obamacare

Spotlight On John Kasich

Apr 12, 2016
Gov. John Kasich speaks in Troy Monday.
Dave Lucas

Eight days before the New York primary, Ohio Governor John Kasich took a three-stop tour of the area on Monday, making stops in stops in Albany, North Greenbush and Saratoga Springs. WAMC caught up with the Republican presidential candidate at La Salle Institute.

A new study finds that New York has made significant progress in getting Hispanic children enrolled for health insurance.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

New York senators have begun examining last year's financial failure of the insurance cooperative Health Republic, hearing from hospitals and doctors who say they've got $200 million or more in unpaid bills and want the state to step in.

  Even supporters of the Affordable Care Act say the system has some problems.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York representative Sean Patrick Maloney tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock about an investigation into Health Republic. 

New York state authorities say three other insurers have agreed to automatically enroll individuals covered by Health Republic Insurance of New York as it shuts down.

Photo depicting health care costs
401(K) 2013/Creative Commons

Area politicians and community leaders met Monday in Albany to launch the 2016 "Countdown to Coverage" campaign, marking the beginning of this year’s open enrollment period.

Rupert Millard

Community leaders from across the Capital Region are gathering Monday for the launch of the "2016 Countdown to Coverage" campaign.

Photo depicting health care costs
401(K) 2013/Creative Commons

New York authorities have ordered insurer Health Republic to stop writing new policies and wind down business after existing policies expire.

wikipedia.org

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has again voted with his liberal colleagues to uphold a key portion of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. Roberts also was the key vote to uphold the law in 2012. Justice Anthony Kennedy was a dissenter in 2012, but was part of the majority on Thursday. Roberts says in the majority opinion, quote, "Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them." Nationally, 10.2 million people have signed up for health insurance under the Obama health overhaul. That includes the 8.7 million people who are receiving an average subsidy of $272 a month to help pay their insurance premiums. Of those receiving subsidies, 6.4 million people were at risk of losing that aid because they live in states that did not set up their own health insurance exchanges.

families.usa

More than 14 million people in the United States gained health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, but a new study has found a serious flaw: sky-high deductibles that actually make it cheaper to go to the emergency room than schedule a visit with a physician. 

Families USA, a group that advocates on behalf of the health care law, says that while the Affordable Care Act is an historic success in expanding health coverage, simply having health insurance is no guarantee that consumers can afford to pay for health care.

Elizabeth Anderson

A new report by the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that young African-American men have better survival chances in prison than on the street because they have better access to health care. Meanwhile,  a group based in Albany is rolling out a new program to address the intersection of race, crime, criminal justice policy, and health.

3/10/15 Panel

Mar 10, 2015

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, SUNY at Albany journalism professor and investigative journalist, Rosemary Armao, and essayist, author, editor and activist - Barbara Smith.

Topics include: White House Upset Over GOP Iran Talks; Oklahoma Fraternity; Obama in Selma Reaction; Obamacare Costs Lower; Diane Rehm; Ferguson Cases.

3/4/15 Panel

Mar 4, 2015

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, SUNY at Albany journalism professor and investigative journalist, Rosemary Armao, and Times Union Associate Editor, Mike Spain.

Topics include: Netanyahu's address to congress; Obamacare goes to Supreme Court; Hillary Clinton's email usage; Harsher penalties for New York’s Drivers; Petraeus reaches Plea Deal.

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.

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.

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

www.healthbenefitexchange.ny.gov

New York insurance regulators have approved higher health insurance rates for 2015, though the increases are smaller than what the industry wanted.

The Department of Financial Services announced the new rates Thursday. They include the rates for the state's new health benefits exchange.

wikiepedia

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.

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.

3/12/14 Panel

Mar 12, 2014

    

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Mike Spain; Associate Editor of the Times-Union and University at Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Reporter, Rosemary Armao.

Topics include:
Jet Off-Course
Feinstein on Spying
Obama on Between Two Ferns
Disaster Care
TU Stories

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.

Photo depicting health care costs
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.

Medical staff at Nathan Littauer Hospital
Nathan Littauer Hospital

Two start-up insurers in the New York health exchange, one promising unlimited telemedicine, say customer queries have been rising rapidly and they expect enrollment spikes by the new Dec. 23 deadline for coverage next year.

The state reports 27,000 more approved applications over the past week, bringing the total to 284,440. About one-third have enrolled in plans, 50,119 with the 16 commercial and nonprofit insurers and 40,984 in Medicaid.

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