Counting Down To Online Insurance Marketplaces

Counting Down To Online Insurance Marketplaces

The Wall Street Journal reports that consumers should start investigating the health law’s insurance exchange options.

The Wall Street Journal: Prepare For Big Piece Of Health Law

It’s time to get ready to buy insurance. The biggest part of the health-care law—online exchanges that offer insurance to individuals—kicks in next year. And beginning this October, states will start selling those health-care plans, which adhere to a new set of standards, though online marketplaces. But there already are many ways that you can start investigating options ahead of the rollout. This summer is prime time to educate yourself about your options, say health-insurance experts (Johnson, 6/8).

Meanwhile, news outlets provide health law implementation news from D.C., California and Massachusetts –

The Washington Post: D.C. Offers A Peek At The Health Insurance Prices Proposed For New Exchange

In the first glimpse of what District residents and small business owners can expect to pay for health-care coverage under Obamacare, officials on Friday released a snapshot of the proposed plans from four major insurance companies. … officials say a preliminary look reveals a large range of options at prices consistent with current rates (Vargas, 6/7).

Los Angeles Times: Town Hall Explains Healthcare Reform To Los Angeles Residents

Hundreds of L.A. County residents attended a town hall meeting at Cal State L.A. on Friday afternoon to learn about the state’s new insurance exchange, which will begin enrolling people this fall. Peter Lee, executive director of the health exchange called Covered California, explained what health plans were participating, what benefits were covered and how the enrollment would occur before taking dozens of questions from audience members (Gorman, 6/7).

Boston Globe: State May Fill Gap In Federal Health Care Coverage

A congressional mistake that could cause nearly 4 million people to be ineligible for federal subsidies in President Obama’s health care law has prompted Massachusetts officials to launch a new effort to try to close the gap. Under what has become known as a “glitch” in Obama’s health plan, eligibility for insurance subsidies will be based on how much it costs workers who buy an individual plan, not the far more expensive family plan. … Governor Deval Patrick’s administration has proposed a pilot program to allow workers at small businesses who cannot afford family coverage under their employer-sponsored health plans to qualify for subsidies (Jan, 6/10).

In other state news related to the health law –

Arizona Republic: Medicaid Expansion Gets Hearing In House

Facing a looming budget deadline and a bitterly divided Republican caucus, the state House today takes up Gov. Jan Brewer’s plan to expand Medicaid along with a controversial abortion bill some say is designed to kill the governor’s top legislative priority. The House Appropriations Committee will hold what is expected to be a contentious hearing on the two bills, likely ending with the defeat of Senate Bill 1492, which outlines Brewer’s plan to broaden Medicaid eligibility under the federal health-care overhaul (Reinhart, 6/10).