The New York Times reported last week on the Obama administration, in an effort “to avoid another political uproar over the Affordable Care Act,” urging state insurance commissioners to hold down premium increases for 2016. The Times cited a letter that Kevin Counihan, who oversees the federal insurance exchanges, sent to state commissioners last month asking states “to carefully consider as you make your final rate decisions” several factors the administration said would contribute to more moderate cost increases than those already experienced.Details
The reality, though, is a bit more complicated. Obamacare hasn’t led to a shift from full-time employment to part-time. But the evidence suggests it has led some employers to limit the hours of workers who were already part-time, effectively giving a pay cut to some of the most vulnerable Americans.Details
Have employers cut work hours to avoid ObamaCare penalties? There’s no clearer test than the one put forth by the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
The Affordable Care Act employer mandate applies to workers who clock at least 30 hours per week. So if companies were seeking to minimize liability, we’d likely see a drop in the number of workers with hours just above that threshold relative to the number with hours just below it.
A daunting project to verify whether 1.2 million Medicaid enrollees qualify for the program entered its second phase this month, as tens of thousands of people with disabilities received letters telling them they need to reapply for benefits.
MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program, needs to reach a diverse group whose limitations can be physical or mental and who will have to fill out lengthy forms to maintain their health coverage.Details
About 950,000 new customers selected a health insurance plan on Healthcare.gov during the special enrollment period (SEP) from Feb. 23 to June 30, and 15 percent of those people signed up during tax season to avoid paying a fee for lack of coverage.
New data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) show that a total of 143,707 individuals took advantage of the tax season SEP, which ran from March 15 to April 30. This was fewer individuals than expected, The Hill notes, which means the Obama administration still has work to do to convince uninsured Americans to sign up for coverage to avoid the fine.Details
Most federal insurance cooperatives created under the Affordable Care Act are losing money and could have difficulty repaying millions of dollars in federal loans, an internal government audit has found, prompting the Obama administration to step up supervision of the carriers.Details
Almost 950,000 new customers selected health coverage on HealthCare.gov outside of the open-enrollment period after they became eligible due to changes such as losing their employer-provided insurance or having a baby, according to a government report on the federal health insurance exchange.Details
Despite concerns over the continued rise in health care spending and questions over what contributions President Barack Obama’s health care law will make to the federal deficit, a left-leaning group says what the government actually needs to do is spend more money on Obamacare.
This position was published Tuesday in a paper by the Urban Institute, which said the Affordable Care Act will not work as intended without another $559 billion over the next decade.Details
The Associated Press has reported that the U.S. Attorney’s office has issued subpoenas to the Massachusetts Health Connector (the state’s insurance exchange). The subpoenas cover the period during which the website experienced major technical problems and mismanagement as the state transferred to an Obamacare (ACA) exchange under former Governor Deval Patrick (D-MA).Details