Health Law's Insurance Rebates, Exchanges And Mandates Continue To Draw Headlines

News outlets report on a variety of health law implementation policies, including state-level action.

NPR: Affordable Care Act's Insurance Rebates In The Mail
Robert Siegel talks with Julie Rovner about an immediate effect of the new health care law — rebate checks — how they vary, and why some insurers owe Americans money (Rovner and Siegel, 7/27).

CQ HealthBeat: On Exchanges: This Summer The Policy Community Is Sweating Implementation Details
It was not everything they wanted to know about health insurance exchanges, but it was a lot. With deadlines looming, audience members at a standing-room-only Capitol Hill forum Friday peppered federal and state officials with dozens of questions about the nitty gritty of creating the new insurance marketplaces. And they got answers. For example, it now appears that a proposed rule for the "essential health benefits" that must be offered by plans sold in exchanges will come out in August (Reichard, 7/27).

The Washington Post: Health Insurance Mandate Faces Huge Resistance In Oklahoma
The Supreme Court may have declared that the government can order Americans to get health insurance, but that doesn't mean they're going to sign up. Nowhere is that more evident than Oklahoma, a conservative state with an independent streak and a disdain for the strong arm of government. The state cannot even get residents to comply with car insurance laws; roughly a quarter of the drivers here lack it, one of the highest rates in the country (Somashekhar, 7/29).

Arizona Republic:  Health-Care Act To Have Tax Impact
Several key tax rules are scheduled to change in 2013, especially for higher-income individuals.  Republicans are still trying to overturn the law, and that could happen based on what transpires in the November election. But if nothing changes, here's what to expect in terms of the health-related tax impact, with focus on items that apply to individuals rather than businesses (Wiles, 7/28)

CT Mirror:  Connecticut's Health Exchange Board Determines Basic Coverage
Connecticut's health insurance exchange board has selected a mandatory benefit plan that many state residents will choose for coverage that is more generous than the federal Affordable Care Act requires.  The plan will offer abortion services, although people receiving federal help to buy health insurance will have to pay for pregnancy termination coverage out of pocket.  That plan would be the minimum health insurance companies will be able to offer when the largest phase of the Affordable Care Act is implemented in 2014.  The exchange board members decided to model the "benchmark" plan on a ConnectiCare HMO that provides coverage for thousands of state residents (Radelat, 7/27).

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