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States Opening Call Centers Ahead Of ACA Launch

USA Today (9/3, O'Donnell) reports that Vermont, Connecticut and Washington are opening call centers this week to “help as many of these people as they can navigate a new federally mandated way to buy insurance starting Oct. 1.” California and Maryland “are among the states already operating call centers” and “other states will roll them out during September.” However, the call centers “have their work cut out for them as they try to explain the confusing and still-changing details of President Obama’s health care law.” The AP (9/3, La Corte) profiles such a call center in Washington, based in Spokane.

Similarly, Minnesota Public Radio (9/2, Stawicki) reports that in Minnesota, the state’s health insurance exchange will launch a call center today in order to “answer consumer questions about comparison shopping and enrolling in health coverage,” though the exchange will not itself be open until October 1. 

ACA Exchanges Launching in One Month

Several outlets marked Sunday as one month until the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges open for enrollment. The Hill (9/2, Baker) “Healthwatch” blog reported that the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges “are scheduled to open for enrollment on Oct. 1, and supporters are ramping up a major education and outreach campaign as the date draws nearer.” The opening is “a critical date” that “will mark the public’s first real look at the centerpiece” of the act. The story says that former President Clinton will help to launch the run-up to the opening with “a speech Wednesday making the case for the new law.” The story quotes Secretary Sebelius from a Bloomberg interview saying that the refusal of some states to operate exchanges means that “the job is made doubly difficult.”

Several regional outlets marked Sunday’s landmark. For example, the Newark (NJ) Star-Ledger (9/2, Goldberg) reported that in a month, “about 50 million people across the country — and about 1 million in New Jersey — will be able to sign up for expanded Medicaid or enroll in the health insurance exchange created by the new law.” ( ACR Daily News Scan, Sept. 3, 2013 )


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