Affordable Care Act

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.

Lottie Watts / WUSF

The latest numbers from federal health officials show Florida is continuing to lead in enrollment on HealthCare.gov, with nearly 600,000 who have signed up so far.

Congressional Republicans are a step away from acquiring what they consider a political cudgel for next year's elections: A veto by President Barack Obama of legislation devastating his health care law and Planned Parenthood.

Lottie Watts / WUSF

Florida is once again leading in enrollment on the federal health insurance marketplace, and that success has caught the attention of HealthCare.gov CEO Kevin Counihan. 

HealthCare.gov

The deadline to get health insurance under Obamacare for the start of 2016 is less than two weeks away, and Floridians are by far the largest group of consumers signing up for plans.

Lynn Hatter / WFSU

Republicans are pushing toward Senate approval of legislation demolishing President Barack Obama's signature health care law and halting Planned Parenthood's federal money, setting up a veto fight the GOP knows it will lose but thinks will delight conservative voters.

Not long after Sherry Poulin married her husband Louis last year, the newlyweds sat in their kitchen with health insurance information laid out in front of them.

“We were like, this is just not, this is not do-able,” says Sherry.

Before getting married, Poulin paid $50 a month for a subsidized plan through Obamacare. Now, for a plan offered through her husband’s employer, she was looking at about $500 a month.

A new analysis of Florida’s health care markets finds that as the state’s hospitals consolidate and expand, new business models are shifting the negotiating power.

Wikimedia Commons

The Supreme Court is wading into its fourth dispute over President Barack Obama's 5-year-old health care overhaul.

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