Roundup: Rural enrollment challenges, more calls to shut down Cover Oregon, tracking premium changes in NY
Between my son being sick for the past 4 days (he's better now, thanks!), losing my internet connection for 2 days (it's back up now, thanks!) and just generally being swamped with work, I don't have time to give these stories the attention they deserve, but they're all worth checking out:
Americans living in rural areas will be a key target as states and nonprofit groups strategize how to enroll more people in health law insurance plans this fall.
Though millions of people signed up for private insurance or Medicaid in the first year of the Affordable Care Act, millions of others did not. Many live in rural areas where people “face more barriers,” said Laurie Martin, a RAND Corp. senior policy researcher. Brock Slabach, a senior vice president at the National Rural Health Association, said “the feds are particularly concerned about this.”
Oregon legislators from both parties are adding their voices to the growing movement to shut down Cover Oregon, the stillborn state health care exchange that was never able to deliver on its promise as a one-stop shop for private health insurance.
Many health insurance companies had asked for double-digit rate increases, citing a number of concerns including enrolling an older, sicker population than originally estimated, but the state dramatically reduced most requests. Even companies that wanted to cut their rates were told to cut further.
(note: Includes a nifty color-coded pie chart showing how different companies changed their rates)