HealthCare.gov, the federal ObamaCare exchange, has just released 2016 ObamaCare plans, and there’s little doubt about which insurer is the most aggressive on premiums to win customers. Centene (NYSE:CNC) will offer the cheapest bronze plan and the two cheapest silver plans in many of the big markets where its Ambetter Health plans compete, trumping Blue Cross, UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH), Aetna (NYSE:AET) and Cigna (NYSE:CI).
Opponents of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul are taking yet another challenge to the law to the Supreme Court, and say they will be back with more if this one fails. A new appeal being filed Monday by the Pacific Legal Foundation contends the law violates the provision of the Constitution that requires tax-raising bills to originate in the House of Representatives.
In Part I, I showed that the administration’s new estimate of next year’s exchange enrollment is only about half of what prominent groups projected in 2010, and I discussed evidence that exchange plans are not attracting many young, healthy people. This piece shows that the groups also projected far too many unsubsidized enrollees and discusses reasons to be skeptical that the individual mandate will lead as many people to purchase coverage as assumed.
Consumers browsing HealthCare.gov for health insurance ahead of next week’s open-enrollment period will immediately notice a couple of items: a quicker window-shopping experience and many more high-deductible health plan options. The federal government’s exchange website launched its window-shopping feature Sunday, a week before the Affordable Care Act’s third open-enrollment period starts Nov. 1. The CMS touted the retooled site last week, although highly anticipated features such as finding in-network providers and covered prescription drugs won’t immediately be available.
They are the 10.5 million people eligible for Obamacare coverage who, two years since enrollment began, still haven’t signed up through the insurance marketplaces created for Obamacare. Experts agree that these will be the hardest people to convince to buy healthcare coverage. They’ve remained uninsured through two signup seasons, because they don’t believe they can afford it, don’t think they need it, or haven’t heard about it.
ObamaCare’s image of invincibility is increasingly being exposed as a political illusion, at least for those with permission to be honest about the evidence. Witness the heretofore unknown phenomenon of a “free” entitlement that its beneficiaries can’t afford or don’t want.
Tens of thousands of people with modest incomes are at risk of losing health insurance subsidies in January because they did not file income tax returns, federal officials and consumer advocates say. Under federal rules, anyone who receives an insurance subsidy must file a tax return to verify that the person was eligible and received the proper amount of financial assistance based on household income.
The toll of failed co-op insurers, which were intended to challenge dominant companies that wield considerable power to dictate prices, has left about 500,000 customers scrambling to find health insurance for next year. A ninth co-op, which served Iowa and Nebraska, closed in February.
Premiums are expected to rise in many parts of the country as a new sign-up season under President Barack Obama’s health care law starts Nov. 1. But consumers have options if they shop around, and an upgraded government website will help them compare.
Consumers can see their own premiums for 2016 starting Sunday night on HealthCare.gov, officials said on Friday.
Remember when President Obama said Obamacare was working “better than intended“? Perhaps he should pay closer attention to what the person in charge of Obamacare is really saying. DHHS Secretary Burwell announced in a conference call last week “We believe 10 million is a strong and realistic goal” for enrollment in the Obamacare exchanges in 2016.