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King v. Burwell: With Decision Imminent It’s Still Anybody’s Guess How Court Will Decide

As the Supreme Court decision on subsidies looms, many are wondering:  which way is the court leaning?  Most experts agree it’s way too close to a call.

Wondering where things stand as we wait for the high court to announce its decision?

Here’s a good, plain speaking synopsis of why it’s too close to call.  It was reported by Amy Howe at SCOTUS Blog back in March right after the case was argued before the Supreme Court:

Quietly Lurking: 2017 Obamacare Waiver Could Open the Door for States to Do Their Own Thing

We’re keeping an eye on it; and, apparently so are many of the states. The healthcare reform law includes a waiver that, starting in 2017, would let states take federal dollars now invested in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and redirect them and redesign their own health care systems.

Some elements of the law could not be repealed, such as the requirement that insurance companies provide coverage regardless of pre-existing health problems. But they could replace the law’s unpopular mandate that requires virtually everyone in the country to have health insurance, provided the alternative worked reasonably well.

Obamacare…Did you know? #4

Here is my final post in the Obamacare…Did you know? series…

Many low-income consumers who bought bronze plans with low premiums but high deductibles in order to comply with Obamacare’s individual mandate are discovering they still can’t afford health care. Reports are that many with insurance coverage purchased on the exchange are returning to the community health centers for treatment. Community health centers cannot turn anyone away. Wonder if the narrow networks that are associated with the exchange products and the well documented problems with these networks including the limited number of providers participating have also had an impact on this?

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Read Some say Obamacare’s affordable coverage isn’t affordable for them

A recent Associated Press-GfK poll that finds that nearly 75 percent of Americans find healthcare reform  “difficult” and nearly half say it is “very hard” to understand.

Health insurance is both expensive and complex.  We work for many great employers who work hard to provide strong coverage to employees while covering much of the cost.  These employers provide leadership, guidance, and pay for a substantial share of the employee’s premium, if not all of it. Their employees should be thankful that they don’t have to wade into current individual market quagmire, most especially the exchanges, to find their own way.

Obamacare: Did you know #1

Obamacare: Did you know #2

Obamacare: Did you know #3

Open Enrollment is Over. So Now What?

Media outlets have been buzzing since Tuesday about the passing deadline of open enrollment and what the next phase of implementing the new health care system will bring. There is a lot of “noise” about whether the 7.1 million number of new enrollees reported by the White House is an inflated number, mostly because many believe there is a large percentage of enrollees who have yet to pay for their insurance. Also, there is a great deal of speculation that insurance companies will raise their rates next year along with reports that indicate the implementation of the new health care system will weigh heavy on large employers, causing their expenses to rise [additionally] by nearly 6% [over and above what they would already spend] over the next ten years.

Kaiser Health News offers a round up of commentary from several sources in
Open Enrollment is Over — What’s Ahead for the Health Law Now?

Meanwhile, Marketwatch by Wall Street Journal reports ADP just released it’s 2014 ADP Annual Health Benefits Report. This is their second annual report, based on actual, aggregated health benefits data from U.S.-based companies with 1,000 or more employees. According to a press release by ADP, “…the report provides employers with benchmarks to better gauge the effectiveness of their current strategies and to help plan for changes on the horizon.”

The data was collected by a survey of employees (anonymous) from a group of employers spanning from 2010 to 2014. Key findings of the report include:

  • Premium increases are leveling off
  • Employers are contributing slightly less
  • Overall participation is steady, but varies with age
  • Costs vary by state

You can download a free copy of the ADP report here.

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