Small Business Exchange To Get Soft Launch In 5 States This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Federal officials will give small businesses in five states an early chance to try out the delayed health insurance exchange for their employees to fix any glitches before the site goes live in other states. Meanwhile, Minn. Gov. Mark Dayton calls the MNsure rollout his “biggest disappointment,” and the Covered Oregon board votes on a new course.CQ Healthbeat: CMS Chief Prepares For Second Open Enrollment PeriodThe second year of open enrollment under the health care law brings its own set of “unique challenges,” the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Studies said Wednesday. CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner provided a few brief glimpses into the second open enrollment period for the law’s insurance exchanges, which will extend from Nov. 15 until Feb. 15, at a forum hosted by the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation. Tavenner’s agency is tasked with both getting people re-enrolled and getting a new group signed up (Attias, 9/3). The Hill: Soft Launch Planned For Obamacare’s Business Exchange Federal health officials are planning to give small businesses in select states an early chance to try ObamaCare’s delayed health insurance exchange for their employees. The soft launch will begin in five states in late October as the Obama administration works to avoid another disaster in the healthcare law’s second enrollment period. The goal is to fix any problems encountered by users in Delaware, Illinois, Ohio, Missouri and New Jersey prior to Nov. 15, when the SHOP system (Small Business Health Options Program) will go live for all states that elected not to construct their own exchanges (Viebeck, 9/3). St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Missouri, Illinois To Get Early Access To Small Business Health Insurance MarketplaceBusinesses in five states will get an early look at the federal health insurance marketplace for small businesses, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid announced Wednesday. The states are Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey and Delaware (Shapiro, 9/3).Minneapolis Star-Tribune: Dayton Calls MNsure Rollout ‘Biggest Disappointment’Gov. Mark Dayton called the troubled rollout of the MNsure insurance exchange the low point of his first term in a campaign appearance Wednesday, but embraced the program’s successes in extending insurance coverage to those who historically struggled to get it. “I want to apologize for the excessive burdens it’s placed on you, your budgets and your people,” Dayton told a gathering of county officials. “The problems that have afflicted the inception of MNsure are my biggest disappointment in my term as governor. It’s got better, and it will continue to get better, but it still has a ways to go” (Condon, 9/3).The Associated Press: Dayton Apologizes For Troubled MNsure RolloutGov. Mark Dayton apologized to county officials Wednesday for the troubled rollout of Minnesota’s online health insurance exchange, calling the initial glitches with MNsure the biggest disappointment of his first term. But the Democratic governor also staunchly defended the federal Affordable Care Act before a crowd of about 200 county commissioners from across the state, the Star Tribune reported. Dayton, who is running for re-election, appeared at a general session of the Association of Minnesota Counties held in Alexandria. He thanked county leaders for their help with MNsure (9/3). Oregonian: Cover Oregon Board Will Vote Thursday On Whether Health Exchange Goes AwayBuffeted by continuing technological problems, the Cover Oregon board will vote Thursday on a new course for the state’s health insurance exchange – including whether it should even exist. If the board votes to dissolve Cover Oregon, the exchange’s remaining responsibilities — such as a consumer-assistance call center and outreach — would be handed off to state agencies including the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Insurance Division (Budnick, 9/3).