Judge Strikes Down Expansion of Association Health Plans (AHPs)

In the same week that the Trump administration doubled down on its legal opposition to Obamacare, a federal judge Thursday blocked as an “end-run” around the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) the expansion of Association Health Plans (AHPs) sought by the administration. U.S. District Judge John Bates sided with the arguments […]

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Centene, WellCare Merger to Create Obamacare Behemoth

Centene, a major health insurer based in St. Louis, is paying $17.3 billion in cash and stock to purchase WellCare Health Plans, a provider of government-sponsored health care programs, including Medicaid. The merger has been approved by both companies’ boards of directors and is expected to be completed in the first half of 2020. Together, […]

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Health Care Spending to Rise 5.5 Percent Annually, CMS Estimates

Health care spending in the United States is expected to rise 5.5 percent annually from 2018 to 2027, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) estimates in a new report. “Among the major payers, average annual spending growth in Medicare (7.4 percent) is expected to exceed that in Medicaid (5.5 percent) and private health insurance (4.8 percent) […]

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New York City Tries the San Francisco Solution — and More

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is rolling out an initiative — with a promised $100 million-a-year investment — to guarantee all residents of his city access to health care. He calls it NYC Care. What he envisions is not single-payer, or even a health insurance scheme, but a copycat version of the San […]

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Whither the Lawsuit Against Obamacare?

U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor of Ft. Worth, Texas, heard arguments two months ago over a Texas-led coalition’s contention that the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) is no longer constitutional now that the individual mandate has lost its “tax-like” monetary penalty. But the judge has yet to rule, though in the past — […]

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Obamacare Open Enrollment Begins Tomorrow

The window for signing up for health insurance plans effective Jan. 1, 2019, closes at the end of Obamacare open enrollment on Dec. 15 of this year, following the opening of the federal exchange — HealthCare.gov — tomorrow. While this opening is of somewhat limited interest to applicable large employers (ALEs) — those companies with […]

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Worksite Health Clinics Growing in Number and Popularity

A full one-third (33%) of U.S. employers with 5,000 or more employees offered general medical worksite clinics in 2017, up from 24% in 2012. This is according to a survey from Mercer, a global consulting leader in advancing health, wealth and career. The Mercer Survey on Worksite Medical Clinics 2018 was conducted in collaboration with […]

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Health Care Spending Approaches 20 Percent of GDP

An analysis by the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) of nationwide health care spending for enrollees in employer-sponsored insurance plans shows that expenditures rose 44 percent from 2007 to 2016, putting health care on track for a 20-percent slice of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) within 10 years. Spending averaged a 4.1-percent annual growth rate during […]

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After 10-Year Decline, Employers Offering Health Insurance on the Rise

Snapping a decline that began in 2008, employers are more and more offering health insurance to their employers, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). In 2017, nearly 47 percent of employers offered health insurance, rising from 45.3 percent the year before. In 2008, the percentage before the long decline stood at 56.4. The […]

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CMS Cuts Obamacare Navigator Funding from $36M to $10M

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) Navigator program, which funds groups and individuals to help walk people through the Obamacare sign-up process, is being cut financially once again by the Trump administration, this time from $36 million to $10 million. In 2017, funding stood at $63 million. Regardless of the federal outlay, the Navigator program has […]

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