On Tuesday, a Senate subcommittee is set to hear testimony from the chief executives of Aetna Inc., which plans to acquire Humana Inc., and Anthem Inc., which is seeking to buy Cigna Corp., as well as the head of the American Hospital Association.
The other big insurer, which isn’t testifying, is UnitedHealth Group Inc.
Members of Congress from both parties, as well as some employers, insurers and state insurance commissioners, are calling for changes in the Affordable Care Act to prevent premium increases that are expected to affect workers at many small and midsize companies next year.
Lawmakers see the potential for a rare bipartisan agreement on the issue, after five years in which Republicans have repeatedly tried to repeal the law and Democrats have blocked their efforts.
According to the report published in August 2015 by Deloitte, only 30% of consumers who enrolled in health insurance through a government-run exchange were satisfied with their plan.1 By contrast, a separate survey of eHealth shoppers published in February 2015 found that 69% of health insurance shoppers who purchased through eHealth were satisfied with the value of their plan.
The Census Bureau has finally released definitive statistics on the number of uninsured in 2014 and the news is not good for Obamacare (unless, of course, you have abysmally low expectations for government performance). The population-wide uninsured rate fell from 14.5% in calendar year 2013 to 11.7% in 2014. The total number of uninsured dropped from 45.2 million in 2013 to 36.7 million in 2014–a net of 8.5 million who gained coverage.
In its annual report on poverty and the uninsured, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that: “The percentage of people without health insurance coverage for the entire 2014 calendar year was 10.4 percent, down from 13.3 percent in 2013. The number of people without health insurance declined to 33.0 million from 41.8 million over the period.” (Our analysis shows that virtually all of the increase in the number of people with health insurance has come from Medicaid expansion.)
Our country’s small and mid-sized businesses owners and their employees make our economy run. We are both former small business owners, and we understand both the long hours and financial pressures facing entrepreneurs looking to get their business off the ground, as well as their commitment to providing a positive working environment for their employees. The Americans powering our small businesses are our family, our friends and our neighbors, and they deserve common-sense solutions to the challenges they face.
A Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) is a calculation used to loosely gauge the efficiency and profitability of a health insurance plan. The measurement determines what portion of the money consumers pay in premiums is spent on providing health care services or improving the quality of care delivery. A higher MLR is thought to indicate a higher quality insurer because a larger portion of the company’s funds are spent on providing care. However, this is not necessarily the case if an insurer succeeds in keeping a healthier-than-expected risk pool.
Between the end of March and the end of June, 29 states plus the District of Columbia lost Obamacare enrollees, based on an Americans for Tax Reform analysis of recently released data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In total, Obamacare exchanges had a net loss of 238,119 enrollees in the three-month period.
Congress has less than a month to make a small fix to Obamacare that could have a big impact on small businesses.
A bill that has been introduced would enable a state to decide whether to expand the definition of a small group health insurance market. It may not seem like a big deal, but lawmakers say the slight change could have a big impact on premiums for more than 3 million employees.
About 9.9 million people got health insurance coverage through the marketplaces set up by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as of June 30, a decline from earlier in the year though still higher than the Obama administration’s target.