health insurance

Congress has passed a funding measure that keeps the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) going through March — the program insures hundreds of thousands of kids in Florida.

But without a permanent solution in place by the end of January, many families could see their coverage lapse and Governor Rick Scott won’t say whether they should be worried.


Florida is looking to make major changes to Children’s Medical Services, the state-run health care program for children with complex medical needs.

Margaret Leatherwood has eight choices for health insurance next year but no good options.

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

Musician Dave Eichenberger is on his computer at his New Port Richey studio uploading a headshot to Zenni Optical’s website so he can virtually try on a pair of fuchsia eyeglasses.

This year is six weeks shorter than last year.

Not on the calendar, or course, but there are six fewer weeks this year for people getting their health insurance through the Affordable Care Act -- otherwise known as Obamacare or ACA-- to sign up for 2018.

Consumers are getting the word that taxpayer-subsidized health plans are widely available for next year for no monthly premium or little cost, and marketing companies say they're starting to see an impact on sign-ups.

Updated 5:56 p.m. ET

Senate Republicans now plan to try to repeal the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate as part of a tax overhaul bill.

Several Senate Republicans said Tuesday that including the repeal in tax legislation, currently making its way through a key Senate committee, would allow them to further reduce tax rates for individuals without adding more to the deficit.

Two top Republicans announced a bill Tuesday restoring federal subsidies to insurers while including tough conditions sought by the White House. Senate Democrats have enough votes to kill it, but the measure underscores the changes the Trump administration and congressional conservatives say they want in exchange for resuming the payments.

The open enrollment period begins in one week for 2018 marketplace coverage, but many consumers are confused about what to expect. No wonder!

Survey: US Uninsured Up 3.5M This Year; Expected To Rise

Oct 20, 2017
WMFE

The number of U.S. adults without health insurance is up nearly 3.5 million this year, as rising premiums and political turmoil over "Obamacare" undermine coverage gains that drove the nation's uninsured rate to a historic low.

In a brash move likely to roil insurance markets, President Donald Trump will "immediately" halt payments to insurers under the Obama-era health care law he has been trying to unravel for months.

President Trump signed an executive order Thursday that is intended to provide more options for people shopping for health insurance. The president invoked his power of the pen after repeated Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, have failed.

"The competition will be staggering," Trump said. "Insurance companies will be fighting to get every single person signed up. And you will be, hopefully, negotiating, negotiating, negotiating. And you will get such low prices for such great care."

President Trump is poised to sign an executive order that he says will make it easier for people to join together as a group and buy health insurance from any state.

The president tweeted about his plans on Tuesday morning.

"Since Congress can't get its act together on HealthCare, I will be using the power of the pen to give great HealthCare to many people — FAST," he wrote.

Now that the latest GOP health care proposal is being left for dead, you might think that health care reform efforts are over for the near future. But don't dismiss bipartisan efforts already underway that aim to stabilize the insurance market and potentially give states more flexibility in meeting federal standards.

The Trump administration says many of the organizations that help people enroll in health plans on the federal insurance marketplaces don’t provide enough bang for the buck, sometimes costing thousands of dollars to sign up each customer. So, it is cutting their funding, some by as much as 90 percent, the government told the groups last week.

Wikimedia Commons

Liberal Sen. Bernie Sanders is ready to unveil his bill for starkly reshaping the country's current hodge-podge health care system into one where the government provides medical insurance for everybody.

Republican senators are preparing to roll out details of a last-ditch effort to repeal and replace President Barack Obama's health care law.

Uninsured Rate Falls To Record Low Of 8.8%

Sep 13, 2017
Cheap Health Insurance / Flickr

Three years after the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansion took effect, the number of Americans without health insurance fell to 28.1 million in 2016, down from 29 million in 2015, according to a federal report released Tuesday.

Understanding your health plan benefits and what isn't covered is crucial for consumers. But that isn't always easy. Readers' questions this month center around what insurance companies need to tell customers about their benefits and when. For example, does my insurer have to give advance notice if it changes my benefits? And does my plan have to issue a written excuse if it denies coverage for services? What if the coverage doesn't meet federal health law standards? Here are some answers.

A “bi-partisan fix” to the Affordable Care Act is set to get its first hearing in the U.S. Senate Wednesday.

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) is sponsoring the bill, which would create a federal health reinsurance program.


After Republicans in the Senate spectacularly failed to deliver on their promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, a smaller group of lawmakers is trying a new approach: Bring in the Democrats and aim low.

There are more than 4 million children in Florida, and Dr. Jeffrey Brosco just became responsible for them.

With Republican efforts to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act stalled, tentative bipartisan initiatives are in the works to stabilize the fragile individual insurance market that serves roughly 17 million Americans.

Insurer Fills Last Hole In Obamacare Marketplaces For 2018

Aug 25, 2017
Healthcare.gov

The lone U.S. county still at risk of leaving shoppers with no choices next year on the federal health law's insurance marketplace has landed an insurer.

Ohio-based insurer CareSource will step up to provide coverage in Paulding County, Ohio, in 2018, the company and the state Department of Insurance announced Thursday.

WMFE

The federal government released more details Wednesday about how much health insurance rates could increase next year in Florida — and the spike could be dramatic for some.

Updated 4:21 p.m. ET Aug. 1

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., announced today that the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee will hold bipartisan hearings on ways to stabilize the Affordable Care Act marketplaces for 2018.

The hearings will start the week of Sept. 4. Their aim is to act by Sept. 27, when insurers must sign contracts to sell individual insurance plans on HealthCare.gov for 2018.

Updated July 25, 5:25 PM ET: Tuesday afternoon, the Senate voted to send the original House legislation repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act to the floor. (Details below on the proposals/bills.)

But the Senate is only using it as a vehicle to add amendments that will change it substantially. The first amendment would phase out many of the Affordable Care Act's provisions over two years.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., plans to release an updated Republican health care bill on Thursday and is delaying the body's annual August recess by two weeks in an effort to generate momentum for the beleaguered legislation.

GOP's Health Bill May End Insurance Rebates

Jul 5, 2017
WMFE

If Senate GOP leaders have their way, the check may not be in the mail.

When Sol Shipotow enrolled in a new Medicare Advantage health plan earlier this year, he expected to keep the doctor who treats his serious eye condition.

"That turned out not to be so," said Shipotow, 83, who lives in Bensalem, Pa.

Shipotow said he had to scramble to get back onto a health plan that he could afford and that his longtime eye specialist would accept. "You have to really understand your policy," he said. "I thought it was the same coverage."

In late May, several senators went to the floor of the Senate to talk about people in their states who are affected by the opioid crisis. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., talked about Chelsea Carter.

"She told me her drug habit began when she was 12 years old," said Capito.

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