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Health Care and Insurance News Bulletins 

March 24, 2016 – April 8, 2016

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.

Despite Fears, Affordable Care Act Has Not Uprooted Employer Coverage
The Affordable Care Act was aimed mainly at giving people better options for buying health insurance on their own. There were widespread predictions that employers would leap at the chance to drop coverage and send workers to fend for themselves.

They’re sicker, plus ACA enrollees cost more in care, major insurer finds
Consumers who signed up for Blue Cross Blue Shield health plans through the Affordable Care Act’s insurance marketplaces these last two years tended to be sicker and incurred greater medical costs than people with BCBS coverage through their jobs.

After The ACA, How Much Do Health Insurance Mergers Matter?
Two major health insurance mergers – Anthem with Cigna, and Aetna with Humana – are winding their way through the regulatory process.

A push for more data on how insurers cover mental illness
Psychiatrists tell stories of suicidal patients being required to get prior authorization from their insurance company before being admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Advocates talk of patients struggling to find a mental health clinician who accepts his or her insurance plan.

Patients’ Assessment Of Their Health Is Gaining Importance In Treatment
For Erin Moore, keeping her son’s cystic fibrosis in check requires careful monitoring to prevent the thick, sticky mucous his body produces from further damaging his lungs and digestive system.

The future of hospital care could look a lot like home
For more and more people, hospitals are just too expensive, but admissions – or what executives call "heads in beds" - is how the doors stay open. So will these hospitals keep making money if they have to radically change their business model?


Study: State employee wellness plan increased use of preventive care
A wellness program added to the state employee health plan as part of a controversial 2011 concession package led to significant increases in the use of preventive care and a drop in certain emergency room visits, but it’s still too soon to say if it will save the state money, according to a study published Monday in the journal Health Affairs.

Covered California Imposes New Quality, Cost Conditions On Plans
Moving into a realm usually reserved for health care regulators, Covered California Thursday unveiled sweeping reforms to its contracts with insurers, seeking to improve the quality of care, curb its cost and increase transparency for consumers.