KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Study Finds One In Five People Who Visited Health Website Enrolled In A Plan

A Commonwealth Fund survey also finds that 17 percent of those eligible for a marketplace plan have reached out online, on the phone or in person to get information, PoliticoPro reports. Other outlets look at news about state marketplaces.

Politico Pro: Survey: 17 Percent Of Those Eligible For Exchanges Have Accessed Them
Seventeen percent of Americans who are potentially eligible for coverage have accessed the new health insurance marketplaces in their state either online, over the phone or in person, according to the survey from The Commonwealth Fund. One in five people who visited the marketplaces said they enrolled in a health plan. Those who did not enroll reported that they were unsure whether they could afford the plans, were still deciding on a plan or encountered difficulties with the federal exchange website. More than half — 58 percent — said they were planning to enroll before March 31, when the open enrollment period ends (Villacorta, 11/4).

Los Angeles Times: Health Insurer Alameda Alliance Dropped From Covered California
California's health insurance exchange lost one of its 12 insurers because a nonprofit health plan failed to get a necessary state license, reducing the number of choices for some consumers (Terhune, 11/1).

California Healthline: Insurance Broker Wants To Be In Exchange
A number of legislators this week signed letters urging Covered California officials to include web-based insurance brokers in the state's new health benefit exchange. It's a push by e-Health, an online insurance company based in Mountain View, to be directly included in the exchange's enrollment effort. … Gary Lauer, CEO of eHealth, said he doesn't understand the reluctance of the exchange to include his company and other web-based brokers (Gorn, 11/1).

The Baltimore Sun: About 1,500 Enroll In Health Care Through State Website This Week
The number of consumers buying health insurance on Maryland's online marketplace for the uninsured climbed by about 1,500 to 4,651 as of Friday, according to weekly statistics released by the Maryland Health Connection. Officials say the prime contractor, Noridian Healthcare Solutions, has dedicated more resources to the website, which has been experiencing technical difficulties since its launch Oct. 1 (Cohn, 11/1).

The Oregonian: Cover Oregon: Kitzhaber Says Forget About Problem-Wracked Online Exchange, Get Applications In Now
With federal deadlines looming to get health coverage, Oregonians need to stop waiting for the state's new insurance exchange website to be fixed and submit their applications now, Gov. John Kitzhaber said Friday. His comments marked a departure from past expressions of hope that the high-tech website, Cover Oregon, might be able to enroll people in insurance and hand out tax credits soon (Budnick, 10/1).

The CT Mirror: CT Exchange's First Month: 7,615 People Enrolled, 53 Percent In Private Coverage
In its first month, Access Health CT, the state's health insurance exchange, enrolled 7,615 people in health care coverage, according to figures released Friday. Of those, 53 percent -- 4,065 -- have signed up for private insurance plans. The other 47 percent are signed up for Medicaid (Becker, 11/1).

And on the Medicaid expansion front -  

Caspar Star-Tribune: Medicaid Expansion Debate Returns To Wyoming
The debate over whether to expand Wyoming Medicaid will resume Tuesday when a legislative committee considers new alternatives for growing the government health program. One approach would follow the Wyoming Department of Health's recommendation to develop an alternative version of Medicaid that shares some similarities to private insurance. Another option would use Medicaid funding to help the poor buy private insurance through the federal health insurance marketplace (Wolfson, 11/3).

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