Skip health coverage and the penalty may exceed expectations

The notion that, during its first year, the penalty for not getting health insurance is relatively small is not entirely accurate. News outlets also report on how the health law is affecting retiree health care, insurers' rate-setting processes, pregnant women's coverage and provider networks.    

NPR: You Might Pay A Lot More Than $95 For Skipping Health Insurance
2014 is the first year most Americans will have to either have health insurance or face a tax penalty. But most people who are aware of the penalty think it's pretty small, at least for this first year. And that could turn into an expensive mistake (Rovner, 3/12).

Reuters: Why Employers Are Shifting Retiree Health Into Insurance Exchanges
A dwindling number of retirees get supplemental health insurance coverage from their former employers. But for those who do, big changes are afoot. A growing number of companies are dropping single-employer group insurance plans in favor of privately run insurance exchanges, where a third party sets up a marketplace offering Medicare coverage offered by dozens of carriers, with costs subsidized by their former employers (Miller, 3/11).

Reuters: Insurers Wary Of Obamacare Unknowns As They Plan For 2015
U.S. health insurers are struggling to set prices for their Obamacare plans in 2015 and decide which regions to return to before the deadlines for submitting those plans to regulators. Some insurers already expect to lose money this year following the rocky launch of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, which aims to provide coverage to millions of uninsured Americans with the help of government subsidies (Humer, 3/11).

Modern Healthcare: Health Advocates Seek Clarity On How ACA Affects Pregnant Women
Health advocates are pushing the Obama administration to address widespread confusion about how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act affects coverage options for pregnant women (Dickson, 3/11).

The CT Mirror: Latest Obamacare Confusion: Exchange Plan Provider Networks
The rollout of the federal health law in Connecticut has been smoother than in many parts of the country, but it hasn't been without hiccups. The latest one: finding providers who take the new coverage. Some of the more than 60,000 people who have bought private insurance plans through the state's exchange, Access Health CT, have had trouble navigating their plans' networks of covered health care providers. "There remains confusion, I think, about the networks," Access Health CEO Kevin Counihan said. "Everybody's sensitive to it. It's clearly a big member issue" (Becker, 3/12).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from 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.



The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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