Cleaning out the In Box: KY: Why Grimes isn't running on the ACA; OR Tax error not as bad as thought; Co-Ops retool for 2015
My in box is once again flooded with ACA-related stories which are interesting but which I just don't have time to do full write-ups on...
Joe Sonka has an excellent (if depressing) analysis explaining why Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes isn't campaigning on the Affordable Care Act even though her opponent, Mitch McConnell, has done everything he can to tear away healthcare from a half-million Kentuckians:
The reasons for this disconnect are many and are closely tied to the decision of Alison Lundergan Grimes’ campaign to steer clear of the issue. But this decision by Grimes to avoid talking about the benefits of health care reform is not just an effect of the disconnect, it is also a cause of the disconnect, itself.
Some (relatively) good news out of Oregon. Recently it was reported that in addition to the utter uselessness of their absurdly expensive exchange website, Oregon's ACA exchange also had some sort of error in the formula which calculates how much of a tax credit enrollees are eligible for. Nick Budnick (the go-to reporter for Oregon ACA news) now reports that this snafu isn't as bad as it first appeared:
Cover Oregon officials told lawmakers in Salem that a survey of 39,000 households receiving the tax credit to reduce premiums found only 775 of them are affected by an incorrect formula used by the health insurance exchange, not thegreater number feared.
About 3,400 households haven't yet been reviewed. Exchange officials said while they were not pleased about the error, they are pleased the number isn't larger.
Finally, an overview of the changes that ACA CO-OP organizations are taking for the 2nd year of open enrollment:
Many consumer-governed insurance plans that struggled to attract customers during the first year of open enrollment are aggressively pricing and retooling products to be more competitive when the exchanges re-open for business on Nov. 15.
Meritus, the not-for-profit co-op plan in Arizona, is reducing rates by 23% for 2015 after generating roughly 3,500 enrollments during the first sign-up period. Meritus CEO Kathleen Oestreich said the carrier priced conservatively in 2014 based on the advice of actuaries about what the fledgling marketplace would look like.
“The co-ops didn’t have the benefit of any data,” Oestreich said at a gathering in Washington of the National Alliance of State Health Co-Ops.