KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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As Enrollment Period Nears Close, Advocates Ponder Why Texas Sign-Ups Lag

The Dallas Morning News examines why Texas is not as successful as Florida in signing up people for health insurance. Also in the news is a look at hospitals' efforts to get into insurance networks and a reminder to consumers that penalties for not having a plan will rise in 2016.

The Dallas Morning News: Texas Trailing Florida In Obamacare Sign-Ups
When it comes to signing people up for Obamacare, Florida is crushing Texas. And it’s not even close. ... Advocates, leaders of outreach and enrollment organizations in both states and others who closely follow the health law speculated that Florida may be outperforming Texas in sign-ups for three major reasons. The Sunshine State is more compact. It fielded a bigger, centrally managed army of trained helpers. And its GOP leaders haven’t imposed as many roadblocks as Texas’ leaders have. (Garrett, 1/17)

Marketplace: Hospitals Race To Be Included In 'Narrow Networks'
According to the consultant group McKinsey, about half of the plans available are in so-called “narrow networks,” which is a complicated way of saying not all doctors and hospitals are included. That can be tricky for consumers. And it can be tricky for hospitals who — in some instances — must find ways to convince insurers that they will be cost-effective partners. (Gorenstein, 1/18)

Los Angeles Times: Obamacare Open Enrollment Deadline Is Jan. 31, And Penalties Are Stiffer This Year
With less than two weeks of open enrollment left, Covered California is reminding consumers that they will face increased penalties for not having health insurance this year. ... This year, the penalty is $695 per adult and $347 per child up to a family cap of $2,500 or 2.5% of household income, whichever is greater. Last year's penalty was $325 for adults, with a $975 maximum or 2% of household income. (Sisson, 1/19)

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