KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Most Customers Said To Have Had Coverage Before

Insurers and others say at least two-thirds of the 2.2 million people who signed up for policies had bought their own coverage before or were enrolled in plans through work, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The Wall Street Journal: Exchanges See Little Progress On Uninsured
Early signals suggest the majority of the 2.2 million people who sought to enroll in private insurance through new marketplaces through Dec. 28 were previously covered elsewhere, raising questions about how swiftly this part of the health overhaul will be able to make a significant dent in the number of uninsured. Insurers, brokers and consultants estimate at least two-thirds of those consumers previously bought their own coverage or were enrolled in employer-backed plans (Weaver and Mathews, 1/17).

Meanwhile, the administration delayed another health law provision on policies for top executives.

The New York Times: Rules For Equal Coverage By Employers Remain Elusive Under Health Law
The Obama administration is delaying enforcement of another provision of the new health care law, one that prohibits employers from providing better health benefits to top executives than to other employees. Tax officials said they would not enforce the provision this year because they had yet to issue regulations for employers to follow (Pear, 1/18).

On other insurance issues -

The Washington Post: How Aetna’s CEO Thinks About Obamacare
Aetna chief executive Mark Bertolini spoke Wednesday at the J.P. Morgan Health Care Conference — and he had a lot to say about the health-care law's rollout. 1. The early exchange demographics are actually better than expected. Bertolini's take on the age-breakdown of marketplace enrollees was really interesting — and different from the reaction in Washington. While most of us journalists pointed out that the Obama administration is falling short of its young adult enrollment target, that doesn't really matter to Aetna. What matters to a health plan is who they expected to sign-up, and what type of age mixed they used to set their premium prices (Kliff, 1/17). 

USA Today: Co-Ops The Underdog In Health Insurance Marketplace
Consumer-run health insurance cooperatives, which were included in the Affordable Care Act to stimulate competition and lower prices, have been stymied by the insurance industry and a lack of publicity, industry and health care experts say (Kennedy, 1/19). 

The Wall Street Journal: When You Turn 26, You Must Get Health Insurance
For young adults aging out of their parents' plans, navigating the shifting health-insurance landscape for the first time can be tricky. Here's what you need to know to get coverage and avoid paying a penalty under the new rules (Gelman, 1/18).

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