KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Parsing Obamacare’s Impact On Business, Insurers And Parolees

Media outlets explore how the law might affect those buying less expensive policies, businesses anxious about new investments and those recently released from prison.

Kaiser Health News: Consumers Beware: Not All Health Plans Cover A Doctor's Visit Before The Deductible Is Met
If you buy one of the less expensive insurance plans sold through the health law's marketplaces, you may be in for a surprise. Some plans will not pay for a doctor visit before you meet your annual deductible, which could be thousands of dollars (Appleby, 12/23).

Appleton (Wis.) Post Crescent/Gannett Wisconsin Media: Health Care Changes Worry Some Employers
The Affordable Care Act is having a chilling effect on some Wisconsin employers, as soaring health care costs and uncertainty over new fees and requirements have caused some businesses to put a hold on hiring and expansion, business leaders say. Reed Hall, CEO and secretary of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., said profit margins remain small as the nation recovers from the Great Recession, and many Wisconsin businesses view President Obama’s trademark legislation as yet another reason to avoid adding expenses (Litke, 12/22).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Alabama Blue Cross Shares Obamacare Tax Woes With Customers
Insurance companies aren't crazy about their share of the health law's taxes, but mostly they've complained to politicians and regulators. At least one health plan wants to bring consumers into the loop. "Affordable Care Act Fees and Taxes" is a separate line item on bills Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama is sending to individual customers (Hancock, 12/23).

The California Health Report: Parolees, Corrections To Benefit From ACA
Recent parolees, a population in dire in need of improved medical care, could be among those poised to benefit most from the Affordable Care Act come Jan. 1. The full implications of how the law will affect this population are still hazy, as officials across all fields of corrections prepare for the changes. It is clear, however, that parolees are among those with a high rate of health concerns and are likely to fall into the categories qualifying for assistance under the new law (Wyman, 12/24).

Meanwhile, security concerns persist -

Roll Call: Issa’s Quest Continues To Expose Security Gaps
Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa is on a quest to prove there are vast security gaps on, and he and his staff think they may have just hit a gold mine. On Dec. 20, the California Republican’s office released selected portions of a Dec. 17 interview between the committee and Teresa Fryer, the chief information security officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (Dumain, 12/23).

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