Many of us spend time fact-checking what political candidates say during the debates.
But sometimes we need to fact-check the moderators (or perhaps the TV producers who help create questions outside a moderator’s area of expertise).
Witness the last month’s debate among candidates for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. Most of it was focused on foreign policy, but there were a few health care questions. At one point, moderator Martha Raddatz noted that health insurance premiums had risen 27 percent in five years. She then asked Hillary Clinton how she would fix the Affordable Care Act: Continue reading
We posted recently about California’s assessment of who was dropping out of the exchange, including the finding that most people leaving Covered California were getting health insurance elsewhere.
But as Abby Goodnough later reported from Yazoo City, Miss., that’s not always the reason for higher turnover in other areas. Retaining enrollees is a challenge – and affordability is one big reason. That’s true even for people whose premiums are heavily subsidized. Continue reading
Back when states were deciding whether to run their own exchanges or let the feds do it, they also had to make a lot of decisions about how their exchanges would operate.
One question was whether to have a “clearinghouse” and let any health plan that met the legal requirements participate in the marketplace. The other option was to be an “active purchaser,” and to have the state exchange directly negotiate with the health plans over premiums, provider networks etc.
The rationale, for each model: Continue reading
Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJ
Dental benefits are on many people’s minds these days, as stories from across the country testify.
In Georgia, Rockdale County employees are facing an increase in their premiums, Alice Queen of The Rockdale Citizen writes. Premiums are also rising in Anoka County, Minn., Peter Bodley reports for The Anoka County Union Herald. In spite of the expense, these jurisdictions acknowledge the importance of providing dental benefits.
Research shows that without dental coverage, people get less care and suffer more.
Yet the expense of benefits and the complexity of obtaining them continue to present barriers to many people, and the Affordable Care Act did not completely address these problems.
It’s rate increase season, and as we head into the second ACA enrollment season, it’s hard to understand why some rates are going up, some down – sometimes in the same place.
Also, some of the rates we’re hearing about are proposals. Depending on how much regulatory oomph state insurance officials have, the rates may change.
This post give you some ideas on what to watch for and how to think about rate increases in individual states, and what questions to ask the health plans and the regulators in your state. Remember that even in states using the federal exchange, HealthCare.gov, state insurance officials still have a role.
The Alliance for Health Reform (an invaluable resource on this issue) recently held a briefing on rate changes. The full briefing (webcast, transcript, background materials, source list) can be found online here. A recent Health Affairs blog post by Christopher Koller and Sabrina Corlette provides another important resource.
Here are some key points outlined in these two resources: Continue reading