The Obama administration took another step to close what many see as a health-law loophole that allows large employers to offer medical plans without hospital coverage and bars their workers from subsidies to buy their own insurance.
Many health insurers have spent close to a century operating under fee-for-service and are now changing course. Some new payers founded post-health reform, however, are trying to hit the value-based ground running.
Insurance consultants were shocked recently to learn that Obama administration rules allow large companies to offer 2015 worker health plans that don't include hospital benefits. Now the administration is concerned too.
How much leeway do employers and insurers have in deciding whether they'll cover contraceptives without charge and in determining which methods make the cut? Not much, as it turns out, but that hasn't stopped some from trying.
Ahead of the next open enrollment period, federal regulators are trying to clarify rules for member non-payment and grace periods, but insurers and providers may still have lingering concerns about getting paid.