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States with HIX Woes to Get Enrollment Relief

Christopher Cheney, for HealthLeaders Media, March 5, 2014

A spokeswoman for Cover Oregon also said state exchange officials were working in tandem with insurers to make the most of the flexibility offered in the CMS bulletin. "We will work closely with our carriers to get this policy implemented so that Oregonians get the financial help they are eligible for," she said.

Enrollment has been one of the prime areas for cooperation between CMS and insurers in the rollout process for the public exchanges since they were launched in the fall.

In November, CMS announced a pilot program in Ohio, Florida, and Texas to allow individuals a "direct enrollment" option to buy health insurance. "If consumers choose to directly enroll in a Marketplace plan through an insurance company, they still will be able to compare products, and choose the one that offers them the best value for their dollar," Julie Bataille, CMS director of communications said in an agency blog post on Nov. 22. "Consumers will be informed that they can compare and select other plans on HealthCare.gov, and prior to buying a health plan, [a] consumer's application will be securely routed to HealthCare.gov to assess their eligibly for coverage along with potential discounts on premiums and cost sharing."

In her blog post, Bataille said the direct enrollment pilot program was linked to ongoing efforts to improve the rollout of the public exchanges. "Issuers utilizing direct enrollment in these three states will provide detailed feedback on their experiences to feed into our real-time work to make improvements for both consumers and issuers," she said.


Christopher Cheney is health plans editor at HealthLeaders Media.
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