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HealthCare.gov

Big premium increases on the way for Obamacare plans

Big premium increases on the way for Obamacare plans

WASHINGTON — Premiums for health plans purchased through the Affordable Care Act will rise sharply next year, and insurer defections in some states will leave consumers with substantially fewer coverage options, the federal government reported. Premiums will increase, on average, 25% for mid-level plans on the federal health insurance exchange, according to the Department of

Time of testing for Affordable Care Act looms

Time of testing for Affordable Care Act looms

WASHINGTON — The upcoming enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act will be pivotal, as hikes in premiums, withdrawals by insurance companies and sign-ups that fell short of targets have combined to call the law’s sustainability into question. Federal officials say the problems is surmountable and are driving to bolster the statute before President Obama

Lack of debate about health care troubling

Lack of debate about health care troubling

One of the more surprising aspects of the sad spectacle leading up to the election of a new president and new Congress in November is the lack of serious, sustained debate about health care. When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law by President Obama in March 2010, the nation embarked

Obama says more work needed to fix health care

Obama says more work needed to fix health care

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has made suggestions for improving the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including bigger subsidies for private insurance and a Medicare-like public plan in some states. Obama also said drug makers were putting their bottom lines ahead of the common good by opposing any constraints on medication prices. “We worked successfully with

Health insurers seek rate hikes under ACA

WASHINGTON — Large health plans that have claimed financial challenges from their participation in health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act are set to seek significant premium increases in about a dozen states where they operate those individual plans. Others are limiting the number of plans offered if not vacating states altogether. Plans in

Enrollment on health insurance exchanges hits 12.7 million

WASHINGTON — About 12.7 million Americans signed up for 2016 health insurance coverage through the government insurance exchanges, surpassing expectations, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said earlier this month. The government began offering subsidies for individual insurance in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act, frequently referred to as Obamacare, and charges a penalty

Congress votes to repeal ACA; Obama responds with veto

Congress votes to repeal ACA; Obama responds with veto

WASHINGTON — President Obama has vetoed congressional legislation that would repeal the Affordable Care Act. Repeal bills passed by the House and Senate “would reverse the significant progress we have made in improving health care in America,” Obama said. Noting that 17.6 million Americans have gained health care coverage under the law, he said the

HHS’ Burwell asks pharmacies to help spur ACA enrollment

SAN ANTONIO — U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell stopped at an H-E-B grocery store here, where she drew attention to the December 15 enrollment deadline for consumers who wanted their health insurance plans to become active on ­January 1. Although open enrollment for 2016 health insurance plans continued through

Affordable Care Act encounters new headwinds

Affordable Care Act encounters new headwinds

NEW YORK — UnitedHealth Group Inc. may pull out of Affordable Care Act health insurance exchanges in 2017 after losing what it said were hundreds of millions of dollars on policies sold under the law. The company, the nation’s largest health insurer, significantly cut its 2015 profit estimates based on losses on individual policies sold

NCPA, HHS team up to drive enrollment

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The National Community Pharmacists Association is working with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to help spur enrollment in health insurance plans. In a welcome video aired Monday at the 2015 NCPA Annual Convention and Trade Exposition, HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell unveiled a partnership with NCPA in which community

Supreme Court upholds health insurance subsidies

Supreme Court upholds health insurance subsidies

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies for health insurance, giving the law its second big win in three years. The justices ruled 6-3 that the subsidies being received by 8.7 million people to make coverage affordable were not voided by the statute’s wording. Chief Justice John Roberts again

There’s still plenty of work to do on health reform

Although the Affordable Care Act was signed into law by President Obama five years ago and the major provisions of the legislation took effect at the beginning of 2014, health care reform remains a highly contentious work in progress. Two recent reports provide some indications about the ACA’s success to date in achieving its primary

Tavenner steps down as CMS administrator

WASHINGTON — Marilyn Tavenner is resigning as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid ­Services. She will step down at the end of this month, she told CMS staff members in an e-mail. Principal deputy administrator Andrew Slavitt, who joined the agency last year to help fix HealthCare.gov, will be the acting administrator. Department of

ACA enrollment off to a good start

WASHINGTON — Nearly 6.5 million consumers selected a health insurance plan or were automatically reenrolled under the Affordable Care Act in November and December. And 87% of people who selected 2015 plans through HealthCare.gov in the first month of open enrollment are getting subsidies to lower premiums, the government reported. “We’re pleased that nationwide, millions of