1. Young, healthy adults won’t buy coverage
The Obama administration aims to enroll at least 2.7 million young adults – a group that’s historically been uninsured at higher rates than other age groups – through the exchanges for coverage in 2014. But there are indications that 20-somethings won’t be buying in and will instead opt to pay the penalty.
2. Uptick in early retirement
3. Some people won’t find their current plans on exchanges
4. Better hospital food
Banana-nut pancakes and rack of lamb for your hospital stay, courtesy of Obamacare? A Kaiser Health News and USA Today report this week found that hospital administrators are paying more attention to food service in an effort to boost patient satisfaction ratings. Under the ACA, since last year Medicare began paying hospitals based partly on their these ratings, essentially tying patients’ assessments on everything from room tidiness to nurse availability to payments. Medicare has been publishing patient-satisfaction scores on its Hospital Compare website since 2008, but hasn’t used them to adjust payments.
One patient at Rex Hospital in Raleigh, N.C., cited in Kaiser’s report raved, “The food is amazing,” while about 84% of Rex patients surveyed said they’d recommend the hospital, compared to 71% nationally, the Kaiser report said. While Medicare's surveys don’t ask specifically about food, Rex administrators attributed their better-than-average satisfaction rates to improved food.
5. Surprise tax bills