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Affordable Care Act News

(ThinkProgress) 2.1 million poor and disabled Americans were deemed eligible for Medicaid or CHIP in October. Another 1.7 million received eligibility in November.
(NBC News) More than a million people have now managed to sign up for health insurance on the state and federal websites — more than 500,000 on the federal HealthCare.gov website so far this month alone, President Barack Obama said Friday.
(Consumer Reports) In a further effort to placate consumers whose individual plans are being discontinued at the end of the year, last night the Obama administration sprung a surprise announcement that people in this category can skip having insurance in 2014 and not face a penalty for doing so. The announcement also says that people with canceled plans can secure a hardship exemption that will enable them to enroll in special “catastrophic” plans that were intended to be available only to customers under the age of 30.
(Kaiser Health News) Health law backers have stepped up efforts to persuade people aged 18 to their mid-30s to give Obamacare a chance. 
(Science Daily) Right now, many consumers are signing up for healthcare via the new health insurance exchanges set up by the federal and state governments. Using simulated exchanges modeled on the design of the actual exchanges, alarming new research from Columbia Business School suggests that more than 80% of consumers may be unable to make a clear-eyed estimate of their needs and will unknowingly choose a higher cost plan than needed.
Community: Did insurance companies influence the construction of the website?
(Kaiser Health News) Reports indicate few people have bought these less expensive policies sold in new online marketplaces. 
(Kaiser Health News) Navigators aren’t allowed to mail paper applications for health insurance to the federal government on behalf of consumers. Kaiser Health News learned that the hard way after Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., cited an October KHN blog post in a report about risks of fraud among navigators. We incorrectly reported that navigators with North Carolina nonprofit Mountain Projects, Inc., were mailing in paper applications on behalf of the consumers they helped enroll in the exchange back when the healthcare.gov site wasn’t working reliably.
(Kaiser Health News) Rule changes and deadline shifts have complicated the efforts of health insurance companies to prepare for a wave of new customers and “post-enrollment snafus.”
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