Vermont Health Connect processed 50 new applications and 201 renewals by Saturday at 1 p.m. The exchange was working well with some isolated minor issues in the morning that were quickly resolved, he said.
Unfortunately, I'm not sure whether "processed completed applications" means actual enrollments or just accounts created. Presumably HHS will provide better clarity on this sort of language (and quickly) going forward. Plus, of course, a single policy enrollment could have 2, 3 or more people in a household.
However, I'm happy to report the very first official enrollment update is also already available, and it's out of Vermont, one of the states with a highly-troubled exchange last time around!
Gov. Peter Shumlin is “hopeful” that Vermont’s health care exchange website will be online in time for the open enrollment period that begins Nov. 15. But he didn’t sound certain Friday that his team will make the deadline.
“I’ve been discouraged so many times by this website that I’ll believe it when I see it,” Shumlin said on Vermont Edition Friday. “What I’ve been told by my folks who are working really hard on this is that we’ll be ready for open enrollment on Nov. 15.”
A provision of the Affordable Care Act precluding health insurers or companies in the “same controlled group of corporations” as a health insurer from holding exchange contracts raises questions about Optum working on Vermont Health Connect.
Concerns regarding Optum were raised at the federal level by Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the ranking members of the Finance and Judiciary committees respectively.
Basically just an overview of the new Idaho ACA exchange; ID is the only state moving from HC.gov to their own website for the 2nd year, giving them a unique perspective. Most interesting to me is that they're spinning the "autonomy/states-rights" angle, which was the whole reason for pushing states to set up their own exchanges in the first place:
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.
Unless Illinois acts quickly, it will leave hundreds of millions of federal dollars on the table that would go toward building its own health insurance marketplace, potentially upping the cost of coverage for nearly 170,000 Illinois residents. State lawmakers, unable to break a years-long standoff, have not passed a law authorizing a state-based exchange, the marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act that allow consumers to compare and buy health coverage, often with the help of federal tax credits. As a result, Illinois was one of 36 states that relied on the federal government to host its marketplace on HealthCare.gov, the website that survived a disastrous launch late last year to enroll about 217,000 Illinoisans, 77 percent of whom received federal help.
On the one hand, Vermont's ACA exchange still has serious technical flaws heading into the 2nd open enrollment period this November. On the other hand, under the circumstances, this is probably the smartest move to make right now:
The Vermont Health Connect website went down Monday night and will remain offline for several weeks to allow for improvements to the user experience and data security, state officials said Tuesday.
Customers who need to report changes in income or make changes to their coverage or personal information will need to contact the customer service call center.
...None of the major functions that are still being developed will be launched when the website comes back online, said Lawrence Miller Chief of Health Care Reform.
The timeline for remaining elements, such as online changes to coverage or personal information or allowing small businesses to use the site has not changed.
Those functions are expected to launch sometime next year.
Between my son being sick for the past 4 days (he's better now, thanks!), losing my internet connection for 2 days (it's back up now, thanks!) and just generally being swamped with work, I don't have time to give these stories the attention they deserve, but they're all worth checking out:
Beyond that [the 25,000 people being added to Medicaid], the strategy seeks to chip away at the ranks of the uninsured, by enrolling them in programs they already qualify but haven't signed up for. The state will launch a website to help Virginians enroll in health care coverage through existing programs such as Medicaid and will step up efforts to sign up more Virginians for the federal health insurance exchange, HealthCare.gov.