Oral health advocates are applauding a recently proposed federal rule they say would remove a significant financial barrier many parents face when shopping for affordable dental benefits for their children on health insurance marketplaces.
A rule change filed last month by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) would adjust how premium tax credits are calculated to better ensure the credits can apply to stand-alone pediatric dental coverage purchased on exchanges. Continue reading
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported this fall that the number of people covered – that is, enrolled and paid up – in the ACA exchanges had dipped to 9.9 million as of June 30.
The drop off was similar to what occurred the prior year and was in keeping with expectations. Earlier in the year, 10.2 million were fully covered – and 11.7 had initially signed up but, as expected, not all had paid their premiums. Continue reading
The health benefit exchange for California’s 500,000 small employers named six health insurers last week and announced the rates those insurers will charge. Small businesses (meaning 50 or fewer workers) employ 4.5 million workers in California.
This news from California may be useful to health care journalists covering the exchanges in other states, particularly those 16 states (and Washington, D.C.) that are running their own exchanges.
With this announcement on Aug. 1, California becomes the second state to publish the names of the insurers and their rates for its Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) exchange, following Oregon and Washington, D.C. Enrollment on the exchanges begins Oct. 1 for insurance coverage effective Jan. 1. The Golden State’s health benefit exchange is called Covered California.
In the Los Angeles Times, Marc Lifsher writes that more than 7 million Californians under age 65 are uninsured, including 25 percent of all workers and 40 percent of workers at companies with fewer than 10 employees. Continue reading
For some Friday fun … Sarah Kliff did a blog post for The Washington Post’s Wonkblog on “99 things” that have to happen in the 99 days between her post and Oct 1. OK, she cheated a little:
2. Washington state must launch a health insurance exchange
3. Oregon must launch a health insurance exchange
4. California must launch a health insurance exchange
5. Idaho must launch a health insurance exchange
6. Hawaii must launch a health insurance exchange
7. Colorado must launch a health insurance exchange
Image by Peter Kaminski via flickr.
But she’s still got some useful information on what’s on the states’ and the feds’ to-do list which helps you understand the technical complexity of this undertaking.
And don’t forget to check out number 99. Which, quite frankly, has nothing to do with health care but we can all learn about baby otters.