KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Consumers With Canceled Insurance Exempted From Individual Mandate Through 2016

Those who lost coverage because insurers canceled their plans have been given a hardship exemption through October 2016 from the requirement to have health insurance or pay a fine. Other stories look at rising medical identity theft and the frustration of a cancer survivor who enrolled in a plan based on misinformation that her doctor was included in its network.

Fox News: Obamacare Band-Aid? Millions Potentially Exempted From Individual Mandate Through 2016
The Obama administration is throwing another Band-Aid at the millions of people wounded by the Affordable Care Act when they were booted from their existing health coverage. The latest change, quietly announced last week, allows many of them to skirt the law's "individual mandate" through 2016. The change was included in last week's announcement that the government would let people keep otherwise out-of-compliance health plans for another two years. Buried in the official memo was a line giving people whose policies were canceled a "hardship exemption" through October 2016 (3/12).

NBC News: U.S. Health Care System Has $5.6 Billion Security Problem
Health care organizations are under attack. Criminals are stealing patient records to commit medical identity theft. And the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has made the situation worse, according to a new report from privacy and information security research firm Ponemon Institute. Ponemon estimates that these breaches cost the industry about $5.6 billion a year (Weisbaum, 3/12).

Fox News: New York Cancer Survivor Stuck In Obamacare Mess Over Doctor Confusion
Months after cancer survivor Annette Frey was dropped by her insurance provider and forced to sign up for Obamacare, the New Yorker is still finding herself on the losing end of a bureaucratic runaround. At the heart of her maze of problems is the fact that the plan she signed up for on the New York exchange listed doctors she needed as "in network" -- she later found out they were not. Frey tells she’s at her wit’s end trying to decode what she needs to do to be able to see the doctor who diagnosed her lung cancer two years ago (Chakraborty, 3/12).

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