AHCJ seeks release of health insurance exchange data

About Felice J. Freyer

Felice J. Freyer is AHCJ's vice president and chair of the organization's Right to Know Committee. She is a health care reporter for The Boston Globe.

AHCJ has called on the federal government to release data about enrollment in the federal health insurance exchange as soon as the numbers are tabulated.

In a letter sent Thursday to Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of health and human services, and Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, AHCJ president Karl Stark asks for daily or weekly updates, rather than the monthly updates the administration has planned. 

“This information is critically important, not only for journalists but for professionals involved in ACA-related work and any American who wants to buy health insurance,” Stark wrote.

The letter notes that states such as Washington and Maryland have provided regular updates, despite technical difficulties launching their exchanges. Connecticut is reporting its enrollment numbers daily. 

“We recognize that the federal on-line enrollment system had a rocky launch,” Stark’s letter says, “but this should not stand in the way of public transparency in all aspects of Affordable Care Act implementation.”

The letter signals the association’s intention, through its Right to Know Committee, to monitor the release of information and advocate for maximum transparency as the federal health care overhaul moves forward.

“The opening of the health insurance exchanges marks a critical moment in the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act,” said Irene Wielawski, chair of AHCJ’s Right to Know Committee. “The public has a right to know – in detail – how it’s going. Information is especially important for a law that won’t succeed without engaging the public.”

Wielawski urged AHCJ members to let her know about any difficulties getting information from the state or federal exchanges. “We will fight for access to everything the public ought to know about health care reform,” Wielawski said. “But we depend on members to keep us informed about their experiences.”

Please write to Wielawski at imw@cloud9.net or to Right to Know vice chair Felice Freyer at felice.freyer@cox.net.

1 thought on “AHCJ seeks release of health insurance exchange data

  1. Ray Lambert

    It would be interesting to see the enrollment numbers from federal exchange, eagerly waiting to see those to find out how federal exchange, which is supposed to be providing obamacare in 36 states is performing. Based on this post:Consumer Experiences With Obama Insurance Exchanges Varies from State to State , looks like the enrollment numbers and operational performance is a mixed bag in the state based exchanges.

    It would be interesting to see, what is the percentage of young and healthy enrollment in the exchanges? Since they are supposed to offset the cost of covering old and sick people.

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