Murkowski requests health insurance exchange updates

JUNEAU — No one from Alaska has enrolled in the new health care exchange, and a U.S. senator wants weekly updates on future enrollments.

Glitches have been reported since the exchanges went live Oct. 1. Exchanges are online marketplaces where individuals can browse for insurance, to be in compliance with the federal health care law. Alaska let the federal government set up an exchange for the state.

In a letter Monday to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said no one in Alaska has been able to sign up.

“This system that cost more than $400 million, took three years to build, and was billed as a one-stop shop for individuals seeking health insurance is not working as advertised,” Murkowski wrote. 

“In its first two weeks of operation, I am told that no one was able to enroll in the Alaska Exchange.”

Enroll Alaska chief operating officer Tyann Boling confirmed that no one has enrolled as of late last week.

“Now things are looking a little bit better this week,” she said. “It’s not for sure we’ve enrolled anybody yet, but things seems to be functioning a little bit better, but as of last week, we had not known of one person that had enrolled in the state of Alaska.”

Enroll Alaska receives commissions from insurance companies offering plans on the Alaska marketplace. Two companies, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska and Moda Health, are offering plans for Alaskans.

Murkowski requested weekly updates from the department on the number of Alaskans who attempt to enroll using the exchange and the number who are successful in doing so.

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