CMS To Urge 275K Consumers To Resume Exchange Applications
CMS is rolling out an email campaign to encourage about 275,000 consumers to resume the their health plan enrollment process through the Affordable Care Act's federal health insurance exchange website, according to agency spokesperson Julie Bataille, The Hill's "Healthwatch" reports (Shabad, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 11/12).
Bataille -- who made the announcement during the daily media update on the ongoing efforts to resolve HealthCare.gov's technical glitches -- said the consumers being targeted had abandoned their health plan applications after facing difficulties with the website (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 11/12). She said most of the visitors had gotten "stuck" at the account-creation step when the website was launched ("Healthwatch," The Hill, 11/12).
Bataille added that technicians have addressed "dozens of issues" with the website and that CMS will send out the first of multiple "waves" of emails this week (Modern Healthcare, 11/12).
According to "Healthwatch," the email campaign follows a weekend of technical fixes to HealthCare.gov, including an installation of two large-scale storage units to improve the site's hardware and software.
CMS said this week that new features were added to the site, including:
- An option allowing consumers to upload, save and remove documents;
- A set of alerts to guide visitors through the application process; and
- Out-of-state registry information.
Bataille noted that the Obama administration's "plan remains the same. ... By the end of November, the site will work much better for the vast majority of users" ("Healthwatch," The Hill, 11/12).
Enroll America Revamps Outreach Plan to Begin in December
In related news, Enroll America -- a not-for-profit group that launched a national campaign to help the administration raise awareness and boost enrollment in the exchanges -- plans to reformulate its campaign in December to complement the rollout of the improved federal health exchange website, Reuters reports.
Enroll America President Anne Filipic said the organization has "heard the expectations that things will really be running smoothly by the end of November, so for our planning purposes, we do want to do that big push in early December." The group's officials have already reached out to more than 300,000 individuals and identified 30,000 uninsured or underinsured people who expressed interest in enrolling for coverage through the exchanges (Krauskopf, Reuters, 11/12).
The December campaign -- called "Coverage Is Coming" -- aims to enroll consumers by Dec. 15 to ensure that their coverage will take effect on Jan. 1.
Enroll America -- which focused its original campaign in 10 states with high uninsured rates -- will expand its campaign to an 11th state, Tennessee, officials said. They said the group has raised $27 million this year from health care groups and stakeholders to fund the outreach efforts (Corbett Dooren, "Washington Wire," Wall Street Journal, 11/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.