KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

The Health Law Could Add An Extra Pinch At Tax Time For Some Consumers

The Wall Street Journal reports that some people who receive government help to buy coverage could find they owe Uncle Sam money at tax time. Meanwhile, a new online poll conducted by Reuters/Ipsos examines the question of whether young, unisured people will buy into the health law's new insurance offerings.

Los Angeles Times: Consumers Could Be Surprised At Tax Time Due To Federal Health Law
Some families may end up owing Uncle Sam a sizable refund if they accept government help on buying health insurance next year under President Obama's Affordable Care Act. A study published Monday in Health Affairs estimates that 38% of families that qualify for federal premium subsidies might have to repay some portion if changes in their household income aren't reported to the government (Terhune, 9/9).

Reuters: Insight: Poll Shows Healthy Young Adults May Keep Obamacare Afloat
Korey Kormick, 29, has not had health insurance for at least a decade. His job, as a contract employee directing chess tournaments and coaching kids in the fundamentals of the game, doesn't offer it, and he hasn't been able to afford coverage on the individual market. Feeling medically "invincible" - as the conventional wisdom holds 19-to-34-year-olds do - never had much to do with it (Begley, 9/10).

Minnesota Public Radio: Health Care Reform Success Hinges On 'Young Invincibles'
As health care exchanges roll out Oct. 1, the Obama Administration is on a mission to convince young people to buy health insurance. In a recent poll by Commonwealth Fund, a supporter of healthcare reform, young adults have already been taking advantage of one of the law's provisions that allows people to stay on their parents' health insurance until age 26 (MPR News, 9/10).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Cancer Patient Stuck With Higher Bills As Obamacare Pre-Existing Condition Plan Runs Low On Cash
Coping with advanced cancer, Bev Veals was in the hospital for chemo this summer when she got a call that her health plan was shutting down. Then, the substitute insurance she was offered wanted her to pay up to $3,125, on top of premiums. It sounds like one of those insurance horror stories President Barack Obama told to sell his health overhaul to Congress, but Veals wasn’t in the clutches of a profit-driven company. Instead, she's covered by Obama's law — one of about 100,000 people with serious medical issues in a financially troubled government program (9/9).

Reuters: Millions Of Workers Might Dump Employer Plans Under Obamacare: Study
As many as 37 million Americans who receive health coverage through employers may be better off with the government-subsidized insurance plans that will be offered under President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law for next year, according to a study released on Monday. The analysis, compiled by researchers at Stanford School of Medicine and published in the journal Health Affairs, suggests that some employees may choose to dump the coverage they receive at work (Begley, 9/9).

Also in the news, investors in hospital companies look to the law's implementation to drive earnings growth -

Reuters: Analysis: Hospital Investors Wary Of Slow Rampup For Obamacare
Investors in U.S. hospital companies are counting on the Obama administration to pull off its national healthcare reform for 2014 to drive earnings growth, but a series of delays to the program has some questioning how strong the launch will be at its start. The stakes are particularly high for hospital operators, whose financial performance has been weighed down by poor and uninsured patients being unable to pay their bills (Krauskopf, 9/9).

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