New Studies Indicate The Law's First Year Will Be Marked By Slightly Higher Costs, More Wellness Incentives

Cost and coverage implications of the health law continue to draw headlines.

Reuters: First Obamacare Open Enrollment Promises More Incentives And Costs
As American workers prepare for the first open enrollment season of the Obamacare era, hints are surfacing about what awaits them - higher deductibles, more incentives for staying well and premium hikes that continue to out-strip wages, albeit by more moderate amounts than in the past. For coverage in 2014, the first year in which key parts of the Affordable Care Act's healthcare reforms take effect, premium increases will be about 5 percent, according to two studies (Pinsker, 8/21).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Brokers Associated With More, Cheaper Health Coverage, Study Says
Health insurance agents, feeling threatened by the Affordable Care Act, will welcome research from the University of Minnesota that supports their longstanding argument that agents and brokers make insurance shopping easier and cheaper (Hancock, 8/22).

The Associated Press: Report: Health Overhaul Could Help Rural Residents
Rural residents could pay less for health insurance and medical care under the new health care law, according to a report released Wednesday by the Center for Rural Affairs in Nebraska. The issue is of particular importance to rural residents because they generally pay more for health insurance and have lower incomes than people who live in or near cities, according to the report (Johnson, 8/21).

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.