For consumers, some pitfalls in Obamacare coverage could lie ahead

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Stateline reports that automatic re-enrollment of health plans bought through the state and federal exchanges could mean that people pay more than they would if they comparison shopped. In addition, The Associated Press reports that inconsistent subsidy amounts are leading some people to go without insurance.

Stateline: Pitfalls Emerge In Health Insurance Renewals
For the 8 million people who persevered through all the software trapdoors in the new health insurance exchanges and managed to sign up for coverage in 2014, their policies will probably automatically renew come November when open enrollment begins. Seems like good news after all the headaches consumers endured after the program's launch last year. Except that renewing the same policy may not be the best choice. Many may end up paying far more than they need to and with policies that don't best fit their individual circumstances. "(Automatic re-enrollment) could conceivably mean people will pay more in premiums unless they proactively take steps to comparison shop," said Jenna Stento, a senior manager at Avalere Health, a health care research and consulting firm (Ollove, 7/25).

The Associated Press: Varying Health Premium Subsidies Worry Consumers
Government officials say [Linda] Close -; and other consumers who have received different subsidy amounts -; probably made some mistake entering personal details such as income, age and even ZIP codes. The Associated Press interviewed insurance agents, health counselors and attorneys around the country who said they received varying subsidy amounts for the same consumers. As consumers wait for a resolution, some have decided to go without health insurance because of the uncertainty while others who went ahead with policies purchased through the exchanges worry they are going to owe the government money next tax season (Kennedy, 7/24).

Meanwhile, in the news from Florida -

Health News Florida: Hispanic Health Advocates Push For Votes
Advocates for health insurance are calling on Hispanics to get insured under the Affordable Care Act. And they're asking those same people to vote against lawmakers who oppose Obamacare. Latino community leaders in Central Florida say more than 200,000 Hispanic Floridians are uninsured. They're urging state lawmakers to accept federal funding and expand health care for all Floridians. Josephine Mercado of Hispanic Health Initiatives called it a human rights issue. Betsy Franceshini, a Florida-based representative of the Puerto Rican government, says many uninsured Hispanics work in industries like hospitality (Green, 7/24).

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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