Federal Obamacare Marketplace Gets 2.8 Million Visitors

The Obamacare Health Insurance Marketplace operating in the 36 states that declined to operate their own exchange received 2.8 million visitors the first day (Oct. 1), but Health and Human Services (HHS) officials have yet to release any data on sign-ups. In a call with reporters, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn […]

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Businesses Can’t SHOP at Marketplaces Until Nov. 1, Administration Admits

Another setback in the Obamacare Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) was announced today by the Obama administration, admitting its computer system won't be ready to accept online applications until Nov. 1 instead of the Oct. 1 opening of the Health Insurance Marketplaces (though it says individual purchases won't be affected). Previously in April, the […]

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Average Obamacare Silver Plan to Cost $328 a Month

According to a report about the Health Insurance Marketplaces issued today by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), "the average premium nationally for the second lowest cost silver plan will be $328 [a month] before tax credits." However, HHS says about 6 out of 10 of the uninsured today will be eligible for […]

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Under Obamacare, Lower Costs = Fewer Choices, NYT Reports

In a report that is not all that surprising, the New York Times has concluded that insurers offering health care policies on the Obamacare Marketplaces are keeping costs lower by reducing the number of providers and choices available to purchasers. An article in today's edition by Robert Pear sums it up this way: "From California […]

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Walgreens to Give Money to Employees to Buy Own Health Insurance

Citing compliance costs with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Walgreens on Jan. 1, 2014, will begin making cash payments to its 160,000 affected employees to buy their own health insurance on the Marketplaces instead of providing and managing their benefit program for them.  Earlier, IBM and Time Warner announced similar plans for retirees. "You're completely […]

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IRS Issues NPRMs on Obamacare Large Employer Reporting Requirements

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) last week published two Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs) concerning the large-business reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The IRS made headlines on July 2 when it threw up its hands and said ACA reporting requirements were too cumbersome and confusing to be implemented […]

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Feds’ Super Computer Not Ready for Obamacare Prime Time

A $267-million dollar super-computer system dubbed the "Hub" is finding it hard to incorporate all its Affordable Health Care (ACA) mandates by the time the Health Insurance Marketplaces begin selling policies on Oct. 1. Research by Benz Communications confirms that the "Hub," designed to pull data from seven federal agencies (from the IRS to the […]

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Time Warner, IBM to Move Retirees onto Private Exchanges

Both IBM and Time Warner are transitioning their retirees into private health insurance exchanges, moves announced against the backdrop of the upcoming operation of the Health Insurance Marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Specifically, the two companies are planning to give retirees subsidies and/or options to purchase Medicare supplements on their own. IBM […]

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Study Probes Cost Structure of Marketplace Health Plans

In about three weeks, the Obamacare Health Insurance Marketplaces will begin servicing individual and small business customers with promises of "affordable care." Avalere Health has completed a study of the policies being offered nationwide and come up with five observations: Consumers will get to choose from four levels of coverage, representing out-of-pocket expenses. A bronze […]

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DOL Issues Another FAQ on Implementation of ACA

The Department of Labor (DOL) yesterday published a new set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), dealing primarily with the upcoming Marketplace Notice of Coverage Options and the 2014 implementation of the 90-day-waiting-period limitation for employer-provided health plans. Significantly, the FAQs clarify that Marketplace Notices issued, for instance, […]

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