Affordable Care Act

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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.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Stressing that there's only about five weeks until the deadline to enroll for health insurance coverage through the New York State of Health marketplace, the Democratic mayors of Albany, Schenectady and Troy joined community advocates this week at Citizen Action of New York's Albany storefront headquarters to encourage sign-ups.

Leon Brooks

Governor Andrew Cuomo says New York needs a Medicaid funding infusion first requested in 2012 to support hospital overhauls and expanded primary medical care to meet growing patient demand under the state's new health insurance exchange.

The exchange has enrolled more than 412,000 New Yorkers for health insurance coverage since October.

Meanwhile, state officials are pursuing a waiver to use up to $2 billion annually from Medicaid over five years to help struggling hospitals cut beds and admissions in a shift to more primary and outpatient medical care.

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Massachusetts has received a three-month extension from the federal government to meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The extension comes a week after the state adjusted its approach to fix its troubled health care insurance website.

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Following a scathing report, Massachusetts is altering course as it attempts to deal with its health insurance website.

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Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has altered the state’s course in its attempts to fix its problem-plagued health insurance website.

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