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May 26 – June 5, 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.

How One Supermarket Chain Is Tackling Health-Care Costs
The “Cadillac Tax” isn’t the only reason executives are looking to shed health-care costs; low-margin businesses don’t have much choice but to arrest the increases and trim fat wherever they can.

West Coast Port Contract Has Employers Covering ‘Cadillac Tax’
The U.S. West Coast port labor contract ratified by dockworkers will require shipping companies and terminal operators to cover the tax on high-cost health plans beginning in 2018 under the Affordable Care Act, widely called the “Cadillac tax.”

Understanding the Rate Increases for Health Care Plans
Insurance companies have begun announcing rate increases for the health care plans they will sell next year on the Obamacare marketplaces, and a handy new website from the federal government makes searching for rate change requests easier than ever.

The accidental case against Obamacare
A lawyer, a law professor, and a libertarian spent the last three years struggling to convince first themselves and then national Republicans that a "glitch" in the Affordable Care Act could be the law's undoing.

More Than 10M Enrolled This Year Under Obama's Health Law
More than 10 million people have signed up for private health insurance this year under President Barack Obama's law, the administration said Tuesday. That puts the nation finally within reach of coverage for all, but it may not last.

The Post-Launch Problem: The Affordable Care Act’s Persistently High Administrative Costs
Last year we, and many others, drew attention to the chaotic and costly roll out of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) exchanges. The chaos is mostly over (unless King prevails over Burwell), but the costs will linger on.

What Patients Gain By Reading Their Doctor’s Notes
During a recent physical, Jeff Gordon’s doctor told him he may be pre-diabetic. It was a quick mention, mixed in with a review of blood pressure numbers, other vital statistics like his heart rate, height and weight, and details about his prescription for cholesterol medication.

STATES IN THE NEWS

Growing Pains For State Obamacare Exchanges
The states that set up their own insurance marketplaces have nothing to lose in King V. Burwell, the big Supreme Court case that will be decided by the end of June. But that doesn’t mean those states are breathing easy.

44% of Covered California customers report difficulty paying premiums
A new survey shows that 44% of Covered California policyholders find it difficult paying their monthly premiums for Obamacare coverage. And a similar percentage of uninsured Californians say the high cost of coverage is the main reason they go without health insurance.

Blue Cross proposing 25.7% rate hike for ACA plans in NC
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, the state’s largest health insurer, said Monday it is seeking an average 25.7 percent rate increase for customers covered under the Affordable Care Act.

Big jump looming in health insurance rates
Many Georgians could face double-digit increases in their health insurance premiums next year, based on initial rates sought by insurers.