Health Exchange Development, Enrollment Issues Trigger Concerns

Politico and Kaiser Health News provide progress reports related to the development of the health law's new online insurance marketplaces.

Politico: Exchanges, But Not As Envisioned
Delay? What delay? Even though the Obama administration is delaying a key component of federally run small-business exchanges, some states building their own exchanges say they’re on track to have the program running next year. The feds last month said the 33 exchanges it will run next year won’t allow employees whose companies use the exchanges to choose their own health plans until 2015. Instead, they’ll have to accept whatever plan their employer selects for them (Millman, 4/8).

Kaiser Health News: Worries Mount About Enrolling Consumers In Federally-Run Insurance Exchanges
The plan to insure as many as 27 million Americans under the federal health law beginning this fall will be the biggest expansion of health coverage since that launch. Millions will be eligible to shop for insurance in the new online marketplaces, which open for enrollment Oct. 1 with the coverage taking effect Jan. 1. But six months before the process begins, questions are mounting about the scope and adequacy of efforts to reach out to consumers (Gold, 4/8).

In related news, there are political concerns about "navigators" -- individuals who will help consumers with the exchanges -

The Hill: Marchant Questions 'Inflated' Salaries For ObamaCare Insurance Navigators
Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Texas) says the new ObamaCare insurance brokers known as "navigators" are likely to cost more than they’re worth because of "inflated" salaries. Marchant's questions stem from a recently released Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposal outlining the specifics of the navigators, a fleet of individuals that will help Americans without employer-provided insurance figure out how to use the new healthcare exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act (Wilson, 4/5).

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