Obamacare Open Enrollment: The Sequel

Obamacare is open for business again.

Saturday marked the second open enrollment period, allowing consumers to purchase health coverage through exchange websites like healthcare.gov. If you’ve forgotten what happened during the first open enrollment (last year), here’s Jon Stewart with a refresher:

With a price tag of more than $2 billion (and counting), will healthcare.gov work this time around?  And will the health care coverage lower costs, as the President claimed?

Let’s check the headlines:

Gallup | As New Enrollment Period Starts, ACA Approval at 37%

As the Affordable Care Act’s second open enrollment period begins, 37% of Americans say they approve of the law, one percentage point below the previous low in January. Fifty-six percent disapprove, the high in disapproval by one point.

Washington Post | New poll has Obamacare underwater on first day of open enrollment

The Gallup survey shows that only 37 percent of Americans approve of the law, while 56 percent say they disapprove. The law’s record-low numbers come as the Obama administration begins a new push to enroll new customers on the Obamacare exchanges one year after the disastrous rollout of HealthCare.gov.

The Hill | ObamaCare exchange opens for second year of business

“My expectation is that plans are going to have to eat significant costs related to making the back-end operations work, and that’s an issue,” Mendelson said.

“There are data integrity issues that [HHS] needs to worry about,” he continued. “There isn’t a lot of control for fraud, and there isn’t a lot of control for data inaccuracy. That’s the part I worry about.”

Fox News | States hurry to fix healthcare exchange websites in new enrollment period

The problems at Washington state’s health care exchange occurred after people signed up for insurance. At least 24,000 people who obtained private insurance couldn’t use that coverage when they went to the doctor because of problems crediting payments and sending those dollars on to insurance companies.  It took about nine months to fix those problems.

USA Today | State, federal insurance sites face first-day hiccups

Across the U.S. state-run exchanges were having mixed success enrolling people. Washington state had to take its exchange offline to resolve a problem in which 2015 tax credit amounts were being incorrectly calculated for customers. In Colorado, plans that include cost-sharing subsidies weren’t showing up for broker Louise Norris, who also got frequent error messages as she navigated the site.

Spokesman Review | Washington state health exchange website shut down

Those who run the exchange in the state of Washington had been hoping their computer system would handle traffic better than it did last year, when it shut down and rejected applications for reasons like a hyphen in a last name. About 1,000 people who bought insurance the first time around still are having problems getting their payments credited and that money transferred to their insurance companies.

New York Times | Cost of Coverage Under Affordable Care Act to Increase in 2015

The Obama administration on Friday unveiled data showing that many Americans with health insurance bought under the Affordable Care Act could face substantial price increases next year — in some cases as much as 20 percent — unless they switch plans.

Scranton Times-Tribune | Members in Blue Cross Affordable Care Act plans will see premiums rise

Members enrolled in Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s Affordable Care Act plans will see their premium rates rise by an average of 6.9 percent in 2015.

The Advocate | Federal law forcing schools to scramble for substitutes

Worries about running afoul of the Affordable Care Act — also known as “Obamacare” — have forced officials in Ascension Parish to turn the hunt for substitute teachers to a staffing agency to track hours and avoid federal penalties.