KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

Massachusetts Officials Take Control Of Health Insurance Co-Op Formed By ACA

Minuteman Health Inc., which served customers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, was one of the small customer-owned insurance companies established by the federal health law. News outlets also look at other Obamacare insurance issues elsewhere.

Boston Globe: State Places Minuteman Health Into Receivership
State officials said Thursday that they have seized control of Minuteman Health Inc., a small Boston-based insurer created under a program of the Affordable Care Act to provide low-cost policies. Officials at the Division of Insurance said the unusual step was necessary because Minuteman’s level of capitalization — or cash — is too low. (Dayal McCluskey, 8/3)

New Hampshire Union Leader: Court Places Largest Insurer In NH Exchange Into Receivership As Cash Dwindles
Minuteman Health, the company with the largest number of New Hampshire residents insured on the Obamacare exchange, is now under the control of the Massachusetts Insurance Department. Bay State Insurance Commissioner Gary D. Anderson announced on Friday that a court granted his request to place Minuteman Health into receivership to protect policyholders and health care providers. Anderson has been named “receiver” for Minuteman, which essentially puts him in control of the company. (Solomon, 8/3)

Sacramento Bee: Want A Better Obamacare Rate? You May Have To Call The Movers.
Under preliminary Obamacare rates announced by Covered California, premiums on exchange plans will rise by an average of 5.7 percent in Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado and Yolo counties. That’s less than half of the statewide average of 12.5 percent, and consumers could virtually avoid an increase altogether if they shop around. (Miller, 8/4)

Miami Herald: Insurers Request Average 14 Percent Rate Increase For 2018 Obamcare Plans
Florida health insurers are seeking double-digit rate hikes for 2018 Affordable Care Act coverage, but this week state regulators asked insurers to submit backup plans to raise premiums even higher next year because of uncertainty surrounding the future funding of subsidies that help low-income Americans pay their out-of-pocket costs. The Office of Insurance Regulation said insurers need to account for the potential elimination of the subsidies, whose future funding has become an increasingly complex political question. (Chang, 8/3)

Health News Florida: Chart: See How Much Health Individual Insurance May Rise In 2018
The federal government released more details Wednesday about how much health insurance rates could increase next year in Florida — and the spike could be dramatic for some. For individuals buying plans on HealthCare.Gov exchanges, the increase is 17.8 percent on average. But now the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have released a breakdown of all the different polices in Florida, and how much each of those plans will go up. (Aboraya, 8/3)

Politico Pro: Tax Writers See Peril In Trump's Obamacare Persistence
President Donald Trump has dropped hints that he might stop the Affordable Care Act’s cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments, through which federal funds flow to insurance companies to keep down coverage costs for low-income people. ...That’s left key Senate tax writers frustrated that there’s potentially another issue to take precious time away from their tax reform efforts. (Becker and Lorenzo, 8/4)

Bloomberg: Obamacare Startup Oscar Hires Clinical Chief For Care Push 
Startup health insurer Oscar Insurance Corp. hired Dennis Weaver as chief clinical officer to oversee work with doctors and hospitals and help build tighter partnerships with health systems. Weaver, a physician who was previously chief medical officer at health and education consultant Advisory Board Co., will start at Oscar on Aug. 14. The role is new, though he will take on some responsibilities previously held by Shaden Marzouk, the chief medical officer who left Oscar late last year. (Tracer, 8/3)

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