Study Touts Success of Obamacare

Using results from the 2012-2015 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index (a daily national telephone survey of 507,055 adults aged 18-64), Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) analysts reported today that Obamacare has decreased the medically uninsured by 7.9 percent and  achieved significant improvement in access to health care and medications. The study, “Changes in Self-reported Insurance Coverage, […]

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Final Rules Issued on Alternative Contraceptive Services Delivery Methods

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), along with the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of the Treasury (DOT), have issued interim final rules that establish an alternative way for eligible organizations that have a religious objection to covering contraceptive services to seek an accommodation from contracting, providing, paying, or referring for such […]

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HHS Awards $840 Million in Health Care Grants

Health departments across the country will receive more than $840 million in cooperative agreements from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to improve and sustain emergency preparedness of state and local public health and health care systems. The cooperative agreement funds are distributed through two federal preparedness programs: the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) […]

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HHS Fattens Pot for Health Insurers

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced yesterday that it was “pleased” to up its reimbursements to insurance companies to 100 percent for individual health claim costs that fall between $45,000 and $250,000. The original contribution level under the reinsurance provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was 80 percent. The move is […]

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Three States to Join the Obamacare Marketplace Network

After some high-profile state defections, the ranks of states hosting their own Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance marketplaces will grow with the addition of Arkansas, Delaware and Pennsylvania, whose applications were recently approved by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Delaware and Pennsylvania have been okayed to commence online operations for both […]

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Obamacare State Exchanges Biting the Dust

Hawaii became the latest state to shut down its online health insurance marketplace after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began cutting back on grant funds because its exchange was out of compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Hawaii exchange enrolled only 8,500 persons in the first year of Obamacare, costing the […]

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ER Visits Spike Under Obamacare

More Americans enjoy health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but that doesn’t always mean they can find a primary physician, and as a result emergency room (ER) visits are climbing, according to three-quarters of emergency physicians polled by The American College of Emergency Physicians. Some 28 percent of those polled also report “significant increases” […]

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DOL Delays New SBC Template Until 2016

Under pressure from business groups and others, the Department of Labor (DOL) has delayed until 2016 implementation of revised standards for the health insurance Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). When it released the proposed changes in late 2014, the DOL originally set implementation for the first open […]

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Obamacare Five Years Old Today

While Democrats were singing its praises, Republicans in Congress were working on a measure to present to the president to end it (however unlikely that he’d ever sign it). “It,” of course, is the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly referred to as Obamacare, which celebrated its fifth year of existence on March 23, 2015, having […]

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Final Rules Issued on Excepted Benefits

The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury have published final rules to amend the definition of excepted benefits to include certain limited coverage that wraps around individual health insurance. Such coverage would have to be specifically designed to provide meaningful benefits such as coverage for expanded in-network medical clinics or providers, reimbursement […]

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