As Web Visits Soar, Some Obamacare Shoppers Given Extensions for Jan. 1 Coverage

As visits to HealthCare.gov soared on Monday to the highest level ever — some 178,000 individuals at the same time — anxious consumers who were unable to get the help they needed to sign up for Obamacare coverage beginning Jan. 1 were given special enrollment period (SEP) status, according to the New York Times and USA […]

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Consumer-Friendly Features Added to HealthCare.Gov

As consumers count down to today’s enrollment deadline for Jan. 1 coverage, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that new HealthCare.gov consumer decision support features piloted earlier this enrollment season are now fully deployed for all visitors.  The new Out-of-Pocket Cost calculator, Doctor and Facility Lookup, and Prescription Drug Lookup features will help consumers to […]

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Obamacare Penalties to Rise Sharply in 2016

Failure to obtain health care insurance for yourself and your family members can be fairly costly in 2016. The penalty for an individual not having coverage is $695. For a family, it’s $695 per adult plus $347.50 per child, with a family maximum of $2,085. Such are the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or […]

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Obamacare Sign-Ups Already Surpass Dec. 15 Goal

Though critics claim the goal of 900,000 new Obamacare sign-ups by Dec. 15 was modest to begin with, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced this week that the state and federal exchanges have already secured 1 million new enrollees. In all, 2.83 million have signed up this year, according to CMS. Dec. 15 […]

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Health Care Costs for 2014 Reach $3 Trillion at 5.3% Clip

Spending on health care in the United States totaled $3 trillion in 2014, fueled by expanded coverage under Obamacare and by a 12.2 percent surge in prescription drug spending. The increase came at a 5.3 percent clip after a five-year average of 3.7 percent annual increases. The figures were released by the Centers for Medicare […]

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Obamacare Risk Corridors Program to the Rescue?

As part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Congress included a provision called the “risk corridors program” that collects money from insurance companies making money and then distributes it to companies losing money. The program is set to run through 2016, but with a severe limitation. Congress in 2014 passed, and the president signed, a […]

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UnitedHealth May Drop Out of Obamacare Marketplaces

UnitedHealth, the industry’s largest insurer, is eyeing lessened or no participation in the Obamacare marketplaces in 2017 and is already cutting back participation during this year’s open enrollment, citing high costs and low participation. “We cannot sustain these losses,” Chief Executive Stephen Hemsley said Thursday. “We can’t really subsidize a marketplace that doesn’t appear at […]

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Coloradans to Vote on Single-Payer Health Care System

Initiative 20, the “State Health Care System,” will be on the November 2016 ballot in Colorado after supporters collected 158,831 voters’ signatures, some 60,000 more than the 98,492 needed. The Secretary of State on Monday projected the valid-signature total would equal 110 percent of the number needed and certified the initiative for the ballot. Under […]

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SCOTUS to Review Contraceptive Services Mandate

The fate of another Obamacare provision may well rest in the hands of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, just as it has three times in the past when he was the deciding vote on the legality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This time the Obamacare provision under review is the workaround rule […]

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Budget Deal Repeals Health Insurance Auto-Enroll

As part of the budget package that passed the Senate and went to the president on Friday, the provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires companies with 200 or more employees to auto-enroll everyone into health insurance was repealed. The provision, however, was yet to be enforced as a final implementing rule was […]

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