Number of Health Plans to Grow in Second Year of Obamacare

By Mary Agnes Carey, Kaiser Health News Staff Writer The number of health insurance companies offering plans in the marketplaces this fall will increase by 25 percent, giving consumers more choices for coverage, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced Sept. 23. When the marketplace enrollment reopens in November, 77 new insurers will be offering coverage in the 44 states for which HHS had data, which includes the 36 states that use the federal marketplace and eight states that …

Cost of Retiree Dental Plans May Give You a Toothache

Boomers retiring without dental benefits, and Medicare recipients who don’t have a Medicare Advantage plan, may be surprised and dismayed by the latest study on the cost of dental coverage. Consumers paid an average $382 annual premium for a stand-alone dental plan through a government exchange this year, and that didn’t include deductibles and copays, according to the analysis of dental plans on the federal exchange by the website HealthPocket, which compares health plans. Deductibles averaged about $500 a year …

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 …

Pay Less for Your Prescription Drugs

By Nicole Duritz The dog days of August are the most likely time for Medicare Part D participants to fall into the “doughnut hole” and see their prescription costs rise. With AARP resources, you can see if you’re at risk of falling in, and find options for lowering your drug costs. The Doughnut Hole Each year, 19 percent of Medicare Part D beneficiaries fall into the doughnut hole. Once the amount of money you and your insurance company pay for …

Head of Connecticut Health Exchange to Lead Healthcare.gov

By Jeff Cohen, WNPR, and Diane Webber, Kaiser Health News This story is part of a partnership that includes WNPR, NPR and Kaiser Health News. Kevin Counihan, the head of Connecticut’s health insurance marketplace, will be the new CEO of healthcare.gov, the website that 36 states use to sell insurance under the Affordable Care Act, the administration announced Tuesday. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell tapped Counihan to lead the site as part of a revamped …

Do a Midyear Checkup on Your Health Care Subsidy

Maybe you thought your work was done once you bought health insurance for the year on one of the government-run exchanges. Not quite. The IRS and other tax experts say now is a good time to revisit that purchase to make sure you’re getting the federal premium assistance you’re entitled to. Whether you’re getting too little - or too much and have to repay it later - there’s still time to contact the exchange and correct any errors for this year. >> Birthday …