The Associated Press examines concerns that young people may not sign up for coverage as part of the law, while other news organizations report on a new poll, some of the problems insurers face and security issues.
The Associated Press: Overhaul Website Problems May Trigger Price Hikes
Problems with the government's main health care overhaul website carry a bigger risk than frequent crashes: Higher prices could follow for many Americans if technical troubles scare off young people. The government has touted recent improvements to HeathCare.gov, which millions of Americans are expected to use to sign up for coverage. But enrollment still lags far behind projections, and that has triggered worries that legions of potential customers in their 20s and 30s might not sign up. If that happens -; and older, sicker people continue to register in larger numbers -; insurers might have to raise future prices to address the imbalance (Murphy, 12/19).
Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Website Repairs Have Not Bolstered Support For The Health Law, Poll Finds
Improvements in the government's insurance Web portal have not translated into stronger public support for the health law, a new poll shows. Nearly half of the public views the law unfavorably this month, while only a third likes it. That's about the same as in November, when public opinion plummeted after the technologically troubled start of the health care marketplaces, according to the poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation (Rau, 12/20).
The Wall Street Journal: Last-Minute Health-Site Enrollment Proves A Hard Sell
Insurers pressing for last-minute enrollees under the health-care law say they are running into a worrisome trend: Customers who were put off by the insurance marketplaces' early troubles are proving hard sells. Many people thwarted by the technical problems of HealthCare.gov are reluctant to try again, citing frustration with the federal site, web-security concerns and the pressure of the holidays, several insurers say (Martin and Weaver, 12/19).
CQ HealthBeat: Insurers Must Use Temporary Process To Gather Marketplace Information To Get Paid
Insurance companies in every state are scrambling to figure out by Friday how much money the federal government owes them for consumers' health tax credit subsidies. If the companies don't submit bills under a recently-created process, they won't get federal payments to offset their costs of discounting coverage in the health law's insurance marketplaces (Adams, 12/19).
ABC News: Exclusive: Security Risks Seen At HealthCare.Gov Ahead Of Sign-Up Deadline
Nearly three months after its launch and as millions of Americans log on to shop for health plans, HealthCare.gov still has serious security vulnerabilities, according to documents and testimony obtained exclusively by ABC News. There have been "two high findings" of risk – the most serious level of concern – in testing over the past few weeks, the top Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) cybersecurity official told the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday in a private transcribed interview. It's a "vulnerability in the system," CMS chief information security officer Teresa Fryer told the committee of one of the issues. "They shut the module down, so this functionality is currently shut down" (Dwyer, 12/20).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org 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.