GRAHAM-CASSIDY REPEAL BILL DEADLINE:

Time: D H M S

Friday Night Short Cuts

New York state regulators say more than 225,000 people have newly enrolled in Affordable Care Act health insurance coverage heading into 2015.

That is important because more people with health insurance equals jobs,according to some investment advisers, who say hospitals and health care companies spend more money on construction and other related growth as the uninsured rate drops.

With the Affordable Care Act seemingly off to a good start in its first year, increasing access to insurance coverage for adults, attention is likely to turn to an older program for children that will come to an end in 2015 if it is not reauthorized: the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP.

This program has made a huge difference in insurance coverage for children, so much so that they are not, and did not need to be, the primary beneficiaries of the A.C.A. But that does not mean that children are not a concern. A variety of factors about our national strategy for children’s health care, or our lack of one, leaves them particularly vulnerable to challenges in access and quality in the next few years.

I nearly had an aneurysm trying to get my new ACA coverage with CareFirst Blue Cross.

Which is a doubly bad thing as it wasn’t clear until a few minutes ago, and several heated phone calls with Blue Cross, whether my new Obamacare coverage was even going to start at all.

In a nutshell, providers like Blue Cross and Coventry are still leaving new Affordable Care Act registrants in limbo, risking their coverage.

On Monday, Accenture announced that CMS awarded the company a five-year, $563 million contract to continue managing HealthCare.gov, the Wall Street Journal reports (Armour, Wall Street Journal, 12/29).

Accenture was the only bidder for the contract. Under the contract, Accenture will provide HealthCare.gov with continual:

  • Maintenance;
  • Technical support; and
  • Software development.

The five-year contract includes a one-year base and four one-year extension options. The contract's total value is $563 million if all options are exercised for the entire five-year period.

No more procrastinating. No more wishing it away.

On Jan. 1, 2015, all employers in the United States with more than 100 full-time equivalent workers are obligated to provide affordable health insurance -- or risk potential fines of up to $2,000 per employee.

The so-called employer mandate marks another milestone in the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, the health care law designed to bring coverage to some 30 million uninsured Americans through a mix of government programs and tax credits for private insurance.