Articles on the implementation of ObamaCare.
Health insurers that lost millions of dollars last year under the Affordable Care Act may wait years for the government to deliver the aid it promised them.
Companies, including Downtown-based insurer Highmark, want about $2.87 billion to help cover their first-year losses from online insurance marketplaces — a centerpiece of the landmark health care law. But a federal relief program meant to limit their risk is more than $2 billion short, leaving the companies to collect only 12.6 percent of those requests late this year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said this month.
Consumers shopping on the government’s health insurance website should find it easier this year to get basic questions answered about their doctors, medications and costs, according to an internal government document.
A slide presentation dated Sept. 29 says HealthCare.gov’s window-shopping feature is getting a major upgrade. Window shopping is a popular part of the website that allows consumers to browse for taxpayer-subsidized health insurance plans. A copy of the document from the CMS was provided to the Associated Press.
President Obama signed a bill Wednesday night making an important change to Obamacare that will prevent health insurance premiums for 3 million people from going up next year.
The Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act seems like an unlikely Washington success story: A bipartisan health care bill passed by both chambers without a single no vote and signed by the president with no controversy or fanfare.
Except it’s actually not that unusual. For all the raucous debate over repealing Obamacare, such technical fixes can happen. Since the Affordable Care Act was first passed along party lines in 2010, President Obama has signed at least 14 bills making substantive changes in his signature legislation of his presidency, according to an analysis by the Congressional Research Service. Eight of those have been Republican bills.
But wait, you might say, isn’t there a 2008 law that was supposed to address this? Yes. But, it seems it did not. What about the mental health care parity mandates that went into effect in January 2014, under Obamacare? Well, results there can at best be described as mixed.
The Affordable Care Act has boosted the number of Americans with health insurance coverage but has not resolved the disparate way in which many insurers treat the costs of mental and physical health care, according to an April report released by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The report found that federal changes (part of the Affordable Care Act) mandating so-called parity between mental and physical health-care benefits do not, in practice, exist for the vast majority of Americans who are insured.
The Affordable Care Act does not require businesses to provide health benefits to their workers, but applicable large employers may face penalties if they don’t make affordable coverage available. The Employer Shared Responsibility Provision of the Affordable Care Act penalizes employers who either do not offer coverage or do not offer coverage which meets minimum value and affordability standards. In 2016, these penalties will apply to firms with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees. This flowchart illustrates how those employer responsibilities work.
The CMS has sent letters to Medicaid consumers (PDF) who received tax credits to purchase insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace.
The agency says these people will have to terminate marketplace coverage and pay back the amount of the credit they’ve received.
A congressional oversight committee recently renewed its request for documents from an ethically suspect Internal Revenue Service, which ignores such requests with impunity. But this time, the Supreme Court has taken away the agency’s excuse for not cooperating.
The Senate passed legislation on Thursday intended to protect small and midsize businesses from increases in health insurance premiums, clearing the bill for President Obama’s expected signature.
The action by Congress was a rare example of bipartisan agreement on how to revise the Affordable Care Act.
An Affordable Care Act program meant to ease risks for health insurers in the law’s new marketplaces will initially pay many companies less than they expected, likely putting financial strain on some.
Federal authorities said that insurers will at first receive only about 12.6% of the money that they requested from the program, known as risk corridors, for 2014, its first year of operation. Insurers have requested approximately $2.87 billion in payments from the program based on their 2014 results. But the pool available to make those payments is just $362 million, which came from collections from other insurers that did relatively well on their marketplace business.
On September 28, 2015, the House of Representatives approved by voice vote without opposition two bills that would amend the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Given the rancor that surrounds anything related to the ACA in our sharply partisan—and largely nonfunctional—Congress, this is a remarkable occurrence worthy of note.