Winners And Losers: Some Will See Big Benefits, Others May Take Hits

USA Today reports midsize businesses may be the ones having the hardest time absorbing health care costs, while other groups -- for instance, newly released prisoners -- could finally be eligible for health coverage.   

The Washington Post: Beneath Health Law's Botched Rollout Is Basic Benefit For Millions Of Americans 
Adam Peterson’s life is about to change. For the first time in years, he is planning to do things he could not have imagined. He intends to have surgery to remove his gallbladder, an operation he needs to avoid another trip to the emergency room. ... Peterson is among the millions of uninsured Americans who are benefiting from the Affordable Care Act ... These beneficiaries have not been oblivious to the problems of the new insurance exchanges ... . [Yet] as New Year’s Day approaches, and with it, health insurance, their frustration is trumped by gratitude (Sun and Goldstein, 12/28/13).

USA Today: Health Law May Hit Midsize Businesses Hardest
The new year will bring tough new health care decisions for many businesses, especially those that are too small to easily absorb new costs and too big to think about dropping coverage, experts say. These midsize businesses, particularly those with 50 to 200 workers, are having the toughest time affording escalating health care costs, says Nancy Taylor, a health care lawyer with Greenberg Traurig (O’Donnell, 12/31/13).

Marketplace: In Prison You Get Health Care. When You're Released...
People in prison are sick. A recent report found the nation spends more than $6.5 billion every year on healthcare services for the men and women who are incarcerated. But right now, much of that care stops as prisoners are released. And many prison officials believe that’s part of the reason why so many former inmates keep coming back. The Affordable Care Act could interrupt this cycle beginning in January as several hundred thousand former inmates become eligible for healthcare (Gorenstein, 12/30/13).

The California Health Report: Parolees, Corrections To Benefit From ACA
Recent parolees, a population in dire in need of improved medical care, could be among those poised to benefit most from the Affordable Care Act come Jan. 1. The full implications of how the law will affect this population are still hazy, as officials across all fields of corrections prepare for the changes. It is clear, however, that parolees are among those with a high rate of health concerns and are likely to fall into the categories qualifying for assistance under the new law. Roughly 1,000 inmates are released from California prisons each month. Many return to their communities and struggle to access health care or coverage for it (Wyman, 12/24/13).

Earlier, related KHN coverage: Medicaid Expansion To Cover Many Former Prisoners (Gugliotta, 12/4/13).

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