Affordable Care Act

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.

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock discusses the deadline for affordable healthcare and the Moreland Commission.

www.nystateofhealth.ny.gov

New York state health officials say more than 812,000 people have enrolled for health insurance statewide under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. 

Monday marked the deadline for open enrollment through the state's health plan marketplace, called NY State of Health. Residents can choose from plans from 16 insurers and 10 dental insurers.

WAMC Composite Photo by Dave Lucas

Uninsured people have a mere two weeks to take action and sign up for Affordable Health Care.

If you are not among those who already have health coverage through an employer or privately obtained comprehensive health insurance, the March 31st deadline for signing up for health insurance is drawing near.

I assume most of our listeners have heard of the columnist Charles Krauthammer.  Recently, he has been on a tear attempting to convince his readers that the Affordable Care Act is causing a reduction in employment.  He understands that it is no longer possible to get away with falsely asserting that the Congressional Budget Office prediction that the ACA will cause a decline in hours worked means an increase in involuntary unemployment.   Instead he argues that the voluntary decline in work because people are no longer tied to their jobs to get health insurance is somehow a terrible thing for the economy.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

The Empire State Pride Agenda announced the launch of its fifth annual LGBT Health Month this week. The campaign is designed to bring awareness to the unique health needs of the LGBT community. 

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A new "fee" tacked on customers’ bills by a Southern restaurant chain could be a preview of things to come.

Several Gator's Dockside restaurants across central Florida have added what they’re calling an "Affordable Care Act Surcharge" of 1 percent to all customers' bills. It is claimed that the surcharge will help pay the healthcare costs for their 500 full-time employees.

Some believe the move may be politically motivated, while others contend it demonstrates “transparency”: instead of just raising prices, patrons see exactly why they're paying a little bit more.

Consumers and small businesses have until March 31st to enroll in New York’s state health exchange under the Affordable Care Act, New York State of Health.

Bob Cohen is Policy Director of Citizen Action of New York and Public Policy and Education Fund, one of the organizations that serves as a “healthcare navigator” to assist individuals in enrolling.

WAMC’s Lucas Willard spoke with Cohen about New York’s approach to the Affordable Care Act, and what he’d like to see changed.

For more visit: http://citizenactionny.org/

Andrew Coates: The Urgency For Health Reform Returns

Feb 28, 2014

This week NY State of Health, also named "The Official Health Plan Marketplace," put out a press release to celebrate a milestone.

401(K) 2013/Creative Commons

In an effort to protect consumers from big surprise medical bills, the Cuomo administration has proposed extending out-of-network coverage requirements for emergencies and specialists to all health insurers in New York.

According to the state Department of Financial Services, the requirements currently apply to health maintenance organizations and 16 insurance plans in New York's new health exchange.

The state's new health exchange reports more than 800,000 New Yorkers have completed applications for insurance while more than 501,000 of them have now enrolled for specific coverage.

The health department says enrollment for individual and family coverage since October includes 276,681 New Yorkers in the 16 commercial and nonprofit insurers in the exchange and 224,524 in government-funded Medicaid.

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