KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

When It Comes To Enrollment Rates, Some States, Regions Outpace Others

The Washington Post notes that the Northeast appears to be doing the best with enrollment, but western states are doing well with implementation. Still, state marketplace directors are predicting strong gains in health insurance coverage. Meanwhile, Republicans are pushing hard to find out how many new enrollees have actually paid their premiums.

The Washington Post: The Northeast And The West Are Leading On Obamacare, In Their Own Ways
The Northeast is enrolling people in Obamacare plans at higher rates than any other region, according to data released this week. But a separate report finds that states in the West are furthest along at implementing the new law (Chokshi, 3/13).

USA Today: States Lagging On Health Care Sign-Ups Vow To Do Better
States that embraced the Affordable Care Act and created health care exchanges were supposed to lead the way in enrolling their residents in health insurance, but some of them are responsible for the federal government falling behind in its projections. Only 18 days remain before the March 31 enrollment deadline, and the government is about 1.8 million behind its goal of 6 million new health insurance customers (Kennedy, 3/13).

CQ HealthBeat: State Marketplace Directors Predict Big Net Gains In Coverage
Top officials running six state-run health insurance marketplaces said Thursday that they expect strong gains in coverage over last year, even though they don't know how many people signing up were previously uninsured. In New York, one state that is trying to track the gains, about 70 percent of applicants reported they did not have coverage when they signed up. The officials on a call with reporters were from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, New York, and Washington (Adams, 3/13).

The San Jose Mercury News: Obamacare: Number Of Newly Insured Still A Mystery Under Nation's New Health Law
Providing coverage to the 47 million uninsured Americans is a central goal of the nation's new health care law, but just weeks before the enrollment deadline the number of newly insured is still a mystery. That's because many health exchanges signing up millions of Americans for health plans didn't clearly ask: Do you already have insurance? On Thursday, officials with Covered California trumpeted the latest enrollment numbers from the Golden State's health exchange: 923,832 people in private health plans; another 2.1 million are either newly enrolled or have been determined eligible for the state's version of Medicaid, called Medi-Cal. Nationally, about 4.2 million people have signed up for private plans, and 6.5 million enrolled or qualified to enroll for Medicaid (Seipel, 3/13).

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: On Health Insurance, GOP Wants To Know Who's Paid
House Republicans are homing in on a new line of attack against the administration's health law enrollment numbers — "who’s paid" – and are now asking every insurance provider selling a plan through to tell them (Radnofsky, 3/13).

The Fiscal Times: Obamacare: 3.4 M Could Be The Real Sign-Up Number
The number of people actually gaining coverage under the president's new health care law is likely around 3.4 million -- or 800,000 fewer than the 4.2 million the White House says have signed up for Obamacare. Politico reports that the country's four largest insurance companies have provided the administration with data showing that between 15 and 20 percent of Obamacare enrollees have not paid for their premiums. This is in line with other outside estimates that the administration has refused to confirm. Without payment, these people will not be getting covered through new health plans and should not be counted in the official enrollment figures (Ehley, 3/13).

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