KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Reports Warn Premium Spikes, Dropped Workers Could Result From Health Law

The New York Times reports that some companies could avoid requirements in the health law by insuring their own employees -- a move that might drive up costs for workers of other companies. Other outlets look at concerns that young, healthy people buying policies in new online markets could see a jump in insurance costs.

The New York Times: Some Employers Could Opt Out Of Insurance Market, Raising Others' Costs
Companies can avoid many standards in the new law by insuring their own employees, rather than signing up with commercial insurers, because Congress did not want to disrupt self-insurance arrangements that were seen as working well for many large employers. Federal and state officials and consumer advocates have grown worried that companies with relatively young, healthy employees may opt out of the regular health insurance market to avoid the minimum coverage standards in President Obama's sweeping law, a move that could drive up costs for workers at other companies (Pear, 2/17).

The Fiscal Times: Obamacare Fallout: Cut Workers Hours Or Drop Coverage
For large retail and restaurant chains, the big unknown in the year ahead is how much more they'll pay for health coverage. Employers with 50 or more workers who put in 30 hours a week will be required to provide health care coverage or pay a fine, under the Affordable Care Act, also called the ACA or Obamacare. But the details haven't been settled (Coombs, 2/14).

Los Angeles Times: States Worry About Rate Shock During Shift To New Health Law
Less than a year before Americans will be required to have insurance under President Obama's healthcare law, many of its backers are growing increasingly anxious that premiums could jump, driven up by the legislation itself (Levey, 2/18).

The Washington Post: Funds Run Low For Health Insurance In State 'High-Risk Pools'
Tens of thousands of Americans who cannot get health insurance because of preexisting medical problems will be blocked from a program designed to help them because funding is running low. Obama administration officials said Friday that the state-based "high-risk pools" set up under the 2010 health-care law will be closed to new applicants as soon as Saturday and no later than March 2, depending on the state (Aizenman, 2/16).

The Washington Post: Will Young Adults Face 'Rate Shock' Because Of The Health Law?
Many young, healthy Americans could soon see a jump in their health insurance costs, and insurance companies are saying: It's not our fault. The nation’s insurers are engaged in an all-out, last-ditch effort to shield themselves from blame for what they predict will be rate increases on policies they must unveil this spring to comply with President Obama's health-care law (Aizenman, 2/15).

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