KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

As Opening Day Approaches, Confusion Continues About Health Exchanges

With the Oct. 1 launch of the health law's online insurance marketplaces just days away, news outlets examine questions such as who will use them, what will make them a success, how long will it take to judge whether they are working, and other key issues.

Huffington Post: The Biggest Myth About Obamacare
The biggest part of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul is just days away from its debut, and the American public remains confused. For many consumers, the most important question is personal: What do I have to do? If you're one of the roughly 80 percent of Americans who already has health insurance through an employer or is enrolled in a government program like Medicare, the answer is: probably nothing. On Oct. 1, new health insurance websites will debut in each state. Some will be run by the state, and others will be run by the federal government. These sites, called health insurance exchanges or marketplaces, are designed to serve those without insurance and those who buy insurance on their own (Young, 9/23).

Politico: How Stakeholders Will Judge ACA On Day One
Obamacare allies couldn’t be clearer: The Oct. 1 launch of major new health coverage programs is the dawn of a new era, the first day of school for a nation that needs a health care education. And just like students, they say, Obamacare’s grades shouldn’t be based on the first day (Millman and Cheney, 9/23).

CQ HealthBeat: Would Government Shutdown Block Obamacare Marketplaces?
Whether or not the government shuts down on Oct. 1, Republicans are expected to fail in their attempts to defund and block the start of the health care law’s open enrollment period — which is scheduled to start the same day — according to former government officials, a GOP senator and a memo from the Congressional Research Service (Adams and Reichard, 9/23).

Bloomberg: Uninsured In U.S. Remain Steady As Health Exchanges Await
There was little shift in the share of people in the U.S without health insurance in the first quarter of 2013, a trend likely to change when new coverage marketplaces open next month as part of the health overhaul law. Forty-six million people didn’t have health insurance in the first quarter of the year and 57 million people, or 19 percent of the U.S., were without coverage at some point in the prior 12 months, according to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Armstrong, 9/24).

ABC News: 10 Things To Know About Health Insurance Exchanges
Your health insurance options are about to change. Starting October 1, Americans will be able to shop for coverage through national and state-administered insurance exchanges. But you only have six months to make your move. Here are 10 things you need to know before open enrollment begins (Moisse, 9/24).

CBS News: Obamacare: How Affordable Is It?
One week from Tuesday, a major portion of the president's health care reform law will go into effect and change the way millions of Americans get their health care. On Oct. 1, they can start signing up to buy insurance on the new state exchanges. Obamacare is officially the Affordable Care Act, but how affordable are the premiums? (Andrews, 9/23).

CBS News: Major Obamacare Milestone One Week Away: What To Expect
One week ahead of a major Obamacare milestone, Americans still have a number of questions and concerns about how the health care law will work. The confusion over the law is to be expected: deliberations about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) rollout are ongoing at the state level, political grandstanding persists in Washington, and all the while, consumers are seeing a stream of television ads with competing messages about the law (Condon, 9/24).

In addition, here's more on the subject of navigators -

The Texas Tribune: In Texas, 'Navigator' Training Becomes Political Football
A push for stricter training requirements for insurance "navigators," who will help uninsured residents sign up for health coverage, is fueling the latest political clash over the Affordable Care Act in Texas (Zaragovia, 9/24).

The Hill: GOP Raises More Questions About ObamaCare 'Navigators'
House Republicans raised new questions Monday about ObamaCare's "navigators" — an investigation that has touched a nerve with the healthcare law's supporters. Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee questioned how navigators will go about the task of explaining new health insurance options (9/24).

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