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Affordable Care Act

  • Obamacare Premiums to Surge Next Year, Early Requests Show  Bloomberg News by John Tozzi — The first glimpse of what health-insurance companies plan to charge for Obamacare plans next year suggests there's no relief ahead for consumers saddled with high premiums. Several insurers in Maryland and Virginia are seeking double-digit percentage increases in monthly costs for individual medical plans in 2019. The largest increases are being sought by CareFirst, which wants to nearly double the amount it charges on average for one coverage option in Maryland, and raise the cost of another in Virginia by 64 percent.

  • The Uninsured Rate Is Worsening After Years of Obamacare's Gains  Huffington Post by Jeffrey Young — The uninsured rate is creeping back up. After several years of dramatic declines in the percentage of Americans who lack health insurance ― a direct result of the Affordable Care Act's coverage provisions ― the trend is beginning to reverse, according to new data the polling firm Gallup and digital health company Sharecare published Wednesday. The Gallup-Sharecare survey is the second this month showing a rise in the number of people without health coverage. According to a Commonwealth Fund report published last week, the share of adults ages 18 to 64 who are uninsured is 15.5 percent, up from 12.7 percent at end of 2016, which the think tank calculates amounts to 4 million fewer people with coverage.

  • How the Farm Bill Could Erode Part of the ACA  Kaiser Health News by Julie Appleby — Some Republican lawmakers continue to try to work around the federal health law's requirements. That strategy can crop up in surprising places. Like the farm bill. Tucked deep in the House version of the massive bill — amid crop subsidies and food assistance programs — is a provision that supporters say could help provide farmers with cheaper, but likely less comprehensive, health insurance than plans offered through the Affordable Care Act. It calls for $65 million in loans and grants administered by the Department of Agriculture to help organizations establish agricultural-related "association" type health plans. But the idea is not without skeptics.

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