Affordable Care Act

WAMC/Pat Bradley

Republican leaders in the Vermont Legislature are calling for a federal investigation of the state's spending on its health overhaul, including Vermont's contract with health economist Jonathan Gruber.

kff.org

Health exchange directors from New York and other states came together this week to review successes, analyze practices, and provide the latest enrollment numbers, as the second open enrollment period comes to a close.

In the fourth and final teleconference in this 2014-15 cycle, hosted by pro-Obamacare group FamiliesUSA, the directors looked back at the second health coverage enrollment period, which began on November 15th. They discussed some of the lessons learned this year, and outlined plans to help spur future enrollment.

  America's Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Back-Room Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System is Steven Brill’s much-anticipated, sweeping narrative of how the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was written, how it is being implemented, and, most important, how it is changing—and failing to change—the rampant abuses in the healthcare industry.

Brill probed the depths of our nation’s healthcare crisis in his trailblazing Time magazine Special Report, which won the 2014 National Magazine Award for Public Interest.

New York State of Health

With just one month remaining to sign up for online marketplace health insurance this year, outreach efforts are on the fast-track. Consumers who do not sign up by the end of business today will not have health coverage that starts on February 1.

Federal officials expect approximately 10 million people to enroll for health insurance on state and federal marketplaces this year, falling far short of 13 million the Congressional Budget Office had anticipated.

https://betterhealthconnector.com/

Due to what it’s calling heavy interest, Massachusetts is extending its payment deadline for people who want a state-based health insurance plan to December 28th.  But, people must still choose a plan by the end of today.

wikipedia.org

Access to health care in rural areas is a persistent struggle, and some residents of western Massachusetts found themselves considering less than ideal options this year. North Adams Regional Hospital closed in March to much community outcry; it has since been reopened as a satellite emergency center by Berkshire Health Systems. But the region, which lost some 500 jobs, isn’t alone in its experience.

https://betterhealthconnector.com/

Massachusetts is encouraging people who need to reenroll in Affordable Care Act insurance plans to do so by December 23rd while the state steps up call center staffing. Health Connector officials believe the website will hold up following last year’s failure.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Connecticut’s online healthcare marketplace continues to tout its success in rolling out the Affordable Care Act. It’s using technological savvy to reach its current goal of enrolling 70,000 people in ACA recognized private or government funded plans.

https://betterhealthconnector.com/

Massachusetts health leaders are continuing to alert people to the current health insurance open enrollment period. The state’s online marketplace, known as the Connector, is meeting with area leaders in Greenfield Monday.

NYS of Health

A second year of "Countdown to Coverage" kicked off in Albany today.  Government and community leaders shared the podium to let area residents and small business owners know they need to enroll in health coverage by February 15th through the New York State of Health Marketplace — and how to get free help to do so.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

A consultant on health care to the Shumlin administration will finish out his work under a $450,000 contract with the state without getting any more money than the $160,000 he's already been paid.


Last week, the nation’s uninsured began their enrollment in the second year of the health reform law.  The end of the first year offers the nation a good opportunity to review the impact of the law, without all of the reports of mistakes, the campaigns of deception and outright lies.

New York's health exchange is gearing up for its second year. Officials are optimistic about the open enrollment period that begins Saturday.

WAMC

Open enrollment at the Massachusetts health insurance exchange begins this week. State officials say there is a new – and functioning – website that people can use if they need to purchase insurance.

The Massachusetts Health Connector will launch the new online health insurance marketplace on Nov. 15th.  Thousands of people across the state who have Health Connector coverage now, or were placed in temporary plans over the last year, will have to use the new website to submit an application if they want to remain insured.

People on Medicare are being urged to look over their current health and prescription coverage and consider whether changes should be made. The latest open enrollment period began Wednesday and will continue until Dec. 7. For more on open enrollment, WAMC spoke with Ray Hurd, regional administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Regions 1 and 2, which includes New England, New York and New Jersey.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

The director of the Massachusetts Health Connector, the state’s online health insurance marketplace, met with Berkshire healthcare agencies Thursday ahead of the upcoming open enrollment period.

Healthcare.gov

The Obama administration has picked a Connecticut official to run HealthCare.gov ahead of a second open enrollment season looming as a test of competence for the feds.

https://www.mahealthconnector.org/

Massachusetts is launching a major effort to reach out to almost 400,000 residents who must reapply for health insurance because they were enrolled in temporary plans after the state's health care marketplace website crashed last year.

The U.S. House of Representatives last week voted to sue President Obama over his decision to delay the employer mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act. A New York congressman and his opponent offer differing views about the importance of the matter.

Congressman Chris Gibson was one of 225 Republicans who voted in favor of the lawsuit.

“And look, regardless of what party one’s in, this is in the best interest for our country,” says Gibson.

After years of debate and relentless partisan battles, the impact of the Affordable Care Act – also known as Obamacare – is starting to become clear.  According to reports released last week by the Gallup polling company, the Commonwealth Fund and the Urban Institute, there has been a dramatic reduction in the number of uninsured.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Connecticut is unveiling mobile apps that will give access to the state health insurance exchange on smartphones and tablets.

https://www.accesshealthct.com/AHCT/LandingPageCTHIX

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy was in Washington Tuesday to discuss the state's rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

Speaking at a Center for American Progress event, Malloy touted Connecticut’s success in enrolling 208,000 people in plans through its online exchange, more than doubling its goal.

CT.gov

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy was in Washington, D.C. Tuesday speaking about the state's rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

https://www.mahealthconnector.org/

Massachusetts has unveiled a plan to fix problems with its health insurance website that have slowed the state's transition to the federal Affordable Care Act. The plan calls for a "dual-track" approach including purchasing new software while also connecting with the federal healthcare website.

wikipedia.org

Massachusetts unveiled a plan to fix problems with its health insurance website that have slowed the state's transition to the federal Affordable Care Act. The plan calls for a "dual-track" approach which includes purchasing new software while also connecting with the federal health care website.

The issue of income inequality has been in the news a lot lately. The gap between rich Americans and poor Americans has grown considerably since the 1970s. The United States now ranks first among the developed nations of the world in terms income inequality as measured by the Gini coefficient, a way of describing the distribution of wealth in a society. Globally, we're fourth overall, surpassed only by Lebanon, Russia and the Ukraine.

Vermont officials say they won't know for several months how many people who looked at buying health insurance through Vermont Health Connect determined it was too expensive and decided to go without.

wikipedia

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has tendered her resignation after months of criticism over the rocky launch of the federal online insurance marketplace. The process on the state level appears to be running much smoother: Families USA, a Washington, D.C. nonprofit consumer advocate supporting the Affordable Care Act, is making recommendations to increase online enrollment. State exchange leaders participated in a conference call Thursday.

Blair Horner: A Milestone In Helping The Uninsured

Apr 7, 2014

The nation hit a milestone last week:  the deadline for signing up for coverage provided by the Affordable Care Act.  Despite an unbelievable torrent of mistakes, criticisms, deceptive ads, and outright lies (remember the claims of so-called “death panels”?), enrollment in newly-created health marketplaces hit an estimated 7 million enrollees – the goal set by the Administration last June.

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock discusses the Affordable Care Act and the SAFE Act.

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