Supreme Court Hears Challenge to Health Care Law

For the second time in three years, the federal Affordable Care Act went before the Supreme Court on Wednesday. And before a packed courtroom, a divided group of justices mostly picked up right where they left off the last time. Once again, commentators and experts were left to wonder where Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy, considered swing votes in the case, stand. A decision is expected by the end of June. Unlike in 2012, the current case, …

Tax Time Reprieve for Obamacare Procrastinators

The Obama administration said Friday it will allow a special health law enrollment period from March 15 to April 30 for consumers who realize while filling out their taxes that they owe a fee for not signing up for coverage last year. The special enrollment period applies to people in the 37 states covered by the federal marketplace, though some state-run exchanges are also expected to follow suit. >> See how Life@50+ can impact your life – Register today » …

Overall, Obamacare Premiums to Fall in 2015

By Jay Hancock, Kaiser Health News In preliminary but encouraging news for consumers and taxpayers, insurance filings show that average premiums will decline slightly next year in 16 major cities for a benchmark Obamacare plan. Prices for a benchmark “silver” or mid-priced plan sold through the health law’s online marketplaces aren’t all moving in the same direction, however, a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) shows. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the foundation.) In Nashville, the premium …

Report: 3.3 Million Americans Enroll in Private ACA Health Plans

By Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health News Staff Writer Nearly 3.3 million Americans have signed up for private health insurance plans since October through the new online marketplaces created by the health law, with enrollment continuing to surge through January, an Obama administration report said Wednesday. But the number of young adults signing up continues to lag expectations, which could impact insurance premiums next year. Insurance industry officials have been closely watching the mix of customers to make sure they get …

For Many, New Health Law Will Offer a Bridge to Medicare

When the virtual doors to the new Health Insurance Marketplace open next month, Americans in the 50-through-64 “pre-Medicare” age bracket may be the ones rushing in first. A story in the New York Times points out that, with the opening of the marketplace on Oct. 1, the Affordable Care Act may provide many older Americans with “a bridge to Medicare.” The story goes on to say: “While older people could pay up to three times as much as younger people buying …

The Affordable Care Act Turns Three

The Affordable Care Act is three years old. So what does that mean? What has happened to improve health care over the past few years? Let’s take a quick look: People with Medicare now get a 52.5% discount on brand-name drugs and a 21% discount on generics. People are already seeing a lot of savings. Medicare has a free initial checkup and a free yearly wellness checkup. Medicare also covers preventive care for free. For people with insurance, free preventive …