Best Obamacare News This Week — February 28th, 2014 Edition

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Obamacare News

It’s that time again! Christina LaMontagne, Nerdwallet’s Vice President of Health is getting you caught up on this week’s best Obamacare news. Analysts are already looking at the trends of Obamacare, while it hits milestones and addresses old issues.

 

ObamaCare Boosts Children’s Health Spending 2/26/2014 on forbes.com @brucejapsen (Bruce Japsen)

 

Bruce Japsen summarizes the findings in a new report by the nonpartisan, Health Care Cost Institute. In their report the HCCI discusses the recent spending increases on children’s health, despite the recession. “Spending on children’s health care rose 5.5 percent annually between 2009 and 2012 as the Affordable Care Act expanded coverage of more wellness services and vaccinations for kids.” However, despite the increase of services, health care prices are still rising. The report looked at over 10 million health insurance claims from children of parents with employer-sponsored coverage. This suggests that the health legislation passed in 2010 which “allows young adults to stay on their parents’ health care plans until they are 26 years old”, may be playing a role.

 

In final stretch, Obamacare equation is numbers, days and attitudes 2/26/2014 on politico.com @JoanneKenen (Joanne Kenen)

 

Obamacare has reached 4 million enrollees, something many did not expect to see back in October 2013, when the federally-facilitated HealthCare.gov was rolled out. Joanne Kenen reports that the Obama administration “wants to boost those numbers to around 6 million before open enrollment season ends March 31.” However, Kenen notes that even if the administration does reach that 6 million mark, attitudes may remain the same. “There’s a difference between seeing the sign-up as good and seeing the law itself as good. Voters may not think the government is quite as incompetent as they did back when HealthCare.gov was one big cyber mess of freezes and errors, said Robert Blendon, a Harvard expert on health policy and politics. Yet that doesn’t make them fall in love with the law. Overall poll numbers on Obamacare have stayed pretty consistent — and quite negative — since 2010.”

 

Obamacare customers get alternative to HealthCare.gov 2/21/2014 on cnn.com @adamATCNN (Adam Aigner-Treworgy)

 

Americans have been looking for an alternative to HealthCare.gov since its inception. For those that haven’t found sufficient workarounds, Aigner-Treworgy reports on a new government-backed insurance exchange that allows subsidy-eligible consumers to acquire an ACA plan entirely online. However, “consumers…to confirm their identity and determine their eligibility for a premium subsidy…must first be directed to HealthCare.gov.” He also reports that it is possible, that “A potentially major improvement unlikely to be ready by the end of March…would allow consumers to shop for health insurance, determine their eligibility for a federal premium subsidy and select a plan entirely through a private health exchange.” Whether or not this potential system takes the place of federal exchange website, the government still has plans to improve HealthCare.gov.


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