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Obamacare rebates, repercussions

By Crissinda Ponder · Bankrate.com
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Posted: 5 pm ET

© Malbert/Shutterstock.comThe latest Affordable Care Act headlines may mean a bonus for many consumers and a bummer for others.

Health insurers have to fork over $330 million in refunds to 6.8 million policyholders, according to the federal Department of Health and Human Services. Each family is expected to receive an average of $80.

The payout is under Obamacare's "80/20 rule," which requires insurers to spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on patient care. Those that fail to meet the target and spend too much on overhead must reimburse consumers for the difference.

This is the third summer of health insurance company rebates, and the amounts have been declining. In 2012, insurers paid back about $1.1 billion, or an average $151 per family. Last year, $500 million in rebates averaged about $100 for each household that received one.

New deadline for some Obamacare applicants

In other news, the Obama administration is giving Obamacare enrollees with inconsistencies on their health plan application one last chance to clear up their information before they lose coverage.

There were approximately 970,000 people with data-matching errors back in May. About 450,000 of the cases have been resolved and another 210,000 are in progress. The remaining 310,000 policyholders have until Sept. 5 to send the appropriate citizenship or immigration documents or they will be dropped from their health insurance plans by Sept. 30.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said it has reached out to enrollees multiple times by phone, email and snail mail to request their information.

"Since this is an urgent matter, we are activating our networks on the ground to reach people directly in the communities where they live," Marilyn Tavenner, CMS administrator, said in a statement. "Whether it is online, via our call center, or with one of our local partners, consumers will have a number of ways to find the help they need to continue their coverage."

Ever wondered what all the letters and numbers on your health insurance ID card mean? Here's an explanation of what's crammed onto that piece of plastic.

Follow me on Twitter @CrissiPonder.

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1 Comment
Anthony L. Summers
August 15, 2014 at 3:07 pm

How do you know if you qualify for the rebates and how do you apply for said refunds? Is there a forrm to be filled out that aids in the process? What agency is responsible for giving out these funds? Do you have to be insured under Obamacare to qualify? I have Medicare and private insurance from former employer after retirement.

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