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 …

States Won’t Save By Refusing to Expand Medicaid

By Phil Galewitz, Senior Correspondent, Kaiser Health News If state officials think they can escape a fiscal quagmire by refusing to expand Medicaid under the federal health law, they might want to reconsider. State Medicaid costs will jump $76 billion, or nearly 3 percent, over the next decade if all 50 states decide to expand Medicaid eligibility in 2014 under the federal health law. But state spending on the program would still increase to the tune of $68 billion even …