Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

WebMD News from Kaiser Health News

Administration Tests Fixes That Would Allow Insurers, Brokers To Enroll More Consumers

By Julie Appleby

Sun, Nov 24 2013

Insurers and the Obama administration are testing fixes to designed to allow insurers and web-based brokers to directly enroll consumers who qualify for subsidies under the health law.

Allowing insurers and online brokers to directly enroll customers in subsidized coverage could be key to signing up the millions of people the government had projected would gain coverage this year -- particularly if the glitch-ridden federal site continues to have problems. But so far, some of those same technical difficulties have prevented most insurers and brokers from being able to do that.

Late Friday afternoon, the administration said it had made progress in tweaking the website’s design, and was launching a pilot test of the fixes with insurers in Texas, Ohio and Florida. If successful, those fixes would roll out to insurers nationwide.

“Some issuers are already doing direct enrollment and many others will soon begin to take advantage of this process,” said administration spokeswoman Julie Bataille.

Some industry experts had expressed skepticism about the government’s ability to make the site work smoothly for most people, and earlier this month had pushed for an alternative that would bypass the most troubled parts of

That would “allow us to enroll the backlog of subsidy-hopeful individuals we encounter every day online,” said Gary Lauer, CEO of online brokerage eHealth in a letter sent to the administration in early November.

Industry executives who met with the president last week urged him to resolve the problems preventing them from directly enrolling consumers in subsidized coverage, saying they could be particularly helpful in the 36 states served by the troubled federal website and in states such as Oregon that are running their own websites, but experiencing difficulties. The newly extended deadline for signing up for coverage that takes effect Jan. 1 is Dec. 23.

“If direct enrollment can get up and running, health plans can be unleashed to do what they do best, which is enroll people,” said Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for the trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans.

Latest Health Reform News

Loading …
URAC: Accredited Health Web Site TRUSTe online privacy certification HONcode Seal AdChoices