KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Checking The Facts: Policy Cancellations And Enrollment

The Washington Post examines the landmines associated with these statistics. Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports on a new lawsuit in which a man claims Humana raised his premiums and then refused to honor his request to cancel the policy.  

The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker: The Phony Ratio Comparing Insurance Cancellations To Health Plans On
Caitlin Dunn, a spokeswoman for [Sen. Rob] Portman, immediately fessed up and said the senator had made a mistake. "Senator Portman knew the updated numbers (2.2 million sign ups versus about 5 million cancellations), but misspoke given that the ratio had previously been 10-20:1 when the process began," she said. "We don’t have any alternate data." We do not play gotcha when politicians explain that they made a mistake, especially if they had been speaking on live television. But Portman's error points out a fallacy of even trying to cite such a statistic (Kessler, 1/23).

Bloomberg: Humana Sued By Man Claiming It Wouldn't Cancel Policy
Humana Inc. (HUM) was sued by a Missouri man who claimed the insurer raised premiums for him and other customers and then failed to respond to requests to cancel policies, allegedly to increase revenue under the Affordable Care Act in what may be the first such lawsuit (Gullo and Rosenblatt, 1/23).

Also in the news, risks ahead for hospitals -  

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Hospitals See Risk Of Newly Insured
The vast majority of people shopping on the new health insurance marketplace are selecting lower-tier plans, leaving them vulnerable to more costs than they may be expecting. Yet the risk won't be carried solely by consumers. Some worry that hospitals will be stuck with the bills because of high deductibles and cost-sharing (Kulash, 1/23).

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