KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

More Young Workers Decline Employer Health Coverage

Despite the mandate that most Americans carry health insurance or pay a penalty, young workers employed by large companies signed up for job-based health plans at a lower rate than last year, according to a report by payroll services company Automatic Data Processing Inc. Meanwhile, Connecticut gets another insurer, and employers continue to shift health care costs to their workers.

The Wall Street Journal: Young Workers Fail To Flock To Employer Health Plans
Young workers in the U.S. signed up for employer-sponsored health plans at a lower rate than last year, a surprising result that helped keep overall workplace enrollment rates flat. Companies had been bracing for a big bump in the number of workers signing up for workplace plans because of the new government mandate that most American adults buy health insurance or pay a penalty. But new data on worker behavior for the 2014 coverage year from payroll-services company Automatic Data Processing Inc. suggest that surge of enrollment never happened, at least broadly across large companies (Francis and Banjo, 4/3). 

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Employers Still Shifting Health Benefit Costs To Workers, Report Finds
The number of health plans with out-of-pocket limits of more than $5,000 increased to 32% last year, up from 20% in 2012, as more employers continued to shift costs to employees, according to a report released Thursday by Zywave, a company that develops software for insurance brokers. The report is based on the company's database that includes almost 50,000 employers and 70,000 health plans. The increase in health plans with high out-of-pocket expenses could indicate that employers are moving to the caps set by the Affordable Care Act, said Michelle Jackson, product director for Wauwatosa-based Zywave (Boulton, 4/3).

The CT Mirror: CT Gets Another Insurer: Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
Connecticut has a new health insurer: Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, a nonprofit Massachusetts company, said Thursday that it has received a license to begin selling coverage in the state. The company plans to sell insurance in Connecticut’s small and large group markets, but does not plan to offer coverage through the state’s exchange, Access Health CT, in 2015, public relations director Joan Fallon said. “As we gain experience in the market, we will continue to assess when the time is right for us to enter the public exchange,” she said (Becker, 4/3).

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