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Posts Tagged ‘Affordable Care Act’

Health insurance plans to be rated based on size of network

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

Live Insurance News reports:

” The Obama administration will now use the number of included doctors and hospitals in the ratings.

In response to complaints from consumers with respect to the way health insurance plans are rated on the exchanges, the Obama administration has now said that it will provide a rating for each plan based on the number of hospitals and doctors that are included within that plan’s network.

Equally, there will also be an increase to the maximum annual out-of-pocket amount that consumers can pay.

For individuals, the maximum out-of-pocket expenses for health insurance next year, will be $7,150. For families that figure will be $14,300. Consumer advocates haven’t been impressed with those numbers, as they have said these additional costs could pose a considerable financial burden for middle-income individuals and families who require a large amount of medical care. These new rules were published within the Federal Register, this week. Under these regulations, insurance companies will be able to sell health plans with limited provider networks. (more…)

UnitedHealthcare launches a smaller, ‘very, very different’ insurer

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

Star Tribune Business reports:

” UnitedHealthcare is facing competition this year in Atlanta and Chicago from a new name in health insurance — a carrier that’s actually one of its subsidiaries.

For the first time, individual shoppers are buying coverage from Harken Health, a company with about 100 employees based at an office on the UnitedHealthcare corporate campus in Minnetonka.

Harken is being run as an independent entity, executives said, with a distinct approach to selling coverage. Subscribers receive unlimited access to primary care, without copays, if they visit a health center owned by Harken Health.

“It’s like an automobile company that makes a brand of car, and then with better luck or worse luck they also make a Saturn,” said Roger Feldman, a health insurance expert at the University of Minnesota.

(more…)

Blue Cross Blue Shield Confirms Obamacare Death Spiral

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

According to The Beacon:

” The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, which represents 36 Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans covering 105 million Americans, has just released a study of its members’ claims data in Obamacare exchanges 2014 and 2015. It confirms that Obamacare exchange enrollees are sicker and more expensive than enrollees in pre-Obamacare individual plans or employer-based plans.

Here I quote four of the study’s findings:

  • Members who newly enrolled in BCBS individual health plans in 2014 and 2015 have higher rates of certain diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, coronary artery disease, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Hepatitis C than individuals who had BCBS individual coverage prior to health-care reform.
  • Consumers who newly enrolled in BCBS individual health plans in 2014 and 2015 received significantly more medical care, on average, than those with BCBS individual plans prior to 2014 who maintained BCBS individual health coverage into 2015, as well as those with BCBS employer-based group health insurance.

(more…)

The Federal Government’s $146 Billion Obamacare Boo-Boo

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

According to The Motley Fool:

Bad things can happen when a government forecast proves to be way off.

There are mistakes, and then there are big mistakes. What the Congressional Budget Office’s latest report on federal subsidies revealed was a mistake of monstrousproportions on the part of the federal government.

Here’s what a forecasting error looks like
The Congressional Budget Office, or CBO, has been making projections on the future of Obamacare, and healthcare in general, for years. Initially, the CBO had projected that up to 21 million people would sign up for private health insurance using Obamacare’s transparent marketplace exchanges by 2016. However, that estimate has been substantially reduced to just 12 million. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, Obamacare enrollment totaled “about 12.7 million” as of the end of third enrollment period (Jan. 31, 2016). Ultimately, the CBO foresees private health enrollment via Obamacare topping out at between 18 million and 19 million people between 2018 and 2026.

Why such a huge difference in actual enrollment versus initial projections? To begin with, the government appears to have overestimated just how many people would sign up on private exchanges versus being enrolled via their employer. The data has thus far shown that nowhere near as many people as expected dropped out of employer-sponsored insurance to sign up on Obamacare’s marketplace exchanges, meaning there was a considerably smaller uninsured pool than initially anticipated. (more…)

Obamacare Encounters Another Bump in the Road

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

According to News Max Finance:

” Well, the hammer has fallen: The largest health insurer in the U.S. has started pulling out of select Obamacare exchanges.

Five months ago UnitedHealth, which had been singing sunny songs to investors about its bright future on the exchanges, abruptly began crooning the blues. In an earnings call barely a month after executives assured investors that all was going swimmingly, they confessed that they were losing a ton of money on their Obamacare policies and described a pattern that sounded as if consumers were gaming the system — signing up for a few months, using a ton of services, and then canceling their policies. If this continued, they said, they would have no choice but to pull out of the exchange business. (more…)

How Obamacare Makes Tax Filing Trickier

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

According to Time Inc.

“Many Americans will get new tax forms for the first time. Here’s what to do with them.

 

This year, you may be receiving tax forms you’ve never seen before, all thanks to the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. For the most part, these documents won’t make tax filing too much harder—with one big exception. Here’s what you need to know about this paperwork, depending on what kind of health insurance you had in 2015.

If you had health insurance from your employer all year…

(more…)

Illinois Obamacare plan crippled by losses

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

According to Crain’s Chicago Business 

” The operating losses continue to mount at struggling Land of Lincoln Health, totaling $90.8 million for the Obamacare health plan in 2015.

That net loss is almost five times greater than the Chicago-based startup reported in 2014, when it totaled $17.7 million. The insurer lost about $40 million in just the last three months of 2015, according to a new financial statement filed with national insurance regulators.

Jason Montrie, Land of Lincoln president and interim CEO, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Kevin Scanlan, chairman of the insurer’s board of directors, said in a statement: “Land of Lincoln Health, like other insurers across the market, continues to adjust its business model as we learn how to best adapt to the new marketplace. . . .The board is confident in its long-term viability and will continue to evaluate and invest in the needs of our members.”

(more…)

IRS Grants Extension for 6055 and 6056 Reporting

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

According to United Healthcare, Broker Connection Special Edition:

“On Dec. 28, 2015, the IRS announced that it is granting an automatic extension for the 2015 information returns required of insurers, employers and certain other providers of Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) under Section 6055 and 6056 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).

Coverage providers that need more time now have until March 31 to get Form 1095 to individuals and until June 30 to electronically file with the IRS. For providers not filing electronically, the deadline is May 31, 2016. (more…)

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