KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Health Plan Execs Say Millions More Are Insured

Meanwhile, Marketplace describes how hundreds of mostly rural residents in Tennessee still wait in line all night to get free health care, while Southern California Public Radio reports on Obamacare enrollees who feel emboldened to leave their jobs to start businesses now that they can get insurance outside of their jobs.

Politico: Insurers: Millions More Have Coverage Now
A panel of health insurers agreed Tuesday that the number of insured people in the country has climbed by millions, despite arguments by some Republicans that the insured population has declined because of canceled plans. “I don’t doubt that,” said Jay Gellert, president and CEO of the California-based Health Net, when asked whether there’s any real question that the nation’s insured population has grown (Cheney, 4/29).

Kaiser Health News: Some Obamacare Enrollees Emboldened To Leave Jobs, Start Businesses
Until recently, Mike Smith, 64, worked 11 hours a day, Monday through Friday and then half a day on Saturday, as a district manager for a national auto parts chain -- a schedule he’s kept for nearly 40 years. Early retirement, while certainly appealing, wasn't a viable option for him because both he and his already-retired wife, Laura, also 64, relied heavily on his job-provided health insurance. "At our age, with some preexisting medical conditions, it would have been very costly to buy insurance on the open market -- about $3,000 a month," he says (O’Neill, 4/29).

CQ:  Health Law Brings Access to More Contraceptives, But Coverage Gaps Remain, Advocates Say
The health care overhaul law is giving teens access to a wider range of contraceptive products that will strengthen efforts to prevent unwanted pregnancy among young people, advocates say. After a period of interpreting the law’s requirement for contraceptive coverage too narrowly, insurers have begun to cover a wider range of products including expensive intrauterine devices, speakers at a forum on preventing teen pregnancy in the District of Columbia said (Reichard, 4/29).

Marketplace: Why Some Rural Patients Wait All Night To Get A Tooth Pulled
The Affordable Care Act is intended to provide insurance for America’s poorest. It was supposed to control healthcare costs by getting people to doctors for routine visits. But for many low-income -- and especially rural -- Americans, healthcare needs are still not being met. At a fairground just outside downtown Knoxville, Tennessee, hundreds of people wait in line. ... The two-day clinic, called Remote Area Medical, offers free medical services -- from dental to vision to yearly checkups (McKone, 4/29).

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