Want to know how many people have signed up for private insurance under Obamacare? Like the health care law itself, the answer is exceedingly complicated.
The Obama administration is tracking the number of plans purchased on the federal website healthcare.gov and on the state marketplaces, and this month reported that It had exceeded expectations by signing up 7.5 million people. In addition, federal officials have said that 3 million people have enrolled in Medicaid since October.
But often overlooked is that enrollment in private health plans outside the marketplaces is also booming. The federal government hasn’t been counting the number of people who buy new plans directly from insurance carriers — and that number could be substantial. Continue reading →
Richard K. Onizuka from the Washington Health Benefit Exchange reports that 136,497 of Washington state’s 146,000 new enrollees have already paid their premiums. Almost twice as many people, 268,000, gained Medicaid coverage, he added, and 8,000 people signed up on March 31.
By Lisa Gillespie APRIL 11TH, 2014,
The Obama administration is touting the success of the health law’s open enrollment, which signed up at least 7.5 million Americans for health coverage through the online insurance marketplaces.
But the experience varied according to states and Families USA brought together five state exchange directors Thursday to talk about what they’ve seen so far. These states – Kentucky, New York, Washington, California and Connecticut — all had functioning exchanges and pursued that health law’s Medicaid expansion. Continue reading →
By Mary Agnes Carey KHN Staff Writer April 10, 2014
After a five-year tenure that included the flawed rollout of the health care law and stormy relations with Capitol Hill Republicans, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning, a White House official said late Thursday.
President Barack Obama plans to nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, to replace Sebelius, the official said. Continue reading →
Medicare’s release Wednesday of millions of records of payments made to the nation’s doctors comes as the government is looking to find more cost-efficient ways to pay physicians, particularly specialists.
The federal government published data tracing the $77 billion that Medicare paid to physicians, drug testing companies and other medical practitioners throughout 2012, and what services they were being reimbursed for.
The data cover 888,000 different practitioners. More than 6,000 procedures are included, and the full database is so large that it requires statistical software to analyze it.
While the database provides tantalizing details, showing for instance the huge amount ophthalmologists are paid to treat a common eye disorder, experts cautioned that the data can be easily misunderstood and could lead to some doctors’ incomes being unfairly pilloried. Continue reading →
Researchers posing as nonelderly adult patients made nearly 13,000 calls to primary care practices across Pennsylvania, New Jersey and eight other states between fall 2012 and spring of last year.
What they found may provide some comfort amid growing concerns of doctor shortages, especially as more people gain coverage through the Affordable Care Act, potentially straining the health system. Continue reading →
Washington Healthplanfinder outlines steps you need to take to qualify for special enrollment
From Washington Healthplanfinder:
With the deadline to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan through wahealthplanfinder.org now passed, Washington Healthplanfinder is reaching out to residents who couldn’t complete their application by March 31 with important guidance to qualify for a special enrollment.
Washingtonians who were prevented from submitting their application by the deadline should complete these steps as soon as possible to qualify for coverage that begins May 1, 2014. Continue reading →
April 8, 2014 – Under intense, bipartisan political pressure, the Obama administration backed down for the second year in a row on proposed payment cuts for insurance companies that offer private plans to Medicare members. Continue reading →
The number of low-income people enrolled in Medicaid rose by 3 million to 62.3 million from October through February as more Americans joined the state-federal insurance program through state and federal online insurance marketplaces, according to a report released Friday by the Department of Health and Human Services.
States that expanded Medicaid eligibility under the health law saw an average 8 percent increase in enrollment, with enrollment leaping almost 35 percent in Oregon and almost 34 percent in West Virginia. Continue reading →
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a highly regarded teaching hospital in Boston, but in 2012, the hospital found out it had one of the highest rates of readmissions among Medicare patients in the country.
That meant federal fines of more than $1 million—and a lot of soul searching for the staff, says Dr. Julius Yang, the head of quality for the hospital.
“Patients coming to our hospital, getting what we believed was high quality care, were coming back at an alarmingly high rate,” says Yang. Continue reading →