White House to Help Health Insurers Bypass Website

Jay Carney: It's about the ends, not the means
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2013 3:50 PM CST
White House press secretary Jay Carney gestures during the daily press briefing, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, at the White Hosue in Washington.    (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – Agreeing to another ObamaCare concession, the White House said today it is helping insurers to bypass HealthCare.gov and directly enroll customers who qualify for tax credits, the Wall Street Journal reports. "It's the end here that matters, not necessarily the means," said White House spokesman Jay Carney. "We have to make sure that there are other means available for the American people, even as we make improvements to the website."

As it stands, customers can buy insurance directly from health care insurers, but people eligible for subsidies can only get them by purchasing insurance on HealthCare.gov. Now, if the Obama administration and insurers can untangle the technical issues, customers will be allowed to buy insurance directly with subsidies. Only downside: They won't be able to comparison shop between health insurers as they would online, meaning that smaller, less popular insurers may lose customers, the Journal notes. (Read more ObamaCare stories.)

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