KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Proposals Likely This Week To Respond To Health Law Policy Cancellations

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., is among those who are expected to advance legislation. Her measure would extend the open enrollment period by at least two months.

McClatchy: Congress Weighing Laws To Let People Keep Health Insurance
Proposed bills in both the Senate and the House of Representatives would stop cancellations of individual insurance policies that don’t meet the requirements of the health care law. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have been notified their existing policies will be canceled, most to make way for new policies that meet the new law’s standards. The president said Thursday that his staff was looking into ways to solve the problem, but he gave no details. On Friday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that Obama was "determined to address some of the challenges from this law," but he declined to say whether the president agreed with the congressional proposals (Schoof, 11/8).

Politico: Jeanne Shaheen To Introduce Obamacare Bill Next Week
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen will introduce a bill next week extending Obamacare’s open enrollment period by at least two months. The bill from the New Hampshire Democrat, who Republicans hope will be challenged by former GOP Sen. Scott Brown next year, would extend the Affordable Care Act’s enrollment deadline through at least May 31 and contain flexibility to further lengthen the enrollment period. The legislation will allow Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to use her discretion to further stretch the period “if there are ongoing problems,” a Democratic aide said (Everett, 11/8). 

Meanwhile, Politico reports that the heatlh law's catastrophic coverage may offer a solution -

Politico: ACA's 'Catastrophic' Coverage Flies Under Radar
President Barack Obama promised to find ways to help people whose health plans have been canceled and are scrambling for an affordable alternative. For some of them, there may be an option: a little-known, little-discussed slimmed-down Obamacare "catastrophic" health plan. But it, too, is caught up in the mess. People don’t know about it, have trouble finding out about it — and can’t yet tap into it because of a gap in the sign-up process. Plus, health policy experts note that it might not help all that many people — and could divert people from the main insurance plans needed to make Obamacare sustainable (Cheney, 11/11).

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