Feds promise fixes to HealthCare.gov by end of November
11/1/2013, 6:01 a.m.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is promising fixes by the end of November to HealthCare.gov for consumers frustrated with the registration process for the new federal Healthcare Marketplace.
At a congressional hearing this week, Kathleen Sebelius, HHS secretary, apologized for the Web site’s failures that have thwarted consumers seeking to enroll for affordable health insurance, scheduled to go into effect in January.
Enrollment, which opened Oct. 1, continues through March 31.
The department said on Oct. 29 that it continues each week to improve the overall user experience at HealthCare.gov and that the site will be functioning smoothly for the vast majority of users by the end of November.
HHS said it can now process nearly 17,000 account registrants per hour – or five per second – with an error rate near zero and is moving through a punch list to make more performance and functionality improvements.
Low-cost coverage for young adults
The HHS also said this week that a new report shows 46 percent of the single young adults eligible for the Health Insurance Marketplace can get coverage for $50 or less.
Sebelius said the findings demonstrate that the health care law is making health insurance more affordable for young adults, a group most likely to be without insurance.
“The health care law is delivering the quality, affordable coverage people are looking for,” she said. “Through the Health Insurance Marketplace, young adults can purchase quality, affordable coverage and get lower costs on monthly premiums through tax credits.”
The report examines data from the 34 Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces and found that out of 2.9 million single young adults 18 to 34 who may be eligible for coverage, 1.3 million could purchase a bronze plan for $50 per month or less after tax credits.
In the 34 states, a total of 1.9 million young adults, representing 66 percent of the marketplace-eligible uninsured adults 18 to 34, may be able to pay $100 or less for coverage in 2014. It found that an additional 1 million young adults may qualify for Medicaid in the states that have opted to expand the program in 2014.
The report also shows that if each of the 34 states expanded its Medicaid program, the proportion of young adults who could obtain low-cost coverage would be even greater. If they expand their Medicaid program, 4.9 million uninsured single young adults would be eligible for Medicaid.
States can receive 100 percent federal funding in 2014 to expand their Medicaid programs to cover people with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. That’s about $15,800 a year for an individual or about $32,500 for a family of four.
To read the report, visit http://aspe.hhs
Visit https://www.healthcare.gov/will-i-qualify-to-save-on-monthly-premiums for qualification information.