CMS Proclaims a ‘Death Spiral’ for Unsubsidized Obamacare Policyholders

Though the actual number of open enrollment Obamacare policyholders who paid their premiums the first month rose over 2017 by 3 percent — standing at 10.6 million people for 2018 — those seeking policies who didn’t qualify for subsidies fell by as much as one-third in many states, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services […]

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Trump DOJ Announces It Will No Longer Defend the ACA in Court

Faced with a challenge by 20 attorneys general in a federal court in Texas, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is going to trial with no defense from the Trump administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ). The case rests on the constitutionality — or unconstitutionality — of the health care act now that the individual mandate has […]

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New Jersey Institutes Statewide Obamacare Individual Mandate

New Jersey has become the second state to legislate an individual Obamacare-like health care mandate following the lead of Massachusetts, which instituted its mandate in 2006 when it passed Romneycare. The New Jersey mandate replaces the financial penalty for not having health insurance that Republicans in Congress repealed in December. In 2015 some 189,000 New […]

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U.S. to Spend $685 Billion on Health Care Coverage for Those Under 65 in 2018

The federal government subsidizes health insurance for most Americans through a variety of programs and tax provisions. In 2018, net subsidies for non-institutionalized people under age 65 will total $685 billion, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimate. That amount includes the cost of preferential tax […]

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HHS Disapproves Ohio’s Request to Eliminate ACA Individual Mandate in State

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has rejected a waiver request from the Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI) to eliminate the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual shared responsibility mandate in the state. As originally written, that provision of the ACA requires all Americans to have health insurance or pay a fine, but as […]

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IRS Resumes Sending Out ACA Penalty Notices for 2015

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has begun issuing new Affordable Care Act (ACA) penalty notices for calendar year 2015. The notices are officially called Employer Shared Responsibility Payment (ESRP) notices, or what the IRS refers to as Letter 226-J. Under the ACA, Applicable Large Employers (ALEs), generally those companies with 50 or more full-time employees […]

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ACA Calorie Count Mandate for Chain Restaurants Takes Effect

After years of delay, an Affordable Care  (ACA) Act rule requiring chain restaurants to label the calories in each item on their menu — and to provide sodium and other nutritional data on request — goes in effect today, May 7. Though some large restaurant chains have been posting calorie counts for years, and while […]

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House Farm Bill Contains Funds for Rural Association Health Plans

Tucked inside the massive House farm bill now under consideration is a measure to help fund rural association health plans to the tune of $65 million over four years, to be doled out at the secretary of Agriculture’s discretion. Under the bill, starting next year, the secretary  could grant up to 10 loans of no […]

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States Move to Fill in the Voids in Trumpcare

The Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka Obamacare) is still the law of the land, but the Trump administration has modified so many of its provisions — including the elimination of a tax penalty for not having health insurance — that the remaining parts of the ACA are forcing some states, and even citizen initiatives, to […]

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New Jersey Votes to Resurrect the Obamacare Individual Mandate

The New Jersey legislature has sent a bill to Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, that would reinstate the expiring individual health insurance mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare). Under terms of the bill — New Jersey Health Insurance Market Preservation Act — those who lack health insurance would be subject to a […]

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