Big news: UnitedHealth Group slashed its earnings outlook today, citing new problems related to Obamacare, and told investors it may exit the program’s exchanges. “In recent weeks, growth expectations for individual exchange participation have tempered industrywide, co-operatives have failed, and market data has signaled higher risks and more difficulties while our own claims experience has deteriorated,” Stephen J. Hemsley, chief executive officer of UnitedHealth Group, explained in a press release.
A recent National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) study reveals that ObamaCare Marketplace plans are a bad deal, even for near-poor enrollees receiving large subsidies from the federal government. The study confirms that net premiums (after subsidies) were still several times what enrollees might have paid out-of-pocket for medical expenses had they remained uninsured.
Obamacare’s third open enrollment season kicked off yesterday, beginning the next chapter in its turbulent history. Today’s post discusses what we know about Obamacare. Tomorrow’s will discuss what we don’t yet know.
Almost half of the 32.3 million nonelderly people who have no health insurance could gain coverage through their state’s existing Medicaid policy or a subsidized exchange plan, according to a survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The federal government is hoping those uninsured will sign up for coverage during the Affordable Care Act’s upcoming open enrollment. The Congressional Budget Office estimates 33 million people will have a health plan through Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program or the exchanges by 2016, a large jump from the current 17.6 million people who have become insured under the ACA.
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.”
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.
A federal government analysis that said Arizona’s health insurance co-op had gotten just a fraction of its projected enrollment last year missed thousands of signups and incorrectly showed the state not-for-profit set up under the Affordable Care Act signed up only 4% of the people it expected in 2014.
Recent reports have touted a significant drop in the number of uninsured and generally credited Obamacare for it. And, other reports have recently highlighted about 950,000 more people signing up for Obamacare since the 2015 open enrollment closed but haven’t said anything about the number of people who dropped their coverage during the same period.
As one headline put it, “After Obamacare Number of Uninsured Hits Five Year-Low.” Now, this headline might be technically correct but it hardly gives us the proper impression for why the uninsured rate has dropped so low.