Editor's note: Open enrollment on the federal health insurance marketplace started on Saturday, Nov. 15. The Health News Florida team is kicking off a series about the second year of open enrollment under the federal health law. First, we take a look at HealthCare.gov, the website that people in Florida and 36 other states use to buy a health insurance plan. This year, open enrollment runs for three months, until Feb. 15, 2015.
The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a case on a subject that’s important to millions of people who receive subsidies to help purchase coverage under the health-care law. Friday’s decision follows earlier action in July when two U.S. appeals courts issued conflicting rulings on the issue. KHN’s Mary Agnes Carey answers some frequently asked questions about those court decisions and how they impact consumers.
Left to Right: Al Ruechel (Bay News 9), Ybeth Bruzual (News 13) and Adam Smith (Tampa Bay Times) moderate the only debate among the three candidates for Florida Attorney General: Pam Bondi (incumbent, Republican), George Sheldon (Democrat) and Bill Wohlsifer (Libertarian).
More than 35,000 Florida residents have lost the health insurance they enrolled in under the federal health law because they didn’t prove U.S. citizenship or legal residency status by Sept. 5, the Miami Herald reports.
HealthCare.gov, the website for health insurance under President Barack Obama’s health care law, has been revamped as its second enrollment season approaches. But things are still complicated, since other major provisions of the Affordable Care Act are taking effect for the first time. A look at website and program changes just ahead:
Old: 76 online screens to muddle through in insurance application.
Fall is enrollment season for many people who get insurance through their workplace. Premium increases for 2015 plans are expected to be modest on average, but the shift toward higher out-of-pocket costs overall for consumers will continue as employers try to keep a lid on their costs and incorporate health law changes.
Experts anticipate that premiums will rise a modest 4 percent in 2015, on average, slightly higher than last year but lower than typical recent Increases.
“That’s really low,” says Tracy Watts, a senior partner at benefits consultant Mercer.
The number of uninsured patients admitted to hospitals has dropped markedly this year, reducing charity care and bad debt cases, particularly in states that have expanded Medicaid coverage under the new federal health care law, a government report released Wednesday concluded.
The report from the Department of Health and Human Services said hospitals in states that have taken advantage of new Medicaid eligibility levels have seen uninsured admissions fall by about 30 percent. Florida is not one of those states.
The Children’s Health Insurance Program, a joint federal-state program known as CHIP, has helped cut in half the number of uninsured children since being enacted less than two decades ago, but its future is in doubt due to limited funding in the federal health law of 2010. A year from now, CHIP will run out of money. Some advocates for the program want the federal government to finance CHIP for another four years, while other experts have suggested two would suffice. The Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on Health Care will hold a hearing on the issue Tuesday.
Thousands of consumers risk losing financial aid for health care premiums under President Barack Obama's law unless they clear up lingering questions about their incomes, administration officials said Monday.
The Health and Human Services Department said some people who got coverage have reported incomes that don't square with what the government has on record. At least 279,000 households with income discrepancies face a Sept. 30 deadline to submit documentation. If not, their premiums will be adjusted up or down in November.
More than a third of likely Florida voters in a new Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9/UF Bob Graham Center pollsay they want the federal Affordable Care Act repealed entirely. As the Times reports, 37.3 percent of likely Florida voters want the law known as Obamacare gone, and 20.9 percent want to see “major changes” to it.
I recently attended the Florida Medical Association annual meeting, where the organization develops policies for the coming year. The legislative agenda is drafted and approved.
FMA delegates from the specialty groups and county medical societies will vote on each resolution coming before the House. FMA lobbyists will then bring approved policy to Florida’s legislators and congressional representatives.
"Welcome to Cigna," said the letter, dated May 16, on behalf of my new employer, the Kaiser Family Foundation. The letter also said the insurer was placing me on a one-year waiting period for any pre-existing conditions.
Seriously? Wasn't the health law supposed to end that?
"We have reviewed the evidence of prior creditable coverage provided by you and/or your prior carrier and have determined that you have 0 days of creditable coverage," the letter said.
Gov. Rick Scott, who has been orchestrating anti-"Obamacare" meetings with senior citizens around the state and using them as fodder for campaign commercials, picked the wrong senior center in Boca Raton. As the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports, of 20 older voters he talked to, only one had a complaint, about having a hard time finding an orthopedic surgeon.
The Affordable Care Act’s first open enrollment deadline has passed, and the total exceeded expectations, despite a rocky start. The bickering between the critics and the administration continues, according to an editorial in the Ocala Star-Banner, but the fact remains that millions of Americans who couldn’t get coverage before now have insurance because of the law. The success is even more startling, considering how hard opponents in Florida worked to stand in the way of the ACA.
Gov. Rick Scott is not backing down from a pair of campaign ads that state 300,000 Floridians lost their Florida Blue health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act, the Miami Herald reports. The ads attack Scott’s presumed opponent, Charlie Crist, for his support of the federal health law, and use a claim about the Floridians losing insurance that was rated “Mostly False” by PolitiFact.
Former Republican Charlie Crist, now gunning for his old gubernatorial job as a Democrat, is reaffirming his support for the Affordable Care Act, the Naples Daily News reports. At a campaign stop Monday in Naples, Crist cited a PolitiFact ruling of “mostly false” on Gov.
Though controversy over health care reform continues, America’s governors appear to agree on one thing: the Affordable Care Act is here to stay, according to the Associated Press.
This weekend in Washington D.C., Republican and Democratic governors said a complete repeal of the law would be impractical, especially since states already are implementing the ACA with varying degrees of success, the AP reports.
Amid the ongoing Medicaid expansion debate, health consultant Paul Gionfriddo points to several studies that say thousands nationwide could die prematurely if Medicaid is not expanded. At his blog Our Health Policy Matters, Gionfriddo writes that lawmakers should not ignore the compelling data indicating the life and death impacts of health coverage through Medicaid.
In the wake of President Obama’s State of the Union speech, which highlighted income inequality, health consultant Paul Gionfriddo points out there’s another pressing inequity: health insurance subsidies for some of the poorest Americans.
At his blog Our Health Policy Matters, consultant Paul Gionfriddo laments the proposal by Congress to cut $1 billion from what has already been promised for public health and prevention. After all the dust settled with the Affordable Care Act, the Prevention Fund that was supposed to contain $80 billion had only $15 billion -- and Congress keeps trying to cut more.