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July 6 – July 17, 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.

New Obamacare fight takes aim at 'Cadillac' tax
The Supreme Court fights over the Affordable Care Act may be over for now. But before you get too comfortable, there’s still plenty of fighting left to do.

Report: ACA plans have a third fewer providers than employer-based plans
Consumers who bought insurance on the health exchanges last year had access to one-third fewer doctors and hospitals, on average, than people with traditional employer-provided coverage, according to an analysis released Wednesday.

Health uninsured rate falls, yet again, under Obamacare
What goes down apparently goes down even more. The sharp plunge in the number of Americans lacking health coverage has continued, reaching a seven-year low, as Obamacare exchanges and Medicaid enroll more people.

With Merging of Insurers, Questions for Patients About Costs and Innovation
The nation’s five largest health insurance companies are circling one another like hungry lions closing in on prey.

More competition is supposed to help consumers. That might not be true with health insurance.
You may have heard the news over the weekend of a mega-merger between two of the country's biggest health insurance companies, Aetna and Humana. The $37 billion deal is just one of a series that are expected to reshape the health insurance landscape, after the Supreme Court decision last month made it clear that health care reform was here to stay.

The App Will See You Now, But May Not Get The Diagnosis Right
There’s a warning out today for those who go online or to apps to figure out why they have an upset tummy or nagging cough or occasional chest pain. Symptom checkers, those tools that ask for information and suggest a diagnosis, are accurate only about half of the time.

Treat 'whole person' by bringing behavioral health into primary care: docs
In a new position paper, the American College of Physicians (ACP) lays out six strategies for bringing mental health and substance abuse care into primary care to better treat each patient as “a whole person.”

People could save a lot of money on health care—if only they knew how to use health savings accounts
Health Savings Accounts make a lot of sense–at least, on paper.

STATES IN THE NEWS

Hopkins to help hospitals in Hawaii improve patient safety
The Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality has entered into an agreement with a Hawaii health system to improve patient safety and care at hospitals in the state.

D.C. residents to lose some insurance options next year on health exchange
District residents who want to purchase individual insurance plans on the city’s health exchange will have fewer options next year.