Sign-up season for President Barack Obama’s health care law doesn’t start for another couple of months, but the next few days are crucial for hundreds of thousands of customers at risk of losing financial aid when they renew coverage for 2016.

Call them tardy tax filers: an estimated 1.8 million households that got subsidies for their premiums last year but failed to file a 2014 tax return as required by the law, or left out key IRS paperwork.

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Republican presidential candidates are starting to roll on health reform. I mean that in a good way, like when the pilot accelerates down the runway and says “Let’s roll.” Governor Scott Walker (WI) just released his 15-page “Day One Patient Freedom Plan.” U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (FL) has written an op-ed in Politico that needs more detail, but contains a significant reform similar to Governor Walker’s.

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Just in time for the next presidential election, health care spending is starting to take off again. Through 2024, health care spending is projected to grow by 5.8% annually, on average, according to CMS. While this isn’t unexpected—health economists across the political spectrum expected health care costs to start growing again (and growth rates are expected to still be lower than the long-run average)—the window for addressing health care costs in a less painful way is closing. Without better cost controls in the private sector, and without immediate reforms to Medicare, the health care sector is set to gobble up a full fifth of the U.S. economy in just 10 years.

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In response to blistering criticism from a consumer group, California’s Obamacare exchange vowed to fix longstanding enrollment and tax-related errors that have blocked consumers from getting coverage for months and left some with unforeseen bills.

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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.

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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.

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Typical federal government right hand/left hand confusion has some graduate students at the University of Missouri in Columbia turning their pockets inside out to scrape together enough money to afford health benefits.

On one hand, Obama administration education officials are pushing for colleges and universities to ease the rising cost of attending college, increase institutional need-based scholarships and do whatever they can to help students avoid drowning in student-loan debt.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/government-politics/article31634975.html#storylink=cpy

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Earlier this week, Florida Senator Marco Rubio tossed into the Republican presidential campaign ring an abbreviated version of his plan to fix health care. How does his approach (published in Politico magazine) compare to a somewhat more detailed plan released by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker the next day?

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Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker staked out his claim yesterday to the pole position in the race to lead Republican presidential candidates on Obamacare repeal-and-replace issues. Now, let’s put the Walker plan into perspective, and assess what is still missing or needed to resolve further in later iterations.

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“CO-OP enrollment for the first-quarter of 2015 was 869,677 compared to 478,152 for the fourth-quarter of 2014,” said Kaminski. “This increase in enrollment on future financial performance is significant, because it demonstrates that interest is growing, along with a better understanding of how these CO-Ops operate. Additionally, for the smaller plans, the increase has allowed them to build up some scale, which is crucial for their viability going forward. However, the CO-Ops are challenged with operating efficiencies that are below par, having combined ratios as a group of over 110%. ”

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