Hooray! The "individual mandate" that required that you have ACA-compliant health insurance or pay a hefty tax penalty is no more!
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This coverage is currently available in AL, AR, AZ, GA, IA, ID, IL, KY, LA, MI, MO, MS, NE, NM, NV, OK, SC, TN*, TX, UT, WI, WY, and is coming soon to IN, MD, and PA.
For more details, visit my website.
*Slightly different coverage in TN.
President Trump on Wednesday claimed the Republican tax plan “essentially” repeals former President Obama’s signature health-care law.
“When the individual mandate is being repealed, that means ObamaCare is being repealed,” Trump said during a Cabinet meeting at the White House. “We have essentially repealed ObamaCare and we will come up with something much better.”
The GOP tax overhaul gets rid of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, which requires almost all Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a fine.
Trump said he refrained from playing up that measure because he was worried about how the news media would report it, but added “now that it’s approved, I can say that.”
Despite Trump’s claim, the tax bill does not repeal ObamaCare entirely.People will still be able to purchase insurance through individual marketplaces, Medicaid expansion is preserved and consumer protections remain in place.
But health-care experts worry that without the mandate, premiums in the individual insurance market could spike, competition could decrease and more people will become uninsured.
Before turning to taxes, Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress tried multiple times to repeal ObamaCare but failed.
Trump offered his first in-person comments on the tax bill after the Senate passed it on a party-line vote just after midnight Wednesday.
The House is expected to vote on the legislation again Wednesday afternoon, sending it to the president's desk in what will be the first major legislative achievement for Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress.
“We got it done,” Trump said, thanking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) by name. “We have a tremendous amount of talent.”
Reprinted from The Hill....
Cara Pressman sobbed in the big red chair in her living room. The 15-year-old tried to absorb the devastating news relayed by her parents: that their insurance company, Aetna, denied her for a minimally invasive brain surgery that could end the seizures that have haunted her since she was 9 years old.
"When my parents told me, I went kind of blank and started crying," she said. "I cried for like an hour."
Her friends had been lined up to visit her in the hospital for the surgery three days away, on Monday, October 23. Between tears, she texted them that the whole thing was off.It was supposed to be a joyous weekend. Cara's grandparents had come to town to celebrate their 90th birthdays, a jubilant party with more than 100 family and friends crowding her home. The party did go on -- just with a lot more stress.
Cara had multiple complex partial seizures that weekend. When the seizures strike, her body gets cold and shakes, and she zones out for anywhere from 20 seconds to two minutes, typically still aware of her surroundings. Her seizures can be triggered by stress, by being happy, by exerting herself -- almost anything. "It's like having a nightmare but while you're awake," she said.
In the six weeks since the denial, Cara has had more than two dozen seizures affecting her everyday life. Her message to Aetna is blunt: "Considering they're denying me getting surgery and stopping this thing that's wrong with my brain, I would probably just say, 'Screw you.' ''
Keep reading at CNN.com....
By Carl O’Donnell and Caroline Humer
(Reuters) – U.S. drugstore chain operator CVS Health Corp <CVS.N> said on Sunday it had agreed to acquire U.S. health insurer Aetna Inc <AET.N> for $69 billion, seeking to tackle soaring healthcare spending through lower-cost medical services in pharmacies.
This year’s largest corporate acquisition will combine one of the nation’s largest pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) and pharmacy operators with one of its oldest health insurers, whose national business ranges from employer healthcare to government plans.
The deal comes after Aetna’s $37 billion plan to acquire smaller U.S. health insurance peer Humana Inc <HUM.N> was blocked in January by a U.S. federal judge over antitrust concerns. A proposed combination of peers Anthem Inc <ANTM.N> and Cigna Corp <CI.N> was also shot down.
Aetna shareholders stand to receive $207 per share in the deal with CVS, the companies said. The consideration comprises $145 per share in cash and 0.8378 CVS shares for each Aetna share. Reuters first reported the terms of the deal earlier on Sunday.
Aetna shareholders will own about 22 percent of the combined company, while CVS shareholders will own the remainder.
The companies said that cost synergies in the second full year after the transaction closes — 2020 if the deal closes in the second half of 2018 as they expect — would amount to $750 million. They foresee it adding to adjusted earnings per share by the low- to mid-single digit percentage points.
Their vision expands beyond capitalizing on CVS’ existing MinuteClinic structure, which largely offers preventative services like flu shots, the companies’ chief executives said in an interview.
“When you walk into CVS there’s the pharmacy. What if there’s a vision and audiology center, and perhaps a nutritionist, and some sort of care manager?” CVS CEO Larry Merlo said.
Continue reading at One America News Network....
By Chris Conover
A headline this week in The Hill shocked me: "ObamaCare enrollment strong in third week of sign-ups." The Hill is a serious, well-respected, non-partisan news source. But any reader taking this headline at face value would be seriously misled about what is really going on with Obamacare enrollments during this fifth open enrollment season.
The Hill's reporter correctly notes that "the pace of sign-ups has exceeded last year: In the first 26 days of last year's open enrollment period, 2.1 million people signed up compared to the 2.3 million people who signed up the first 18 days of this year's period."
Those figures imply that the daily rate of sign-ups this year is outpacing last year's rate by 58% [originally reported as 28%: Update #2]. Surely that is evidence of strong enrollment, no?
The reason it is not is buried at the tail-end of the story where the reporter notes "the enrollment period ends Dec. 15, which is about half as much time as people had to sign up last year."
Yipes! If enrollees have only half the time to sign up, then by pure arithmetic, the daily enrollment pace needs to be double last year's in order for total enrollment at the end of the enrollment period to match the level reach at the end of last year's enrollment period: 12,216,003.
But if current enrollment is 158% [originally reported as 128%: Update #2] of last year's when it needs to be 200%, a more accurate way to frame this year's performance would be to say that Obamacare is on track to sign up 21% [originally reported as 36%: Update #2] fewer enrollees than last year (i.e., 158/200=79% which would mean signing up 21% fewer). [originally reported as 128/200=64% which would meaning signing up 36% fewer: Update #2]. That's a pretty bad news story rather far removed from the rosy picture painted by The Hill's headline.
Read more at Forbes....
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