One of the least-reported substantial policy victories in recent years was stopping Obamacare’s insurer bailout through last fall’s CRomnibus bill. Now we can attach a price-tag to that victory: $2.5 billion. That’s how much taxpayers would have been funneling to President Obama’s insurance-company allies if the bailout hadn’t been thwarted, according to Obama administration officials. Insurers were hoping for $2.87 billion but, thanks to the anti-bailout legislation, which required Obamacare’s risk-corridor program to operate in a revenue-neutral manner, rather than as a bailout, they will be getting only $362 million—the same amount that other insurers paid in.Details
This paper estimates the change in net (of subsidy) financial burden (“the price of responsibility”) and in welfare that would be experienced by a large nationally representative sample of the “non-poor” uninsured if they were to purchase Silver or Bronze plans on the ACA exchanges.Details
The health insurance Marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act have attracted nearly ten million enrollees, including many people who were previously insured by an employer-sponsored plan. The most popular Marketplace plan—the silver plan—has significantly higher cost sharing than does a typical employer-sponsored plan, which may cause patients to reduce the use of cost-saving services that are essential for managing chronic conditions.Details
Chronically ill people enrolled in individual health plans sold on the Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges pay on average twice as much out-of-pocket for prescription drugs each year than people covered through their workplace, according to a study published Monday in the Health Affairs journal.Details
Much to the dismay of people who buy health insurance on their own, premiums for thousands in Minnesota’s individual market are going way up.
The state Commerce Department said Thursday that rates will increase an average of nearly 50 percent at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota — the largest insurer in the market — and anywhere from 14 percent to 39 percent on average at four other insurers in the state that sell the policies.Details
The CMS has sent letters to Medicaid consumers (PDF) who received tax credits to purchase insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace.
The agency says these people will have to terminate marketplace coverage and pay back the amount of the credit they’ve received.Details
Premiums on ObamaCare plans in 14 major cities are set to increase by an average of 4.4 percent in 2016, according to a new analysis.
The analysis from the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation looks at 14 cities where complete data on rates from all insurers on ObamaCare’s marketplaces is available, and will be updated as more states release data.Details
Hillary Clinton has officially joined the hue and cry for repealing the “Cadillac tax,” a controversial but important Obamacare provision slated to take effect in 2018.
Despite the cutesy vehicular nickname, this tax is actually on high-cost health insurance plans (those costing at least $10,200 for a single person and $27,500 for families). It’s no wonder that Clinton, like other poll-sensitive or perhaps misguided politicians, has come out against it: This tax, like so many other taxes, has proved hugely unpopular, repelling an unholy alliance of unions, businesses and the public at large.Details
Like premiums, the Cadillac tax will be entirely borne by workers. Whether it is passed on as a hike in premium or a reduction in wage growth is a secondary matter.
The Employer Benefits Survey, which the KFF has sponsored for many years, continues to be an important and excellent resource. The whole survey is worth reading.
– See more at: http://healthblog.ncpa.org/health-plan-deductibles-grew-seven-times-faster-than-wages/#sthash.Xt2a7Gif.dpufDetails
It’s time for the Affordable Care Act to join a long list of oxymorons. Why? Because rather like “military intelligence,” “cat proof,” “government organization,” and “simple calculus,” the law better known as Obamacare turns out to be an inherent contradiction. For a sizeable part of the population, anyway.
The ACA is just not affordable to a big chunk of those it was most meant to serve: The previously uninsured. In fact, many are worse off than before, according to a new study. That fact could also unravel part of the program’s foundation, which could be a problem for healthcare insurers.Details