While it will be months before insurers and regulators agree to final rates for the coming year, a new Kaiser Family Foundation analysis confirms the signals we have seen from industry and government experts — that consumers and the federal government are likely to see much higher prices in many markets. Clearly, insurers are struggling to figure out how much to charge so they can cover their costs but still attract customers.
As health care reporters, we’ve been debating exactly how worried one should be about the fate of the Affordable Care Act, known informally as Obamacare, in the face of steep rate increases next year.
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The White House is urging states to be more aggressive against health insurance companies as it looks to prevent expected and widespread premium hikes of 10 percent or more this year.
The federal health department announced Wednesday that it will dole out about $22 million to boost state-level “rate reviews,” considered one of the strongest weapons against premium increases.
Under the system, health insurers are required to justify rate increases to state insurance departments, some of which have the power to reject “unreasonable” increases. With the new funding, federal health officials hope states can hire outside insurance experts to dig deeper into the proposed rates and prove the hikes are unjustified.
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A proposed Medicare experiment encouraging doctors to use cheaper meds is either a necessary fix for America’s high drug prices — or the first step to President Donald Trump dismantling Obamacare.
It all depends whom you ask. And experts interviewed for POLITICO’s “Pulse Check” podcast showed the sides couldn’t be further apart.
The Obama administration’s Medicare experiment would test whether the program’s payment system encourages doctors to prescribe more expensive drugs, since they’re paid a set percentage of a drug’s price — therefore getting more for a higher-cost drug.
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Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) released a letter to the Obama administration on Thursday asking what it will do to help Ohioans who received coverage from a failed Obamacare co-op.
Last month the nonprofit co-op InHealth announced that it would be liquidated and taken over by the state. It provided health coverage to about 22,000 state residents. In his letter, Portman said those enrollees now must choose between getting new insurance and starting over paying a new deductible, or paying the tax penalty for not having health insurance.
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