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7.3 Million Who Picked Exchange Plans Paid Their Premiums

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 09:59

That number, which reflects the tally of people who obtained insurance via the health law, fell slightly from the estimated 8 million mark that was released in the spring. It means that at least 700,000 consumers who initially signed up for a health plan let it go.

Will Illinois Build State Exchange? Calif. Exchange Neutral On Prop 45

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 09:58

Time is running out for deadlocked Illinois lawmakers to build a state-based exchange. Meanwhile, California exchange officials stay neutral on a ballot initiative to allow the state insurance commissioner to regulate rates, and MNsure is back in the political fray.

Health Law, Medicare Remain Hot Topics In Campaign Commercials

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 09:24

Politico reports that, although the health law and other related issues may not be the flashpoints they were in other recent election years, they still have muscle on the campaign trail. For instance, Kentucky's Senate candidates both are running Medicare ads. In Georgia's Senate race, rural health care is part of the buzz.

Va. Legislators Return To Bitter Medicaid Expansion Debate, Kill Plan Without Formal Vote

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 09:23

Elsewhere, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert may be gaining ground in Washington with the state's alternative Medicaid expansion plan, but the concept still faces opposition at home.

Viewpoints: Ezekiel Emanuel's Choice Of An Age To Die; New Enrollment Numbers Still Confusing

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 09:23

A selection of opinions on health care from around the country.

First Edition: September 19, 2014

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 07:13

Today's early morning highlights from the major news organizations, including reports from a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform where the Obama administration provided its latest number -- 7.3 million -- of people who bought private insurance through the health law.

Research Roundup: Home Health Nurses' Workloads; Readmissions At The VA

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 00:00

Each week, KHN compiles a selection of recently released health policy studies and briefs.

Expert Panel: End-Of-Life Care In U.S. Needs Improvement

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 10:07

The 21-member Institute of Medicine panel concluded in its new report that incentives exist within the health system that often run contrary to dying patients' wishes. More conversations and planning are among the recommendations.

Competition Among Health Exchange Plans Curbing Prices, Says Humana Exec

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 10:06

Also in the news, data from Connecticut's exchange shows who purchased new coverage and if they have used it, and more on the staggered launch planned for Maryland's online marketplace.

Census Shows Health Insurance Coverage Winners, Losers

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 09:36

Among the 25 biggest cities, uninsured rates last year ranged from almost 25 percent in Miami and 23 percent in Houston to just more than 4 percent in Boston and 7.5 percent in Pittsburgh, according to Census data.

Virginia Lawmakers Expected To Return To Debate Over Medicaid Expansion

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 09:35

The topic will come up during a special session of the Virginia House of Delegates, which is dominated by Republican lawmakers who are on record opposing the approach. A poll released Wednesday, however, found the majority of Virginians support the expansion.

Viewpoints: Many Beneficiaries Of Health Law Don't Vote; Reboot For Healthcare.gov

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 09:35

A selection of opinions on health care from around the country.

States' Customized Efforts To Expand Medicaid Could Complicate Reform

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 09:35

Some conservative states have won concessions from the administration in exchange for moving forward on expansion, and other states are carefully weighing those choices.

Many See Health Law Coverage As Affordable, Survey Finds

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 09:34

That's most true among low-income consumers who receive subsidies to help pay their premiums, according to the Commonwealth Fund survey.

Health Law's Ripple Effects On Hospitals, Schools, Uninsured

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 09:33

The Kansas City Star reports that some uninsured patients fall through the cracks as hospitals cut back on charity care to persuade people to sign up for coverage. Some schools, meanwhile, are turning to private substitutes to avoid having to pay for their health coverage next year. In Colorado, Denver Health is back in the black, partly due to a dramatic decrease in uninsured patients.

Longer Looks: Lithium In The Water; Controlling Cancer; Recovering From Brain Injury

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 09:32

Each week, KHN's Shefali Luthra finds interesting reads from around the Web.

First Edition: September 18, 2014

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 07:10

Today's early morning highlights from the major news organizations, including details of a report by the Institute of Medicine on how end-of-life care should be overhauled.

GAO Warns of Security Risks In Healthcare.gov

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 10:05

Despite improvements, the federal health insurance website has continuing security holes that put consumers' personal information at risk, the nonpartisan watchdog agency said in a report Tuesday.

Exchange News: Md. To Stagger Rollout; Vt. Temporarily Shuts Website

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 10:04

Maryland officials are planning a gradual rollout of the state's health insurance website to avoid problems, and Vermont officials cite security concerns as part of the reason for taking down Health Connect. Developments in Minnesota, Connecticut and Oregon are also covered.

Senate Hearing Previews Upcoming Debate About Future Of CHIP

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 09:29

And, on the House side, Ways & Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, expresses displeasure with a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services plan to clear a hospital appeals backlog.