KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

States Say Federal Exchange Stalling Medicaid And CHIP Applications

CQ HealthBeat is reporting that more than 400,000 people who qualify for Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program are waiting for their applications to be sent from the federal insurance exchange website to states for processing.

CQ HealthBeat: Federal Website Glitches Hinder Medicaid Applicants From Gaining Coverage
More than 400,000 people who appear to qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program are still waiting for their applications to be sent from the federal insurance exchange website to states for processing, according to state officials. Hundreds of thousands more whose applications have been sent to the states are in limbo as officials sift through duplicate applications and try to fix errors (Adams, 3/25).

Related KHN coverage: Thousands Waiting For Medicaid Coverage Are Stuck In Limbo (Galewitz, 1/6).

News outlets report on other issues with the federal insurance marketplace -

The Associated Press: Testers Say Federal Health Care Website Runs Slow
If you're waiting until the last minute to sign up for coverage under President Barack Obama’s health care law, a little extra patience might come in handy. HealthCare.gov, the online portal to taxpayer-subsidized health insurance, runs slowly when compared with major private health insurer websites. That's according to an analysis for The Associated Press by Compuware, a Detroit company that measures website performance (Alonso-Zaldivar, 3/26).

Fox News: Forget Enrollment, There's Another Major Piece Missing From ObamaCare
Much emphasis has been placed on enrollment stats as the Affordable Care Act's inaugural open enrollment period comes to an end. But there's a key function on the federal exchange that remains inactive: the mechanism to reconcile payments between the government and insurance companies. This "back-end mechanism" has been missing for the entirety of open enrollment period, which launched Oct.1, meaning insurance companies have had to manually bill the government for subsidies and cost-sharing plans, a procedure that's being dubbed an administrative nightmare (Rogers, 3/25).

The Associated Press: Health Law Cybersecurity Challenges
As the Obama administration raced to meet its self-imposed deadline for online health insurance markets, security experts working for the government worried that state computer systems could become a back door for hackers. Documents provided to The Associated Press show that more than two-thirds of state systems that were supposed to tap into federal computers to verify sensitive personal information for coverage were initially rated as "high risk" for security problems (Alonso-Zaldivar, 3/25).

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