Capsules: HHS Delays Basic Health Plan Option Until 2015; Study: Premium Increases To Be Offset By Subsidies, Better Coverage; Despite Possible Ease In Regulations, Rural Hospitals Face Challenges

Now on Kaiser Health News' blog, Phil Galewitz reports on developments related to the basic health plan options: "The Obama administration has delayed by one year the rollout of a health program aimed at low to moderate-income people who won't qualify for the expanded Medicaid program under the federal health law" (Galewitz, 2/7).

In addition, Ankita Rao writes about the fiscal challenges ahead for rural hospitals: " Rural health care administrators got some good news this week. The Obama administration Monday proposed to ease some Medicare regulations – a change that could save rural hospitals much-needed money by allowing for more flexible staffing requirements. But for about 450 health care professionals who attended this week’s National Rural Health Association Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., sustaining the often low-volume hospitals will continue to be an uphill battle" (Rao, 2/7).

Also on Capsules, Julie Appleby reports on a white paper out Wednesday that finds premium increases will be offset by subsidies and better coverage: "How the federal health law will affect premiums is among the most asked – and most controversial – questions in the final months before new rules kick in requiring most Americans to carry coverage" (Appleby, 2/6). Check out what else is on the blog.

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