KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Obama Discusses Health Exchanges And Premium ‘Rate Shock’ With Insurers

Media outlets report on a White House meeting between the president and insurance executives, the unexpected boost the overhaul has given to physician-owned hospitals and doctors' concerns that they may receive delayed pay from some patients who get coverage through the exchanges.

The New York Times: Obama Sees Insurers; Health Law Is Subject
President Obama met with insurance industry executives at the White House on Friday to coordinate the introduction this fall of the insurance marketplaces at the heart of the national health care law, and to discuss so-called rate shock if the industry sharply raises premiums. "We're all in this together," Mr. Obama told the executives, … Among attendees from the industry, which stands to get millions more customers, were Karen M. Ignagni, the head of a trade association for the insurance industry; Chet Burrell of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield; David M. Cordani of the Cigna Corporation; Scott P. Serota of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, a federation of local Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies; and Joseph R. Swedish of WellPoint (Calmes, 4/12).

The Wall Street Journal: Q&A: Small Business Health Exchanges
The Obama administration recently revealed plans to delay part of a program designed to make health insurance more affordable for small employers. If you're a small-business owner, what does this mean for you? For starters, the initiative is called Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP. It's an insurance marketplace, or "exchange," for businesses with 100 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees. Each state will have one starting next year. Some states will run their own exchanges, while others will be run in part or entirely by the federal government (Needleman, 4/12).

Kaiser Health News: Doctor-Owned Hospitals Prosper Under Health Law
Doctor-owned hospitals are earning many of the largest bonuses from the federal health law's new quality programs, even as the law halts their growth (Rau, 4/12).

Medpage Today: Docs May See Pay Delay Under ACA Exchanges
Physicians could face dramatic financial challenges for treating patients who receive health coverage through the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) exchanges starting next year. Insurance companies will not process claims on patients who haven't paid their premiums in 3 months, leaving doctors on the hook to recoup payment directly from the patients. The ACA provides a 3-month grace period to individuals who haven't paid their premiums, and the provision could prove problematic for physicians, said Elizabeth McNeil, vice president of federal government relations at the California Medical Association (CMA) in Sacramento (Pittman, 4/13).

MPR News: Until Health Law Takes Hold, Many Grapple With Insurance Limbo
For some people, big changes under the federal health care law cannot come soon enough. The law takes full effect in January, and before then many people will enter health insurance limbo as they lose coverage, including some who will age out of their parents' plans. The precise number of those losing coverage is unclear, but researchers indicate it could be in the hundreds of thousands nationwide. In Minnesota, one young woman, Laura Haynes, will soon face the expiration of her health insurance, leaving her to decide whether to buy an individual policy to carry her through until January (Stawicki, 4/15).

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