Obamacare Options? In Many Parts of Country, Only One Insurer Will Remain – The New York Times

August 19, 2016

According to an analysis done for The Upshot by the McKinsey Center for U.S. Health System Reform, 17 percent of Americans eligible for an Affordable Care Act plan may have only one insurer to choose next year. The analysis shows that there are five entire states currently set to have one insurer, although our map also includes two more states because the plans for more carriers are not final. By comparison, only 2 percent of eligible customers last year had only one choice.

A similar analysis by Avalere Health, another consulting firm, also highlighted the increase in areas with only one insurance carrier.

Source: Obamacare Options? In Many Parts of Country, Only One Insurer Will Remain – The New York Times


Medicaid Expansion In 2014 Did Not Increase Emergency Department Use But Did Change Insurance Payer Mix

August 17, 2016

In 2014 twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia had expanded Medicaid eligibility while federal and state-based Marketplaces in every state made subsidized private health insurance available to qualified individuals. As a result, about seventeen million previously uninsured Americans gained health insurance in 2014. Many policy makers had predicted that Medicaid expansion would lead to greatly increased use of hospital emergency departments (EDs). We examined the effect of insurance expansion on ED use in 478 hospitals in 36 states during the first year of expansion (2014). In difference-in-differences analyses, Medicaid expansion increased Medicaid-paid ED visits in those states by 27.1 percent, decreased uninsured visits by 31.4 percent, and decreased privately insured visits by 6.7 percent during the first year of expansion compared to nonexpansion states. Overall, however, total ED visits grew by less than 3 percent in 2014 compared to 2012–13, with no significant difference between expansion and nonexpansion states. Thus, the expansion of Medicaid coverage strongly affected payer mix but did not significantly affect overall ED use, even though more people gained insurance coverage in expansion states than in nonexpansion states. This suggests that expanding Medicaid did not significantly increase or decrease overall ED visit volume.

Source: Medicaid Expansion In 2014 Did Not Increase Emergency Department Use But Did Change Insurance Payer Mix


Obamacare’s sinking safety net

July 13, 2016

What’s happening in North Carolina is repeating itself in state after state across the country and represents the most acute structural threat to the marquee achievement of President Barack Obama’s presidency. A POLITICO review of 2015 financial filings from nearly 100 health plans across a dozen geographically and politically diverse states found that less than a quarter of them hit the standard break-even point for insurers, at which payouts are kept to about 85 percent of premiums taken in. And 40 percent of them had medical costs that outright exceeded the premiums they brought in. The bottom line: many of those insurers lost tens of millions of dollars on their Obamacare policies last year.

Source: Obamacare’s sinking safety net


Obamacare Going Bust | LifeZette

July 12, 2016

Haislmaier said that in the individual health insurance market, 15 companies had to pay penalties despite having a loss ratio of greater 116 percent, meaning that for every $1 they collected in premiums, they paid out $1.16 in claims. Yet those companies had to pay an average risk adjustment penalty of 7.7 percent of their premiums.

Source: Obamacare Going Bust | LifeZette


Five Things ACA Supporters Don’t Want You To Know About UnitedHealth’s Withdrawal From ObamaCare – Forbes

April 19, 2016

UnitedHealth is withdrawing from most of the 34 ObamaCare Exchanges in which it currently sells, citing losses of $650 million in 2016. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation report indicates UnitedHealth’s departure will leave consumers on Oklahoma’s Exchange with only one choice of insurance carriers. Were UnitedHealth to exit all 34 states, the share of counties with only one or two carriers on the Exchange would rise from 36 percent to 52 percent, while the share of enrollees with only one or two carriers from which to choose would nearly double from 15 percent to 29 percent.

Source: Five Things ACA Supporters Don’t Want You To Know About UnitedHealth’s Withdrawal From ObamaCare – Forbes


Surge in Medicare Advantage Sign-Ups Confounds Expectations – The New York Times

February 15, 2016

Five years into Medicare spending cuts that were supposed to devastate private Medicare options for older Americans, enrollment in private insurance plans through Medicare has shot up by more than 50 percent, confounding experts and partisans alike and providing possible lessons for the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges.

Source: Surge in Medicare Advantage Sign-Ups Confounds Expectations – The New York Times


Presidential Resignation: Good Move, Wrong President, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

November 12, 2015

one of Butler’s objections to President Wolfe was “graduate students being robbed of their health insurance.” If this is a big concern of Butler’s and not just a side issue, then Butler called for the wrong president to resign. He should have called for President Obama to resign. Why? Because what caused the University of Missouri to quit subsidizing graduate students’ health care was, you guessed it, Obamacare.

Source: Presidential Resignation: Good Move, Wrong President, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty


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