KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

The Health Law’s Coverage Expansion: Where There Are Benefits, Where There Is Confusion

The Fiscal Times reports on tools to help consumers understand changes that will occur as a result of the health law while HealthyCal reports that legislators in California are attempting to create a mechanism to provide health insurance for those who fall through the overhaul's cracks.

The Fiscal Times: Best Online Tools For The Toughest Health Questions
The health care landscape will change in 2014 when the most significant portions of the Affordable Care Act kick in. The new law will require all Americans to have health insurance (or pay a penalty) by January, and will require insurers to cover many folks who previously couldn't get coverage (Nance-Nash, 6/25).

HealthyCal: Covering The Uninsured Left Behind The ACA
Millions of Californians will remain uninsured after the signature reforms of the Affordable Care Act roll out in 2014. Legislators are proposing an employer-funded trust to insure many of those who will likely fall through the cracks of the Affordable Care Act. Assemblyman Manuel Perez introduced Assembly Bill 175, which would establish a trust fund, paid for by employers, private donors and philanthropic organizations, to provide comprehensive health insurance coverage, including primary care, dental and mental health benefits, to workers who are not covered by the ACA or the proposed expansion of Medi-Cal (Graebner, 6/26).

Meanwhile, nerves continue from within the restaurant industry --

Georgia Health News: Restaurant Industry Nervously Eyes ACA's Changes In Insurance Rules
Simon is co-founder of Fifth Group Restaurants, which operates seven restaurants and other businesses in the Atlanta area, employing more than 500 people. Currently, Fifth Group offers health insurance to its managers only. But under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, when it is fully implemented next January, a business with 50 or more full-time workers must offer all employees working at least 30 hours a week a health plan that's considered "affordable."’ If it doesn’t, the business must pay a penalty. This "employer mandate" represents a great unknown for Fifth Group, Simon says. The impact on the business could range from $50,000 to $400,000, he says. Indeed, much of the restaurant industry, with its many low-wage workers and its generally low rates of offering insurance, may face a financial jolt from the law (Miller, 6/24).

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