KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

Premiums And Costs Could Rise If Republicans Win Obamacare Lawsuit, Study Finds

In House v. Burwell, Republican lawmakers are challenging the health law's “cost sharing reduction” payments to insurers to help reimburse the coverage of lower-income enrollees. Meanwhile, as the enrollment period draws to a close, news outlets report on potential fines for millennials who remain uninsured and the cost savings potential of switching plans.

The Hill: Study: GOP Win In ObamaCare Suit Would Hike Spending
A new study indicates that a favorable ruling for House Republicans in their ObamaCare lawsuit would cause a large disruption, but would not cripple the law. The study from the Urban Institute finds that if Republicans win in the case of House v. Burwell, cutting off certain payments to insurers under the health law, insurers would face a major adjustment and have to hike premiums, but government subsidies would increase to help make up the difference and the system would likely not face major negative consequences. (Sullivan, 1/27)

The Associated Press: Health Care Fines Press Millennials As Deadline Nears
Millions of young adults healthy enough to think they don't need insurance face painful choices this year as the sign-up deadline approaches for President Barack Obama's health care law. Fines for being uninsured rise sharply in 2016 — averaging nearly $1,000 per household, according to an independent estimate. It's forcing those in their 20s and 30s to take a hard look and see if they can squeeze in coverage to avoid penalties. (1/26)

The Cleveland Plain Dealer: Obamacare Report: Consumers Save By Switching Plans, But Ohio's Premiums Still Among Nation's Highest
Ohioans who switched Obamacare plans this year will save an average of $648, according to a new federal report that seeks to emphasize the value of shopping for plans on The report by the Health and Human Services Department indicates that 49,462 Ohioans have switched plans during the open enrollment period and will save an average of $54 on their monthly premiums. (Ross, 1/26)

And in final-hour health law enrollment news, a Health CT call center experiences an outage while Blue Cross says it's making progress in correcting errors made due to a technology problem —

The Raleigh Observer: Blue Cross Says It's Making 'Good Strides' To Resolve Enrollment Errors
Blue Cross and Blue Shield says it has reinstated health coverage for thousands of stranded customers who were dropped from the insurer’s rolls in a technology debacle that cut off coverage for residents with urgent medical needs and rippled throughout the state. But the state’s largest health insurer is not disclosing how many customers are still without health insurance, even as Blue Cross concedes that call volumes to the company’s help line remain far above normal. (Murawski, 1/26)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.