KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

3 States Report Number Of Insurers On Marketplace Will Grow In 2015

Officials in New Hampshire, Michigan and Illinois say plans that opted to sit out the first year of the health law are moving into the market now. Meanwhile, in Minnesota, health law opponents are planning to use problems in the state's exchange in the campaign against the governor.

The Hill: More Insurers Joining Obamacare Exchanges
A growing number of insurers say they intend to offer coverage on the ObamaCare exchanges next year. Insurance plans in New Hampshire, Michigan and Illinois are planning to enter into the federal marketplaces after deciding not to participate during ObamaCare’s first enrollment period, according to news reports. In New Hampshire, the number of ObamaCare insurers is set to rise from one to five next year; from 13 to 18 in Michigan; and from six to 10 in Illinois (Al-Faruque, 6/12). 

The Chicago Sun-Times: Ten Health Insurers Apply For Illinois Online Marketplace In 2015
Ten health insurers have applied to be part of the Affordable Care Act’s online marketplace in 2015 for Illinois, including for the first time, the state's second-largest insurer, UnitedHealthcare. And 504 health insurance plans were submitted to the Illinois Department of Insurance for 2015, including 306 individual plans and 198 plans for the small group insurance marketplace, the department said Thursday. Last year – the first year the 'Obamacare' marketplace existed – eight insurers offered 165 plans, including 120 individual plans and 45 small group plans (Thomas, 6/12).

Chicago Tribune: Interest Surges For Illinois Health Insurance Exchange
The state did not say which carriers submitted plans, which include 306 policies for individuals and 198 for small groups. "The significant increase in the number of carriers and the number of plans they are offering represents good news for Illinois health care consumers," said Jennifer Koehler, executive director of Get Covered Illinois, the state’s health care expansion enrollment arm. "It means consumers will have even more good options to choose from next year" (Frost, 6/12).

Minnesota Public Radio: DFLers Say They're Ready To Get Loud About Federal Health Law, MNsure
On Thursday, the Minnesota Jobs Coalition, a group working to help Republicans defeat DFL Gov. Mark Dayton, announced it will air a TV ad linking Dayton to MNsure, Minnesota's online health care exchange. But after taking some early lumps on MNsure — the rollout of the state website led to botched applications and the resignation of MNsure's executive director in December — Democrats are becoming more aggressive about promoting what they say are the program's benefits. "I think if the Republicans want to make this an issue, they're going to do so at their own peril," said DFL Party Chair Ken Martin (Scheck, 6/12).

The Star Tribune: GOP Group Blasts Dayton Over Health Insurance Overhaul
A leading group opposing Minnesota Democrats has launched its first television advertisement attacking DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and the state's health insurance exchange. The 30-second ad ties President Obama's health insurance overhaul with the troubled launch of the state's health insurance exchange, MNsure. "Barack Obama and Mark Dayton promised Minnesotans that Obamacare would help make things better," said Ben Golnik, chairman of the Minnesota Jobs Coalition. "MNsure remains a mess defined by missed goals, lost policies and bonuses for executives who failed in their jobs. Dayton is so out of touch with Minnesotans he even claimed Obamacare was working 'phenomenally well'" (Helgeson, 6/12).

The Associated Press: Group Targets Minnesota Gov. In TV Ad On Health Care Law
An independent political group's TV ad uses Gov. Mark Dayton's own words against him on the new health insurance law, prompting pushback from the Democrat's campaign. The Minnesota Jobs Coalition ad rolled out Thursday uses footage of Dayton from October saying MNsure was going "phenomenally well." MNsure is the Web-based exchange Minnesota is using to comply with the Affordable Care Act, known by many as "Obamacare." Minnesota's system had a choppy debut, which Republicans hope to turn into political advantage in a bid to defeat Dayton (6/12). 

And on the troubled Massachusetts exchange -

The Boston Globe: Mass. Health Connector Website Faces Critical Test In July
An assessment of the new software for the Massachusetts Health Connector website, set for early July, will provide the first read on whether the state is likely to succeed at running its own health insurance marketplace in 2015 or will default to the federal system. Meanwhile, the state will extend until the end of this year the transitional programs that have enabled people to obtain coverage despite the Connector site’s failure to work properly since it was launched last October (Freyer, 6/12).

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