KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Seniors Can Ignore New Health Insurance Marketplaces

Officials are reminding those on Medicare that they don't need to sign up for health insurance coverage in Obamacare's marketplaces starting Oct. 1. In the meantime, a new study says Rochester, N.Y., has the lowest Medicare spending, and the notion of investing a portion of the money in your Health Savings Account gains steam.

The Wall Street Journal: Don't Confuse Medicare With Obamacare 
The annual Medicare open-enrollment period, which runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, overlaps this year with the initial registration for the Health Insurance Marketplace, a cornerstone of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). But don't confuse the two. They serve different populations. If you're already covered by Medicare, you needn't give the Marketplace another thought (Waters, 9/7).

Earlier, related KHN coverage: No Shopping Zone: Medicare Is Not Part Of New Insurance Marketplaces (Jaffe, 8/25). 

The Associated Press/Wall Street Journal: Rochester, NY, Cited For Lowest Medicare Spending
A new study finds that the Rochester area has the lowest overall Medicare spending rate in the nation, a feat health officials attribute to aggressive regional planning that keeps a lid on unneeded hospital expansions and technology upgrades that insurers ultimately pay for (9/8).

The Associated Press: How To Invest In Your Health Care
You already can invest your retirement money and your kid's college savings on Wall Street. Next on the list: your health care. A growing number of employees are required by companies to set up special savings accounts to cover part of their medical bills. Over time, they are also encouraged to invest a portion of it in stocks, bonds or a mutual fund, just like they do with a 401(k) or IRA. Americans now have $18 billion in Health Savings Accounts. … That's up more than 40 percent from a year ago (Sweet, 9/6).

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