State-Run Marketplaces Rebounding From Opening Snags

Politico Pro examines how the marketplaces operated by states compare to the federally run operation. Other outlets look at some of the individual issues in states.

Politico Pro: State Obamacare Health Exchanges Recovering From Rocky Start
The 15 state-run exchanges, with a few exceptions, have overcome major hiccups that marred their Oct. 1 rollout. They have also been more transparent than their federal counterparts about the levels of early consumer interest — as well as their technical problems. People have until the end of March to enroll, although Dec. 15 is the deadline to get benefits starting Jan. 1. Most — though, not all — of the states running their own exchanges have Democratic governors who back the president’s health law. Many Republican governors resisted, thrusting the federal government into having to run a lot more of the state infrastructure than it had anticipated or budgeted for. Still, most of the state marketplaces haven’t provided detailed information about who’s coming to their websites and what they’re signing up for — the kind of data that will help paint a fuller picture of the health care law’s performance (Millman, 10/11).

The CT Mirror: Obamacare Update: More Than Half Of Enrollees Getting Medicaid, Many Callers Complaining About Price
More than half of the people who have signed up for coverage through Access Health CT, the state's health insurance exchange, qualified for Medicaid, according to figures released Friday. Among people shopping for private insurance, meanwhile, price is a main concern, according to an Access Health official. The exchange's call center has received 10,997 calls and the website has gotten 126,055 visitors since the launch. Among the callers, many have concerns about the price. "It's too expensive. I can't afford it," is the most frequent feedback from callers, Peter Van Loon, Access Health's chief operations officer, told a committee of the exchange's board during a meeting Thursday (Becker, 10/11).

The Associated Press: Governor Says Work On Maryland's Health Care Website Could Take Another Month And A Half
Fixing glitches on Maryland's online marketplace could continue for as long as another month and a half, Gov. Martin O'Malley said Friday, comparing the effort to dealing with a hurricane or a snowstorm. Still, he said improvements are being made every day. Maryland Health Connection, the online portal where people can shop for health plans and enroll in them, also updated the numbers of people who have visited the website and created accounts since it opened on Oct. 1, when it ran into problems almost immediately (Witte, 10/11).

Miami Herald: South Floridians' Biggest Question About Affordable Care Act Health Plans: Will They Be Affordable
South Floridians are sifting through information about the most sweeping social program to affect Americans since Congress enacted Medicare in 1965. How will the law, with all its complexities, affect them? For many, the most important question to be answered is: How much will it cost? (Borns, 10/13).

Minnesota Public Radio: Brokers: Website Delay Stalling MNsure Enrollment
Kim Johnson hopes MNsure, the state's new health insurance marketplace, will help him find reasonably priced coverage for his 15 employees. But when he sought help recently from a local agent certified as a MNsure "assister," the Hinckley, Minn., business owner was told to come back later. The agent couldn't help — MNsure hadn't given her access to a special broker-only website. ... Insurance agents are key contacts for Minnesotans trying to navigate MNsure. They make up most of the 1,600 MNsure-certified helpers. Outside of MNSure's call center, agents have been the main source of help for people like Johnson since the insurance marketplace opened nearly two weeks ago. Agents, however, say there's little they can do until MNsure gives them access to the broker site (Richert, 10/11).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.