KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

States Question Exchange Readiness, Appropriateness And Effects

Officials in some states are expressing pessimism that the new Obamacare health insurance exchanges will be the place for residents to buy health coverage or are questioning their readiness. In Missouri, the lieutenant governor is telling residents to stay away from the exchanges.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Kaiser Health News: Missouri, Illinois Health Insurance Exchanges Gear Up Quietly
Across the country, states are featuring celebrities, quirky songs and football game-day ads to promote the Oct. 1 debut of the online health insurance exchanges. Minnesota's multimillion-dollar campaign, for example, stars Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox in zany situations in which the lumberjack unexpectedly needs medical attention -- and health insurance (Young, 9/23).

The Associated Press: Kinder Urges Missouri Residents Not To Use Health Exchange
Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder has a message for the thousands of Missourians looking for health insurance: Don't get it through an online marketplace that launches next week. Kinder, a Republican who is Missouri's second-ranking executive, sought Monday to discourage participation in the health insurance exchanges that form the centerpiece of the 2010 Affordable Care Act signed by President Barack Obama (9/24).

Kansas City Star: Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder: Missouri Residents Should Skip Health Exchange
Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder has a message for the thousands of Missourians looking for health insurance: Don't get it through an online marketplace that launches next week (Lieb, 9/23).

The Associated Press: Donelon: Complexity Of Health Law 'Mind-Boggling'
Louisiana's insurance commissioner said Monday that there is "no way at all" that people have enough information to make decisions when the new health insurance marketplaces created by the federal Affordable Care Act open next week. Registration opens Oct. 1 for the thousands of people who don't get health insurance through work to shop for coverage through online marketplaces, with coverage to begin Jan. 1 (Deslatte, 9/23).

The Texas Tribune: New Health Plan Regulations Come Into Focus As Rollout Nears
Though the state has refused to implement some provisions of the Affordable Care Act, including a health insurance marketplace, new regulations of insurance plans -- and their rates -- will still take effect in Texas (Zaragovia, 9/23).

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: 92,000 Will Lose BadgerCare Coverage On Dec. 31
Gov. Scott Walker's administration is notifying 92,000 Wisconsin residents this month that their health insurance through BadgerCare Plus will end this year, requiring them to buy a subsidized but potentially more costly commercial health plan through the federal marketplace being set up under the Affordable Care Act (Stein and Boulton, 9/23).

Other states are trying to assess their readiness and helping residents wade through the choices -

California Healthline: Hearing Will Target Launch Of Exchange
The Assembly Committee on Health today will convene a hearing on the readiness of Covered California, the state's health insurance exchange, which is set to launch its first enrollment period next week. Years of planning have gone into setting up the exchange, and its enrollment season runs from Oct. 1 through Apr. 1, 2014. Californians who enroll now for subsidized health insurance through the exchange will start receiving coverage benefits on Jan. 1, 2014. Today's hearing will look at the exchange's readiness, said Assembly member Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), as potentially millions of Californians could inquire about the program in the next few months (Gorn, 9/23).

The CT Mirror: Access Health Chief: Get Help Applying For Obamacare Coverage, And Don't Use Paper
With just over a week to go before the state’s new health insurance marketplace launches, its leader has some advice for potential shoppers: Get help enrolling. And please, whatever you do, avoid the paper application (Becker, 9/23).

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