KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

States Examine Role In Health Reform Implementation, Worry Over Scams

Reuters/The Washington Post: The federal government is turning to states to "to institute key components" of the health overhaul law, "some of which have never existed before."

"Because the U.S. Congress used a maneuver known as 'reconciliation' to pass the final healthcare bill, it could not change dates included in the original draft from months ago, Mann told a meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures. That means states and the U.S. government have missed deadlines they must now address retroactively. Guidance on the supplemental drug rebate, which was supposed to start in January, will be released this week, said Mann. States must also brace for another key date - after January 1, 2014, the U.S. government will fine individuals who do not have healthcare coverage." States must also help create state-run health insurance exchanges and must navigate a sea of changing Medicaid qualifications. Among other changes states must make: "By 2014, states must pass laws establishing reinsurers, creating rules for electronic transactions, as well as expanding access to healthcare for children" (Lambert, 4/12).

USA Today: States are worried over health insurance scams. "Bogus health plans that advertise comprehensive coverage at bargain prices are on the rise, luring desperate consumers to pay for policies that won't cover their medical bills, state insurance commissioners say. … Among 37 insurance bureaus responding to a coalition survey last fall, 57% reported increases in health plan scams. The nation's new health care law may inspire more scams that prey on public expectations for expanded coverage and misrepresent the changes, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius warned in letters this month to states." Insurance regulators say consumers should check with state insurance regulation offices before buying a health plan (Young, 4/12). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.