Articles on the implementation of ObamaCare.
On October 15, the Obama administration significantly downgraded its estimate of how many people will enroll in exchange plans next year. The administration now expects only 10 million exchange enrollees at the end of 2016. Charles Gaba, a statistical expert who closely tracks Affordable Care Act (ACA) enrollment and who made fairly accurate projections for 2014 and 2015, is somewhat more optimistic. He projects enrollment at 12.2 million people by the end of next year.
With the Affordable Care Act’s third open enrollment period to begin in less than two weeks, federal officials are racing to fix new features of HealthCare.gov that are supposed to make it easy for consumers to find insurance plans that cover their doctors and prescription drugs.
Among many other changes to the health care system, the ACA created an expansion of Medicaid – made optional by the Supreme Court in 2012 – funded largely by federal dollars. Thus far, 30 states and the District of Columbia have accepted the Medicaid expansion. And as should be expected, states that expanded the program have seen spending grow much faster than those that didn’t. In a recent report, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that total Medicaid spending grew nearly 18 percent in expansion states, though the state share of growth was relatively low (less than 4 percent). And while health care has remained relatively quiet as a campaign issue, Governors Kasich and Christie – both Republican presidential hopefuls – expanded Medicaid (and both have defended this expansion) in their respective states.
Health cooperatives are collapsing at such a rapid clip that some co-ops and small insurers are forming a coalition to consider legal action to try to change health-law provisions they blame for their financial distress.
Colorado’s co-op and one in Oregon announced Friday that they were folding, joining six others that have already collapsed or said they will unwind operations. The eight co-ops have received nearly $900 million in federal funds that may not be paid back.
Oregon will become the eighth state to shut down a taxpayer-funded health insurance startup, the latest Obamacare co-op insurer to fold from financial troubles.
Health Republic Insurance, one of the state’s two co-ops, said Friday it will not offer plans in 2016. Also on Friday, Colorado’s co-op said that it would stop offering plans next year.
Colorado’s nonprofit co-op insurer announced Friday that it will not offer plans in 2016, the third co-op to do so in a week. The decision means that Colorado will be the seventh of 23 taxpayer-funded co-ops to shut down. About $2 billion in government funding has been doled out to the co-ops that opened to offer more competition in the Obamacare marketplaces.
A government watchdog overseeing the Department of Health and Human Services delivered the grim financial state of nearly all of the co-ops—that collectively received $2.4 billion—created under Obamacare several months ago.
Now, following the collapse of six of the 23 that launched in 2013, the co-ops, or consumer oriented and operated plans, face an uphill battle to solidify themselves as competitors in the health insurance market.
Kentucky’s health insurance co-operative joined the growing list of failed Obamacare co-operatives, announcing Wednesday it will cease operations by the end of the year.
Federal officials were so out of the loop about the failing state of the Kentucky Health co-operative last November they awarded it $20 million in additional “expansion funds” to allow it to sell health insurance to customers in nearby West Virginia.
Community Health Alliance, Tennessee’s health insurance co-op, will stop offering health insurance coverage in 2016, reports The Tennessean. The move will make nearly 27,000 individuals find insurance elsewhere. In January, the co-op froze enrollment. The organization will continue to pay out existing claims and slow down its operations, The Tennessean reports.
Colorado HealthOP is one of roughly 20 nationally that opened after Obamacare started. They were designed to shake up the traditional health insurance marketplaces, and provide an alternative. And they’ve done that. Co-op plans were often priced below their competitors and they gained a huge surge in customers. But with a lot of claims to pay that puts them on potentially shaky ground, said Scott Harrington.