Rstark

Insurance Commissioner Kreidler's New Rule

April 24, 2014 in Blog

Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler is in the process of creating a new rule for health insurance companies selling policies in the state exchange. (Here) In an interesting turn of events, hospitals and insurance companies are lining up together to oppose the ruling, but for very different reasons.

A bit of background is needed.

What Do the Obamacare Sign-up Numbers Really Mean?

April 2, 2014 in Blog

The final (sort of) numbers are out and the Obamacare supporters are doing the Happy Dance. The "official" enrollment number for the health insurance exchanges is 7.1 million people, which has been the goal since enrollment began on 10/1/13. The "sort of" comes from the fact that the Obama Administration has allowed an extention for people experiencing "hardships" in signing up. These hardships are self-reported, so essentially the Administration has extended the open enrollment period indefinitely.

Oversight of the Office of Insurance Commissioner

March 27, 2014 in Blog

It's been said there are two things you never want to see being made - sausage and legislation. In many cases, proposed legislation morphs into a totally different bill when finally passed. Fortunately, this was not exactly the situation with SB 6458.

Update on Health Savings Accounts

March 10, 2014 in Blog

The current version of health savings accounts (HSA) began in 2003, so we now have 10 years of experience with them. The Devenir Group recently published an update on HSA utilization through the end of 2013. The popularity of these plans continues to grow in spite of the limitations placed on them by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.

One More Obamacare Delay

March 5, 2014 in Blog

The Obama Administration announced yet one more major delay in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. (Here) People who have health insurance in the individual market may now keep their non-Obamacare-compliant insurance for an additional two years instead of one year.

Adverse Risk Selection Continues in the Washington State Health Insurance Exchange

January 26, 2014 in Blog

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange just released the latest enrollment numbers. (Here) These were  the enrollment figures from December 23rd, which was the deadline for coverage that began on January 1, 2014. Although somewhat improved over the November data, the numbers still reflect a serious adverse selection problem.

Obamacare's Popularity Continues to Decrease

January 19, 2014 in Blog

January 1st marked the beginning of the real implementation of Obamacare. Both the Medicaid expansion and the new health insurance received through the state/federal exchanges all began on the 1st. How has the American public responded?

Potential Death Spiral for Obamacare

January 14, 2014 in Blog

The latest numbers for enrollees in the Obamacare health insurance exchanges were recently released. We are now over half way through the enrollment period, but only 2.2 million of the 7 million people the federal government predicted have signed up.

Help for 290,000 Washington Residents with Cancelled Health Insurance

January 13, 2014 in Blog

The 2014 Washington state legislative session began today and Republicans have introduced a bill to help the 290,000 Washingtonians who had their health insurance policies cancelled because of Obamacare.

Medicaid Increases the Number of Emergency Room Visits

January 5, 2014 in Blog

Researchers conducting the Oregon Medicaid study released more results last week. It turns out that having Medicaid health insurance actually increases emergency room visits by 40 percent.

More Obamacare Exemptions and Delays

December 20, 2013 in Blog

The Obama Administration continues to lurch from one fix to another as the Obamacare trainwreck barrels down the tracks. The latest came yesterday when officials declared that people with cancelled health insurance could purchase simple catastrophic plans for one year on a "hardship" exemption.

No "New" Health Insurance Break for Small Employers

December 18, 2013 in Blog

The Obama Administration and leading Washington state Democrats are now promoting a "new" plan that allows employers to purchase employee health insurance with federal tax credits. This is being advertized as a one-year stop-gap measure to give employers financial releif until the the SHOP program is up and running state-wide in 2015.

Estate Taxes - An Unintended Consequence of Obamacare

December 16, 2013 in Blog

Medicaid began in 1965 as a health insurance entitlement for poor children and their families. Over the past 48 years, the program expanded to include disabled adults and long-term care. Today in the legacy Medicaid, 25% of enrollees are disabled and long-term care adults, but these people account for 75% of the cost of the overall program.

Obamacare Rollout in Washington State

December 4, 2013 in Blog

Washington state has been very pro-active about implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare. Washington is one of only 15 states to establish a state health insurance exchange. The other 35 states plan to use the federal exchange, which has been plagued by glitches and major problems. Medicaid expansion is a huge part of Obamacare and will be administered through the state exchange. The legislature never took a formal vote on the Medicaid expansion.

Obamacare is Responsible for Millions Losing Their Current Health Insurance

October 30, 2013 in Blog

In 2009 the President said if you like your current health insurance you would be able to keep it - period.

The Administration has known for months, years actually, that millions of Americans who owned health insurance in the individual market would lose their plans because of Obamacare. The Affordable Care Act requires every plan sold in this market to contain 10 benefit mandates, many of which people don't want or need, like maternity care, and pediatric glasses, and substance abuse treatment.