KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Advocates In Oklahoma Face Stiff Challenges Signing People Up For Health Plans

Officials and residents in the conservative state have been keenly resistant to the health law, The New York Times reports. Also, CNBC examines how a few people who have a high net worth but little income can qualify for government health subsidies.

The New York Times: Oklahoma Resists Push For Enrollment In Affordable Care Act Coverage
A resolute band of insurance counselors, undeterred by the politics of health care in this staunchly conservative state, is increasing its efforts to find people who are uninsured and enroll them in coverage before the Affordable Care Act’s third annual open enrollment period ends on Sunday. But the push is facing Dust Bowl-force headwinds in one of the states most hostile to the health law — from some Oklahoma officials and from residents who mistrust all things federal. (Pear, 1/27)

CNBC: How Millionaires Get Obamacare Subsidies Intended To Aid The Poor
A number of wealthy individuals, some of whom were "disgusted" with Obamacare when it first went into effect, nonetheless are now taking advantage of federal financial aid available under that health-care law to help significantly reduce their monthly insurance premiums. ... And it's legal as well, because the Affordable Care Act focuses on income rather than net worth to establish eligibility for Obamacare aid. ... [Financial adviser Carolyn] McClanahan's Obamacare customer clients were all retirees who stopped working before they were 65 years old. ... Those people, while having relatively high net worths due to investments and real estate, also were in a position to have taxable income that was low enough to qualify for Obamacare subsidies. (Mangan, 1/27)

And in other insurance news, some federal workers will get an extension for signing up for health insurance —

The Washington Post: OPM Opens Additional But Limited Insurance Enrollment For Feds
The Office of Personnel Management will hold a limited open enrollment period for active federal employees who want to sign up for single plus one health insurance coverage. Self plus one is a new option in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program. It allows enrollees to obtain coverage for themselves and one other family member. In most cases that coverage costs less than family coverage. (Davidson, 1/27)

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