KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Did Alaska Actually Figure Out How To Fix The Health Law? Well, It’s Complicated

The plan Alaska instituted to control spiking premiums is being touted as a great success, but is it really?

Roll Call: Obamacare In Alaska: Cost-Control Plan Is Challenging But Working
It’s hard to get excited about a health insurance premium spike. But for Lori Wing-Heier, Alaska’s blunt but friendly state insurance commissioner, the decision by the state’s Blue Cross Blue Shield plan to raise its rates by just 7 percent was a moment of joy. ... That 7 percent increase — finalized last August — was the first sign that her plan had worked. After a grueling slog with a state legislature of reluctant Republicans throughout the spring, Wing-Heier had put in place a program designed to prevent Alaska’s only remaining Obamacare insurer from raising its rates a whopping 42 percent, one of the highest projected hikes in the country. (Mershon, 7/19)

In other news —

Denver Post: Colorado Health Insurers Quiet About 2018 Participation In State Exchange 
Facing a Monday deadline to file proposed 2018 plans with the state, major Colorado health insurers won’t say whether they expect to raise premiums next year or even if they will participate in the state’s health insurance exchange. The answers — which might not be known publicly until July, when Colorado insurance regulators release the plans for public review — have major significance for the roughly 120,000 people who shop for health insurance in the individual market. And they will also add to the contentious debate over the stability of the Affordable Care Act and the impacts of its proposed Republican-backed successor plan. (Ingold, 6/18)

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