KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

State Lawmakers Consider Legislative Fixes For Health Insurance Exchange Problems

Lawmakers in Maryland and Oregon consider legislation that would help residents sign up for health insurance coverage -- in some cases after deadlines to sign up have passed. In the meantime, the Obama administration reports more than 3 million people have signed up for coverage under the health law.

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Maryland House To Review Insurance, Cyberbullying Bills
Maryland’s House of Delegates will likely vote Tuesday on a plan to help residents who have struggled with the state’s health insurance exchange online. The bill would let customers sign up for retroactive coverage in the Maryland Health Insurance Plan, a separate safety net plan. Private insurance companies in the health exchange opened similar retroactive coverage options, but a deadline to register was last week (1/27).

The Oregonian: Cover Oregon: Legislature To Consider Fixes As Lawmakers Question Costs, Politics
Lawmakers frustrated with the Cover Oregon mess will take up bills in next month’s legislative session to help more Oregonians enroll and to help the state better track contractors. One bill would extend coverage for high-risk Oregonians in a state insurance pool, extend whistleblower protections to Cover Oregon employees and allow the governor to remove all Cover Oregon board members in a single year. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Shemia Fagan, D-Clackamas, would also direct Cover Oregon to seek a federal waiver to extend the enrollment deadline by a month to April 30, and to seek federal tax credits for small businesses (Zheng, 1/24). 

The Oregonian: Cover Oregon's Private Insurance Enrollment Tops 30,000, More Than 200,000 Signed Up Overall
Oregonians continue to enroll in health insurance in 2014 despite difficulties with Cover Oregon. According to the state's latest numbers, more than 30,000 people have signed up for private insurance through the health exchange, and more than 170,000 have signed up for the Medicaid-funded Oregon Health Plan The numbers place Oregon in the middle of the pack despite problems with the health exchange website that have forced people to go through a makeshift manual processing system (Budnick, 1/24).

McClatchy: Federal And State Marketplace Enrollment Nears 3 Million
With just over two months remaining in a six-month open enrollment period, nearly three million people have now signed up for health insurance on the federal and state insurance marketplaces, the Obama administration reported Friday. The estimate means that roughly 800,000 people nationwide have enrolled in individual coverage in January with one more week remaining. The numbers indicate that interest in coverage remains strong following a massive enrollment surge in December when people scrambled to sign up for coverage that began on New Years Day (Pugh, 1/24).

Kaiser Health News tracked the coverage Friday when the Obama administration released the most recent health law enrollment tallies.

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