New Market Entrants for ACA and Analysts Predict both Rise and Fall in ACA Premiums
This week in healthcare, HHS reveals that Healthcare.gov was hacked and analysts ponder the future of Obamacare premiums.
As more payers — including insurance giant UnitedHealth — enter the exchange marketplace, many are hopeful for continued favorable market conditions and decreased premiums.
This summer, analysts downgraded their previously dire predictions about how much Obamacare premiums would rise. They now predict premiums will rise on average 7.5 percent nationwide — although individual states and individual markets within states will experience widely varying increases, or even decreases, in their premiums.
A recent Kaiser Family Foundation study said that “the premium for the second-lowest-cost silver plan, which is used to determine tax credits, will go down by an average of about 1 percent” although individual states and cities will experience both increases and decreases of up to 15 percent.
A year after the Affordable Care Act went into effect, some insurers are concerned about what the next year might bring. Two as-yet unresolved issues for the ACA’s second year of implementation are wildly differing price fluctuations (see above) and continuing efforts to increase exchange enrollment and maintain those already signed up.
CMS recently announced that they would be extending their Meaningful Use incentive program. They also released the final rule, which “allows eligible providers to use 2011 edition certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT), or a combination of 2011 and 2014 edition CEHRT to meet Meaningful Use for an EHR reporting period in 2014 for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs.”
Last week federal health officials said that Healthcare.gov had been the target of hacking in July. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, “the server [that was hacked] did not contain consumer personal information; data was not transmitted outside the agency, and the website was not specifically targeted. We have taken measures to further strengthen security.”
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