Health Care: When insurers requested huge rate hikes for their 2016 ObamaCare plans, we were told not to worry because state regulators would force them down. But that’s not happening. Death spiral, anyone?
New York State has in many ways been a showcase for things that have gone right with Obamacare. The rollout of the state-run health insurance exchange went relatively smoothly and registered patients at a clip well ahead of the national average. Supporters say the exchange’s 2.1 million enrollees are proof positive that the law is increasing consumer choice and fostering a competitive marketplace.
Floridians who purchase individual health insurance plans under Obamacare will see their premiums rise by an average of 9.5 percent next year, the state Office of Insurance Regulation said Wednesday.
The Nevada Health Co-Op, a consumer-owned and operated health plan created under the Affordable Care Act, is going out of business because of high costs, state officials announced Wednesday.
Consumers insured by the co-op will be covered through Dec. 31, said Janel Davis, spokeswoman for the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange. The Board of Directors for the co-op, which received $65.9 million worth of solvency loans from the federal government, voted to cease operations effective Jan. 1.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico announced on Wednesday it “will not offer individual on-exchange health insurance products on the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange in 2016.”
Officials say the rates of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico did not cover the claim costs in 2014 and 2015 according to Albuquerque Business First.
Most politicians like to rhapsodize about small businesses – Main Street as opposed to Wall Street – even if their contributions and voting records betray a preference for the latter.
A leading claim made in support of passage of the Affordable Care Act was it would be good for small businesses. In his September 2009 speech to a joint session of Congress, President Obama touted the benefits for small businesses buying through an exchange: “As one big group, these customers will have greater leverage to bargain with the insurance companies for better prices and quality coverage. This is how large companies and government employees get affordable insurance.”
At a July town hall in Nashville, Tenn., President Barack Obama played down fears of a spike in health insurance premiums in his signature health law’s third year.
“My expectation is that they’ll come in significantly lower than what’s being requested,” he said, saying Tennesseans had to work to ensure the state’s insurance commissioner “does their job in not just passively reviewing the rates, but really asking, ‘OK, what is it that you are looking for here? Why would you need very high premiums?’”
That commissioner, Julie Mix McPeak, answered on Friday by greenlighting the full 36.3% increase sought by the biggest health plan in the state, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. She said the insurer demonstrated the hefty increase for 2016 was needed to cover higher-than-expected claims from sick people who signed up for individual policies in the first two years of the Affordable Care Act.
If you bought Obamacare in Georgia or Florida you most likely don’t have a lot of options for choosing doctors or hospitals, according to a new study showing that some enrollees may have less choice than others.
After talking about it endlessly, Republican presidential candidates are finally starting to get specific about how they intend to replace the Affordable Care Act. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker released his plan last week. As the reaction to it shows, Republicans have to be ready with answers to a lot of hard questions.
As fall approaches, we can expect to hear more about how employers are adapting their health plans for 2016 open enrollments. One topic likely to garner a good deal of attention is how the Affordable Care Act’s high-cost plan tax (HCPT), sometimes called the “Cadillac plan” tax, is affecting employer decisions about their health benefits. The tax takes effect in 2018.