HealthCare.Gov Signs Up 462,125 in First Week

In 2014, just 106,000 people enrolled in Obamacare in the first month, but this year in the first week of open enrollment, HealthCare.gov and its Spanish-language counterpart CiudadodeSalud.gov signed up 462,125 people, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) blog. (Unofficially, by the end of week two, the number had risen to […]

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Federal Agencies Release Fall Regulatory Plans

Just as Congress was leaving town for the Thanksgiving holiday, various federal agencies released their mandated Fall 2014 Regulatory Plans and Unified Agendas on Friday, Nov. 21 — beating winter by a month. The reports are issued twice a year. The most ambitious agency, the Department of Labor (DOL), plans to issue 23 final rules […]

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CMS Proposes Vast Changes in Obamacare

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Friday issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to improve consumers’ experience in the Health Insurance Marketplace and to ensure their coverage options are affordable and accessible. To establish the new consumer standards for 2016, the proposed rule seeks to implement several Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions on […]

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2014 Obamacare Enrollment Stats Inflated with Dental Numbers

What the Republicans in Congress quickly dubbed “Obamacare obfuscation,” Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathew Burwell called merely “a mistake.” Whatever you call it, the HHS-released figured of 7.1 million Obamacare enrollees in 2014 included 400,000 standalone dental plan enrollees, so the official figure for health care enrollment has been corrected to 6.7 […]

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HHS Mostly Mum About Open Enrollment Results

Since reporting that 500,000 logged onto HealthCare.gov and 100,000 submitted applications on Saturday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has remained silent on the results of Obamacare sign-ups, even refusing to answer media requests from the Washington Post and others. The Post‘s Erik Wemple, writing about his attempt to elicit an answer from […]

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Audit Faults DOL’s Data Security

An audit by KPMG found security vulnerabilities in the IT systems at the Department of Labor (DOL), threatening the agency’s financial and support systems and increasing the risk that “current employees, separated employees, and/or contractors may obtain unauthorized or inappropriate access to financial systems and/or data.” “Vulnerabilities that are not remedied in a timely manner may […]

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Health Plan Head Count Delayed Until Dec. 5

The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) has extended its health plan enrollee report deadline until 11:59 p.m., Dec. 5. Originally due by Nov. 15, the report requires employers and insurers to indicate how many health insurance enrollees they have. They then have to pay a reinsurance fee of $63 per enrollee as […]

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OFCCP to Send Out 2,500 Advance Audit Notifications

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is sending out 2,500 Courtesy Scheduling Announcement Letters (CSALs) nationwide to notify employers that they are being slated for audits. Once a company receives one of these letters, it must submit detailed pay data for each of its employees. The company must also submit a copy of […]

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Obamacare Open Enrollment Starts Tomorrow

Marred by glitches in its inaugural year, HealthCare.gov will begin accepting enrollments for 2015 beginning tomorow, Nov. 15, and ending Feb. 15, 2015. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathew Burwell promises a much smoother operation this time as the site has undergone extensive testing and changes and the call center staff has been beefed […]

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Some ‘Skinny’ Health Plans Get a Stay of Execution

What are referred to as “minimum value” or “skinny” health plans have been ordered to include physician services and hospitalization by way of a new regulation, but the issuing federal agencies have now given a reprieve to certain plans already in effect. By way of background, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandated that all health […]

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