Lower Premiums -- But Only If Right People Buy; Other Health Exchange News

CBS News looks at the dynamics of the health exchanges. In the meantime, officials in Minnesota and Maryland are weighing how to educate consumers about the nuances of the marketplaces, while private organizations are filling that role in Texas.

CBS News: Health Care Exchanges Could Lower Premiums -- If They're Bought (Video)
On Thursday, the president promised what he called "more bang for your buck" when a major part of his health insurance program opens for enrollment in October. The Affordable Care Act is facing public doubts and technical setbacks, but President Obama said costs are falling and will fall even more when uninsured Americans begin enrolling in health care exchanges where insurance companies will compete for customers. There are potential savings to be had -- if the right customers buy in (Axelrod, 7/18).

The Texas Tribune: Groups Work to Promote Health Insurance Exchange
Texas officials have declined to establish a state-based health insurance marketplace, a major provision of the federal Affordable Care Act. So private organizations are working to educate Texans about coverage options through the federal health insurance exchange, which opens on Oct. 1 (Luthra, 7/18).

MinnPost: State Considers Release Of Health Insurance Rates For MNSure
Policymakers and state officials are looking at ways to shed some light on the rates consumers will pay on Minnesota's health-insurance exchange before more than a million Minnesotans are expected to begin enrolling in the complicated new health-reform program. The state Commerce Department is examining ways to provide at least a summary of the rate information before October, the federally imposed deadline on the state to begin enrolling consumers in MNsure, the backbone of the federal health-care reform law here in Minnesota (Nord, 7/18).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Md. Official Urges Businesses To Take Part In Program For Tax Credits In Health Care Reform
The comptroller of Maryland is urging small businesses to take advantage of tax credit they could be eligible for relating to health care reform. Comptroller Peter Franchot is scheduled on Monday to talk about a pilot program to see how well mailings to more than 5,000 small businesses in Howard County will boost interest (7/18).

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