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For Obamacare customers who delay, auto-enrollment could be nasty wake-up

Shopping to update your coverage on the health insurance marketplace may be annoying — didn’t you just do this last year? But letting the exchange automatically renew your coverage instead could be a big mistake. If you don’t like the plan you’re auto-enrolled in this year you may be stuck with it in 2018, unlike previous years when people could generally switch.... Read more»

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Obamacare sign-up deadline is Friday, but some might get extra chance

Open enrollment on the federal health law’s marketplace ends Friday, and most people who want a plan for next year need to meet the deadline. But some consumers who miss the cutoff could be surprised to learn they have the opportunity to enroll later.... Read more»

Obamacare

Squeaker in House becomes headache for Senate: 5 things to watch

After weeks of will-they-or-won’t-they tensions, the House managed to pass its GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act by a razor-thin margin. Now the bill — and the multitude of questions surrounding it — moves across the Capitol to the Senate. And the job doesn’t get any easier, with only a two-vote Republican majority and no likely Democratic support.... Read more»

Political theater: How health-care bill that nearly all opposed managed to pass the House

The AARP called the health bill that House Republicans narrowly approved Thursday “deeply flawed” because it would weaken Medicare and lead to higher insurance premiums for older Americans. The American Medical Association said it would undo health insurance coverage gains and hurt public health efforts to fight disease. The American Hospital Association said the bill would destroy Medicaid, the state-federal health insurance program for the poor that expanded mightily under the Affordable Care Act and buoyed hospitals’ bottom lines. Normally, that would spell failure.... Read more»

Justice Dep't joins lawsuit alleging massive Medicare fraud by UnitedHealth

The Justice Department has joined a California whistleblower’s lawsuit that accuses insurance giant UnitedHealth Group of fraud in its popular Medicare Advantage health plans.... Read more»

CBO estimates millions more would be uninsured under GOP repeal plan

The Congressional Budget Office releases its anticipated analysis of the American Health Care Act, Republican's replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act.... Read more»

Obamacare enrollment beating last year's early pace

Despite the Affordable Care Act’s rising prices, decreased insurer participation and a vigorous political threat to its survival, consumer enrollment for 2017 is outpacing last year’s, according to new federal data and reports from state officials around the country.... Read more»

If Republicans repeal Obamacare, how will they pay for replacement?

Leading Republicans have vowed that even if they repeal most of the Affordable Care Act early in 2017, a replacement will not hurt those currently receiving benefits. But that may be difficult for one big reason — Republicans have also pledged to repeal the taxes that Democrats used to pay for their health law. Without that funding, Republicans will have far less money to spend on whatever they opt for as a replacement.... Read more»

Repealing the Affordable Care Act could be more complicated than it looks

Promising to make the law go away, as President-elect Donald Trump did repeatedly, and actually figuring out how to do it, are two very different things. ... Read more»

Obamacare repeal FAQ

President-elect Donald Trump has promised he’ll ask Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act on day one of his administration. Should you even bother signing up? Here are answers to questions you may have.... Read more»

The women's health issue no one talks about: Depression

About 1 out of 5 women in America will experience depression in her lifetime, twice the number of men. Over the past decade, people have increasingly treated depression with medication: And today, about 15 percent of women take an antidepressant. Are they being overprescribed? It's complicated.... Read more»

FDA approves first drug to treat rare form of muscular dystrophy

The FDA has approved the first drug to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rare and lethal muscle weakening disorder that affects about 15,000 Americans. The approval of the drug, Exondys 51, came over the objections of its own advisory committee.... Read more»

GOP focuses Obamacare attacks on key races; study finds marketplace plans cheaper than employer healthcare

Republicans are highlighting the withdrawal of major insurers from online marketplaces and premium increases that will likely be announced just days before Election Day. But, a new study from the finds that unsubsidized policies in those marketplaces are still cheaper than the full cost of employer-provided coverage.... Read more»

Obamacare marketplace shakeout rocks Arizona, Southeast

Some of the Affordable Care Act’s insurance marketplaces are in turmoil as the fourth open enrollment season approaches this fall, but what’s ahead for consumers very much depends on where they live.... Read more»

As states OK medical marijuana laws, doctors struggle with knowledge gap

As the number of states allowing medical marijuana grows, some are working to address this knowledge gap with physician training programs. States are beginning to require doctors to take continuing medical education courses that detail how marijuana interacts with the nervous system and other medications, as well as its side effects.... Read more»

Analysis

Should big insurance become like Walmart to lower health costs?

Retail titan Walmart uses its market dominance to inflict “ruthless,” “brutal” and “relentless” pressure on prices charged by suppliers, business writers frequently report. What if huge health insurance companies could push down prices charged by hospitals and doctors in the same way?... Read more»

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