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September 9 – September 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.

Excise tax on ‘Cadillac’ plans pegged at $3B
Don’t be surprised if you feel a pinch during open enrollment this fall, especially if you’re generally pleased with the generosity of your employer’s health benefits. A looming federal excise tax might be partly to blame.

Decrypting The 'Cadillac Tax,' Part 2
Section 9001 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), set to take effect in 2018, imposes what it calls an “Excise Tax on High Cost Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage”, which has come to be known as the “Cadillac Tax.”

Nearly 10 million people have paid for Obamacare plans
Just under 10 million consumers paid for insurance plans they bought on the federal and state health care exchanges by the end of June, the Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday. HHS estimated it would have 9.1 million people enrolled by the end of this year.

Health insurance premiums rose moderately in 2015, deductibles rose sharply
Premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance plans rose 4 percent in 2015, continuing a trend of moderate increases in recent years. But deductibles — the amount paid out of pocket before coverage kicks in — have climbed sharply since 2010.

Four Ways Obamacare Has Affected Health Insurance
Beyond the headline numbers showing a substantial decline in the number of Americans without health insurance, today’s Census Bureau report contained some important details.

AMA says insurance mergers will raise premiums and hurt quality of care
In a study released by the physicians' trade association, the AMA argues that insurance competition would be significantly reduced in 97 metropolitan areas spread across most states. It's calling for the mergers to be blocked.

What we know about how health insurance affects health
One of the most basic assumptions underlying the Affordable Care Act is the compelling idea that people with health insurance will be healthier.

3 Tips for Adjusting to Changes in Primary Health Care
The family doctor visit is getting complicated. Drugstores and other retailers are opening clinics that offer care alternatives. Shrinking insurance has made routine visits to a physician more expensive for many.

Insurance, healthy behavior are key to reducing cost of chronic disease
Chronic disease is a modern plague: Nearly half of adults have either diabetes or pre-diabetes, one in three suffers from high blood pressure and more than two-thirds are overweight or obese. These conditions not only maim and kill; they cost the nation hundreds of billions of dollars.

STATES IN THE NEWS

Health insurance rates headed up in 2016
Many Georgians buying individual or family health insurance will see double-digit increases in their premiums for 2016.

In Colorado, Health Insurance Surges But Cost Still A Concern
On Wednesday, the Census Bureau gave Obamacare some good news: the uninsurance rate in the country dropped to 10.4 percent in 2014, down from 13.3 percent in 2013.

Kentucky leads nation in drop of uninsured
The number of people in Kentucky without health insurance fell 5.8 percent last year, the largest drop of any state in the country, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.