Affordable Care Act

Health News Florida has been reporting that Florida’s health insurance companies are asking for double-digit rate increases.

Insurers are seeking double-digit rate increases for 2017 health plans that will be sold to individual Floridians under the Affordable Care Act, a reflection of increasing medical costs and the end of a safety net for insurers.

Majority Of Floridians And Texans Want Medicaid Expansion, Survey Shows

May 24, 2016
Source: The Kaiser Family Foundation

Americans who live in the two biggest states that haven’t expanded Medicaid have more complaints about health care costs and quality, according to a new survey released by the Texas Medical Center Health Policy Institute in Houston. They’d also like their states to expand Medicaid.

The U.S. Supreme Court is charting a middle course on the issue of contraceptive coverage for employees of religious non-profits. 

The Associated Press

In a setback for the Obama health care law, a federal judge ruled Thursday that the administration is unconstitutionally subsidizing medical bills for millions of people while ignoring congressional power over government spending.

The Obama administration says it's moving to limit special sign-up periods under the president's health care law after insurers complained of abuses.

The Associated Press

Twelve health centers in Florida will get more than $10 million from the federal government to renovate, expand and increase capacity to serve underserved patients, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced this week.

Humana became the latest health insurer to serve notice that it might leave some Affordable Care Act exchanges next year, creating more uncertainty for customers ahead of this fall's enrollment window and presidential campaign, during which the law is sure to remain a hot debate topic.

United’s Departure From Marketplaces Could Impact Consumers’ Costs, Access

Apr 26, 2016

UnitedHealthcare’s decision to quit insurance exchanges in about 30 states next year has patient advocates concerned that fewer options could force consumers to pay more for coverage and have a smaller choice of network providers.

Report: US Medicine Spending Up 8.5 Percent

Apr 14, 2016
Associated Press

U.S. spending on prescription drugs rose 8.5 percent last year, slightly less than in 2014, driven mainly by growing use of ultra-expensive new drugs and price hikes on other medicines.

Supreme Court Takes Up Birth Control Access — Again

Mar 24, 2016
Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press / Associated Press Photo

On the sixth anniversary of the enactment of the federal Affordable Care Act, the law was back before a seemingly divided Supreme Court Wednesday.

Health Insurance Gains Due to Obama's Law, Not Economy

Mar 22, 2016

There's growing evidence that most of the dramatic gain in the number of Americans with health care coverage is due to President Barack Obama's law, and not the gradual recovery of the nation's economy.

Health Law Fines Double for Many Uninsured at Tax Time

Mar 9, 2016

Many people who went without health insurance last year are now seeing fines more than double under President Barack Obama's health care law, tax preparation company H&R Block said Tuesday.

Among its customers who owe a penalty for the 2015 tax year, the average fine is $383, compared with $172 for 2014, the company said.

Concerns Emerge Over Electronic Records Errors In ERs

Mar 2, 2016
Associated Press

The mouse slips, and the emergency room doctor clicks on the wrong number, ordering a medication dosage that’s far too large. Elsewhere, in another ER’s electronic health record, a patient’s name isn’t clearly displayed, so the nurse misses it and enters symptoms in the wrong person’s file.

These are easy mistakes to make. As ER doctors and nurses grapple with the transition to digitalized record systems, they seem to happen more frequently.

A series of polls in key states by NPR and its partners finds that more than half of adults in the U.S. believe the Affordable Care Act has either helped the people of their state or has had no effect. Those sentiments are common despite all the political wrangling that continues over the law.

About a third (35 percent) of adults say the law has directly helped the people of their state, while a quarter (27 percent) say it has directly hurt people.

U.S. manufacturers of medical devices started 2016 with a windfall — a two-year suspension of a controversial tax on their revenue.

Health insurer UnitedHealthcare will partner with a local doctor’s group in a move they say will lower health care costs.

'Direct Primary Care' Draws Senate Questions

Feb 10, 2016
healthcare.gov

Senators raised questions Tuesday about a bill that could help doctors and patients enter into what are known as "direct primary care" agreements.

The proposal, which has been moving through the House and Senate, would make clear that direct-primary care agreements are not covered by state insurance laws. Under the agreements, patients or their employers would make monthly payments to doctors for primary-care services, cutting out the role of insurers.

David Goldman/Associated Press

Eight states, including Florida,  saw a significant drop last year in the number of residents going without health insurance, according to a government report out Tuesday that has implications for the presidential campaign.

High Rate Of Uninsured Hispanic Kids Florida

Feb 3, 2016
AP

The rate of Hispanic children without health insurance fell to a historic low in 2014, the first year that key parts of Obamacare took effect, but they still represent a disproportionate share of the nation’s uninsured youth, according to a new study.

A Florida House panel has approved a measure that would let consumers purchase health insurance across state lines. But not everyone is on board with the idea.

Consumers Cut Costs By Combining Limited Coverage Health Plans, Despite Penalty Risks

Jan 26, 2016

Last fall, Shalonda Brown decided she’d had it with paying nearly $1,000 a month for a family health, dental and vision plan through her job at an independent lab in Dallas. Casting about for an alternative, she checked out individual family plans on healthcare.gov. No dice: Their income was too high to qualify for subsidies and comparable coverage wouldn’t be any cheaper.

Insurance Customers Begin New Year With Delays

Jan 20, 2016
Alan Diaz / Associated Press

Thousands of health insurance consumers around the country have started the new year dealing with missing ID cards, billing errors and other problems tied to an enrollment surge at the end of 2015.

Hispanic Children’s Uninsured Rate Hits Record Low, Study Finds

Jan 20, 2016

The rate of Hispanic children without health insurance fell to a historic low in 2014, the first year that key parts of Obamacare took effect, but they still represent a disproportionate share of the nation’s uninsured youth, according to a new study.

Jan. 15 is the last day to sign up on HealthCare.gov for a plan that starts Feb. 1.  The deadline is key for avoiding tax penalties under the federal health law.

2016 Health Law Exchange Enrollment Tops 11.3M

Jan 10, 2016
HealthCare.gov

More than 11.3 million people have enrolled in private health insurance for 2016 under the Affordable Care Act, surpassing last year’s mark and the 10.5 million goal that the Obama administration set for the year, federal officials said Thursday.

Obamacare Insurers Sweeten Plans With Free Doctor Visits

Jan 4, 2016

Health insurers in several big cities will take some pain out of doctor visits this year — the financial kind.

They’ll offer free visits to feprimary care doctors in their networks.

Republican leaders have decided to delay until January a House vote to unravel President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul and block federal money for Planned Parenthood, hoping to increase attention on their drive against two of conservatives’ favorite targets.

Editor's update: Kevin Counihan, CEO of the federal health insurance marketplaces, announced late Tuesday that the deadline for signing up for a health plan under the Affordable Care Act has been extended by two days — until 11:59 PST December 17. "Unprecedented demand and volume" of consumers contacting HealthCare.gov and the exchange's call center forced the extension, he says.

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