Capsules: IRS Ruling On Same-Sex Couples Has Implications For Health Law; HHS Will Allow ‘Unbanked’ People To Use Prepaid Debit Cards On Exchanges; Americans Have Low Health Insurance Literacy; Covered California Launches $80 Million Ad Campaign

Now on Kaiser Health News’ blog, Mary Agnes Carey reports on the IRS ruling: “The decision from the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service means that the income of legally married same-sex couples will be considered in determining eligibility for enrollment in the health law’s Medicaid expansion and for subsidies to purchase coverage in the law’s online marketplaces, or exchanges” (Carey, 8/30).

Sarah Varney reports on the Department of Health and Human Services decision to let “unbanked” people used prepaid debit cards to pay for insurance: “At the urging of advocates for low-income consumers, the Obama administration said Wednesday that it is moving ahead with a rule requiring health plans accommodate households that do not have traditional bank accounts. One in four of the uninsured eligible for federal insurance subsidies does not have a bank account, according to a report released earlier this year by the tax preparation firm Jackson Hewitt” (Varney, 8/29).

Also on the blog, Marissa Evans reports on a survey examining public understanding of health coverage buzz words: “Premium, deductible, copay, all basic health insurance terms many Americans don’t understand, according to a recent poll. More than half could not correctly define at least one of these common financial terms related to health insurance, according to poll results released by the American Institute of CPAs” (Evans, 8/29).

And, KPCC's Stephanie O'Neill, working in parnership with KHN and NPR, reports on Covered California's new ad: "Officials at Covered California — the Golden State’s health insurance marketplace – are placing a big bet on advertising to lure people to get health insurance. With a campaign boosted by $80 million from the federal government, they’ll tell people about the Affordable Care Act and encourage uninsured citizens to buy health insurance" (O'Neill, 8/30). Check out what else is on the blog.

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