Gallup has just released a state-by-state report, concluding Medicaid expansion and establishing a state exchange almost doubled the reduction in uninsured. Of the two, I cannot imagine setting up a state exchange is a big factor, because beneficiaries get the same tax credits in state or federal Obamacare exchanges. Obamacare mostly increased Medicaid dependency.

– See more at: http://healthblog.ncpa.org/gallup-confirms-obamacare-increased-welfare-dependency/#sthash.nipMznZq.dpuf

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It’s no secret that health care and insurance are complex. But just how complicated are they to navigate?

Take scheduling a doctor visit to have a rash checked out. Finding out what it will cost requires answering a series of questions: Is the doctor in your insurer’s network? Is the facility? What’s your copay for the visit? If you have a yearly deductible, how much of it have you already fulfilled? If the rash requires a procedure to treat it, will that require seeing a different doctor? If so, is that doctor in your insurer’s network?

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Thousands of Louisianians who signed up for health insurance with the Louisiana Health Cooperative were abruptly notified last month the company would discontinue all coverage in 2016. It was likely surprising news to many of the 17,000 customers who relied upon the company to help pay for their health care needs.

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It’s now clear that the actual impact of ObamaCare’s individual mandate tax penalty will be far worse than the benign intent that the Obama administration claimed.
“What we’re talking about is a penalty for the few people who will refuse to buy health insurance — even though they can afford it — and who expect the rest of us to pick up the tab for their care,” a September 2009 White House defense of the individual mandate states.

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The New York Times reported last week on the Obama administration, in an effort “to avoid another political uproar over the Affordable Care Act,” urging state insurance commissioners to hold down premium increases for 2016. The Times cited a letter that Kevin Counihan, who oversees the federal insurance exchanges, sent to state commissioners last month asking states “to carefully consider as you make your final rate decisions” several factors the administration said would contribute to more moderate cost increases than those already experienced.

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The reality, though, is a bit more complicated. Obamacare hasn’t led to a shift from full-time employment to part-time. But the evidence suggests it has led some employers to limit the hours of workers who were already part-time, effectively giving a pay cut to some of the most vulnerable Americans.

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Have employers cut work hours to avoid ObamaCare penalties? There’s no clearer test than the one put forth by the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
The Affordable Care Act employer mandate applies to workers who clock at least 30 hours per week. So if companies were seeking to minimize liability, we’d likely see a drop in the number of workers with hours just above that threshold relative to the number with hours just below it.

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A daunting project to verify whether 1.2 million Medicaid enrollees qualify for the program entered its second phase this month, as tens of thousands of people with disabilities received letters telling them they need to reapply for benefits.

MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program, needs to reach a diverse group whose limitations can be physical or mental and who will have to fill out lengthy forms to maintain their health coverage.

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About 950,000 new customers selected a health insurance plan on Healthcare.gov during the special enrollment period (SEP) from Feb. 23 to June 30, and 15 percent of those people signed up during tax season to avoid paying a fee for lack of coverage.

New data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) show that a total of 143,707 individuals took advantage of the tax season SEP, which ran from March 15 to April 30. This was fewer individuals than expected, The Hill notes, which means the Obama administration still has work to do to convince uninsured Americans to sign up for coverage to avoid the fine.

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