KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Health Law’s Impact On Premiums Still A Question

Meanwhile, news outlets report on the Obama administration's challenge to educate a largely uninformed public about the law's benefits.

McClatchy: Obamacare's Big Decision: What Is It Going To Cost Me?
The cost of health coverage under Obamacare remains one the biggest mysteries of the nation’s health care overhaul. But nagging cost questions will slowly be answered this summer as insurers and state officials set 2014 health plan rates for people who buy coverage outside of work or purchase it through small employers. Those two coverage areas – the individual and small group markets – face the biggest rule and cost changes next year, when the main provisions of the Affordable Care Act finally kick in (Pugh, 6/17).

NPR: To Find Out How The Health Law Affects You, Ask The President
Call it the Affordable Care Act, call it Obamacare, call it whatever you want — it's coming. And soon. In less than four months people without health insurance will be able to start signing up for coverage that begins Jan. 1. A lot has been said about the law, most of it not that understandable. So starting now, and continuing occasionally through the summer and fall, we're going to try to fix that (Rovner, 6/17).

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Enrolling Uninsured In Obamacare Will Be A Challenge
Ray Bochas had little reason to learn about the details of the Affordable Care Act before February. That's when the InnoWare paper napkin and plate factory in Menomonee Falls shut down, and he lost his job and his health insurance. … He has heard that he's supposed to get health insurance next year but doesn't know what he and his wife will need to do. The Affordable Care Act's main goal of increasing the number of people with health insurance could hinge on reaching people like Bochas who will be eligible next year for coverage through Medicaid or through subsidized health plans sold on marketplaces known as exchanges (Boulton, 6/15).

The Wall Street Journal’s Law Journal: Want A Law Job? Learn The Health-Care Act
Some companies are warning that President Barack Obama's health-care overhaul will cost jobs. It won't be in their legal departments. Health-care companies racing to comply with the Affordable Care Act and other rules are calling in the lawyers, sparking a mini-boom for specialist attorneys who can backstop overloaded internal teams and steer clients through an increasingly crowded regulatory minefield (Smith, 6/16).

And here's the latest on how accountable care organizations are shaping up --

Medpage Today: Distribution Of ACOs Varies Widely
More than 40 percent of accountable care organizations (ACOs) formed under Medicare exist in only five states, leaving many states with one or none, according to an analysis by industry experts. Medicare ACOs are concentrated in states like Florida (32), California (22), and Massachusetts (18) but rural states -- like North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, Oklahoma, and Kansas -- are devoid of them, according to the analysis by consulting firm MedeAnalytics in Emeryville, Calif. Others like Montana, Idaho, Mississippi each only have one Medicare ACO (Pittman, 6/14).

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