States still wrestling with health exchange bugs, challenges

News outlets report on state health exchange operations in California, Kentucky, Maryland, Wisconsin and Minnesota.  

Los Angeles Times: California Health Insurance Exchange Still Lacks Doctor Search Tool
Several days into enrollment, California's insurance exchange still has no answers for people wanting to know if their doctors are included in health plans being sold on the state-run market. Covered California, the state's new insurance marketplace, said Thursday that its online search tool for doctors and hospitals won't be ready until Monday at the earliest (Terhune, 10/3).

Los Angeles Daily News: Fewer Californians Visit Health Exchange Than First Reported
The number of people who tried to access the state run health plan exchange was misstated and the 5 million reported hits to the site were different than actual visits, officials with Covered California said Thursday. In a statement, Covered California's executive director Peter Lee said that more than 514,000 individuals viewed 5 million pages on the website (Abram, 10/3).

CNN: Obama Cites Success In Kentucky, Yet Healthcare Rollout Has Hiccups
President Obama highlighted Kentucky's Obamacare roll-out efforts Thursday noting that almost 11,000 people in that state have applied for health insurance. But even a state that earned presidential praise for its smooth execution is experiencing some hiccups. When Kentuckians visit the health exchange's login website, they are greeted by a warning that suggests their personal information could be disclosed to state and even foreign officials (Frates, 10/3).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Maryland Health Care Website Improves After Technicians Find Cause Of Online Bottleneck
Maryland's online marketplace for health insurance is working better after technicians found the cause of a bottleneck that hampered efforts to create accounts online, the executive director of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange said Thursday, but visitors to the website were still running into delays (10/3).

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: New Online Health-Insurance Marketplaces Still Not Working
Federal officials continued to attribute the problems to the heavy volume of visitors to the website. But that explanation has stirred skepticism. Robert Laszewski, a health policy consultant and former insurance executive, said he tried to access the website at 6 a.m. and at midnight. "What volume do they have at 6 a.m. and midnight?" he said. "It is not volume" (Boulton, 10/3).

The CT Mirror: Access Health: 753 Applications Processed In Three Days
Access Health CT, the state's health insurance exchange, has processed 753 applications for coverage since opening Tuesday, including 153 on Thursday. On its third day in operation, the exchange reported receiving 11,058 website visitors and 1,033 calls as of 4 p.m. Since Tuesday morning, Access Health counted 82,939 website visitors and 5,094 phone calls (Becker, 10/3).

Minnesota Public Radio: MNsure Not Releasing Enrollment Numbers Yet
The state's new health insurance marketplace really has one goal: to insure more Minnesotans. But MNsure isn't releasing enrollment numbers yet. "We have information coming in, we are tracking that, but we're not going to report enrollment numbers at this time," said Executive Director April Todd-Malmlov. "We are trying to figure out how we are going to be reporting them." The hold-up stems from unresolved questions about how to define enrollment, she said. Some people have paid for plans, others have just selected a plan (Richert, 10/3).

Minnesota Public Radio: MNsure Expecting A Big Weekend
MNsure's executive director, April Todd-Malmlov, says consumers will still be able to peruse health plans on the site Sunday but won't be able to create accounts. "The website will be open on Sunday but the eligibility and enrollment functionality will not be," she said. "They'll be able to go on to our public site to see information but we are going to bringing the site down on Sunday for maintenance." The call center will also be open on Saturday but closed Sunday (Stawicki, 10/4).

Minnesota Public Radio: Feds Ease Restrictions That Were Causing MNsure Lockouts
In the past two days, some consumers said they couldn't create accounts on Minnesota's new health insurance marketplace. MNsure officials said Wednesday that consumers who made three unsuccessful attempts at creating accounts were booted off the system for a week under federal security rules. MNsure Board Chairman Brian Beutner says the problem stems from the federal government, not MNsure."The fed system has been so overwhelmed that people are timing out and when they get timed out it's registering as a miss," Beutner said (Stawicki, 10/3).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.



The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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