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October 24 – November 8, 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.

Battle over 'Cadillac tax' heats up
Longtime opponents of the ObamaCare “Cadillac tax” met with lawmakers this week with a new message: We’re willing to compromise. In a fly-in visit with key members and committee staff, employer benefits lobbyists went in seeking a more politically viable solution than full repeal.

Federal health insurance site opens Sunday for window shopping
The federal health insurance exchange that serves consumers in 38 states will open for browsing Sunday.  The site will be faster and easier to use, and it will allow consumers to calculate their out-of-pocket costs, Department of Health and Human Services officials said Friday.

Drug prices top Americans’ list of health care concerns
Americans from across the political spectrum are worried about the cost of prescription drugs for serious diseases, following weeks of news coverage about companies hiking prices for critical medicines.

Federal health site premiums, number of insurers vary widely by area
Consumers shopping on the federal health exchange for 2016 plans will still be able to pick from about five insurance companies, but there will be fewer plans on average to choose from, federal health officials said Friday.

More than half of ACA co-ops now out of insurance marketplaces
More than half of the nonprofit health insurance co-ops formed through the Affordable Care Act are now off the market for the coming year, with the last-minute departure of a plan in Michigan.

Obamacare rates to rise 7.5 percent next year
Obamacare customers are facing an average 7.5 percent price increase for a key benchmark health plan next year, according to limited data the Obama administration released just days before the start of a challenging enrollment season.

STATES IN THE NEWS

Illinois insurance prices up for some under health care law
Many Illinois consumers will pay higher prices for health insurance entering the third year of President Barack Obama's health care law, industry experts said after the government published the 2016 prices Monday.

Colorado health exchange ready for influx of customers of failed co-op
The leader of the state health exchange expressed confidence Monday that most people losing Colorado HealthOP policies will stay with the exchange.

Alaskans Face Tough Choices Because Of High Insurance Costs
Gunnar Ebbesson is used to paying a lot for health insurance, but the small business owner from Fairbanks got a shock recently when his quote came in for next year’s coverage.

Obamacare: 36% of California's uninsured don't know the feds can help pay their premiums
Heading into Obamacare's third open enrollment starting Nov. 1, uninsured Californians know more about the stick of federal tax penalties than the carrot of premium subsidies.

Year 3 of ACA enrollment: Little growth, big penalty
Federal health officials are predicting little growth in sign-ups as Year Three of open enrollment for the health insurance exchanges begins Sunday.  More than 540,000 Georgians signed up for coverage in 2015 in the health insurance exchange, which was created under the Affordable Care Act. Dante McKay, state director of Enroll America, said Tuesday that he hopes Georgia at least equals that total or exceeds it for 2016.