Articles on the implementation of ObamaCare.
The operators of Maryland’s health insurance Web site improperly stored Social Security numbers and other customer information while awarding millions of dollars in contracts without ensuring the money would be spent properly, according to a state audit released Friday.
The audit is the latest in a string of reports uncovering loose spending and rushed decision-making involving the once-troubled Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, which the state hurried to create to help enact President Obama’s ambitious federal health-care overhaul.
The two largest state health insurance co-operatives created as part of a grand ObamaCare experiment have announced they are closing at the end of this year, joining others that have failed and even more that are insolvent and likely to fail.
The Kentucky Health Cooperative announced on Friday it is going out of business and will not enroll new members next year, leaving 51,000 members to find other coverage. It had the second-largest co-op enrollment in the country, garnering 75% of people who enrolled in coverage through the state’s health exchange.
The largest private provider of health insurance policies on Kynect, Kentucky’s health insurance exchange, is going out of business.
The Louisville-based Kentucky Health Cooperative Inc. announced Friday that it will end current memberships on Dec. 31 and will not add new members because of financial problems. It will not offer health insurance plans on Kynect when open enrollment for 2016 coverage starts on Nov. 1.
A new breed of health insurers created under the Affordable Care Act — representing one of the government’s most innovative attempts in decades to foster better coverage — is on shaky financial ground in many of the 23 states where the plans began.
The nonprofit health plans were envisioned as a consumer-friendly counterweight to for-profit insurers, a way to provide more competition, greater consumer choice and better coverage in markets typically dominated by big commercial carriers. The government allocated billions of dollars in loans for them.
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.