Caroline's Feed
Nov 11, 2013

Initial Obamacare enrollment estimates far short of targets: reports

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – Initial enrollment estimates for President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform program show participation is falling far short of expectations, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, raising pressure on the White House to get its rollout back on track.

Fewer than 50,000 Americans were able to sign up for new Obamacare health insurance plans in October through the error-plagued HealthCare.gov website, below the federal government’s target, the newspaper reported on Monday, citing two people familiar with the matter. The data is from 36 states.

Nov 6, 2013

Top U.S. insurer sees weak Obamacare sign-ups, prepares for delay

Nov 6 (Reuters) – A top U.S. health insurer gave the first
detailed view of how the problem-plagued rollout of President
Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law is affecting the
industry, saying on Wednesday it had cut its enrollment
forecasts by at least a half and expected the government to
delay the sign-up deadline.

Humana Inc said that because of technical problems
preventing millions of Americans from accessing the federal
HealthCare.gov website since it opened on Oct. 1, the company
had slashed its expectations of signing on 500,000 new plan
members to an estimate of closer to 250,000.

Nov 6, 2013

Top U.S. insurer expects Obamacare enrollment extension

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – One of the largest health insurers on the Obamacare online marketplaces said on Wednesday it expects the U.S. government to extend enrollment for new coverage plans because of technical problems that have frustrated millions of potential applicants.

The comments from Humana Inc add to calls from Democratic and Republican lawmakers to wait until it is clear people can sign up for coverage under President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, commonly called Obamacare.

Oct 31, 2013

Canceled U.S. health plans are disruptive part of reform -Cigna CEO

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – The hundreds of thousands of Americans whose individual insurance policies will be canceled as Obamacare takes full effect next year are experiencing a disruptive element of healthcare reform, the head of health insurer Cigna said on Thursday.

In the past week, reports of pending plan cancellations have become a political problem for President Barack Obama, who promised years ago as he was pushing to pass the healthcare law that Americans who liked their health plans could keep them.

Oct 31, 2013

Cigna says will increase ’14 profit despite pressures

Oct 31 (Reuters) – Insurer Cigna Corp said on
Thursday it expects to increase its 2014 earnings from 2013,
reflecting its smaller exposure to uncertainty around private
Medicare and the rollout of individual insurance on new
exchanges around the country.

Cigna, which reported third-quarter profit that beat
analysts’ expectations on Thursday, has both a U.S. and overseas
health insurance business and also sells disability and life
insurance.

Oct 29, 2013

Aetna misses profit estimtes, sees challenging 2014

Oct 29 (Reuters) – Aetna Inc on Tuesday missed
analysts’ expectations for third-quarter profit and said 2014
would be challenging because of the uncertain costs of the
health reform law and cuts in government funding for private
Medicare plans.

Aetna Chief Executive Mark Bertolini said that the
state-based individual health insurance exchanges are struggling
with widely reported technology problems and the effect on 2014
enrollment is yet to be seen.

Oct 28, 2013

HealthCare.gov up again after data system crash, may be slow: agency

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The website at the center of the U.S. healthcare reform law was back up Monday after a data center outage prevented Americans from enrolling in subsidized health insurance, the latest technical problem to plague the online insurance exchanges.

The outage, which started before dawn on Sunday, affected not only the federal government’s online exchange, HealthCare.gov, but also those run by 14 states and the District of Columbia, the Department of Health and Human Services said.

Oct 25, 2013

White House says ‘Obamacare’ website will be fixed by end of November

By Caroline Humer and Sharon Begley

(Reuters) – The website for Americans to buy insurance under President Barack Obama’s healthcare law should be working smoothly for most users by the end of November, a White House official assigned to fix Healthcare.gov said on Friday.

Jeffrey Zients told reporters in a conference call that Quality Software Services Inc, or QSSI, will serve as a general contractor to oversee the repairs.

Oct 25, 2013

Frustrated by Healthcare.gov, some consumers buy off exchange

NEW YORK, Oct 25 (Reuters) – Americans hitting roadblocks on
the new U.S. government-run healthcare website have been
contacting insurers directly and enrolling in plans away from
the federal marketplace, representing a lost opportunity for
President Barack Obama’s landmark reform.

Since its launch on Oct. 1, technical problems have stalled
Healthcare.gov, the website meant to help millions of uninsured
Americans sign up for coverage as part of the biggest U.S.
social program since Medicare plans for the elderly launched in
the 1960s.

Oct 23, 2013

WellPoint holds back on 2014 forecast, cites Obamacare uncertainty

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – Health insurer WellPoint Inc (WLP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Wednesday said it was not ready to provide profit forecasts for 2014, citing problems launching new insurance plans under President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform, sending shares lower.

WellPoint is one of the leading insurers offering health plans on the state-based exchanges created under Obamacare to provide coverage for millions of Americans.