PricewaterhouseCoopers is one of the accounting firms hoping to address the needs of companies and individuals who are uncertain about the implications of the new health insurance exchanges and marketplaces that opened this week.

On Tuesday, despite a federal government shutdown precipitated by the efforts of Republican lawmakers in Congress to delay or defund the Affordable Care Act in exchange for agreeing to continue funding the government, the Obama administration moved ahead with the October 1 launch of its highly anticipated health insurance marketplaces. Widespread technical glitches, however, reportedly prevented many of the uninsured from enrolling for coverage, despite heavy traffic on the sites (see ‘Obamacare’ Demand Signals Potential Success for Exchanges). Also, the federal government’s sites were not completely ready, including information for Spanish-speaking citizens as well as small businesses.

PwC’s Twitter page for its health industry group provided information Tuesday on the launch of the exchanges in a series of tweets. One of the tweets urged payers and providers to follow a link to a page on PwC’s Web site entitled, “Health exchanges: Open for business,” which includes a video on the newly insured, along with information on who will buy coverage on the exchange, technology concerns for insurers entering the exchanges, recommendations for providers, and what it means for pharmaceutical and life sciences companies. Other tweets linked to a Slideshare presentation on the new exchanges, and articles in The New York Times and MarketWatch in which PwC Health Research Institute managing director Ceci Connolly was quoted about the exchanges.
Other accounting firms also tweeted about the new health insurance exchanges. Deloitte LLP’s Twitter page linked to the firm’s weekly Health Care Current newsletter with a “My Take” article on the new exchanges.

Twitter wasn’t the only social network being used for disseminating information about the Affordable Care Act. Sylvia Dion, MPA, CPA, a managing member at PrietoDion Consulting Partners LLC, posted a link on Accounting Today’s LinkedIn group to an article she wrote for about what small and midsize business owners should do about informing employees about the new marketplaces. Tax preparer Oswald Boncoeur posted a link on the National Society of Accountants’ LinkedIn discussion group to information on the federal government’s site about the beginning of open enrollment in the new health insurance marketplace.

Ernst & Young is taking a different approach, with a webcast scheduled for Thursday afternoon on the new health insurance exchanges. EY consultants will discuss what companies should expect as employees seek Exchange coverage, the proposed IRS guidance on how large employers should report information to the IRS and furnish statements to employees about health coverage, and the implications of complying with the information reporting requirements for systems and documentation management.

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