Correspondent, U.S. health team leader
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Nov 21, 2013

Insurance commissioners raise concerns about healthcare fix with Obama

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – State insurance commissioners told President Barack Obama on Wednesday that his effort to stem a wave of insurance cancellations caused by his signature healthcare law could lead to higher premiums.

Obama met with representatives from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to discuss the “fix” he came up with last week to calm the uproar surrounding millions of cancellation notices sent to holders of individual health insurance policies no longer legal under the healthcare law, known as Obamacare.

Nov 20, 2013

Early Obamacare data show older Americans more apt to sign up

By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – More older Americans than young adults so far have signed up for new insurance coverage under the state marketplaces created by President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, according to early data from four states reporting details on their enrollment.

The age balance is being closely watched to determine the financial stability of the insurance market created by the Affordable Care Act, as the participation of younger people is needed to offset costs for sicker beneficiaries. To ensure that younger people sign up, the law requires individuals to pay a penalty if they do not have health coverage.

Nov 15, 2013

GE plans to spin off credit card unit to shrink finance arm

NORWALK, Connecticut (Reuters) – General Electric Co (GE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) plans to spin off part of its North American retail finance business next year as a separately traded public company in a long-term attempt to generate less profit from the volatile financial sector and more from manufacturing.

As part of the move, which Chief Executive Jeff Immelt hinted at earlier this year, GE said on Friday it will float about 20 percent of the retail finance unit in the initial public offering.

Nov 14, 2013

Obamacare ‘fix’ creates new headaches, say insurers and regulators

NEW YORK, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Insurers and state regulators
say they fear that President Barack Obama’s “fix” for policies
canceled under his healthcare reform law could create new
problems and lead to an increase in premiums.

Facing pressure by lawmakers from his Democratic Party,
Obama said on Thursday that insurers could extend by a year
policies that were due to be canceled in 2014 because they do
not comply with higher standards of benefits and other
requirements under the 2010 law, commonly called Obamacare.

Nov 12, 2013

New Obamacare sign-up effort aligns with expected website fix

By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – A new push to sign up Americans for insurance under President Barack Obama’s healthcare law will begin in December, when the government’s faulty enrollment website is expected to work better, an advocacy group leading the campaign said on Tuesday.

Technical problems with the HealthCare.Gov website since it opened October 1 has hindered enrollment and undercut momentum for organizations such as Enroll America, which has led efforts to explain benefits to consumers in 10 states, including Florida, Texas and Ohio.

Nov 6, 2013

Interest in Obamacare rises despite website problems: Reuters/Ipsos poll

By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – Uninsured Americans are showing more interest in the coverage offered under President Barack Obama’s healthcare law despite technical problems that have hindered enrollment through a government website, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.

The glitches have crippled HealthCare.gov, the new online insurance marketplace meant to serve people in 36 states, frustrating millions of would-be applicants since it opened for enrollment on October 1.

Nov 6, 2013

Interest in Obamacare rises despite website problems

Nov 6 (Reuters) – Uninsured Americans are showing more
interest in the coverage offered under President Barack Obama’s
healthcare law despite technical problems that have hindered
enrollment through a government website, according to a
Reuters/Ipsos poll.

The glitches have crippled HealthCare.gov, the new online
insurance marketplace meant to serve people in 36 states,
frustrating millions of would-be applicants since it opened for
enrollment on Oct. 1.

Nov 5, 2013

California insurer delays policy cancellations tied to Obamacare

By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – Health insurer Blue Shield of California said on Tuesday it will delay policy cancellations for 113,000 customers who were due to lose coverage at the end of the year as a result of new requirements from President Barack Obama’s healthcare law.

Under pressure from California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, Blue Shield agreed to allow customers on the individual insurance market to receive a 90-day extension of their plans.

Oct 31, 2013

More U.S. small businesses plan for employee health coverage: survey

By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – The number of U.S. small businesses planning to start to offer health coverage for their employees next year slightly exceeds the number that expect to drop coverage, even as costs continue to rise, according to a survey released on Thursday.

The survey by the National Federation of Independent Business, a trade organization, was designed as the first of a three-year look at how small businesses are adapting to President Barack Obama’s healthcare law. The survey did not, however, ask respondents if they were being influenced in their plans to start coverage by the new law.

Oct 29, 2013

Lower-cost coverage at risk if no quick fix of Obamacare website

By Lewis Krauskopf and David Morgan

(Reuters) – If technical problems with the U.S. government’s new healthcare website are not fixed in November, hundreds of thousands of Americans could lose easy access to lower-cost coverage, jeopardizing the Obama administration’s goal of making affordable insurance broadly available in 2014.

Consumers in 36 states are relying on Healthcare.gov to qualify for tax subsidies that will reduce coverage costs under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which was expected to cover 7 million people next year alone through new private insurance marketplaces.

    • About Lewis

      "I help coordinate coverage of healthcare companies for Reuters in the United States. I also cover health insurers, pharmacy benefit managers, generic drugmakers and pharmaceutical companies."
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