KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Health Law Brings Changes For Small Business Regarding Insurance Coverage

The Wall Street Journal reports that, even though businesses with fewer than 50 employers are exempt from the health law's most stringent requirements, they still face challenges. Also, patient groups increasingly worry that coverage through the overhaul's exchanges might shift drug costs to people with chronic illnesses, and HIV and AIDS advocates have filed a formal complaint about drug pricing.

The Wall Street Journal: Small Firms Hit By Big Changes In Health Coverage
Smaller employers aren't required under the Affordable Care Act to offer coverage for their full-time workers—as larger firms must by 2016 or face penalties, for instance. But many owners of small ventures and startup entrepreneurs are nonetheless facing big changes to how they obtain their own health coverage, as well as to the benefits they're able to offer employees. ... Several thousand of the nation's smallest business owners—sole proprietors and the self-employed—were kicked off their small-business plans by carriers earlier this year. That is because new guidelines define "employers" as having at least two full-time employees, not including a spouse, in order to be eligible for group plans (Loten, 8/6).

The Associated Press: AIDS Patients Fear Discrimination In ACA Exchange
Patient advocates say some insurance companies are making HIV and AIDS drugs unaffordable in plans issued through the Affordable Care Act by shifting much of the cost to customers. While the issue applies broadly to all patients with chronic illnesses that require expensive medication, HIV and AIDS advocates say they were the first to file a formal complaint with the government about pricing (Kennedy, 8/6).

USA Today: The Kaiser Way: Lesson For U.S. Health Care?
The Affordable Care Act has been dramatically changing the way hospitals do business, forcing them to rethink which patients they admit and focus on keeping people healthy. For Kaiser Permanente, however, it's been largely business as usual, says CEO Bernard Tyson, who took the helm a year ago (O’Donnell, 8/6).

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