Thursday Night Short Cuts

Recalcitrant red states have done little — or nothing — to promote Obamacare. Yet their residents are getting health coverage by the millions.

Across the country, efforts to resist or undermine the law persist. Calls for repeal haven’t died down. Most of the states with Republicans in control aren’t running their own insurance exchanges, but their residents are still getting covered and still getting subsidies — unless the Supreme Court in an upcoming case rules that the subsidies are illegal in states using

Fewer workers received employer-sponsored health coverage after the Great Recession than they did before, but don’t put the blame squarely on the Affordable Care Act, a study released Thursday says.

The analysis from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows the recession itself — with perhaps a little help from the ACA — caused an acceleration in the number of companies that dropped health coverage between 2009 and 2013.

The share of private-sector employers offering coverage fell nearly 6 percentage points to 50% in 2013, down from 55.7% in 2009. Furthermore, private-sector workers without insurance now comprise the majority, as the percentage of those with coverage fell to 49.7% in 2013 from 53.7% in 2009.

The Affordable Care Act was supposed to simplify Medicaid’s myriad programs across the country to provide a more uniform medical safety net for poor Americans in every state.

It hasn’t worked out that way. In fact, Medicaid programs now vary more widely state to state and even within states than they did before. Some states have scaled back their Medicaid programs, while others have expanded to new groups of people. Among those that have expanded, many are pursuing new policy experiments instead of expanding their existing programs. This may result in confusion — for administrators and clients alike.

If you're one of those who back in December auto-enrolled in Connect For Health--Colorado's health  insurance program--you may have been kicked out of the system and not even know it.

...The problem occurred when people went online late last year to look at the various insurance policies available. 11 News has learned that if people didn't click on a certain button while they were online, they may have been kicked out of their current plan.

Connect For Health told 11 News' Betty Sexton not to worry: they're now trying to identify everyone who is impacted. They say once that happens, these people will be connected either by phone or by email, and retroactively enrolled.

After the insurance exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act first went live in late 2013, Lori Lomas started combing the website of Covered California on a hunt for good deals for her clients. Lomas is an agent at Feather Financial, in the Sierra Nevada town of Quincy, Calif.; she's been selling health policies in rural communities for more than 20 years.

But in 2013, she noticed a troubling change that surprised her: For many clients, insurance options decreased.

Almost seven weeks after the launch of Healthy Pennsylvania, the state's Medicaid expansion plan, enrollment has been hampered by delays.

Only 55,000 of an estimated 151,000 people who applied for the program by Jan. 1 have been enrolled in Medicaid expansion, said Kait Gillis, spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Services.

She acknowledged the delays and said the agency was working to fix them.

The cost of automobile insurance, workers’ compensation coverage and general business liability insurance could drop by as much as 5% thanks to the Affordable Care Act, according to a new study.

Though the health law doesn’t cover cars or workers compensation, new analysis by RAND Corporationindicates it may help car owners and businesses with workers’ compensation coverage because those premiums sometimes go toward treating people’s injuries, particularly those without medical coverage.