Administration officials told senators today that they plan to respond to Americans who have had their health insurance canceled with an “outreach” program.
At the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee this morning, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) asked Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner “about the administration’s plan to reach out to those Americans whose individually purchased plans are being canceled by their insurance companies.”
“There was a story in our paper in Seattle, about a 56-year-old woman who received one of those cancellation notices and who, like a lot of other people was told to blame the Affordable Care Act in that letter,” Murray said. “But of course, she wasn’t told that if she accessed the ACA marketplace it could save her and her family thousands of dollars and provide her with upgraded, more comprehensive health care coverage.”
“As I read her story, I that’s an important reminder that it’s gonna be an up-hill battle against some political and industry interest to get those individuals good information that have received those letters,” the senator added.
Tavenner said that’s “actually a conversation we’re having today.”
“Is there a way we can actively engage to reach out to people who have been canceled?” she continued. “Although they’re canceled, they are offered another policy. But I think what’s important for them to understand is, it’s not just that policy, it’s also the ability to go on the exchange. As you mentioned, in Washington state, they can — they don’t even have to apply, they can go take a look at what the rates are.”
Tavenner said they’re working on their “outreach” plan and would get back to the committee with that later this week.
She later told Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) that a public campaign coordinating with the “tech surge” will begin running at the end of November and go into December, January, February, and March.
“So, what if the site is not working?” Hagan asked.
“So the site will be working. The site is working now. What we are doing now is making performance improvements, but the site will be working,” Tavenner said.