Thursday, August 27, 2015

ACA/Obamacare: Keep your Doctor? Not So Much. Narrow Network is the Order of the Day

“If you bought Obamacare in Georgia or Florida you most likely don't have a lot of options for choosing doctors or hospitals, according to a new study showing that some enrollees may have less choice than others.

A report released Monday found that those two states had the highest amount of Obamacare plans in narrow networks, which limit the number of physicians who are covered. The report concludes that insurers are using narrow networks as a way to keep costs down and remain competitive.

Georgia was the top state for having these narrow networks. The report from the nonprofit Robert Wood Johnson Foundation said 83 percent of Georgia's networks were narrow. Florida came in second at 79 percent, followed by Oklahoma (78 percent), California (75 percent) and Arizona (73 percent).” Obamacare's latest problem: Narrow doctor networks, Washington Examiner, 08/24/2015

Link to the entire article appears below:

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

ACA/Obamacare: And About the Supposed Reduction in Health-care Price.....

“Just in time for the next presidential election, health care spending is starting to take off again. Through 2024, health care spending is projected to grow by 5.8% annually, on average, according to CMS. While this isn’t unexpected—health economists across the political spectrum expected health care costs to start growing again (and growth rates are expected to still be lower than the long-run average)—the window for addressing health care costs in a less painful way is closing. Without better cost controls in the private sector, and without immediate reforms to Medicare, the health care sector is set to gobble up a full fifth of the U.S. economy in just 10 years.

So the Obama Administration is going to have to put some corks back into their champagne bottles. Obamacare has not slain the health care cost dragon. Back to the drawing board.”

“Despite media rhetoric about soaring drug prices, absent a one-off jump in drug spending from expensive, life-saving Hepatitis C drugs, drug spending as a share of U.S. health care spending is expected to remain largely flat: from 9.9% in 2014 to 10.4% in 2024.

Less than 1% growth is hardly a cost explosion.

The big drivers of spending growth will, unsurprisingly, will be Medicaid and Medicare. Even as per-capita costs in these programs grow relatively slowly—averaging just around 4% through 2024—greater enrollment in the two programs will drive spending: 7% for Medicare, thanks to a retiring cohort of baby boomers, and around 6 percent for Medicaid, mainly due to the ACA’s Medicaid expansion.” - America's Health Care-Cost Slowdown Goes Kaput, Forbes, 08/22/2015

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

ACA/Obamacare: Qualifying the Non-qualified

‘Some people who signed up for healthcare through ObamaCare may not have been qualified for the benefits they received, according to a government audit released Monday.

For several months after the rollout of, the government’s website was unable to verify important parts of a customer’s application, such as household income, citizenship status and family size.

The audit, which was completed by the Department of Health and Human Services’s inspector general, tracked sample applicants to determine weaknesses with the system's internal controls.’

‘“The Federal marketplace did not always maintain applicant data that were complete, accurate, and up to date in the eligibility and enrollment system and did not always maintain documentation supporting resolution of inconsistencies,” the 50-page report said.’ - Audit: Not all healthcare customers fully vetted by, the, 08/10/2015

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

ACA/Obamacare: Health Insurance Is Not Health-care

‘Low- and middle-income consumers who use the marketplaces often are able to qualify for tax subsidies to offset the cost of monthly premiums and help them afford care. But while the Department of Health and Human Services has touted low premiums averaging $100 a month for the majority of Americans who use exchanges, that message only tells part of the story, leaving out details about copays, deductibles and provider costs that may be out of reach.

"There is a lot of evidence to suggest consumers are learning as they go, and I'm sure it's not without a lot of painful experiences," says Paul Lambdin, insurance exchanges and retail practice leader for health plans at Deloitte Consulting. The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, a research arm of Deloitte, has been polling consumer attitudes about health insurance and the health care system since 2008.

For this report, researchers surveyed 3,887 people, 406 of whom used online marketplaces to buy health insurance. The analysis did not distinguish between people who used state exchanges and those who used the federal website,

Despite having insurance coverage that some may not have had before, the survey revealed costs are still a major concern for exchange customers. Results showed only 24 percent felt they could get affordable care when they needed it, and just 16 percent felt financially prepared to handle future health care costs. And 1 in 3 reported they had difficulty paying for out-of-pocket expenses when enrolled in a marketplace plan for a full year.’ - Obamacare Exchange Customers: Health Care Still Costs Too Much, US News and World Report, 08/03/2015

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Thursday, August 6, 2015

ACA Created Insurance Co-Ops: Red Ink

“WASHINGTON (AP) — Fed up with the insurance industry, Democrats used the health care overhaul to create nonprofit co-ops that would compete with the corporations. Now a government audit finds co-ops are awash in red ink.

Only one out of 23 — the co-op in Maine — made money last year, said Thursday's report from the Health and Human Services inspector general's office. Thirteen lagged far behind their sign-up goals for 2014.

The Massachusetts co-op spent more than six times as much on administrative expenses as it collected in premiums.

The audit raised questions about whether co-ops will be able to repay $2.4 billion in taxpayer-financed loans that President Barack Obama's overhaul provided to help stand them up.

"The low enrollments and net losses might limit the ability of some co-ops to repay startup and solvency loans, and to remain viable and sustainable," said the report.

The inspector general recommended closer supervision of the co-ops by the Obama administration as well as clear standards for recalling loans if a co-op is no longer viable.” - Health Insurance Co-Ops Bleed Red Ink,, 07/30/2015

Link to the entire story appears below:

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

ACA/Obamacare: Where Dissatisfaction is Job One!

“According to a new poll conducted by Deloitte, the vast majority of people enrolled in Obamacare are dissatisfied with their insurance coverage and do not believe they will be able to receive care when they need it. Just 30 percent of people enrolled in Obamacare are satisfied with their insurance plan, which is significantly worse than any other available form of healthcare coverage. Even worse, despite being subsidized by the taxpayer Obamacare enrollees still don't feel they are financially stable enough to cover remaining health costs or high deductibles.” - POLL: Highly Dissatisfied Obamacare Enrollees Find Out Health Insurance Isn't Healthcare,, 08/04/2015

Link to entire article appears below: