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September 9, 2017 – September 25, 2017

The purpose of this bulletin is to compile a handful of articles relating to health care coverage in the United States that are most pertinent to LIUNA and its health and welfare funds. We hope you find this biweekly bulletin helpful and informative.

In Stark Contrast To ACA Plans, Premiums For Job-Based Coverage Show Modest Rise
Family health insurance premiums rose an average 3 percent this year for people getting coverage through the workplace, the sixth consecutive year of small increases, according to a study released Tuesday.

Graham-Cassidy block-grant bill sets off clashes in Senate as Obamacare repeal clock ticks
Senators in both parties reignited the Obamacare repeal wars Monday, as Republicans claimed momentum for a last-chance repeal bill and Democrats told budget analysts to vet the legislation carefully, hoping to prolong a thorny debate before an end-of-month deadline.

The new GOP health-care measure goes further than the failed one
A dealbreaker in July may not be a dealbreaker in September. The latest Obamacare overhaul bill gaining steam on Capitol Hill slashes health-care spending more deeply and would likely cover fewer people than a July bill that failed precisely because of such concerns. What’s different now is the sense of urgency senators are bringing to their effort to roll back the Affordable Care Act, with only a dozen days remaining before the legislative vehicle they’re using expires.

The biggest thing single-payer has going for it
The smartest, savviest people in Washington will tell you Bernie Sanders’s “Medicare for all” idea is dead on arrival, a waste of time and energy. But since those same smart, savvy people told you Donald Trump didn’t have a prayer of becoming president, I’d advise keeping an open mind.

If You’re Blindsided By Health Plan Changes, Learn The Root Causes - And Your Rights
How much notice is required if benefits change? Do insurers have to give you a heads up if your plan doesn’t meet the minimum coverage standard under the Affordable Care Act?  Kaiser Health News readers’ questions this month are centered around insurance notification requirements.

Uninsured Rate Falls To Record Low Of 8.8%
Three years after the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansion took effect, the number of Americans without health insurance fell to 28.1 million in 2016, down from 29 million in 2015, according to a federal report released Tuesday.

As Federal Government Cuts Obamacare Ads, Private Insurer Steps Up
Open enrollment for Affordable Care Act insurance doesn't start for another six weeks. But the quirky insurance startup Oscar Health is launching an ad campaign Monday aimed at getting young people to enroll.

STATES IN THE NEWS

Left Out of Health Debate, Appalachian Poor Seek Free Care
They arrived at a fairground in a deep corner of Appalachia before daybreak, hundreds of people with throbbing teeth, failing eyes, wheezing lungs. They took a number, sat in bleachers and waiting in the summer heat for their name to be called so they could receive the medical help they can’t get anywhere else.

Big questions in health care: Can Minnesota support single-payer?
As Congress takes on the task of revamping health care, MPR News host Tom Weber is turning to big thinkers in the field for their insight on the future of insurance in the United States. Although Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, strongly supports improvement to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) he fundamentally believes that the ACA does not go far enough.

Young, Low-Income Kansans More Likely To Be Uninsured Than Counterparts In Other States
Low-income Kansans are less likely to have health insurance than their counterparts in other states, according to an analysis of new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.