Aetna Pulls Insurance Plans From Md.'s Health Law Exchange

In state health insurance marketplace news, Aetna won't sell its plans on Maryland's version of the exchange over concerns premiums wouldn't cover costs. Officials in Colorado, Missouri, California and Oregon also face decisions about their marketplaces and the challenges to enrolling their residents in them.

Baltimore Sun: Aetna Pulls Health Plans From State Insurance Exchange
Aetna Inc. said Friday it canceled plans to sell insurance on Maryland's new health insurance exchange, set to open Oct. 1 as part of the federal health care reform law, after regulators cut the rates it could charge consumers for its plans. Aetna was one of several carriers poised to sell on the state's exchange, along with Coventry Health Care, which Aetna acquired this spring. But Aetna told Maryland Insurance Commissioner Therese M. Goldsmith in a letter this week that cuts regulators made to the rates the companies had proposed "would not allow us to collect enough premiums to cover the cost of the plans." (Dance, 8/2).

The New York Times: Colorado Presses For Uninsured To Enroll 
Television commercials have already run suggesting that buying health coverage through the state's new insurance market, Connect for Health Colorado, will feel like winning the World Series. ... This is Colorado, five months before the central provisions of President Obama's health care law take effect: a hive of preparation, with a homegrown insurance market working closely with state agencies and lawmakers to help ensure the law's success (Goodnough, 8/2).

The New York Times: Missouri Citizens Face Obstacles To Coverage 
Looking for the new health insurance marketplace, set to open in this state in two months, is like searching for a unicorn. The marketplace, or exchange, being established by the federal government under President Obama’s health care law has no visible presence here, no local office, no official voice in the state and no board of local advisers. ... While states like Colorado, Connecticut and California race to offer subsidized insurance to their citizens, Missouri stands out among the states that have put up significant obstacles (Pear, 8/2).

Los Angeles Times: California's Latinos Critical For Success Of Obamacare
California has launched a major campaign to educate Latinos about Obamacare before enrollment begins Oct. 1. More than half of Latinos have little or no understanding of the Affordable Care Act, according to a recent survey by Latino Decisions, an opinion polling organization. The percentage is higher among those who speak mostly Spanish, the survey found (Gorman, 8/1).

The Oregonian: Oregon Officials Brace For Scammers Over Health Enrollment Push
Two days after filling out a state form to apply for health coverage, the Oregon woman received a call with good news: She'd been approved. The caller just needed her bank account information to cover the sign-up fee. The only problem? There was no sign-up fee, and the caller was a fake (Budnick, 8/3).

A study says if all states expanded Medicaid under the health law, 85 percent of residents would have some form of health coverage --

Stateline: Measuring The Effect Of Medicaid Expansion
If every state expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, at least 85 percent of the residents in each one would have some form of health insurance, according to a new report by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Urban Institute. Current health coverage rates vary from more than 90 percent in Massachusetts, Hawaii and the District of Columbia, to less than 75 percent in Texas and Nevada (Ollove, 8/2).

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