Looking ahead to the second ACA enrollment period

About Joanne Kenen

Contributing editor to Politico Magazine and former health care editor-at-large, Politico, Commonwealth Fund journalist in residence and assistant lecturer at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Photo by jfcherry via Flickr

Photo by jfcherry via Flickr

We’re closing in on the start of the ACA’s second open enrollment season. Both Kevin Counihan, the new HealthCare.gov “CEO” within the Department of Health and Human Services, and HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell have been speaking out a bit more about the upcoming season.

But there’s a lot they aren’t saying – or touting. Here are a few things we do – or don’t – know about what to expect by Nov. 15, the start of the three-month enrollment period:

  1. More insurers are taking part this year in the exchanges.
  2. We won’t know all of the insurance rates until after the Nov. 4 elections.
  3. HHS isn’t projecting enrollment figures or defining “success” (although the Congressional Budget Office expects that an average of 13 million people will be enrolled in the exchanges during 2015, up from 7.3 million in August 2014).
  4. Burwell says the sign-up experience will be “better” for consumers.
  5. The application most people will use for the federal exchange should be simpler – it’s been whittled down to 16 pages from 76.
  6. Officials hope the website can handle 125,000 people at a time – the record last year.

Some story ideas were shared at a recent Washington, D.C., AHCJ chapter meeting and in a webcast – and here are a few recent articles that will tell you more:

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