News

CMS Compare sites lack relevant cost and quality information, GAO report says

The Medicare enrollment process is daunting enough as it is. Now a pair of new reports highlight ways the government is making it even harder for seniors to get information about their benefits--and the consequences to beneficiaries. 

3 factors affecting the ACA's future

The Affordable Care Act has faced many obstacles and challenges aiming to prevent implementation of its various provisions--and more are yet to come, according to CBS News.

How insurers benefit from a friendly relationship with feds

Though historically on the opposite of most issues, insurers and federal officials have developed a mutually beneficial relationship that will likely grow stronger in the next few years.

Plan choices and premiums rise on federal exchange

Shoppers on Healthcare.gov will have more product choices in 2015, but premiums may rise for many customers unless they switch health plans, according to a New York Times analysis of data released Friday by the Obama Administration.

Court rejects ACA contraceptive challenge

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rejected a challenge Friday by religious nonprofit groups, reports the Associated Press. 

Obama says he did not mislead public on ACA, spars with reform 'architect'

President Barack Obama denied charges that he mislead Americans about the healthcare reform law in order to get it passed.

How $25 gift cards are driving women to get mammograms

Hudson Health Plan, a nonprofit Medicaid plan owned by MVP Health Care, is taking steps to ensure its members get important preventive health screenings like mammograms. Since 2012, the Hudson Valley-based insurer's customer service representatives have been calling members to encourage them to get their mammograms. And to incentivize their members, Hudson Health gives them a $25 gift card when they undergo a mammogram.

Company aims to help uninsured without actually insuring them

Health insurers have lots of competition vying for the same consumers, especially in the health insurance exchanges, but one non-traditional company could be looking to compete against traditional insurers in a whole new way.

Open enrollment round two gets mostly positive rollout

The second open enrollment period for health insurance exchanges began Saturday with an overall smooth rollout, though some consumers reported challenges signing up and some states had to deal with unexpected glitches.

Colorado illustrates the ups and downs of the ACA

Colorado is a good example of how the Affordable Care Act is working despite obstacles.

Polls: Marketplace customers happy, 55% of uninsured to sign up

Americans who bought their 2014 health insurance through the federal or state marketplaces tend to be happy with it, according to a Gallup poll.

Part D plans adding specialty drug tier, coinsurance

All Medicare Advantage Part D prescription drug plans next year will be adding a new specialty tier, according to a new analysis from Avalere Health.

Blues plans invest in IT startups to expand business

Blue Cross Blue Shield plans are investing more in health information technology startups to expand their business and gain an edge in the post Affordable Care Act market.

Low-income children miss regular doctor visits

Last year, 63 percent of children on Medicaid received at least one medical screening, a number that falls way below the Department of Health and Human Services' goal of 80 percent, according to a federal report.

Obama administration turns focus to marketing Healthcare.gov

Marketing campaigns and public outreach efforts for the federal health insurance exchange are starting to heat up. The Obama administration will focus on targeted ads, while outreach workers will do their best to sign up uninsured Americans who are "confused, clueless or downright hostile." 

Report: Out-of-pocket costs too high

The trend toward greater consumer cost-sharing, through higher deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance, is prompting many Americans to skip preventive tests and seek care, while also leaving them with burdensome bills, according to a new report from The Commonwealth Fund.

Study: Hospice care saves money, reduces hospitalizations

When patients receive hospice care, their hospitalization rate decreases and they incur fewer health costs, according to a new study from the Journal of American Medical Association.

Medicare Advantage ratings hurt insurers with dual-eligible members

WellCare is calling out the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for creating unfair Medicare Advantage ratings that put insurers with a high proportion of dual-eligible members at a disadvantage.

Idaho to run its own exchange; HealthCare.com raising $75M to expand its services;

News From Around the Web > Idaho will now run its own exchange, yourhealthidaho.org, instead of having its residents sign up at Healthcare.gov, reports Kaiser Health News. Last year 76,000...

States tweak ACA exchanges in preparation for open enrollment

With the second open enrollment period starting Saturday for health plans sold pursuant to the Affordable Care Act, states are scrambling to improve performance of their exchanges and bolster customer support, The New York Times reported. The goal is to prevent a repeat of last year's enrollment bottlenecks.