KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Artists Benefit From Health Law, But Rural Residents May Pay More

Self-employed Americans such as artists stand to gain under the health law, but rural residents may pay more for coverage because of the higher costs of delivering care in a sparsely populated area and the disproportionate number of older people. Other media outlets offer advice for consumers trying to make sense of the law.

Politico: Self-Employed Artists, Actors Benefit From ACA
[Karin] Abromaitis is among the hundreds of thousands of artists, musicians, dancers, actors and filmmakers around the country who especially stand to gain under Obamacare, either through the plans and premium subsidies available on its new insurance exchanges or from the plans employers must start offering. Typically a well-educated but lower-earning demographic — whose members are self-employed more often than not — these Americans have frequently struggled to buy insurance on their own (Winfield Cunningham, 3/31).

The Associated Press: Rural Residents Confront Higher Health Care Costs
Bill Fales wanted a new baler and a better irrigation system for the 700-acre ranch where he raises grass-fed beef cattle, but he scrapped those plans when he saw his new health insurance premiums. ... Health care has always been more expensive in far-flung communities, where actuarial insurance data show fewer doctors, specialists and hospitals, as well as older residents in need of more health care services (Wyatt, 3/30).

The New York Times: Repercussions And Reprieves At Health Insurance Enrollment Deadline
America’s health insurance marketplace closes on Monday night, the deadline for most people to obtain coverage or face a penalty. The confusion and uncertainty of the last six months appear likely to continue as consumers, including some who have never had insurance, begin using new policies for the first time. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions (Pear, 3/29).

The Wall Street Journal: 5 Things To Know About The Health Law’s March 31 Deadline
Six months after the disastrous launch of the Affordable Care Act’s online insurance marketplaces, Monday is slated to be the final day to sign up for coverage under President Obama’s signature domestic program—sort of. Here’s what you need to know about the health law’s impending deadline, and the last-minute changes that will push the date back for many consumers (Weaver, 3/30).

Los Angeles Times: Health Plan Tips For Patients Relying On Specialty Medications
Monday is the last day to begin the process of signing up for insurance under the Covered California statewide health exchange. But even for many of those already enrolled, the challenges are just beginning. Consider, for instance, the work to be done in figuring out your new health plan's coverage for prescription drugs. For people who take medications on an ongoing basis, it's especially important to closely evaluate details of a health plan's drug coverage (Zamosky, 3/30).

The Wall Street Journal: Newborns Need Health Insurance Too
Between picking out tiny clothes, setting up the crib and managing the in-laws, new parents have plenty to think about. But they can't afford to neglect health insurance for Junior, says Doug Whiteman, insurance analyst at First things first, Mr. Whiteman says: Make sure you sign up your infant for coverage within 30 days of birth. A federal rule requires insurance providers to cover children signed up within 30 days of birth retroactively to day one. Some plans may provide more flexibility (Gellman, 3/29).

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