The Perverse Way More Exchange Competition Could Leave Some People Worse Off

By: Monday November 24, 2014 8:54 am

The goal of the Affordable Care Act exchanges was to encourage competition among private insurers, but ironically attracting more competition could leave many people the exchanges were designed to help the worst off. To understand why you need to know a few things about the structure of the law, the complexity of selecting a policy, [...]

The Math Skills Lacking Among the Uninsured

By: Wednesday October 29, 2014 10:39 am

We have yet another study indication that people are going to have a very tough time using the Affordable Care Act health exchanges effectively. New research from the Urban Institute found that a large percentage of uninsured adults under 65 and making less than 400 percent of the federal poverty line acknowledge they are not [...]

Yes, the Health Care Industry Is Conspiring to Steal Your Money

By: Monday September 29, 2014 8:10 am

Here are two news stories from this weekend that belong together. First, the Los Angeles Times found that insurance networks on the California exchange are getting narrower. From the LA Times: The state’s largest health insurers are sticking with their often-criticized narrow networks of doctors, and in some cases they are cutting the number of [...]

Majority Who Tried the Exchanges Didn’t Find It Easy or Affordable

By: Friday September 19, 2014 8:36 am

The Affordable Care Act was sold as giving regular people an easy way to get affordable insurance. That is not exactly how it has worked out for people using the program, according to a new report for the Commonwealth Fund. It found that that 62 percent of people who tried to get insurance through the [...]

Will Republicans Eventually Try to Turn Everything Into a Lousy Version of Obamacare?

By: Thursday August 14, 2014 12:59 pm

Many Democrats and liberal commentators remain upset that the Republican party has refused to embrace the Affordable Care Act, but in some ways that is a good thing. If/when Conservatives embrace the law we could end up very unhappy with the ultimate outcome. This Politico column from Avik Roy from the Manhatten Institute is a [...]

2015 Exchanges: More Insurers, But Will That Make Things Better?

By: Tuesday August 12, 2014 12:25 pm

In the past I’ve questioned if states which already had highly consolidated insurance markets would even see the promised private competition on the new exchanges, but it appears they might. There are of course still two important caveats.

Automatic Plan Renewal on the Exchanges Could Cause Some New Problems

By: Monday July 28, 2014 8:43 am

The Affordable Care Act exchanges will allow people to automatically renew the policy they selected last year but the complexity of how affordability tax credits are calculated means that could cause new problems for people. From the AP: Insurance exchange customers who opt for convenience by automatically renewing their coverage for 2015 are likely to [...]

Should the Health Care Exchanges Just Automatically Assign Everyone a Plan?

By: Wednesday July 16, 2014 9:51 am

The more I read about how regular people interact with the new health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act, the more convinced I’ve become that most people probably aren’t making the optimal decision. Whether it is surveys showing a majority of people said it was difficult to compare plans, assessments showing very few [...]

People Needed a Lot of Help Using the Affordable Care Act Exchanges

By: Tuesday July 15, 2014 9:47 am

Remember when President Obama repeatedly promised that using the Affordable Care Act exchanges would be as easy as buying stuff on Amazon or Kayak? Well it didn’t quite work out that way. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, roughly 10.6 million people sought help using the new law via one of several thousand Assister Programs [...]

Exchanges’ Achilles Heel: Health Literacy

By: Monday June 16, 2014 9:34 am

To me, the most fundamental problem with the exchanges is that they depend on people being highly knowledgeable health insurance shoppers and that is never going to happen. Kaiser Health News has a good story shows just how bad health literacy is in this country

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