The White House announced at the end of the November that the health reform website, healthcare.gov, is functional for most individuals who wish to shop for health insurance online. As many as 10 percent of consumers may need additional assistance beyond the website and are encouraged to seek assistance via phone. The Obama Administration has acknowledged continued problems in the communication of enrollment data to insurance companies and has pledged a solution to that problem.

Cancer advocacy groups report that previously uninsured cancer patients have begun the insurance shopping process to meet the December 23, 2103, deadline for an effective coverage date of January 1, 2014. Certain cancer patients – young adult survivors – have already been taking advantage of a provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by remaining on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26.

NCCS will be monitoring several insurance coverage issues in 2014, including the cost-sharing burdens experienced by those enrolled in exchange plans, the adequacy of networks of providers in exchange plans, and the implementation of the clinical trials coverage provision that was included in the ACA. The goal of NCCS is to collect solid information to inform improvements in the exchange plans in 2015.