Health and Human Services

If you're looking for cheaper health insurance, a whole host of new options will hit the market starting Tuesday.

But buyer beware!

If you get sick, the new plans – known as short-term, limited duration insurance — may not pay for the medical care you need.

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Thousands of children in foster care may be getting powerful psychiatric drugs prescribed to them without basic safeguards, according to a federal watchdog's investigation that finds a failure to care for youngsters whose lives have already been disrupted.

The Senate confirmed Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., early Friday as the new secretary of Health and Human Services.

He was approved by a party-line vote of 52-47. Democrats were concerned that the conservative congressman wants to pare down government health programs. They were also troubled by lingering ethics questions over Price's investments.

HHS.gov

As it enters its seventh year, the Affordable Care Act is facing challenges, leading some to speculate that the law will have to change in order to survive.

Associated Press

The health care law's historic gains in coverage may be leveling off: The Obama administration announced Thursday it expects only a slight overall increase in enrollment next year.

Wikimedia Commons

Some foster children are not getting their required medical screenings even though the visits are paid for by Medicaid, federal health investigators warn in a study released Monday.

The Health and Human Services' inspector general study looked at a random sample of roughly 400 foster children from California, Texas, New York and Illinois and found nearly 30 percent did not receive one or more of their required health screenings between 2011 and 2012.

HealthCare.gov

The government’s own watchdogs tried to hack into HealthCare.gov earlier this year and found what they termed a critical vulnerability — but also came away with respect for some of the health insurance site’s security features.

Those are among the conclusions of a report being released Tuesday by the Health and Human Services Department inspector general, who focuses on health care fraud.

Hackers successfully breached HealthCare.gov, but no consumer information was taken from the health insurance website that serves more than 5 million Americans, the Obama administration disclosed Thursday.

Instead, the hackers installed malicious software that could have been used to launch an attack on other websites from the federal insurance portal.

Six Florida groups have been awarded a total of $4.7 million in federal Healthy Start grants aimed at improved maternal health and lower infant mortality rates.

The Florida grants are part of $65 million that will go  to 87 organizations in 33 states, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced.

The largest Florida grant, $1.4 million, was awarded to REACHUP Inc. of Tampa.

Other state award-winners were:

The nation's respite from troublesome health care inflation is ending, the government said Wednesday in a report that renews a crucial budget challenge for lawmakers, taxpayers, businesses and patients.

Economic recovery, an aging society, and more people insured under the new health care law are driving the long-term trend, according to the report published online by the journal Health Affairs.

If you got health coverage through President Barack Obama's law this year, you'll need a new form from your insurance exchange before you can file your tax return next spring.

Some tax professionals are worried that federal and state insurance marketplaces won't be able to get those forms out in time, creating the risk of delayed tax refunds for millions of consumers.

The same federal agency that had trouble launching HealthCare.gov last fall is facing the heaviest lift.

LaCrai Mitchell/State Impact Florida

The Florida Senate and the Florida House have passed their budgets for the 2014 legislative session.

From a Florida Senate news release, here is a look at the health funding in the Senate’s $74.9 billion budget:

Health and Human Services

A federal judge says Florida lost $11 million in 2006 when WellCare executives committed Medicaid fraud, the Tampa Bay Times reports. That amount will influence the sentencing of three WellCare executives who were found guilty in June of Medicaid fraud.  Prosecutors had tried to convince U.S. District Judge James S. Moody Jr.

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Tuesday that eight of 10 people will be able to use the government's health care website to sign up for insurance by the end of the month. 

The Obama administration's top health care official was at Florida Technical College in Orlando Tuesday morning making her first of two stops in the state to talk up the Affordable Care Act as fallout of the new law grows. She was visiting Miami's North Shore Medical Center later in the day.

University of South Florida will receive the lion's share of "Navigator Grants" being issued for Florida, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is to make the announcement at USF at noon.

The list of grants released for Florida totals around $7.8 million -- more than the $5.8 million that had been expected.

Florida, one of the nation's hotspots for Medicare and Medicaid fraud, is at particular risk as budget changes in Washington combine to force the layoff this year of 400 employees of the Inspector General's office at the Department of Health and Human Services.