KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

March Is The Final Month Of The Health Law’s Open Enrollment Period — And The Rush Is On!

News outlets report that the White House -- facing high political stakes -- is attempting to increase the enrollment numbers with a targeted push aimed at African Americans, Latinos, young people and residents of cities with the highest uninsured rates. 

Politico: Obamacare's Under-The-Radar Sales Push 
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden spent their week pushing Obamacare — but most of the country probably didn’t notice. The final month of the White House enrollment campaign isn’t about daily events in Washington or speeches aimed at a national audience. Instead, Obama, Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama, cabinet members and senior administration officials are showering attention in very targeted ways on African Americans, Latinos, young people and the top 25 cities with the most uninsured Americans (Budoff Brown, 3/1).

The Hill: Pressure Rises As O-Care Deadline Nears
Pressure is rising on the White House as ObamaCare reaches its final month of enrollment roughly 3 million sign-ups behind its target goal. The administration hoped to enroll 7 million people in private plans during the reform's first year, but that became all but impossible after the botched launch of Now, with 4 million people signed up as of this week, officials are counting on a final pre-deadline rush to bolster the exchanges and raise morale among vulnerable Democrats already exhausted by ObamaCare attacks. It's a heavy lift between clamoring Republicans and a public that's in the dark (Viebeck, 3/2).

The Arizona Republic: Biden Promotes Health-Care Law At Scottsdale Restaurant
Vice President Joe Biden breezed into the Valley on Friday to chat up the Affordable Care Act and stress the importance of extending coverage to the uninsured during the final month of enrollment. The Obama administration is focused on the looming March 31 enrollment deadline for health-insurance coverage, and local advocates plan a late push to encourage eligible Arizonans to sign up. A coalition of non-profits, health clinics and other organizations has scheduled enrollment fairs today across Arizona at community centers, libraries and health clinics (Alltucker, 2/28).

The Associated Press: This Month's Big Deadline: What You Need To Know
The big deadline is coming March 31. By that day, for the first time, nearly everyone in the United States is required to be signed up for health insurance or risk paying a fine. Here's what you need to know about this month's open enrollment countdown (Cass, 3/2).

Also in the news, an explainer about why the outreach efforts might face an uphill climb -

ABC News: 4 Reasons That Young Adults Won't Sign Up for the Affordable Care Act
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released data showing that 55 percent of Americans who enrolled in plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the first three months were between the ages of 45 and 64. The report from January showed a whopping one-third of enrollees were aged 55 and older—people just shy of coverage under Medicare, and more likely to get sick or to have pre-existing health conditions. Only 24 percent of the 2.2 million who have signed up are between the ages of 18 and 34, well below the Obama administration's target of around 40 percent. A new study on the cost of insurance for young adults reveals why young adults may opt out of purchasing health insurance through the marketplace
(Pratini, 3/3).

Minnesota Public Radio: More Than Financial Penalty At Stake For Missed Health Care Deadline
Minnetonka-based health insurer Medica has launched an ad campaign to remind consumers that the deadline to obtain health insurance is more than just about avoiding a penalty. Under the federal health care law, most Americans who don't obtain insurance by March 31 will face a financial penalty. But Medica's Dannette Coleman said many consumers who buy on the individual market don't realize that in most cases if they miss that deadline, they'll have to wait nine months until January first to get covered again (Stawicki, 3/1).

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