KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Consumer Groups Warn That Patients Could Face Large Out-Of-Pocket Costs

The Obama administration has opted to delay for some plans a health law provision that caps consumers' out-of-pocket exposure.   

Kaiser Health News: Consumer Groups Fear Patients Could Be Hit With Large Out-Of-Pocket Costs
Consumer groups are warning that insurers and employers may be able to keep offering health plans next year that include out-of-pocket caps for individuals of $12,500 or more -- double the amount allowed under the federal health law. The Obama administration has decided not to enforce that section of the law for some plans for another year, say 10 consumer groups which Monday wrote federal officials asking that the move be reconsidered (Appleby, 4/9).

Meanwhile, news on the District of Columbia's health insurance exchange -

The Washington Post: Smokers Will Pay Same Rates As Nonsmokers In D.C. Insurance Exchange
With less than six months until the District's health insurance exchange is set to debut, policymakers have made another momentous decision that will affect how much residents pay for coverage. On Monday, the D.C. exchange's executive board voted to prevent insurers from charging higher premiums to smokers than to nonsmokers — meaning nonsmokers are likely to pay modestly higher rates than if smoking surcharges were permitted (DeBonis, 4/9).

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