KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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HCA Executive Says Health Law Will Drive Growth For His Hospitals

The drop in uninsured is helping the hospital chain. Also in news related to the federal health law, the New Hampshire insurance department releases a report on participation in that state.

Reuters: HCA Says Insurance Exchange Enrollment Encouraging So Far
The chief executive of HCA Holdings Inc on Monday said he expects the Affordable Care Act to drive more growth for the U.S. hospital operator in 2016 as Americans sign up for insurance coverage through exchanges created under the law. About 11.3 million Americans have signed up so far for individual health insurance in 2016 through and the state-based exchanges, the U.S. government said last week. Enrollment for these plans, which were created under the health reform law known as Obamacare, closes on Jan. 31. (Kelly, 1/11)

New Hampshire Public Radio: More N.H. Residents Have Insurance, But They're Paying For It
More people have health insurance in New Hampshire, but they're also paying more for it. That's according to the Insurance Department's annual report on costs. From 2013 to 2014, the uninsured rate dropped from 11 to 9 percent - at least 20,000 more people got coverage. But they're also paying more for less. Patients often have access to fewer providers. The average premium went up nearly 4 percent, but it was higher in the individual market, which has seen the most growth because of the Affordable Care Act, says Tyler Brannen with the Insurance Department. (Rodolico, 1/11)

New Hampshire Union Leader: Officials: Obamacare Customers In NH Got Nearly $200 Each In Refunds
New Hampshire health insurers had to refund nearly $200 each to individual-market customers in 2014, under a provision of the Obamacare law that forces insurance companies to spend at least 80 cents of every premium dollar on claims, state insurance officials reported Monday. The rebate provision mostly affected Anthem Blue Cross and its health maintenance organization, Matthew Thornton. Together, the two refunded $5 million, according to a November consultant report about the New Hampshire insurance market in 2014, the first year of the individual mandate under the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare law. (Hayward, 1/11)

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