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Health Care and Insurance News Bulletins 

January 9, 2016 – January 23, 2016

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 in 2016? Coverage might be cheaper than the penalty
Are you among the shrinking number of Americans without health insurance? If so, you could face a hefty penalty in 2016. The cost of going without coverage is $695 or 2.5% of your income, whichever is greater. It will be added to the amount you owe in federal income tax when you file your return for the year.

Average ObamaCare premium rises to $408 per month
The average ObamaCare premium rose to $408 per month for 2016 plans, about a 9 percent increase from this time last year, according to a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Insurers Say Costs Are Climbing as More Enroll Past Health Act Deadline
Eager to maximize coverage under the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration has allowed large numbers of people to sign up for insurance after the deadlines in the last two years, destabilizing insurance markets and driving up premiums, health insurance companies say.

Feds tighten when people can enroll in Obamacare plans
Bowing to pressure from insurers, federal officials on Tuesday tightened the conditions under which people can sign up for plans on the HealthCare.gov exchange outside open enrollment.

Even With ‘Skin In The Game,’ Health Care Shoppers Are Not More Savvy
It’s long been argued that if consumers are shopping with their own money, they will be savvier in their choices of services and doctors. But a research letter published Tuesday highlights a need for “greater availability of price information” as well as “innovative approaches” to make information easier for consumers to use.

Where are the young signups for Obamacare?
The "if you build it, they will come" philosophy apparently doesn't always work in health care. The federal health care exchanges are so far falling short of signing up young (and presumably healthier) workers, which may portend trouble ahead for plans sold through the Affordable Care Act.

 

STATES IN THE NEWS

Kentucky governor moves to shut down state’s ACA insurance exchange
Kentucky’s Republican governor is following through on a campaign pledge and dismantling the state’s health insurance marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act.

MnSure offers special weekend hours for enrollment
During one of the final weekends of the 2016 open enrollment period, MNsure enrollment centers statewide will host special weekend hours on Saturday and Sunday, in an effort to help any Minnesotans who have not yet enrolled in health insurance coverage.

Exchange enrollment shows strong Atlanta area numbers
Georgia’s exchange sign-ups have nearly equaled last year’s open enrollment total, with the deadline more than a week away. Federal health officials reported that as of Jan. 16, 535,918 Georgians have signed up for health insurance through the exchange or were automatically renewed for coverage in 2016.

Health enrollment up 60 percent as deadline nears
The number of Marylanders who have signed up for private insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act is 60 percent higher than last year, and state health officials are making a final push for more ahead of the Jan. 31 enrollment deadline.

With 10 days left, ConnectiCare leads exchange sign-ups
ConnectiCare continues to lead the market among customers of Connecticut’s health insurance exchange, with 52 percent of the nearly 109,000 people signed up so far for 2016 coverage.