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October 9 – October 23, 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.

Affordable Care Act aid could take years to reach insurers
Health insurers that lost millions of dollars last year under the Affordable Care Act may wait years for the government to deliver the aid it promised them.

Medical Prices Higher In Areas Where Large Doctor Groups Dominate, Study Finds
Prices for many common medical procedures are higher in areas where physicians are concentrated into larger practice groups, according to a new study.

Obamacare’s impact on employment: An early look
Before the Affordable Care Act went into effect last year, critics claimed it would lead to job losses and cuts in employee hours. But how is it really playing out?

Makeover Coming for HealthCare.gov
Acknowledging at least tacitly the difficulties of some health care consumers, the Obama administration plans major changes to HealthCare.gov this year to make it easier for shoppers to find health insurance plans that include their doctors and to predict their health care costs for the coming year.

HHS: Remaining Uninsured Worry About Costs Of Coverage
Department of Health and Human Services officials Thursday predicted that about an additional 1 million Americans would sign up for coverage under the federal health law next year and acknowledged that prospective enrollees are worried about the cost of health insurance, even with the law’s financial help.

Little Growth Predicted on Health Exchanges
In a surprisingly pessimistic forecast, the Obama administration predicted on Thursday that health insurance enrollment on the Affordable Care Act’s public marketplaces will only inch up from current coverage levels by the end of 2016.

Obama administration sets low bar for health law enrollment in 2016
The Obama administration is again dramatically scaling back projected enrollment in health plans purchased through the Affordable Care Act, predicting that about 10 million people will have coverage through the health law’s marketplaces by the end of next year.

A health law fine on the uninsured will more than double
The math is harsh: The federal penalty for having no health insurance is set to jump to $695, and the Obama administration is being urged to highlight that cold fact in its new pitch for health law sign-ups.

Premiums expected to rise in many health law markets
Premiums are expected to rise in many parts of the country as a new sign-up season under President Barack Obama's health care law starts Nov. 1. But consumers have options if they're willing to shop, and an upgraded government website will help them compare.

STATES IN THE NEWS

2 Million Uninsured Californians Are Eligible for Obamacare Benefits
In advance of the Nov. 1 start of open enrollment for Covered California, new numbers show that just over half of the state’s remaining uninsured are eligible for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

2.8M in Florida Still Uninsured
Florida still has nearly 2.8 million residents who lack health insurance, according to a new report, and 80 percent of them are uninsured for reasons that have nothing to do with Medicaid politics.