KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

After Health Law Lifted Financial Burden Of Preventive Services, More Women Got Mammograms

The health law helped narrow the gap between low-income and high-income women receiving screenings. KHN also takes a look at the law's impact on community health centers.

CNN: More Women Got Mammograms When Obamacare Paid For Them
Obamacare eliminated the costs and out-of-pocket expenses for Americans wanting preventive health care services -- including mammography and colonoscopy, both tests able to detect cancer. Among older Americans, use of mammography increased under Obamacare, according to a study published Monday in the journal Cancer. But another preventive screen test, colonoscopy, didn't see a similar increase. (Scutti, 1/9)

Kaiser Health News: Obamacare Boosted Community Health Centers’ Reach. Now What?
For the patients and the employees of Mary’s Center, a community health center that serves Washington, D.C., and its Maryland suburbs, the 2010 health law had a big impact on business. The facility has always promised care to anyone who walks through its doors. But since Obamacare’s implementation, the patient population and the quality of care they receive has changed. (Luthra, 1/9)

In other health law news —

California Healthline: Shoppers On California Exchange Sidestep Soaring Premiums But Pass Up Subsidies
Californians tend to avoid the worst of premium hikes on the state exchange by choosing lower-cost plans, but many also miss out on financial assistance because they pick the wrong type of plan or buy coverage off the exchange, according to two studies published Monday in the journal Health Affairs. One of the studies shows that when consumers faced premium increases from 2014 to 2016, they chose cheaper plans to control their costs, without giving up benefits. For example, consumers who had a higher-cost plan in the silver tier — the second least expensive level of coverage — would switch to a lower-cost silver plan, receiving similar benefits while saving on premiums. (Feder Ostrov, 1/10)

NPR: North Carolina Residents With Obamacare Insurance Worry About Repeal
Darlene Hawes lost her health insurance about a year after her husband died in 2012. Hawes, 55, is from Charlotte, N.C. She ended up going without insurance for a few years, but in 2015 she bought coverage on HealthCare.gov, the Affordable Care Act marketplace, with the help of a big subsidy. (Tomsic, 1/9)

Pioneer Press: Will MN Legislature Pass Health Insurance Relief? This Week Is Key.
Minnesota lawmakers say they want to pass a relief package for Minnesotans facing soaring health insurance premiums by the end of this week. The next few days will determine whether that happens, or if Minnesota’s leaders yet again hit delays. DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and the Republicans who control both houses of Legislature all agree the state should provide relief to people affected by the “premium cliff” — earning too much money to qualify for federal subsidies but not enough to afford premiums as high as 30 percent of their annual income. But they disagree on certain important details of how to do it. (Montgomery, 1/9)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.