Correspondent, U.S. health team leader
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Dec 18, 2013

Insurers wary of new Obamacare fix for January health plans

By Caroline Humer and Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – Insurance companies are struggling with a new request by the Obama administration to make sure people receive medical benefits under healthcare reform come January 1, even if they miss a sign-up deadline set for next Monday.

The government has sought to reassure consumers, already frustrated by technical problems that stalled access to its HealthCare.gov enrollment website in October and November, that those who need coverage starting on New Year’s Day will be able to sign up.

Dec 13, 2013

United Technologies gives muted view for 2014

By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – United Technologies Corp (UTX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s largest maker of elevators and air conditioners, on Thursday projected earnings to rise 7 percent to 11 percent next year, barely meeting analysts’ targets, and gave a revenue view that fell short of Wall Street expectations.

The diversified U.S. manufacturer, which also makes Pratt & Whitney jet engines and Black Hawk helicopters, is being weighed down by its defense business, while sales are expected to be strong next year for its Otis elevators branch.

Dec 12, 2013

For some Obamacare shoppers, a brief grace period on premiums

NEW YORK, Dec 12 (Reuters) – As a deadline approaches for
people to sign up for medical insurance under President Barack
Obama’s healthcare law, some insurers and state-run online
marketplaces are giving shoppers an extra week to pay their
first premiums.

The shift to early January from the end of December provides
a short grace period for insurers and shoppers to work through
any errors in the new policies caused by technology problems
dogging enrollment since it opened on Oct. 1.

Dec 3, 2013

Retooled Obamacare website traffic surges but problems remain

By David Morgan and Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – A surge of visitors clogged the U.S. government’s revamped healthcare insurance shopping website on Monday, signaling that President Barack Obama’s administration has a way to go in fixing the portal that showcases his signature domestic policy.

Facing its first big test since officials proclaimed over the weekend that they had met their deadline to make HealthCare.gov run smoothly for the “vast majority” of users, the site performed markedly better than it did during its disastrous launch two months ago – but was still short of the crisply running insurance marketplace Obama once touted.

Dec 2, 2013

Obamacare website faces new tests as traffic builds

By David Morgan and Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama and his HealthCare.gov website face another critical test this week, as Americans who have been unable to enroll for health insurance coverage rush to a site that continues to face challenges.

While the administration said it met its weekend deadline for making the website operate smoothly for most users, it must prove HealthCare.gov can handle a surge of enrollment as non-profit groups begin efforts to reach consumers before a December 23 deadline for coverage that begins January 1.

Dec 1, 2013

Obama administration says achieves key goal of fixing HealthCare.gov

By David Morgan and Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – Two months after the disastrous launch of a key component of President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, administration officials on Sunday said they had achieved their goal of getting HealthCare.gov operating smoothly but warned the website will need more fixes.

Obama’s specially appointed adviser Jeffrey Zients said a five-week emergency “tech surge” had doubled the capacity of the online health insurance portal while making it more responsive and less prone to errors.

Nov 28, 2013

The second coming of Obamacare website – will it work?

Nov 28 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s healthcare law
is facing its biggest test this weekend since its disastrous
Oct. 1 launch, as Americans find out whether the administration
has met a self-imposed deadline to fix its insurance shopping
website.

Another major outage of glitch-ridden HealthCare.gov could
spell more political trouble for the president, who was forced
to apologize for the botched rollout and admit burdening
Democratic Party allies in their bids for re-election to
Congress in 2014.

Nov 23, 2013

Sotheby’s top auctioneer leaving amid investor pressure

By Lewis Krauskopf and Svea Herbst-Bayliss

(Reuters) – Tobias Meyer, Sotheby’s (BID.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) chief auctioneer, is leaving the auction house, the company said on Friday, just a week after Sotheby’s recorded the highest sale in its history.

The departure of Meyer, the worldwide head of contemporary art, comes as Sotheby’s is being pressured by activist investors including Daniel Loeb to improve its business strategies and earn more money for shareholders.

Nov 22, 2013

California exchange rejects extension of Obamacare-canceled plans

By Lewis Krauskopf and Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – California’s new health exchange will not allow canceled policies to extend past the end of the year, defying President Barack Obama’s effort to repair his pledge that people can keep their current plans.

The announcement on Thursday by the most populous U.S. state, an early supporter of Obama’s Affordable Care Act, marked the latest state to reject the president’s fix, which he announced last week after taking political fire for not keeping his promise to allow people to keep their plans if they like them.

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.

    • 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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