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    Five state exchanges are making major website changes for 2015

    At least five state health insurance exchanges are making major changes in their websites for the 2015 open enrollment period.

    Read about the changes below: 

    Idaho – After using HEALTHCARE.GOV for the first open enrollment, YOUR IDADO HEALTH will have its own state-run technology platform for 2015. The Your Health Idaho board of directors is preparing to re-enroll the 76,000 Idaho residents who purchased exchange plans last year, despite a late start on the process. The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on August 29 finally provided Idaho detailed information on all current enrollees in the state. State officials had hoped to have that information over the summer so they could start setting up accounts in the new system and process 2015 advanced payment of premium tax credits. Lacking complete enrollment information from CMS, Your Health Idaho staff had begun reconstructing their enrollment roster using information from insurance plans.

    “Right now, Your Health Idaho is on track to be ready to reenroll our existing customers,” Jody Olson, the agency's director of communications told Managed Healthcare Executive. Your Health Idaho had originally hoped to use its own website for the first enrollment period, but opted for healthcare.gov after determining they would not be able to launch its own site in time.

    Maryland – The MARYLAND HEALTH CONNECTION staff has announced that they will be adopting Connecticut's health insurance exchange software for the 2015 enrollment period. Connecticut, which reputed has one of the most successful state-based health insurance exchange programs in the nation, has announced it will offer a “Health Exchange in Box” package for use in other states.  Federal officials have reportedly expressed some concern that the Connecticut system can be adapted for use by Maryland in time for the start of this year's enrollment period. Massachusetts, Nevada, and Oregon also looked at the Connecticut Exchange in Box package but selected other options.  Connecticut recently acknowledged about 5,000 previously undisclosed errors that occurred during the 2014 enrollment cycle. The software glitches responsible for those errors must be fixed before the opening of the 2015 enrollment cycle on November 15, administrators in both Connecticut and Maryland acknowledge. Administrators were still attempting to determine if those who enrolled in insurance programs during the last enrollment period will have to re-enroll.

    Bob Pieper
    Bob Pieper is a freelance health care writer based in St. Louis. He is the former senior editor for AOA News.

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