Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Almost 11.8M enroll for Obama health law in 2018

Covered California Sees Slight Drop In Renewals Cost Down, Enrollment Up
Ellis Copeland | 08 February, 2018, 13:13

California saw an increase in new enrollment this year despite an overall decrease in the number of policy holders it represents.

A total of 11.8 million people signed up for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act for 2018, according to a health care research group.

With the Trump administration taking steps to undercut these marketplaces and congressional Republicans having spent much of a year ago trying unsuccessfully to dismantle large parts of the ACA, leaders of state insurance exchanges and other health-policy experts said that enrollment was surprisingly resilient.

"We had the best open enrollment period we have ever had", said Allison O'Toole, chief executive of Minnesota's insurance marketplace, known as MNsure, which saw enrollment surge almost 6 percent this year.

"Despite all the uncertainty and challenges we have seen, particularly for consumers living in states supported by state-based marketplaces, we see millions of Americans continuing to benefit from the coverage they get in the individual market", Riley said.

Sixteen states increased their enrollment from previous year, according to AP's analysis. In states relying on the federal exchange, the enrollment period this year was reduced to six weeks, while many states with their own marketplaces continued for two or three months. States that run their own markets also typically offered longer sign-up periods.

According to an analysis released by the National Academy for State Health Policy, other states, most whose health exchanges are run by the federal government, saw significantly larger enrollment drops this year.

Flu-season advice by televangelist: 'Inoculate yourself with the word of God'
Copeland pointed to Matthew 8:17 once again and suggested that it was evidence that Christians weren't meant to get the flu. And don't receive it when somebody's threatening you with 'Everybody's getting the flu.' We've already had our shot.


School bus and vehicle collide causing 26 casualties in horror crash
Bus Éireann said the bus involved was a "sub-contracted vehicle on one of the company's school transport services". The hospital had set up a dedicated incident group to respond to the crash, but that has now been stood down.


Google Adds AR Mode to its Motion Stills App
This means that you can not download the Google Play Store on your iPad or iPhone - legitimately, at least. When Google released their flagship Pixel 2 smartphone, it came with a plethora of mindblowing features.


In a recent interview, Lee said he's concerned that the federal government isn't doing enough to advertise that coverage is available at attractive rates for people with modest incomes who qualify for subsidies.

"The increase in enrollment numbers for state-based marketplaces underscores the enduring demand for health care coverage and is a testament to the power of states to ensure coverage is accessible to all consumers", said Trish Riley, NASHP executive director.

Subsidized consumers paid less for health coverage in 2018 than 2017 due to the protective effect of their subsidy rising to offset higher premiums, while unsubsidized consumers in the individual market - both in and out of Covered California - saw their costs rise. Overall the 39 states that use the federal HealthCare.gov website saw their enrollment slip by about 5 percent.

"Just the removal of the [individual mandate penalty in Congress' recently enacted tax overhaul] will mean premiums go up 15 percent to 30 percent or more depending on the state", said Lee. The national enrollment remained remarkably stable despite President Donald Trump's disdain for "Obamacare". Health law enrollment peaked at 12.7 million for 2016 and has declined every year since them.

People who are eligible for health law subsidies would be shielded from such increases, but those who don't get financial assistance would face another round of premium hikes.

Meanwhile, bipartisan legislation to help stabilize insurance markets across the country appears to be struggling in Congress.

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