Health Center News

This Week in Healthcare: Open Enrollment Round 2

NEWSCommunity Health Centers Are Ready to Enroll More Uninsured (NACHC)

A NACHC survey revealed that Community Health Centers were ready for the open enrollment period. Nearly ninety-seven percent (97.2%) of respondents said that they felt ready.  When asked to describe how they have prepared for open enrollment, respondents described a range of activities that include training staff, sustained community outreach and health center “in reach” to existing patients.

State Health Insurance Exchanges Hope to Woo Urban Minorities (Kaiser Health News)

Connecticut and California’s exchanges were successful last year but both still lacked reach to young urban minorities so this year they dialing up their efforts to reach them.

People Auto-Enrolling into Federal Marketplace Coverage Could Overpay (CBPP)

In 34 states, people who enrolled into 2014 coverage through the Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) will be automatically re-enrolled in the same plan in 2015 unless they choose a new plan. This report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities outlines the key factors that could impact a family’s or individual’s changes in subsidies for health coverage.

Insurance Exchanges Launch with Few Glitches (Kaiser Health News)

Kaiser Health News reported early this week that more than 100,000 Americans signed-up for coverage on Saturday—the first day of open enrollment—through the ACA’s online insurance exchanges. However, they also noted that “the enrollment process continues to face plenty of uncertainties, including the response of a confused and still uninformed public, among them 20 million uninsured who did not enroll the first year; a shorter enrollment period and premium increases that many of the 7 million people who bought coverage last year will face unless they shop around.”

California Enrolls 11,357 in First 4 Days of Obamacare Open Enrollment (Los Angeles Times)

According to the LA Times article, Covered California indicates they are ahead of last year’s enrollment pace. Comparatively, during the first enrollment period it took them 15 days to enroll 11,000 Californians.

What Makes an Obamacare Website Work? Ask Kentucky (USA Today)

While many websites had issues during the first open enrollment period Kentucky’s Kynect site was successful and continues to be. Kentucky says they kept it simple and used technology they familiar to them. “We did not put in a lot of fancy slides or other things,” said Chris Clark, technical program manager for kynect. “We kept ours very simple and straightforward.”

A Quarter of Uninsured Say They Can’t Afford to Buy Coverage (Kaiser Health News)

According to a poll, taken just days before open enrollment, 25 percent of those without coverage expected to remain uninsured due to cost. The poll also noted that 9 in 10 of the uninsured where unsure of when open enrollment began.

Living in Louisiana’s Tragic Healthcare Limbo

Louisiana’s refusal to expand Medicaid is leaving 242,000 of the most vulnerable state residents without healthcare. According to the article researches from a Harvard-CUNY study “found that because of the states’ opting out of the expansion, 7.78 million people who would have gained coverage will remain uninsured, causing up to 17,000 more avoidable deaths because sickly patients get care too late.”