Why employers may eye health law exchange plans

Premiums for plans sold through the online marketplaces are lower, across the board, than the average premiums for the majority of Americans with work-based coverage, according to a report by PwC's Health Research Institute.  Meanwhile, California lawmakers criticize the hiring of people with criminal records to be insurance counselors and labor leaders continue to complain the law will undermine coverage for their members.

NBC News: Why Your Boss May Be Eyeing The Obamacare Exchanges
Premiums on the new government health exchanges are lower, across the board, than the average premium paid by the majority of Americans who have employer-based coverage, according to a new report released Thursday. This suggests that the Obamacare exchanges may be an appealing option for employers looking to provide enticing but affordable benefits to their workers, the team at PwC's Health Research Institute said. "Employers today are frustrated by the cost and hassle of providing health insurance, so they are looking for an affordable alternative to keep their employees healthy," said Ceci Connolly, managing director of PwC's Health Research Institute (Fox, 1/30).

Politico Pro: Obamacare 2.0: More Regulation
The president's health care law may finally be up and running, but the regulatory lift to get the Affordable Care Act working at full capacity is far from over. Four years after the law's passage, some major provisions still await regulatory action or have been delayed because of the Obama administration's struggles to get core elements in place in time for the start of enrollment last October. Large businesses haven't seen final rules for the employer mandate, and insurers are waiting for more details on the benefits they'll have to offer in the future (Millman, 1/31).

Los Angeles Times: Lawmakers Criticize Hiring Of Obamacare Enrollers With Criminal Records
California's health insurance exchange allowed 31 people with criminal records to be enrollment counselors for Obamacare coverage, drawing fire from Republican lawmakers. Two state legislators are calling for a hearing on the exchange's hiring practices and its efforts to prevent identity theft and fraud. ... Overall, California has certified 3,729 enrollment counselors statewide (Terhune, 1/30).

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: Union Chiefs 'Bitterly Disappointed' With Obamacare Efforts
Labor leaders are widely praising President Barack Obama for his State of the Union address Tuesday night –but his signature health-care law remains a point of contention for some. Their beef: The administration hasn't adequately addressed their complaints that provisions in the law will undermine the current health coverage of millions of union members (Trottman, 1/30).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


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