Health News: A Former 'Young Invincible' Looks Forward to Health Insurance
Have you heard of the young invincibles? That’s the name given to young people who think nothing bad can happen to them -- healthy people whose enrollment in Obamacare insurance is key to offsetting the costs of older, less healthy buyers. Brad Stevens is a 54-year-old, not-so-young invincible— recently reformed (Varney, 10/3).

Marketplace: Obamacare Day One In Camden, N.J.
After a decade of working together and sharing data, Camden's providers made some painful discoveries. Nearly half the city's residents visited the ER in one year alone. The most common diagnoses? Colds, sore throats, earaches and viral infections. Ninety percent of Camden's healthcare costs were being spent on just 20 percent of patients. Something had to give. But those in the health business here insist the collaboration isn't driven purely by dollars. "It's not just the money that it costs us as a provider," says Patient Access Director at Lourdes Health System, Joan Braveman. "It's [also about] the quality of life for the patient” (Reid, 10/3).

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