KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Early Enrollees In State Exchanges Skew Older

More older Americans than young adults have signed up for coverage through the state marketplaces created by the health law, according to early data from four states. The federal government has not released age data for the signups on healthcare.gov. Meanwhile, Maryland has weak enrollment because of website problems, which have become an issue in the governor's race.

Reuters: Early Obamacare Data Show Older Americans More Apt To Sign Up
More older Americans than young adults so far have signed up for new insurance coverage under the state marketplaces created by President Barack Obama's health care law, according to early data from four states reporting details on their enrollment. The age balance is being closely watched to determine the financial stability of the insurance market created by the Affordable Care Act, as the participation of younger people is needed to offset costs for sicker beneficiaries (Krauskopf, 11/20).

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: Connecticut's Early Health Enrollees Skew Older
Are older Americans enrolling in health insurance plans in greater numbers than young adults? Early enrollment figures released by two states suggest that could be the case. Data released Tuesday by Connecticut officials show that more people over the age of 55 enrolled in private insurance (40%) than people under the age of 35 (26%). The figures represented enrollment in private health plans as of Nov. 15 (Schatz, 11/19).

CNN: Obamacare Enrollments Pick Up Steam But Don't Include Many Young People
Obamacare might be off to a slow start but it's starting to pick up steam, at least in states that are not using the beleaguered HealthCare.gov website. Blocked out at HealthCare.gov? Bypass on way soon, feds say. For the past month, CNN has conducted a state-by-state survey to determine enrollment in the new insurance plans. As of Tuesday afternoon, at least 133,257 people had chosen new insurance plans in the 14 states with their own signup apparatuses. Nearly half of them were enrolled in the past two weeks (Hellerman, 11/19).

The Washington Post: Maryland Struggling With Technological Problems With Online Insurance Exchange
Maryland is wrestling with stubborn technological problems with its online insurance exchange, posting weak enrollment even as other states have signed up thousands of consumers for plans under President Obama’s new health-care law. In October, the exchange's first full month of operation, 1,278 people signed up for the private plans, and 465 signed up in the first week of November. Those low numbers raise questions about whether Maryland will achieve its enrollment target of 150,000 by the end of March. The state has about 800,000 uninsured residents (Sun, 11/19).

The Washington Post: Brown Accused Of 'Dropping The Ball' On Health Care In Md. As He Appears With Football Players
The two leading Democratic candidates for governor of Maryland engaged in some trash talk Tuesday over the implementation of health-care reform in the state. The campaign of Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) accused Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) of "dropping the ball" on the rollout of the Maryland Health Exchange on a day when Brown appeared alongside past and present Washington Redskins players to promote enrollment in insurance programs (Wagner, 11/19).

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