KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Massachusetts Lawsuit On Part-Timers And Health Care, Utahns Satisfied With Insurance

News outlets report on a health care lawsuit in Massachusetts, a tobacco tax in Colorado and health plan ratings in Utah.

The Boston Globe reports: "A group of part-time community college instructors filed a lawsuit yesterday against the state, saying that hundreds of adjunct faculty in Massachusetts' public higher education system are unfairly denied health care coverage. The lawsuit, filed in Suffolk Superior Court on behalf of five instructors, follows nearly a decade of unsuccessful wrangling with state legislators to get an adjunct health insurance bill enacted into law. It also comes as schools, particularly community colleges, are increasingly turning to adjuncts amid burgeoning enrollment" (Jan, 11/24).

Denver Business Journal reports: "Thirty-two Colorado health-care providers who serve the uninsured are receiving $16,920,000 from a tobacco-tax surcharge, the state Department of Health Care Policy and Financing announced Tuesday. Voters in 2004 approved an increase in tobacco taxes for the state Primary Care Fund, which supports health services to uninsured Coloradans who aren't eligible for other health assistance programs, such as Medicaid and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+)" (11/24).

The Salt Lake Tribune reports: "Utahns' satisfaction with most aspects of their private health plans is improving. Since 2005, more people say they are getting the care they need -- and quickly, a new Utah Department of Health report shows. Their doctors, and the quality of the care they're receiving, also received higher marks, as did overall satisfaction with their plans. A total of 7,194 Utahns rated plans offered by both health maintenance organizations (HMOs) -- and, for the first time ever, preferred provider organizations (PPOs). The plans collectively cover 1.6 million people in the state, or about 70 percent of the insured" (Rosetta, 11/25).

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