ObamaCare’s impact on health costs.

“With 2015 premiums forthcoming, a major question hanging over Obamacare’s exchanges is what effect competition among insurers will have on premiums. Currently, the exchanges tend to be sparsely populated, with only 3.9 insurers competing in each rating area of the federal exchanges, on average. Indeed, whether premium increases moderate will be a major test for the health care law.”

“House Republicans are demanding a halt to all premium subsidies under ObamaCare until the administration can prove it is paying the correct amount in every case.

GOP members of the Ways and Means Committee pointed Wednesday to a report that hundreds of thousands of people might be receiving incorrect subsidies on the exchanges.”

“Early evidence suggests that emergency rooms have become busier since the Affordable Care Act expanded insurance coverage this year, despite the law’s goal of reducing unnecessary care in ERs.”

“The Obama administration has quietly adjusted key provisions of its signature healthcare law to potentially make billions of additional taxpayer dollars available to the insurance industry if companies providing coverage through the Affordable Care Act lose money.”

“A large number of people who’ve signed up for private health insurers through the Cover Oregon health insurance exchange have not paid their first month’s premiums, meaning they are at risk of going without coverage through November.”

“Of course, no services are ever actually free since consumers pay indirectly for them through their premiums.”

“Many insurers only dipped a toe into the Affordable Care Act’s online marketplaces for their first year.

Cigna, one of the country’s largest insurers, offered 2014 plans to individuals in fewer than half a dozen states. Humana is only in a little more than a dozen states. The biggest health insurer, UnitedHealthcare, didn’t offer any policies through the federally run online portal and only a few elsewhere.”

“The government may be paying incorrect subsidies to more than 1 million Americans for their health plans in the new federal insurance marketplace and has been unable so far to fix the errors, according to internal documents and three people familiar with the situation.”

“Surgery patients covered by Medicaid arrive at the hospital in worse health, experience more complications, stay longer and cost more than patients with private insurance, a new study has found.”

“A top insurer in the North Carolina Obamacare exchange reported that its customers are both older and less healthy than it expected and warned that premiums are likely to rise next year.

“Not as many of the state’s young and healthy enrolled as expected,” Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina announced in a press release. The company expected 50 percent of its Obamacare exchange customers to be younger than 35, but just 32 percent of customers are below age 35 and just 25 percent are between the ages of 18 and 34.”