KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Poll: Uninsured Rate Lowest In Five Years

In other Obamacare implementation news, some regions are finding few plan options. And HHS is trying to resolve some issues with a personal touch.

The Washington Post’s Wonkblog: The Uninsured Rate Is At A Five-Year Low. Is Obamacare The Reason?
Gallup's newest poll shows another decline in the uninsured rate, in a survey taken in late January and early February. It found that 16 percent of American adults reported lacking insurance coverage, the lowest number Gallup has recorded since 2009. ... [I]t will take a few more months to get a sense of whether the lower rate recorded this month is here to stay (Kliff, 2/12).

The Fiscal Times: Gallup: Uninsured Rate Hits 5-Year-Low
Though the poll comes four months into Obamacare’s rollout, Gallup cautions that it is too early to credit the president’s signature health care law for the decline. According to the survey, about 16 percent of American adults are uninsured, down from the high of 18 percent last year. ... The poll shows more people are getting health coverage through Medicaid as well as the individual market (Ehley, 2/12).

Bloomberg: Obamacare Damage-Control Teams Seek To Calm Complaints
The day after Addie Wilson was quoted in a newspaper article complaining about her experience with President Barack Obama’s health-care law, her mobile phone rang while she was in the bathroom. It was an employee from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offering help. ... [T]he Obama administration is borrowing a corporate tactic and tracking down consumers who air their grievances in news reports or on social media. The goal: Get a case worker in touch within 24 hours to resolve the issue (Dorning, 2/13).

The Wall Street Journal: For Many, Few Health-Plan Choices, High Premiums on Online Exchanges
Hundreds of thousands of Americans in poorer counties have few choices of health insurers and face high premiums through the online exchanges created by the health-care law, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal of offerings in 36 states. Consumers in 515 counties, spread across 15 states, have only one insurer selling coverage through the online marketplaces, the Journal found. In more than 80 percent of those counties, the sole insurer is a local Blue Cross & Blue Shield plan (Martin and Weaver, 2/12).

Related, earlier KHN story: The 10 Most Expensive Insurance Markets In The U.S. (Rau, 2/3).

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