Health Care Odds & Ends: Disaster Edition, Pt 2
Oct 15, 2013 at 12:29 PM
David Hogberg in Government Health Care, Health Care, Health Insurance, Kentucky exchange, ObamaCare, ObamaCare Exchanges, Retirement, kynect, obamacare exchanges

With pieces like this in the New York Times, the disaster that is the roll out of the ObamaCare exchanges continues.  Here’s a few more bits:

1. Bluegrass Bad News?  According to USA Today, the Kentucky ObamaCare exchange, Kynect, had enrolled 7,000 people in insurance plans by the end of week one.  By the end of week two, according to the Wall Street Journal, that total had risen to over 9,500.  Here’s what enrollment in the Kentucky exchange by week looks like:


So, what does that mean?  It might mean that demand for insurance on the exchange can drop off pretty quickly after the first week.  Remember, Kentucky is supposed to be one of the exchanges the works quite well, so major website problems glitches wouldn’t explain the above numbers.

On the other hand, it might also mean nothing.  That’s only two data points; we’ll need a few more weeks of data to discern any real trend.  And even if enrollment does subside for a while, don’t be surprised if it jumps up very quickly when the December 15 deadline gets close.

2. ‘Excruciatingly embarrassing.’  Robert Gibbs makes a number of good points in this clip, but the best reason to watch it is for the look on E.J. Dionne’s face:


3. Are the Federal exchanges purposely inconvenient?  One thing that has struck me upon exploring the exchanges is how few of them let one browse insurance products before setting up an account.  Requiring users to set up an account before being able to shop is a barrier that can drive people away from a website—and into the arms the competition’s website.  While the exchanges don’t have much in the way of competition, it does raise the frustration level for those who venture to the sites.  Thus far, the only exchanges I have found that allow for browsing before setting up an account are California, Oregon and Colorado.

Both Grace-Marie Turner and Avik Roy independently came to the same conclusion over the weekend:  the website is set up that way to make it more difficult to know the true price of insurance on the federal exchange. Read them both.

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