KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

High-Risk Pool Extension Gives Sick People More Time To Pick A Health Plan

The decision will give an estimated 85,000 people who were enrolled in the pre-existing condition insurance plans created by the health law, which were originally scheduled to expire on Jan. 1, an extra month to enroll in new coverage.

Kaiser Health News: Thousands In Obamacare's High-Risk Pools Get Month's Reprieve
About 85,000 people with a history of serious illnesses, who are enrolled in high-risk insurance pools created under the health care law, will get a month's reprieve before they lose that coverage (Galewitz, 12/12).

Los Angeles Times: White House Gives Sick Americans More Time To Select A Health Plan
The Obama administration moved Thursday to help tens of thousands of sick Americans who have struggled to enroll in health coverage for next year because of problems with the rollout of new insurance marketplaces created by the president’s health law. The Department of Health and Human Services announced that patients who have been enrolled in special insurance plans for consumers denied coverage elsewhere would be able to stay on those plans until the end of January. Nearly 86,000 people are currently in such plans (Levey, 12/12). 

The Associated Press: Health Website Woes Force Extension For Sickest
Technology problems with President Barack Obama’s health care website are forcing the administration to extend a federal insurance plan for some of the sickest patients by a month. The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan was supposed to disappear Jan. 1, because starting next year insurers will no longer be able to turn away patients with health issues. The administration said Thursday the extension is meant to smooth the transition to new coverage, easing anxiety for tens of thousands of patients with serious illnesses such as heart disease and cancer (Alonso-Zaldivar, 12/12).

Politico: Another Obamacare Extension
The Obama administration moved Thursday to protect some of the sickest patients in the country from the possibility that they would lose health insurance on New Year's Day. Medically needy patients enrolled in temporary high-risk pools now have an extra month to sign up for new coverage because of early enrollment struggles in Obamacare nationwide, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced. The extension seems to be the Obama administration's first tacit acknowledgement that it can't guarantee that everybody who wants to obtain coverage starting Jan. 1 will be able to do so (Millman, 12/12).

The Arizona Republic: Expiring High-Risk Plans Get Reprieve
More than 4,100 Arizonans who get health-care coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s high-risk insurance pool will be allowed to keep their expiring plans through the end of January. The one-month extension of the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan is one of several minor tweaks announced Thursday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to eliminate coverage gaps for consumers who enroll through either the law’s federal or state-based marketplaces. Arizona is one of 36 states on the federal exchange, (Alltucker, 12/12).

The Oregonian: One-Month Extension Of U.S. High-Risk Insurance Pool Doesn't Help OMIP
The Obama Administration today said it would extend coverage for a month to about 85,000 people with a history of serious illness enrolled in a federal high-risk insurance pool. The move impacts about 1,200 Oregonians enrolled in the federal program, Oregon Health Authority spokeswoman Kim Mounts said. But it does nothing for about 4,100 enrolled in Oregon's own expiring high-risk insurance plan known as the Oregon Medical Insurance Pool (Hunsberger, 12/12).

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