KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

As Enrollment Deadline Looms, Subsidies Still Confuse Some Consumers

The Wall Street Journal unveils a calculator to help explain these tax credits, or subsidies, while the CT Mirror looks at last-minute consumer questions.

The Wall Street Journal’s Health Blog: Explorer: Decode The Health Law's Subsidies
With just over three weeks left to choose new coverage in the health law marketplaces, deciphering the complex system of subsidies remains a key challenge for many would-be insurance customers. To help users decode the law’s new system of tax credits, The Wall Street Journal has added a calculator to its Explorer (Weaver, 3/10).

The CT Mirror: Obamacare Q&A: Exchange Deadlines, Insurance Options And Tax Credits
March 31 is the deadline for buying insurance through the exchanges created by the federal health law. And although much about the law commonly known as Obamacare has changed in recent months, federal officials have indicated  that the deadline isn't moving. Here’s what you need to know about the end of the 2014 open enrollment period, the insurance options you'll have once it's over, when you'll face a penalty if you don't get covered, and the possibility of getting federal financial help buying a health plan outside the exchange (Becker, 3/11).

Kaiser Health News: Insuring Your Health: Window Is Closing To Sign Up Or Seek Changes To Obamacare Plans
People who got off to a rough start with Obamacare or have yet to pick a plan still have options -- but only if they move quickly before the open enrollment period ends on March 31. Those who were unable to sign up for a marketplace plan because of the glitches with federal or state websites can receive retroactive coverage to the date they originally applied, as well as retroactive premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies, the federal government announced in late February (Andrews, 3/11).

And in Louisiana -

Reuters: Louisiana Insurers To Accept Funds From Federal AIDS Program For Obamacare Premiums 
Three Louisiana insurers agreed on Monday to continue to accept payments from a federal program for low-income people with HIV/AIDS to cover their Obamacare insurance premiums, the carriers said during a hearing in U.S. District Court. Earlier this year BlueCross BlueShield of Louisiana, the state's largest carrier, said it would begin rejecting checks from a federal program called the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program that for decades had helped low-income people with HIV and AIDS pay for both AIDS drugs and insurance premiums (3/10).

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