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Health Care and Insurance News Bulletin 

December 15, 2014 – January 2, 2015

The purpose of this bulletin is to compile a handful of articles relating to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that are most pertinent to LIUNA and its health and welfare funds. We hope you find this biweekly bulletin helpful and informative.

 

Uninsured Rates Fell Under Obamacare, But Who’s Reaping the Benefit?
Hospitals and health insurers have reaped a financial windfall from the 2014 rollout of the federal health law, even beyond what was expected. Now, employers and consumers are seeking a share of the Obamacare dividend.

State, Federal Insurance Sites Seem Ready for Late Rush
The first big Affordable Care Act 2015 open enrollment deadline is here and this time it looks like it won't be a bust.

Obamacare Sign-Ups Glitch Free in Year Two
Obamacare’s technical issues seem to have been solved—at least on the sign-up side for Healthcare.gov. The second year of signups is relatively glitch-free on the newly revamped Healthcare.gov.

Gruber’s After-the-Fact Explanation of His Obamacare Remarks
“The point I believe I was making was about the possibility that the federal government, for whatever reason, might not create a federal exchange. If that were to occur, and only in that context, then the only way that states could guarantee that their citizens would receive tax credits would be to set up their own exchange.”

Obamacare by the Numbers: What a Difference a Year Makes
It's now clear that last year's disastrous rollout of the Obamacare health insurance exchanges will not be repeated.

So Far, 6.4 Million Obtain Health Care Coverage for 2015 in Federal Marketplace
The Obama administration said Tuesday that 6.4 million people had selected health insurance plans or had been automatically re-enrolled in coverage through the federal insurance marketplace. New customers accounted for 30 percent of the total, or 1.9 million.

More HealthCare.gov Enrollees Seeking Financial Aid in 2015
Approximately 87% of Americans who selected 2015 health insurance plans through HealthCare.gov in the first month of open enrollment are receiving financial assistance to lower their monthly premiums, higher than in the same period last year, HHS announced Tuesday.

STATES IN THE NEWS

Maryland Calls Revamped Health Care Exchange a Success
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is calling the state’s revamped health-insurance exchange a success as the second enrollment period hits a milestone.

Why Single Payer Died in Vermont
Vermont was supposed to be the beacon for a single-payer health care system in America. But now its plans are in ruins, and its onetime champion Gov. Peter Shumlin may have set back the cause.

View From the Trenches: Insurance Broker Assesses Status of ACA and Nevada Health Link
Pat Casale isn’t a doctor, but he spends his days working with the sick and uninsured.