From Inside Health Insurance Exchanges - In its near-daily updates about the still-sputtering HealthCare.gov website, HHS vows that all of the necessary fixes will be made by the end of November. That would give consumers 15 days to complete and submit applications — and apply for federal premium subsidies — with enough time to ensure coverage will begin on Jan. 1. But if consumers continue to face frozen log-in pages, spinning balls and “try back later” messages — which appears increasingly likely — the Obama administration might be forced to extend the enrollment period beyond March 31, eliminate the individual mandate for 2014…or both. Either option… Read more
From AIS's Health Reform Week - The Obama administration is touting the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for helping to slow the growth rate in medical spending to historically low levels. But other stakeholders contend the lower medical cost trend is a lingering effect of the 2008 recession, and that the ACA will, in fact, significantly drive up costs going forward. Health plans and insurance market experts tell HRW that certain ACA provisions, such as financial penalties… Read more
From Inside Health Insurance Exchanges - Nov. 30 is the new Oct. 1, according to the Obama administration. That’s the date at which Jeff Zients, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, says HealthCare.gov will be working “smoothly” for most potential applicants. Zients was tapped by the Obama administration to head efforts to get the exchanges operational. Read more
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