A new law from the Obama administration will prohibit health insurance companies from selling Medicare supplement plans, or Medigap plans, that help consumers pay their Medicare Part B deductibles. And if an insurer breaks the law, the fine will not be cheap.
Competition and choice in the health insurance marketplaces increased in most areas between 2014 and 2015.
California's state-run health insurance exchange, Covered California, announced that premiums are set to increase 4 percent statewide, which the federal government hailed as a sign the Affordable Care Act is working as intended.
Florida reaped substantial savings after switching to privately managed healthcare for more than 3 million residents covered through Medicaid. But it's possible the savings--which accounted for nearly $9.5 billion of state spending last year--could soon disappear.
Health insurance premiums across the nation vary widely as the industry heads into the third open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act. Many national insurers have higher-than-average prices, while regional insurers tend to keep prices low in order to remain competitive in the marketplace, according to a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report.
The number of Medicare Advantage plans with a $0 premium dropped from 813 in 2014 to 726 in 2015, according to a recent HealthPocket survey.
The proposed cost of a benchmark silver plan is, on average, 4.4 percent higher in 2016 than in 2015, according to a recent analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Health insurers claim costs are set to increase by 7 percent to 10 percent, a strong indication that employers' premiums will soar in 2015 and 2016, according to a recent survey from the Spring Healthcare Trend Survey from Wells Fargo Insurance.
Prior to 2011, there was no rule that required insurers to provide enrollees with a specified minimum value in health spending in return for each dollar spent on premiums. However, thanks to the medical loss ratio mandate, insurers began using a much higher percentage of premiums on actual health spending, according to a new Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report.
With CHIP funding set to expire on Sept. 30 unless Congress acts, the GAO examined data from five states to determine whether CHIP plans are comparable to QHPs. The GAO reviewed coverage and costs to consumers for one CHIP plan and one QHP in Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, New York and Utah.