KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

As The Clock Ticks Down, Premium Information Still Elusive In Some States

The St. Louis Beacon reports that Missouri consumers will have to wait for the Oct. 1 launch date to get answers about how much the new coverage will cost. Other news outlets offer state-specific coverage of how the marketplaces are taking shape and what types of impact they might have.

St. Louis Beacon: No Info On Insurance Cost And Carriers Until Health Exchanges Open
Missouri consumers wanting to know who will sell them insurance and at what cost through the health reform law’s online marketplace system won’t have answers until Oct. 1, the day the program begins taking applications. That’s the word from Nanette Foster Reilly, consortium administrator for region 7 of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Joiner, 9/16).

The CT Mirror: Obamacare Q&A: What Will My Plan Cost? What Doctors Are Covered? And What About Dental?
Our first batch of reader questions about the federal health care reform law addresses how much individuals would pay to buy coverage, dental insurance, which health care providers are covered, and health savings accounts (Becker, 9/16).

Healthy Cal: 'Obamacare 101' Sessions in L.A. County Designed To Educate, Inform
Kandis Driscoll, the workgroup director for the Insuring the Uninsured Project, stood at the podium of a recent session of Obamacare 101 asked if anyone was familiar with what is known as the individual mandate . A smattering of hands from the 90 or so attendees gingerly went up. So Driscoll presented a slide explaining the mandate, breaking down the penalty of $95 or 1 percent of income a person will have to pay on their taxes in the first year if they don’t secure insurance and how that penalty increases in coming years. The room filled with murmurs. The individual mandate, a key provision of 2010′s Affordable Care Act and such a hotly contested issue that it took a Supreme Court ruling last year to keep it in place, was still news to some (Fulton, 9/17).

The Associated Press: Wisconsin Consumer Advocates Warn Of Health Care Fraud
Enrollment begins for a national health insurance program in two weeks, and Wisconsin officials are already bracing for what could be an unprecedented wave of fraud attempts. The National Consumers League says criminals across the nation have already begun using confusion over the Affordable Care Act to pressure consumers into divulging personal information, the Press-Gazette Media reported (9/17).

California Healthline: Researchers Helping Legislative Staff Craft Health Care Reform Message
When they see television ads or billboards for Covered California, the state's health insurance exchange, or see media stories about the huge expansion of Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program, Californians will have questions. A lot of those questions will go to state legislators. Assembly and Senate staff members could be deluged with calls and queries. That's where Shana Alex Lavarreda comes in. Lavarreda, director of health insurance studies at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, helped stage a recent symposium in Los Angeles for legislative staff members. Along with other UCLA researchers, Lavarreda briefed staffers on the mountain of health care information they're about to need (Gorn, 9/16).

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