2:30 PM, Feb 10, 2015 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Obamacare requires employers to provide "affordable" health insurance to full-time employees, and for the purposes of the law, the word affordable is defined very specifically:
Coverage is deemed to be not “affordable” according to the ACA if the employee’s share of the annual premium for self-only coverage is greater than 9.5 percent of their annual household income. An employer plan must cover at least 60 percent of total allowed costs to meet the ACA’s minimum value requirement, and offer “substantial” coverage for in-patient hospitalization services or physician services (or both). Employer plans are also required to offer certain preventive care services on a no-cost basis to participants, and a range of additional benefits, such as the age-26 adult dependent coverage requirement and no annual or lifetime limits on essential health benefits.
Given that the authors of Obamacare had a very specific idea in mind for what constitutes affordable insurance, the American Health Policy Institute is out with a new study that asks a very interesting question: Does Obamacare meet its own standards for affordability? The answer is no. Here are a couple of the key findings from AHPI's study:
Even now, under the Affordable Care Act’s own definition, over 105 million Americans will find plans in the ACA’s [Affordable Care Act's] public exchanges to be “unaffordable” when both premiums and deductibles are taken into account.
Over 13 million employees with employer based coverage – 3.0 million with individual coverage, and 10.4 million with family plans – are now facing the prospect of “unaffordable” health care.
You can read the full study from AHPI here.
4:34 PM, Feb 5, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Bobby Jindal isn’t as close to announcing a run for president as some of his other would-be GOP rivals, but that hasn’t kept the Louisiana governor out of the news. In recent weeks, Jindal has spoken out on terrorism (he says, contra Obama, Islam “has a problem”), vaccines (he’s unequivocally for them), and Common Core (he’s now against it).
8:01 AM, Feb 5, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
In an email sent out this morning to customers, Anthem president and CEO Joseph Swedish addresses the cyberattack on the insurance company he runs. Swedish also reveals that his information was hacked too, not just the information of millions of customers.
8:04 AM, Jan 2, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is looking for vendors to run its "National Data Warehouse," a database for "capturing, aggregating, and analyzing information" related to beneficiary and customer experiences with Medicare and the federal Obamacare marketplaces.
10:31 AM, Dec 30, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
With the announcement Monday of a five-year, $563 million contract award to Accenture, the Healthcare.gov contractor that rescued the Obamacare marketplace after 2013's disastrous launch, the total cost of the site will well exceed $2.2 billion.
12:37 PM, Dec 23, 2014 • By ELI LEHRER
When Congress headed home for the year last week without renewing the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) many in the real estate, tourism, and insurance business predicted disaster. The Coalition to Insure Against Terrorism—a broad grouping representing everyone from real estate investors to sports leagues—blasted the inaction.
7:05 AM, Oct 28, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Without offering an alternate theory for President Obama’s 42 percent approval rating — which was about the same even before it became obvious his foreign policy had tanked — the mainstream media is insisting that Obamacare isn’t driving this election. But Republican ads in Senate races say otherwise.
6:30 AM, Oct 19, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
In the wake of their passage of Obamacare, the Democrats have repeatedly claimed two things: Republicans don’t have an alternative, and in any case the health care debate is over. But a Washington Post editorial published Saturday makes it clear that neither of these claims is true.
8:01 AM, Oct 14, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Analysis of Congressional Budget Office projections by the Senate Budget Committee finds that Obamacare will increase the deficit by more than $100 billion over the next decade.
8:48 AM, Sep 30, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Even before the Healthcare.gov website disaster unfolded in October 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had been looking to the future. HHS announced in June of that year that Hewlett-Packard would be replacing Terremark, a Verizon subsidiary, as the main contractor hosting the federal insurance marketplace and data services hub.
1:08 PM, Sep 18, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
A new poll finds that 58 percent of likely voters are “more likely” to support members of Congress who vote to stop Obamacare’s taxpayer bailout of insurance companies. Half of that 58 percent (29 percent) are “much” more likely to do so. Meanwhile, only 15 percent of likely voters are “less likely” to support such members, with only 6 percent being “much” less likely to support them. In other words, almost four times as many voters would reward members of Congress for voting to stop the bailout as would punish them for doing so.
4:44 PM, Sep 8, 2014 • By JAMES C. CAPRETTA
Obamacare’s defenders are busy declaring victory again. Ezra Klein is touting a new survey of Obamacare benchmark premiums in some regions of the country as evidence that the law is defying the predictions of critics and working to cut costs rather than increase them.