KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

By End Of 2015, Obamacare Enrollment Off Target By 3 Percent

Over the course of the year, the number of people signed up and paying premiums on exchange plans went down 25 percent, from 11.7 million to 8.8 million. In other health law news, a few of the troubled insurance cooperatives could turn profits in 2016. And Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois hopes for a financial turnaround after last year's flop.

The Associated Press: Obama Health Law Missed 2015 Enrollment Target
Last year's final enrollment numbers under President Barack Obama's health care law fell just short of a target the administration had set, the government reported Friday. The report from the Health and Human Services Department said about 8.8 million consumers were still signed up and paying premiums at the end of last year. HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell had set a goal of having 9.1 million customers by then. So the administration didn't miss its target by much — about 3 percent. (Alonso-Zaldivar, 3/11)

The Associated Press: ACA Co-Ops Lose Millions In 2015; Some Expect 2016 Profits
The Affordable Care Act's health insurance co-ops absorbed deep financial losses last year, and 2016 is shaping up to be a make-or-break year for these nonprofit alternatives to traditional insurers. Officially called Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans, these still-fledgling insurers were devised during the ACA's creation to inject competition into insurance markets. But they have struggled from the start to build a customer base from scratch and deal with higher-than-expected expenses, among other problems. (3/11)

The Chicago Tribune: Blue Cross Parent Lost $1.5B On Individual Health Plans Last Year
Year 2 of the Affordable Care Act was another financial flop for the Chicago-based parent of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois but hints of a turnaround are emerging. Health Care Service Corp.'s financial losses in its individual business, which includes ACA plans, worsened in 2015. The company, which owns Blue Cross affiliates in Illinois and four other states, said it lost $1.5 billion in its individual business, up from $767 million in 2014, the first year of the health law's state exchanges for buying coverage. (Sachdev, 3/11)

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