Feds Issue Rules For 'Navigators' Who Will Help Consumers Buy Health Insurance

As the Obama administration published rules for "navigators," who will be hired in every state to help consumers shop in new insurance marketplaces, news outlets examine how states are setting up those marketplaces and the impact on consumers.

The Hill: HHS Sets Rules For ObamaCare 'Navigators'
The Health and Human Services Department (HHS) on Wednesday outlined the standards for "navigators" who will help consumers shop for health insurance in new marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act. The healthcare law establishes insurance exchanges in each state, where consumers who don't get insurance through their employer can compare and buy plans (Baker, 4/3).

Georgia Health News: Many Georgians Projected To Get Exchange Subsidy
More than 800,000 Georgians will be eligible for new government subsidies next year to buy coverage in a health insurance exchange, according to a report released Wednesday. The subsidies or tax credits will help defray the cost of insurance for individuals and families on the new exchanges, set to launch in January under the Affordable Care Act. The report, from consumer advocacy group Families USA, a longtime supporter of the 2010 health care law, also found that most Georgians eligible for credits are in working families and have incomes between two and four times the federal poverty level, or about $47,100 to $94,200 for a family of four (Miller, 4/3).

The Washington Post: Va. General Assembly Reconvenes To Vote On McDonnell’s Amendments
But the bipartisan spirit that coalesced around the historic compromise on transportation soon evaporated as the legislature voted to adopt an amendment by McDonnell that would forbid insurers in federally managed exchanges under President Obama’s health-care plan from covering most abortions (Whack and Kunkle, 4/3).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Despite Federal Delay, Minn. Vows To Have Small Business Options On New Health Exchange
Workers at small businesses that buy health insurance on MNSURE — Minnesota's new online marketplace — will have access to features that will be delayed in many other states (Stawicki, 4/3).

Meanwhile, CNN examines the health law's impact on those who buy their own insurance -

CNN Money: Most Individual Health Insurance Isn’t Good Enough For Obamacare
If you buy your own health insurance now, you'll be in for a big change when you sign up for coverage in 2014. Just over half of the individual plans currently on the market do not meet the standards to be sold next year, when many key provisions of President Obama's Affordable Care Act kick in, according to a University of Chicago study. That's because the law sets new minimums for the basic coverage every individual health care plan must provide (Luhby, 4/3).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.