Julie Appleby reports on the implementation of the health care overhaul law, the interplay of health care treatments and costs, trends in health insurance, and policy issues affecting hospitals and other medical providers. Her KHN stories have appeared in USA Today, the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer and MSNBC, among others. Before joining KHN in March 2009, Appleby spent 10 years on the health care industry and policy beat for USA Today. She also worked at the San Francisco Chronicle
, the Financial Times
in London and the Contra Costa Times
in Walnut Creek, Calif. She serves on the board of the Association of Health Care Journalists and her education includes a Master of Public Health degree. | Contact: JulieA@kff.org | @Julie_Appleby
Former Health And Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt says officials could learn from similar, albeit smaller, problems he and his staff had implementing the Medicare Prescription Drug Program in 2006, and that he doubts the Obama administration will meet its goals for enrollment in the health law's insurance marketplaces.
Those buying some bronze and silver plans could have to spend thousands before full coverage kicks in.
Rule changes and deadline shifts have complicated the efforts of health insurance companies to prepare for a wave of new customers and “post-enrollment snafus.”
Changes that would allow the companies to enroll subsidy-eligible individuals are being tried in Texas, Ohio and Florida.
Many state regulators, insurers have yet to decide on whether to OK renewals of canceled policies.
Under the president's plan, insurers will be permitted to extend this year's policies into next year, but it’s far from clear that insurers will want to follow through. Some state regulators may not even let them.
Barring insurers from rejecting people with medical problems or charging them more is the biggest of several factors affecting premiums.
Many people are receiving cancellation notices as the health law transforms the individual insurance market.
If the bugs are not repaired by mid-November, fewer young and healthy people may enroll in new plans, spurring future price hikes and other problems, say experts.
Even the same plan can carry dramatically different price tags in different areas – from $614 in Flagstaff to $395 in Nashville.