Feb 24, 2017

Those pre-Obamacare plans just got another extension

AP file photo

For those of you wondering what the 2018 Obamacare marketplaces will look like, we now know people with so-called "grandmothered" health plans — pre-Obamacare plans that got extended — still won't have to participate. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services sent out a memo Thursday extending the transitional policies for another year, expiring by December 2018.

The context: It's the third such extension, although it's less than the two-year extension the insurance industry wanted. People in those plans, which don't meet all of Obamacare's benefit requirements, bought them after the law went into effect in 2010 but before the exchanges went live in 2014. The Obama administration allowed states to extend the policies after there was blowback from consumers who received cancellation notices.

What it means: The Obamacare risk pool will, again, have slightly fewer healthier enrollees—not exactly a positive for those who wanted a more stable marketplace for next year. But they are presumably profitable plans for insurers. It's generally believed that healthier people are in grandmothered plans.

Yes, but: Many states decided to end grandmothered plans already, and more could decide to ignore the extension.

Go deeper

Fear of coronavirus pandemic escalates

Photo: Abdulgani Basheer/AFP/Getty Images

In the blink of an eye, we've entered a new phase on the coronavirus.

The big picture: Italy, Iran and South Korea are at "decisive" points in their responses, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - Health

Stocks fall 4% as sell-off worsens

A trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

Stocks fell more than 4% on Thursday, extending the market’s worst week since the financial crisis in 2008 following a spike in coronavirus cases around the world.

The big picture: All three indices are in correction, down over 10% from recent record-highs, amid a global market rout. It's the S&P 500's quickest decline into correction territory in the index's history, per Deutsche Bank.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Coronavirus updates: California monitors 8,400 potential cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

33 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are monitoring 8,400 people who have recently returned from "points of concern," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,800 people and infected over 82,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health