Obama administration, state regulators focus efforts on insurer networks

The New York Times reports that standards are being developed to protect consumers' choices of doctors and hospitals under the health law's new insurance plans. Also, the Wall Street Journal checks in on how the ranks of the uninsured are reacting to the overhaul.

The New York Times: To Prevent Surprise Bills, New Health Law Rules Could Widen Insurer Networks
The Obama administration and state insurance regulators are developing stricter standards to address the concerns of consumers who say that many health plans under the Affordable Care Act have unduly limited their choices of doctors and hospitals, leaving them with unexpected medical bills. Federal officials said the new standards would be similar to those used by the government to determine whether Medicare Advantage plans had enough doctors and hospitals in their networks (Pear, 7/19).

The Wall Street Journal: Surveys Show Shrinking Ranks Of Uninsured
The new Affordable Care Act and the recovering economy may have helped as many as nine million Americans obtain health insurance in the past year. And while the falling jobless rate is a significant factor in the gains, health-policy analysts say the lion's share of the credit goes to the new law, commonly known as Obamacare, several key provisions of which are being implemented this year. Three studies released on July 10--by Gallup, the Commonwealth Fund and the Urban Institute--show a marked decline in the percentage of people who don't have health insurance (Gay, 7/20).

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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