KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Survey: Health Exchange Shoppers Have Choices Between Large And Small Provider Networks

The survey, done by consulting company McKinsey and Co., found the majority of online insurance marketplace customers have options that include both larger, more costly networks and smaller, more affordable ones. In addition, the latest on the SHOP program as well as a report about a new round of grants for navigators.

CQ Healthbeat: Exchange Customers Have Access to Broad Network Plans, Survey Shows
The overwhelming majority of health insurance exchange customers have a choice between large and more costly provider networks and smaller more affordable ones according to a new survey by the McKinsey and Co. consulting company. Critics of the health law have complained that exchange products limit choice of providers, even though in many instances shoppers in the marketplaces have no prior insurance and therefore had little or no choice of providers at all (Reichard, 6/11).

The Wall Street Journal: Some Small-Business Employees To Have Only One Health-Plan Choice
Small employers in 18 states will offer only one health plan to workers when the Affordable Care Act's small-business exchanges open this fall, federal officials said Tuesday. The 2010 law called for new online insurance marketplaces, which were supposed to open last year, for small businesses to pick group plans to cover workers. But those exchanges were delayed a year, and federal officials say they will lack some functions when they open in November (Radnofsky, 6/10).

Politico Pro: SHOP Flop: Obamacare For Small Businesses
The piece of Obamacare meant to help small businesses provide better health insurance options for their workers failed to launch in Year One, and the Obama administration on Tuesday gave the go ahead for 18 states to put part of it on hold once again. The Small Business Health Options Program is Obamacare’s neglected stepchild. As one of two new marketplaces set up by the health care law, SHOP was meant to encourage companies with up to 100 employees to cover their workers and give them a menu of insurance options. The delay leaves the exchange for small employers hobbled in large parts of the country until at least 2016 and creates another element of the law that’s inconsistent from state to state (Norman, 6/10).

The Hill: CMS TO Spend $60M On Navigators
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said Tuesday it will spend at least $60 million on Obamacare navigators for the 2015 enrollment period. Navigators are counselors who help consumers register for plans under federal and state health insurance exchanges (Al-Faruque, 6/10).

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