KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Immigrants, LGBT Americans, Small Business Employees — Does The Health Law Help Them?

News outlets examine the various groups that might be falling through the health law's coverage gaps, or that might face higher costs as well as some of the efforts underway to reach them.  

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Many Immigrants Hesitate To Seek Health Insurance
Day after day, Adonias Arevalo tried to calm his parents’ nerves, attempting to convince them it was safe for him to apply for government-subsidized health insurance through the nation’s new coverage system. Like many other immigrants, Arevalo’s parents worried that personal information on their son’s application could somehow draw immigration authorities’ attention to the couple, who emigrated here illegally from El Salvador seven years ago (12/16).

The Washington Post: On Health Care, White House And Others Reach Out To LGBT Americans
A disproportionate number of LGBT Americans are uninsured and qualify for federal premium subsidies to help buy coverage, and the administration is intensifying its efforts to get them enrolled before the end of the year. There are several reasons for this disparity, among them that same-sex partners often don’t qualify as family members for employer-based insurance plans and that individuals sometimes lose coverage when they are fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The White House on Tuesday will release an infographic on the Affordable Care Act’s benefits for the LGBT community (Eilperin, 12/16).

The Hill: Obama To Moms: Please Help With ObamaCare
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will look to enlist mothers in a push to encourage uninsured Americans to sign up for coverage under ObamaCare with an event Wednesday in the Oval Office. The president and first lady will host a rare joint event, designed to highlight benefits of the law — and encourage adult children to sign up for coverage (Sink, 12/16).

Politico: Next Obamacare Crisis: Small-Business Costs?
Think the canceled health policies hurt the Obamacare cause? There’s another political time bomb lurking that could explode not too long before next year’s elections: rate hikes for small businesses. Like the canceled individual health plans, it’s another example of a tradeoff that health care experts have long known about, as the new rules for health insurance prices create winners and losers. But most Americans won’t become aware of it until some small business employees learn that their premiums are going up because of a law called — oops — the Affordable Care Act (Nather, 12/17).

The New York Times: A Gap In The Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act mandated that insurers cover dental care for children. Indeed, it was one of the 10 essential health benefits meant to set the bar for adequate health insurance. But pediatric dental care is handled differently from coverage of other essential benefits on federal and state exchanges. These plans are often sold separately from medical insurance, and dental coverage for children is optional. People shopping on the exchanges are not required to buy it and do not receive financial support for buying it (Saint Louis, 12/16).

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