Health insurance prices rose less on Obamacare exchanges than off them

June 2, 2016, CNBC, Dan Morgan- People who buy health insurance on government-run Obamacare exchanges tended to absorb significantly smaller price increases this year than customers who purchased plans sold outside of those marketplaces, according to a Commonwealth Fund report released Thursday. But to get those smaller price hikes, many Obamacare customers have plans that have strict limitations on where they can obtain covered health services.

Research finds ACA reduces racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare

June 1, 2016, Michigan Daily, Irene Park- A new University of Michigan research study shows how the Affordable Care Act has reduced racial and ethnic disparities in health insurance coverage. The ACA - signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010 - aims to lower the percentage of uninsured Americans and make healthcare more affordable and of higher quality. The ACA is projected to undergo numerous provisions until 2020. Currently, it is estimated that 29 million Americans (9.2 percent of the population) are without health insurance.

Louisiana begins enrolling 375,000 people into Medicaid

May 31, 2016,, Kevin Litten- Department of Health and Hospitals will begin the massive task Wednesday (June 1) of enrolling 375,000 people into the state’s expanded Medicaid program. The department’s goal is to get Medicaid insurance cards into the hands of more than half of the people eligible for the program by July 1. Ruth Kennedy, the DHH official who is leading enrollment efforts, said in an interview Tuesday that although the task of enrolling so many people into the federally funded Medicaid expansion sounds daunting, the department has taken an “all hands on deck approach.” She added that state officials have prepared for months to enroll Medicaid recipients, and workers are positioned across the state to aid in the effort.

Louisiana approved for first-in-the-nation Medicaid enrollment plan

May 31, 2016, The Advocate, Elizabeth Crisp- Louisiana will use information collected from food stamps recipients to potentially add tens of thousands of people to the state’s Medicaid rolls as the sign-up period for the newly-expanded program begins.
Enrollment kicks off Wednesday for people who qualify for Medicaid under increased income limits now set for the health care program that has traditionally served the poor and children in Louisiana. Louisiana is the 31st state in the country to embrace Medicaid expansion, one of the key provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act, but it’s the first state to receive approval from the federal government to link enrollment and eligibility to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps.

Healthcare exchange in Mississippi is losing one provider

May 26, 2016, MS News Now, Courtney Ann Jackson- One of three healthcare providers is pulling out of the federally run healthcare exchange in Mississippi. United Healthcare will be sending letters to more than 18-thousand policy holders who will have to seek other coverage.

Health officials ask governor for guidance on budget changes

May 26, 2016, Daily Journal, Bobby Harrison- The state Department of Health is waiting on “legal guidance” from Gov. Phil Bryant to determine the impact of changes made during the 2016 session on its budget. Liz Sharlot, a spokeswoman for the agency, said the department could face tough budget decisions based on how Senate Bill 2362 is interpreted. When the bill passed, the author of the legislation, Senate Appropriations Chair Buck Clarke, R-Hollandale, said the intent of the legislation was to eliminate interagency billing, such as agencies having to pay another state agency lease payments or for technology services, and to prevent some agencies from collecting fees for providing certain services.