KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Details Emerging About Costs For Health Plans Available Through Health Exchanges

CNN Money reports that some consumers may be surprised by the out-of-pocket costs -- including deductibles and co-payments -- these plans include. Other news outlets report on developments related to online marketplaces in California, Minnesota and Colorado.

CNN Money: Obamacare: Is A $2,000 Deductible 'Affordable?'
Until now, much of the debate swirling around Obamacare has focused on the cost of premiums in the state-based health insurance exchanges. But what will enrollees actually get for that monthly charge? States are starting to roll out details about the exchanges, providing a look at just how affordable coverage under the Affordable Care Act will be. Some potential participants may be surprised at the figures: $2,000 deductibles, $45 primary care visit co-pays, and $250 emergency room tabs (Luhby, 6/12).

Los Angeles Times: Backers Of Rate Regulation Aren't Satisfied With Health Exchange
President Obama singled out California last week for getting better-than-expected rates in its rollout of the health insurance overhaul for millions of consumers. Yet some Obamacare supporters say those premiums are still too high, and they are continuing to push for a California ballot measure to regulate health insurance rates (Terhune, 6/12).

Los Angeles Times: Kaiser's Obamacare Rates Surprise Analysts
In California's new state-run health insurance market, Kaiser Permanente will cost you. The healthcare giant has the highest rates in Southern California and some other areas of the state, surpassing rivals such as Anthem Blue Cross and other smaller competitors. The relatively high premiums from such a strong supporter of the federal healthcare law surprised industry analysts, and it has sparked considerable debate about the company's motives (Terhune, 6/12).

MPR News: Call Center Coming To Answer Questions About MNsure
A call center will be open later this summer to provide information to consumers about health plans, enrollment choices and procedures regarding MNsure, Minnesota's new online health insurance marketplace. MNsure's executive director April Todd-Malmlov says Minnesota looked at the best practices of other states to develop the call center. If a phone staffer called can't answer a consumer's question, the staffer will conduct a "warm transfer" to someone who can (Stawicki, 6/13).

The Associated Press: For Minn. Health Insurance Marketplace, Operators Will Be Standing By Starting In September
The call center for Minnesota's new health insurance marketplace will be operational Sept. 3 to help prepare consumers for buying coverage when open enrollment begins a month later, officials said Wednesday (Karnowski, 6/12).

Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): Health Guides At 55 Sites Receive $17 Million For Outreach
Fifty-five community groups and hospitals throughout Colorado have received $17 million in grants from Colorado’s health exchange to assist people in signing up for health insurance. Altogether 74 applicants had asked for more than $57 million, so the grant committee had to dramatically cut requested funds and some of the proposed assistance sites have backed out. … Many had made large requests for marketing, advertising and other outreach efforts that the exchange may already be doing statewide (Kerwin McCrimmon, 6/12).

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