ObamaCare’s impact on health costs.

Highmark Health said it would reduce its range of offerings on the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, becoming the latest insurer to retrench amid steep financial losses.

The big Pittsburgh-based nonprofit company said it would continue to sell plans related to the federal health overhaul in all of the areas it currently serves, which span Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia. But “we will have less products in the market overall,” said David L. Holmberg, the company’s chief executive, who said Highmark had lost $318 million on its individual health-law plans in the first six months of 2015, after rolling out a very broad array of options that had attracted many consumers with chronic conditions who required costly care.

The state auditor says Hawaii Health Connector “wasted and abused” millions of dollars in public funds on an IT contractor.

In a report released this week, the auditor said the Connector awarded Mansha Consulting LLC $21.6 million in contracts, making Mansha its second-highest paid contractor.

The auditor said the Connector awarded multi-million dollar contracts based on personal recommendations instead of taking steps to ensure it selected the most qualified vendor at the best price.

The soaring costs of insuring the state’s poorest residents drove health care spending in Massachusetts up 4.8 percent last year, double the rate of growth in 2013, dealing a setback to the state’s efforts to contain medical costs.

The increase far exceeds inflation, which was 1.6 percent last year, and blows past a state goal of holding health care spending growth to 3.6 percent annually, according to a report to be issued Wednesday by the state Center for Health Information and Analysis.

Florida Healthy Kids Corporation is blaming President Obama’s health care law after notifying parents that health insurance premiums will increase for thousands of kids starting next month, jumping from $140 to as high as $284.

Healthy Kids, which offers insurance options where parents can pay full-price or get subsidized coverage depending on eligibility, said the increases will affect the families of nearly 34,749 children in the full-pay program. That’s about 19 percent of the organization’s 178,873 enrollees.

The last major piece of President Barack Obama’s health care law could raise costs for thrifty consumers as well as large corporations and union members when it takes effect in 2018.

The so-called Cadillac tax was meant to discourage extravagant coverage. Critics say it’s a tax on essentials, not luxuries. It’s getting attention now because employers plan ahead for major costs like health care.

After the University of Missouri was met with significant student backlash for dropping health insurance coverage for graduate students, universities in Georgia, Illinois and Michigan are juggling the same decision, building on a growing concerns from students regarding dwindling benefits.

Bigger might be better, but it can also be pricier—at least when it comes to Obamacare.

A new analysis found that the largest insurer in each of the states served by HealthCare.gov raised their prices in 2015 much more sharply—by an average of 10 full percentage points—than smaller competitors on that federal Obamacare marketplace.

A popular middle class tax benefit could become one of the first casualties of the Affordable Care Act’s so-called Cadillac tax, affecting millions of voters.
Flexible spending accounts, which allow people to save their own money tax free for everything from doctor’s co-pays to eyeglasses, may vanish in coming years as companies scramble to avoid the law’s 40 percent levy on pricey health care benefits.

The promise of free money is hard to turn down, and so when Obamacare offered the states a cheap way of expanding Medicaid, Gov. Rick Snyder found it hard to resist. Yet just a year into Michigan’s expansion, it’s not such a bargain.

In its mission to make sure more Americans have health insurance, the Affordable Care Act depended on states to expand their Medicaid programs to individuals with incomes under 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

Section 9001 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), set to take effect in 2018, imposes an “Excise Tax on High Cost Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage”, which has come to be known as the “Cadillac Tax” (not due to a corporate sponsorship from GM, however). This is a 40 percent tax on employer-sponsored health benefits that are defined as “excess benefits,” which is defined as anything in excess of $10,200 (employee only) or $27,500 (family) coverage for 2018, with adjustments for subsequent years. The “excess benefits” include not only benefits provided by the employer, but also the portion of premium paid by the employee, as well as any money the employee chooses to set aside out of salary to pay for health expenses via a Flexible Spending Account (FSA).