Articles on the implementation of ObamaCare.

“Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said Monday President Barack Obama’s health care law must be repealed but urged his fellow conservatives to offer alternatives to the president’s policies. The Republican governor introduced his state proposal that he says would act as an alternative to Medicaid. In a speech to the American Enterprise Institute, Pence said his plan would help expand health coverage for low-income residents but provide more flexibility to allow people to manage their own health care needs.”

“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.”

“I have been a huge fan of the popular Healthy Indiana Plan since it was conceived by former Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2008 as a way to expand sensible health coverage to uninsured Hoosiers.

Daniels’ successor, Gov. Mike Pence, is unveiling his own 2.0 version of the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) during a talk at the American Enterprise Institute today, but the plan already is getting a great deal of pushback from conservatives. The original HIP program relies largely on state funding, but the new version will draw primarily on federal funding by expanding Medicaid, an option granted to the states under the Supreme Court’s rewriting of the ACA.”

“The Obama administration said Friday it would let states decide whether to implement a key part of the health law’s small-business exchanges next year, extending an earlier delay.

The Department of Health and Human Services said in rules released Friday that it would be up to state insurance commissioners to decide whether employees at small businesses using the health-insurance exchanges could choose from a range of plans or be limited to just one selected by their employer.”

“Lying to the federal health insurance man could cost you dearly.

The Obama administration Friday spelled out civil fines of up to $250,000 for knowingly and willfully providing false information to get taxpayer-subsidized coverage under the new health care law.”

“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.”

“A group of healthcare experts close to the White House is urging the Obama administration to appoint a new chief executive officer to oversee Obamacare’s online health insurance exchanges and safeguard the next open enrollment period that begins in six months.
The recommendation, in a report due to be released by the Washington-based Center for American Progress think tank, calls for a major shakeup within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which presided over last year’s disastrous rollout of the federal market portal, HealthCare.gov.
The idea would be to take the exchanges out of the current bureaucracy and put them in the hands of a CEO with private-sector experience who could run them as true e-commerce sites. The CEO would answer only to President Barack Obama and his intended new health secretary, Sylvia Mathews Burwell.”

“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.”

“Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on Thursday said he wants to use Medicaid funding under the federal health-care law to expand coverage in his state, but that any expansion of it would have to come on his own terms.

The proposal is the latest from a small group of mostly Republican governors pursuing alternative ways to tap billions of dollars in federal Medicaid money available under the Affordable Care Act. Most GOP governors are refusing the additional federal money outright, while those who have wanted to expand Medicaid faced objections from GOP-led legislatures.”