Good news in Alaska, Bad news in Nevada, Cool news in New York
After yesterday's ugly news about Alaska's private policy rate hikes, this is welcome relief:
Judge says Alaska Medicaid expansion can go ahead Tuesday
An Anchorage trial court judge Friday said that Alaska Gov. Bill Walker’s administration can expand the Medicaid health care program starting next week, dismissing a request by the state Legislature to temporarily block enrollment while attorneys fully argue lawmakers’ legal challenge.
In a 45-minute opinion delivered from the bench, Pfiffner rejected a series of arguments by the Legislature that starting expanded Medicaid enrollment Tuesday was so problematic that it should be put on hold while the Legislature’s lawsuit proceeds.
The actual lawsuit will still proceed, but this is still great news for up to 40,000 Alaskans.
Nevada Health Co-Op to close, leaving thousands to find new insurance
The Nevada Health Co-Op, a consumer-owned and operated health plan created under the Affordable Care Act, is going out of business because of high costs, state officials announced Wednesday.
Consumers insured by the co-op will be covered through Dec. 31, said Janel Davis, spokeswoman for the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange. The Board of Directors for the co-op, which received $65.9 million worth of solvency loans from the federal government, voted to cease operations effective Jan. 1.
The co-op is one of five insurance carriers offered through the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, which was established by the Affordable Care Act. Participants in the Nevada Health Co-Op were asked to choose other insurance providers when an open enrollment period beings in November.
Nevada is actually one of the states which I haven't crunched the 2016 rate increase numbers for yet, so I'll have to keep this in mind when I do so.
Meanwhile, in New York, Dan Goldberg and Brendan Cheney have done it again with a way-cool interactive county-by-county map of NY ACA enrollment:
The Affordable Care Act became a more popular option for Western New Yorkers and those in the Southern Tier during the second year of open enrollment.
More than 15,000 Erie County residents signed up for a private health insurance plan, about 2,000 more than during the first year of open enrollment, according to state data.
That's a 16-percent increase compared with the state average of 12 percent.
Chemung County, in the Southern Tier, saw a 45-percent jump in private health insurance enrollment, the largest increase in the state, but in line with the region.