The Obama administration has opened a new health-insurance portal to small businesses in five states after a yearlong delay of the Affordable Care Act’s online marketplace for small-employer health plans.
Medical Billing Blog
Fall is enrollment season for many people who get insurance through their workplace. Premium increases for 2015 plans are expected to be modest on average, but the shift toward higher out-of-pocket costs overall for consumers will continue as employers try to keep a lid on their costs and incorporate health law changes.
CMS Principal Deputy Administrator Andy Slavitt testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee about a new report issued by the General Accounting Office (GAO) on CMS’ management of the healthcare.gov website.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a proposed rule to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that would create more options for annual health plan eligibility redeterminations in the Exchanges, (both Federally-facilitated and state-based) as well as add more requirements for re-enrollment notices. If enacted, the rule would impact consumers who are re-enrolling in a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) during the 2015 open enrollment period (November 15, 2014 – February 15, 2015).
About 10.3 million Americans have gained insurance coverage since the full implementation of Obamacare last year, according to an analysis published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study, done by Harvard researchers and published by the NEJM, was based on Gallup polling and data from the Department of Health and Human Services. It also estimated that the uninsured rate declined by 5.2 percentage points in the second quarter of 2014, or from 21 percent in September 2013 to 16.3 percent in April 2014. In particular, it found jumps in the insurance rates for Hispanics, blacks and young adults.
According to three new studies, the health law has in its first year reduced the number of uninsured adults by between 8 million and 11 million, and the majority of enrollees report satisfaction with their plans. The numbers don’t all match, and health care experts say they’re not precise enough to give more than a general idea of the trend. However, millions of people who didn’t have health insurance before the Affordable Care Act have gained it since last fall.
Monteith Illingworth and Chris Abbate both have small public relations firms in Manhattan. Both offer their employees health coverage through Oxford Health, a division of insurance giant United Healthcare. Both faced double-digit premium hikes last year. And both considered hitting the eject button to buy coverage from the New York State of Health, the new insurance marketplace set up under the Affordable Care Act.
Nearly six in 10 Americans who bought insurance for this year through the health law’s online marketplaces were previously uninsured—most for at least two years, according to a new survey that looks at the experiences of those most affected by the law.
Earlier this month, CMS released the final version of the Exchange and Insurance Market Standards for 2015. This final rule outlines how the healthcare market places will function in 2015. The rule finalizes policies regarding consumer notices, quality reporting and enrollee satisfaction surveys, the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), standards for Navigators and other consumer assisters, and policies regarding the premium stabilization programs, among other standards.
Health care spending rose at the fastest pace since 1980 as the new health insurance law prompted many more Americans to seek medical treatment. “Following several years of decline, 2013 was striking for the increased use by patients of all parts of the U.S. health care system,” Murray Aitken, executive director of the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, said in a statement. Health care expenditures climbed at a 9.9% annual rate last quarter, mostly because of increased spending at hospitals, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said last week. That's the biggest jump since 1980's third quarter, and it followed a 5.6% increase in the fourth quarter of 2013.