“For months we’ve been hearing about consumers’ struggles with the state’s new health exchange program. Jesse Jones explains that they’re not alone in the fight — even some of the people paid to work the system are having a hard time.

Martha Gant is an insurance agent who’s used to helping others but now she’s the one in need.”

“When I wrote last week about the slow start for Obamacare’s small business exchanges, I mentioned that some states could slow down the marketplaces’ progress even further in 2015 because of a possible delay recently created by the Obama administration.
The small business exchanges, like the law’s individual exchanges, are a virtual marketplace where businesses with 50 or fewer employees can compare health plans. Besides offering a limited tax credit, Obamacare small business exchanges, or SHOP, are supposed to offer one particular feature that changes the healthcare landscape for small companies: choice.”

“One in five Americans now gets their health insurance through the Medicaid program, new data released by the Obama administration Wednesday show.

Enrollment in the program has grown quickly in states expanding the public insurance program as part of Obamacare. Those states had 15.3 percent more enrollees than they did before the Medicaid expansion. Non-expansion states’ Medicaid programs have grown by 3.3 percent over the same time period.”

“The federal health-care law was intended to create a uniform standard of health coverage across the U.S. But the law also is creating opportunities for states to pursue their own solutions.”

“Colorado’s exchange managers have triggered confusion among their own finance committee board members on the eve of a critical vote Monday over future spending and revenues.

Health News Colorado on Thursday reported that board members were concerned that exchange managers had spent $10 million over the past year to sign up about 8,000 people through face-to-face enrollment centers.”

“The board of Connect for Health Colorado will consider Monday whether to begin charging insurance carriers $1.25 a month for each policy on their books to generate more than $13 million for the state health exchange.”

“Colorado health exchange managers spent $10 million over the past year on a statewide assistance network that generated about 8,000 sign-ups for private health insurance.

Board critics pressed managers on the wisdom and sustainability of spending about $1,250 per customer for the face-to-face help centers.”

“House Republicans are pushing the Obama administration to release the names of federal officials involved in awarding grants to troubled health insurance exchanges around the country.

The letter from Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) furthers the GOP’s effort to investigate and criticize failed exchanges at the state level, including Cover Oregon and Maryland Health Connection.

Upton and several colleagues accused the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of spending $1.3 billion on seven marketplaces where serious problems persist.”

“At least 2.9 million Americans who signed up for Medicaid coverage as part of the health care overhaul have not had their applications processed, with some paperwork sitting in queues since last fall, according to a 50-state survey by CQ Roll Call.”

“Five states that launched health exchanges under the Affordable Care Act expect to spend as much as $240 million to fix their sites or switch to the federal marketplace, a Wall Street Journal analysis shows.”