MA sez everything is awesome, HI gets new director, VT sends people to offline site, OR gives U.S. Sen. 97K kids

With Open Enrollment 2.0 coming up fast, here's some quick hits from the various state-run ACA exchanges:

Massachusetts: State vows easier time on rebuilt Mass. Health Connector site

When people shop online for health insurance through the Massachusetts Health Connector next month, they will have a radically different experience than the trouble they encountered last year, state officials promised Thursday.

Last year’s website, redesigned to meet the terms of the Affordable Care Act, never worked properly, leaving people unable to buy subsidized health insurance. This year, officials say, the newly rebuilt website will enable users to cruise smoothly from log-in to plan choice.

Vermont: Thousands directed to shut-down health exchange website to pay bills

Thousands of Vermont Health Connect customers who signed up to pay health care premiums online recently received email notices directing them to pay through a website that is offline.

Vermont took down its health exchange Web portal Sept. 14 to address the federal government’s concerns about security and to make improvements to its user interface.

But the state and its contractors apparently forgot during the intervening three weeks to cancel an automated email blast that directed roughly 6,500 people who signed up to make payments online. Those people, about 20 percent of the website’s commercial customers, were directed to visit to view their premium invoice.

Oregon: (sigh) I give up:

Cover Oregon health exchange enrolled U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley into low-income Medicaid

As a U.S. senator, Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., makes $174,000 a year. So imagine his surprise a few months ago, when he learned the Cover Oregon health insurance exchange had enrolled him in the Oregon Health Plan, which covers only the poorest of the poor.

...The second-stage application instructions were that he had to "exactly" enter the same information that the state had returned to him from his initial application.

But in the slot for his family size in the form sent him by the state was a staggering number.

"They had taken our zip code and put it into the square that was the number of people in your family," Merkley recalled. "So I had 97,000 people in my family."

Hawaii: Health Connector has new Exec. Director

Jeffrey Kissel will take the reins of an organization plagued by financial and technical issues. Kissel most recently served as Chief Executive Officer of Hawaii Gas.

He's replacing interim Executive Director Tom Matsuda. The Health Connector has been plagued with numerous software glitches and there have also been problems with low enrollment numbers. The connector is allowed to collect 2 percent fee on plans sold in the healthcare market place created by the Affordable Care Act. Because of the lower enrollment and set fee structure many have questioned the financial viability of the organization.