KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Web-Based Brokers Still Unable To Enroll Consumers

Despite promises of technical fixes by the federal government, Web-based brokers like eHealth are still unable to enroll consumers in Obamacare policies through their own sites as an alternative to healthcare.gov.

CNN: Private Exchanges: Obamacare Shopping Still Not Ready
Private health insurance exchanges still are not able to directly enroll consumers in subsidized health plans offered through Obamacare even though the government has said problems doing so should have been cleared up weeks ago. Executives from three online health exchanges that contract with both insurance companies and government agencies to enroll consumers eligible for federal subsidies in marketplace plans say the process still isn't ready to go and that more work remains. This despite several promises from government officials that technical fixes have been made to allow for business to be conducted on those sites, which are alternatives to the troubled HealthCare.gov website and health exchanges sites run by states (Aigner-Treworgy, 12/18).

Meanwhile, some experts raise questions about the timing of a plan to switch Web hosts for healthcare.gov -

Reuters: Obamacare Tech Hurdle Looms Right Before Enrollment Deadline
Some technical experts are perplexed at the U.S. government's plan to switch web hosts for its new health insurance portal, HealthCare.gov, in the midst of an expected last-minute rush to beat a March 31 enrollment deadline for 2014 coverage. Switching hosts is not in and of itself a huge risk if it is done carefully and with lots of preparation, according to technical experts interviewed by Reuters. It is the timing of the highly complex maneuver that is risky (Rampton and Begley, 12/18).

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