The administration has decided to explore the ‘next chapter’ of healthcare reform, rather than focusing on the issues of access and affordability.

The administration continues with an aggressive agenda to make administrative changes that impact millions of people without benefit of congressional input.

The latest changes that the Obama administration wants to make to Medicare Advantage plans offered to retirees of companies, labor unions, and municipal governments—called Medicare Advantage Employer-Group Waiver Plans (EGWP, pronounced “egg whips”).

The main reason many insurers are raising premiums this year is because they are experiencing higher than expected costs. This update implies that the people currently signed up in the plans are less healthy than what was anticipated by the company when calculating what to charge for premiums last year.

The Affordable Care Act was sold as something that would lower the cost of health care for millions of Americans. The only thing another year of premium increases, now once again accelerating, proves is that the promise becomes harder and harder to believe.

After launching the only health care cooperative in the country that made money, the top executives of Maine’s Community Health Options insurance company received hefty pay hikes that more than doubled their pay in the first two years of operation.

Now, a year later, the same managers are dealing with millions of dollars of losses and are expected to sharply increase premiums on its 84,000 customers to cover claims that poured in during 2015 when thousands of policy holders – many of them previously uninsured – accessed medical care on a scale no one anticipated.

The case considers Obamacare’s rule requiring nonprofit employers to provide contraception coverage as part of insurance plans. Rev. David Zubik, the Catholic bishop for Pittsburgh, is leading the charge in the case, which consolidated the complaints of objecting Christian universities and groups like Little Sisters of the Poor.

The Supreme Court on March 23 will  weigh how far the government has to go to accommodate religiously affiliated employers that object to including contraception in workers’ insurance plans. The issues has been brewing since shortly after the Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010.

The federal government should do more to prevent people from fraudulently obtaining health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said in testimony to the Senate Finance Committee.

The testimony, delivered on Thursday in person and in writing by GAO spokesman Seto Bagdoyan, caps an extensive investigation by the GAO which found that, as of last April, about 431,000 people were still allowed to receive subsidies for insurance purchased through the federal exchange in 2014 despite possible inconsistencies in their applications.

 

 

The White House is looking to avoid a partisan flare-up as it rings in the sixth anniversary of ObamaCare.

In a series of events this week, the Obama administration will look beyond the law’s central issues of access and affordability and explore the “next chapter” of healthcare reform.

The White House’s weeklong focus on system-wide reforms — rather than the record low uninsured rate or popular provisions like banning insurance providers from denying coverage based on a pre-existing condition — reflects growing confidence in the administration that the law will stay on the books after Obama leaves office.

Thousands of taxpayers must do without a form needed to claim a tax credit for their overpriced health-insurance premiums.

Nationwide, hard-working Americans are struggling to meet the April 18 IRS filing deadline. Standing in the way: the bumbling Obamacare bureaucracy.

There’s much more to fix in the health care system than the lack of price and quality information. And given the status quo of blunt benefit designs, the benefits of greater transparency may be limited. But transparency initiatives can and should help improve insurance benefit designs, directing patients to more cost-effective providers. This can happen with or without patients spending their own money.

The co-ops represent a modest component of the sweeping 2010 health law that put new coverage requirements on insurers and required most Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty. The co-ops were included to foster nonprofit health insurance providers to compete in the individual and small group markets.

The report will be released in advance of a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Thursday. It is likely to spur more questions about prospects of the Obama administration’s $2.4 billion co-op program.

Thousands of doctors, hospitals and providers in some states still haven’t been paid for health services given to members insured by the co-ops. More than half a million people signed up for health insurance under the ACA lost coverage or had to get new insurance because their co–op had folded.