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.

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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.

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In 2009 and 2010 President Barack Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius designed and championed the largest expansion of the welfare state since the New Deal with little more than political force and broken promises. While the American people are forced to accept Obamacare until it can be repealed, the Supreme Court empowered states to accept or reject Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. So far 20 states have said no.

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President Obama signed a small but significant bill this week that rolls back a requirement in his signature health law, the Affordable Care Act. Last week, Congress voted on bipartisan lines to repeal a small group insurance markets rule that was slated to go into effect in 2016. Many business groups said that without the change, premiums would have gone up for millions of workers.

Enactment of the bill was a small victory for Obamacare critics, but it could also pave the way for new, piecemeal approach to repealing Obamacare.

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The state approved a 27.3 percent rate hike for Hawaii Medical Service Association members and 34.4 percent increase for Kaiser members in Obamacare plans for 2016.

HMSA, the state’s largest health insurer, had proposed an average 49.1 percent rate hike — the highest it has ever requested — for 20,935 members in Obamacare plans next year. Kaiser proposed to raise rates 8.7 percent for 13,000 Obamacare plan members in 2016.

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A Daily Caller News Foundation analysis found multiple factors contributed to the Nevada co-op’s termination, including political cronyism, insider dealing and the lavish lifestyles of key executives. The Las Vegas Review-Journal called it a “toxic mix.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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