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Sticker Shock Marks Newly Insured's Health Law Coverage

Also, federal regulators ponder if e-cigarettes are considered tobacco use — allowing insurers to charge more in premiums to their users. And one Texas family’s Obamacare opt-out story.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch:  ACA Scorecard:  Saving, But Glitches And Sticker Shock Too
Coverage has already kicked in for most people who selected an insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act marketplace, and St. Louis-area customers are speaking up about how their new policies are affecting them. Some people are happy, others not so much. David O’Leary, 43, a Web developer in St. Louis, previously had a small-business plan that covered his own family as well as his sole employee and child. … Once Affordable Care Act coverage became available, he said he dissolved his small-business plan and gave his employee a raise to cover the costs of a plan on the exchange. The employee’s plan costs about $660 a month, and O’Leary’s family plan is less than $900 a month (Kulash, 5/30).

The Wall Street Journal: Burning Insurance Question: Are ‘Vapers’ Smokers?
Federal regulators are weighing whether health insurers who participate in Affordable Care Act exchanges can levy a tobacco surcharge on e-cigarette users, the latest point of debate over the products’ health risks. The 2010 health law allows insurers in individual and small group markets to charge tobacco users as much as 50 percent more in premiums. But it doesn’t specify whether that includes users of electronic cigarettes, battery-powered devices that turn nicotine liquid into vapor (Armour, 5/29).

Kaiser Health News: Frustrated By The Affordable Care Act, One Family Opts Out
The Robinson family of Dallas, Texas started out pretty excited about their new insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act. Nick Robinson turned to Obamacare after he lost his job last summer. He had been working as a youth pastor, and the job included benefits that covered him, his two young daughters, and his wife Rachel, a wedding photographer. Nick says he wasn’t too nervous at first, because everyone was healthy. Then, he recalls, they found out Rachel was pregnant (Feibel, 5/30). 

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