December 9, 2013
Multiple state-run health-care exchanges are vulnerable to a type of Wi-Fi attack that can allow hackers to intercept usernames and passwords, KSTP, a Minnesota ABC affiliate, reports.
According to Mark Lanterman, the CEO and chief technology officer of Computer Forensic Services who ran the simulated attack for KSTP, state-run exchanges in Minnesota, Hawaii, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, New York, Maryland, and the District of Columbia are vulnerable to it.
via Mutliple State Exchanges Vulnerable to Wi-Fi Attack | National Review Online.
December 9, 2013
The average individual deductible for what is called a bronze plan on the exchange—the lowest-priced coverage—is $5,081 a year, according to a new report on insurance offerings in 34 of the 36 states that rely on the federally run online marketplace.
That is 42% higher than the average deductible of $3,589 for an individually purchased plan in 2013 before much of the federal law took effect, according to HealthPocket Inc., a company that compares health-insurance plans for consumers. A deductible is the annual amount people must spend on health care before their insurer starts making payments.
via High Deductibles Fuel New Worries of Health-Law Sticker Shock – WSJ.com.
December 6, 2013
All eyes have been focused on the functionality of the HealthCare.gov website — or the lack thereof — since its launch October 1. But another rolling disaster is underway that is much more significant: Despite the president’s assurances to the contrary, virtually everyone — not just the 15 million Americans with individual policies — will feel the brunt of Obamacare’s sweeping changes. Once members of the public begin to see the costly changes to their health plans and the limits on their access to doctors, the issue will dominate the debate through 2014.
Earlier this year, the president asserted that “for the 85 to 90 percent of Americans who already have health insurance . . . their only impact is that their insurance is stronger, better, more secure than it was before. Full stop. That’s it. They don’t have to worry about anything else.” And as recently as November 14, the president claimed that “when I said you can keep your health care, I’m looking at folks who’ve got employer-based health care; I’m looking at folks who’ve got Medicare and Medicaid — and that accounts for the vast majority of Americans.”
via We Should All Worry about the ACA | Galen Institute.
November 25, 2013
One of the basic tenets of Obamacare is that the government will help lower-income Americans — anyone making less than about $45,900 a year — pay for the health insurance everyone is now mandated to have.
But a CNN analysis shows that in the largest city in nearly every state, many low-income younger Americans won\’t get any subsidy at all. Administration officials said the reason so many Americans won\’t receive a subsidy is that the cost of insurance is lower than the government initially expected. Subsidies are calculated using a complicated formula based on the cost of insurance premiums, which can vary drastically from state to state, and even county to county.
via CNN: No Obamacare subsidy for some low-income Americans – CNN.com.
November 22, 2013
Many middle-class Americans will be harmed by the design of Obamacare’s cost-sharing subsidies for lower-income exchange enrollees. Though relatively little attention has been given to this feature, understanding it is crucial to accurately projecting the results of its implementation.
Heritage Foundation Senior Fellow Ed Haislmaier has studied this feature of the bill and found that its effects will be unattractive for many Americans.
How do these cost-sharing subsidies work? Haislmaier explains that
they only apply to Silver plans…[that] are paid directly to the insurer, without the enrollee knowing the amount…. Thus, different individuals can purchase the same plan for the same, nominal premium, while, based on their different incomes, ending up with different deductible and co-pay levels for their coverage.
via Obamacare: How the Cost-Sharing Subsidies Produce Limited Access to Providers.
November 22, 2013
It turns out that individual health policies currently are bought by about 900,000 Californians: mostly self-employed people or small-business workers who don’t participate in corporate-sponsored plans. Only about a third of those are eligible for low-income subsidies that defray the extra costs of ACA-style policies. The other 590,000 current policyholders are too solidly in the middle class or above to qualify for subsidies, Covered California now says.
So for the 34% of California’s individual policyholders who get subsidies, the ACA is a good deal. For the 66% who don’t get subsidies, it’s not.
via California’s ‘Bitter Pill’ Leaves 66% Worse Off In ACA Rollout – Forbes.
November 22, 2013
The dilemma for Democrats: If additional states go California\’s way, more people who may have preferred their old plans will lose them, despite the president\’s promise, now withdrawn, that the health law would allow people to keep plans they liked.
Among states with Democratic governors, nine including California have said they won\’t allow carriers to renew the plans in 2014, seven have said they will and four were still deciding as of Thursday.
via Health-Law Change Spurs Tussle Among Overhaul Backers – WSJ.com.
November 20, 2013
For the solidly middle class and upper middle class, whether you win or lose under Obamacare will turn on a complex set of considerations.
But for all of the money we’re going to spend on Obamacare, you’d think more people would be made better off by this scheme. The program is going to leave a lot of losers for each person who comes out ahead. It didn’t have to be this way.
via Do You Win Or Lose Under Obamacare? What You Must Know To See How You’ll Fare – Forbes.
November 14, 2013
However, there is no legal authority for President Obama to extend that to people who purchased their plans after Obamacare took effect. Section 1251 of the law governs grandfathered plans, and it spells out only three exceptions for purchasing plans after the law took effect. The first is for children who are on their parents’ grandfathered plan. When those children become adults, they have the option of purchasing the same plan. The second regards employer-based plans that are grandfathered. New employees can purchase those plans. And the third regards plans under collective-bargaining agreements made with multiple employers. New employees can join those as well.
Other than that, there is nothing in the law that permits people to keep their plans if they don’t meet Obamacare standards and were purchased after Obamacare became law. But, as has often been the case with Obamacare, the president will disregard the law.
via A ‘Surreal’ Train Wreck – Amy Ridenour’s National Center Blog – A Conservative Blog.
November 13, 2013
Health reform: Who is helped? Who is hurt? Where are we headed?
Friday, November 22, 2013 | 9:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
AEI, Twelfth Floor
1150 Seventeenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
About This Event
When Healthcare.gov — the federal health insurance exchange portal created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — launched on October 1, America faced an unpleasant reality: the website did not work. And over the last several weeks, many people nationwide have lost their insurance coverage and will have to find new plans.
Despite these problems, some people who otherwise would not have coverage will gain it. Considering the mixed positive and negatives so far, what changes can we expect over the next year and beyond?
Join a bipartisan panel of experts who will meet to discuss who the ACA helps, who it hurts, and where the country is headed from here.
via Health reform: Who is helped? Who is hurt? Where are we headed? – Health – AEI.