D.C. Exchange And Favoritism To Congress; Sticker Shock For PreferredOne Customers
The conservative group, Judicial Watch, files a taxpayer lawsuit challenging what it describes as the District of Columbia's special treatment of more than 12,000 members of Congress, staffers and families, who buy policies in the district's small business exchange. Meanwhile, PreferredOne, the top seller on the MNsure exchange, announces average premium increases of 63 percent for next year.
CQ Healthbeat: D.C. Health Exchange Accused Of Giving Special Treatment To Congress
This time it’s not a lawmaker, but an outside conservative group that plans to file suit over alleged “special treatment” for members of Congress enrolled in gold-level coverage plans through DC Health Link. Judicial Watch, the group that continues to dog the Department of Health and Human Services for more transparency about implementation of the 2010 health care law, shared details Wednesday of a “taxpayer lawsuit challenging the District of Columbia’s special treatment of Congress concerning Obamacare.” Congress accounts for more than a quarter of the 50,520 people enrolled in the D.C. health exchange, and the subsidy members and staff receive to cover premiums has been taking heat from all sides (Hess, 10/15).
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Big Jump For PreferredOne Premiums
Sticker shock awaits thousands of people with health coverage through PreferredOne, the top seller on the MNsure exchange during its first year. The Golden Valley-based insurer said Wednesday that its individual market subscribers will see an average premium increase next year of 63 percent due to high claims costs (Snowbeck, 10/16).
The Fiscal Times: Will Obamacare’s State Exchanges Be Ready For Round 2?
With just one month to go until the start of Obamacare’s second open enrollment period, state and federal officials are being cautiously optimistic about their health exchange websites—assuring the public that there won’t be a repeat of last year’s technological nightmare. Speaking to health reporters last week, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell touted the newly revamped Healthcare.gov as a vast improvement over last year’s website—which was plagued with technical glitches. But when asked about how some of state exchanges that had trouble last year are shaping up, Burwell hesitated and said HHS is monitoring them on a state-by-state basis (Ehley, 10/15).
Watchdog.org: California Senator Investigates Millions In Obamacare Exchange Contracts
California’s beleaguered ObamaCare exchange is once again in the crosshairs of a state senator who is demanding answers following reports that millions in contracts never went out to bid and instead were awarded to friends of the agency’s director. Sen. Ted Gaines, who is also the GOP candidate for state insurance commissioner on the November ballot, fired off a letter to Covered California Director Peter Lee, asking how the agency “fulfills the public trust when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars” (Richards, 10/15).