Utah Supporters Of Medicaid Expansion Hold Rally
About 100 people rallied in Salt Lake City to urge state lawmakers to pass Gov. Gary Herbert's Medicaid expansion plan. Meanwhile, health insurance rates in Wisconsin keep pace or decline, Maryland delays efforts to recover the cost of its failed exchange, and a co-op pulls out of Iowa's Medicaid marketplace.
The Associated Press: Supporters Of Herbert’s Health Plan Hold Vigil
About 100 people rallied in Salt Lake City to urge the Legislature to pass Gov. Gary Herbert's alternative plan to Medicaid expansion. Holding lights and candles Saturday night on the steps of the Capitol, they observed a moment of silence for those who died because they couldn't afford medical care. Utah filmmaker Paul Gibbs, who organized the vigil, said it's time for state legislators to stop playing political games with people's lives. He showed a clip from his documentary film, "Entitled to Life," which tells the stories of people suffering because they can't get access to health care, The Deseret News reported (10/19).
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Obamacare Plan Rates In Wisconsin To Keep Pace Or Decline Next Year
Despite the dire predictions, the cost of health plans sold on the marketplace set up under the Affordable Care Act are increasing next year at roughly the same rate as past years in Wisconsin — and several insurers are even lowering prices. Wisconsin is not among the states that have released information on what the plans will cost. That is scheduled to happen on Nov. 5, the deadline for the federal government to approve its contracts with insurers who want to sell health plans on the federal marketplaces. But information on the average price changes for insurers was posted briefly on the state Office of the Commissioner of Insurance website recently (Boulton, 10/20).
Fox News: Maryland To Delay Legal Effort To Recoup $55 Million For State’s Failed ObamaCare Site
Maryland officials reportedly have agreed to delay court action seeking $55 million from the primary contractor for the state’s problematic ObamaCare website. Officials from Maryland’s health care exchange in April fired the contractor, Noridian Healthcare Solutions, and vowed to seek court actions to recoup the money (10/19).
Baltimore Sun: Md. Has Yet To Recover Millions Spent On Failed Exchange Site
Officials from the Maryland health exchange and their prime contractor have agreed to delay potential litigation over the troubled website that frustrated thousands in their attempts to buy health insurance promised under the Affordable Care Act. State officials cut ties with Noridian Healthcare Solutions in April and said they'd see contractors in court to recover the $55 million spent developing the faulty online marketplace. But they delayed action to focus on signing up consumers for coverage; another round of open enrollment is set to begin next month. A spokeswoman for Gov. Martin O'Malley said officials are still "evaluating claims that we may pursue in litigation" (Cohn, 10/17).
Des Moines Register: CoOportunity Pulling Out Of Iowa Medicaid Expansion Plan
The insurance carrier CoOportunity Health is pulling out of an Iowa program that provides government-financed coverage to moderate-income residents. The Iowa Department of Human Services announced today that CoOportunity has decided not to continue covering participants in the Marketplace Choice Plan next year. The program is an integral part of Iowa's version of Medicaid expansion under the federal Affordable Care Act. CoOportunity's president said the company is losing money on the 9,700 people it is covering under the Marketplace Choice Plan, and couldn't continue to participate without charging more to other members. CoOportunity Health is one of two insurance carriers that provided coverage this year under the Marketplace Choice Plan. The other carrier, Coventry Health Care, plans to continue offering such coverage, the department said in a press release (Leys, 10/17).