KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

‘Flurry’ Of New Reports Show Wide Variations On Insurance Rate Costs

News outlets continue to follow recent studies released by several health policy groups about the expected premiums for plans offered on the new online insurance marketplaces.

McClatchy: Studies Show Varying Costs For Coverage Under Obamacare
A flurry of new reports from prominent health care research organizations show the cost of individual health coverage under Obamacare will vary widely among states next year, but drastic predictions of premium "sticker shock" have not materialized thus far. New research by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the RAND Corp. and Avalere Health have found competitive, affordable prices for individual coverage in states where the information is available. Those states include Washington, California, Florida, South Carolina and Texas (Pugh, 9/5).

Marketplace: New Reports Give Estimated Costs Of Healthcare Reform Plans
The health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act open in October. This week some reports are giving new estimates of how much money it will take to get into some of those plans (Hill, 9/5).

Huffington Post: Obamacare Premiums Will Vary Widely By State And City: Report
Retail prices for health insurance can be considerably different based in part on the cost of health care services where a person lives, even within the same state, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported Wednesday. Premiums also vary based on age, family size and tobacco use. But under Obamacare, prices cannot be based on someone's medical history and patients with preexisting condition cannot be turned away. The law also mandates a set of minimum benefits that includes hospitalizations, prescription drugs and maternity care (Young, 9/5).

CQ HealthBeat: Survey Shows Variation In Marketplace Premiums
Health care premiums in the new marketplaces will be lower than expected in many cases, according to two surveys released Thursday. But the costs will vary significantly for people who are getting the same kind of coverage, which could create more political problems for supporters of the law. ... Consumers also will see differences in their costs when compared to people in other states. And people who live in one region within a state are expected to face different costs than people in other regions. That variability could lead to confusion or hard feelings among consumers that other people are getting a better deal (Adams, 9/6).

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