Insights on the ACA: Cautious Expectations

Note: ACA Watch is an ongoing, bi-weekly series with aggregated stories and insights on the latest developments regarding the Affordable Care Act. Look out for it every other Thursday.

Earlier this week, officials from the White House said the technical team working to repair the federal health insurance website remains on track to have most issues resolved by Nov. 30, while acknowledging that some users will continue to experience delays and outages in December. They also stated that there has been steady improvement in the speed of the website, and it should be able to handle 50,000 users at one time. In addition, the administration announced that on days when website traffic exceeds a benchmark of 800,000 visitors, users will be added to a new “queuing system” where they can see educational materials until they are able to access the system.

While most state-run health insurance exchange websites have been running smoothly since Oct. 1, some state sites still are facing significant issues.  However, comparing the operation of the federal health insurance exchange with those of the state-run exchanges is not an apples-to-apples equation. Continue reading for more news about the differences of the two.


Most State Insurance Exchanges Ward Off  Woes of

With millions of dollars in federal funding and the benefit of early planning, most of the state-run health insurance marketplaces are outperforming the glitch-prone federal website that serves the other 36 states. Federal figures show that nearly 3 of 4 Americans who enrolled in insurance coverage through online marketplaces in October did so through the exchanges run by 14 states and the District of Columbia. Read more here on the enrollment success stories are states such as California, Washington, Kentucky, New York and Connecticut.

State Watch

Missouri Governor Names New Medicaid Director

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon named Dr. Joe Parks as the state’s new Director of the Missouri HealthNet Division of the Department of Social Services, which oversees the Medicaid program. Parks will leave his post as the Chief Medical Officer of the Mental Health department to assume his post as Medicaid Director on December 16, 2013. Read more here.

Industry Watch

ACA Reflections from the Field

NAMD “ACA Snapshot” series provided an overarching perspective on the atmosphere in state Medicaid agencies as they work to comply with ACA requirements and new policy options. The document was informed by the discussions during NAMD’s annual Fall Meeting. It varies from the previous NAMD Snapshots, in that the intended focus is not toward specific policy issues or operational updates. The report is an overview and reflection of states’ work during the open enrollment period and discusses the progress of state implementation activities as a qualitative summary, focusing on states’ work to provide reliable systems, functional programs and quality consumer experience. The reflection can be found here.

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