Category: Obamacare Plans

  • Listen: Generous Deals, and a Few Unwanted Surprises, at Covered California

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. KHN Southern California correspondent Bernard J. Wolfson was on “Línea Abierta,” a Radio Bilingüe weekday news program, answering questions for a Spanish-speaking audience about his recent column on health plan enrollment through California’s Affordable Care Act marketplace, Covered California. Wolfson’s column discusses the extraordinary deals available […]

  • Wildfires and Omicron Prompt a Special Health Insurance Enrollment Period in Colorado

    A wildfire displaced thousands of Coloradans just as the omicron surge began sweeping through the state, so health insurance was likely not on many people’s minds when the regular enrollment period for the state’s health insurance marketplace ended Jan. 15. But now, because of those twin emergencies, everyone in the state will get another chance […]

  • HHS Proposal for Marketplace Plans Carries a Hefty Dose of Consumer Caution

    Some insurance brokers are enrolling people into Affordable Care Act health plans without their consent, perhaps for the commissions, a move that could put consumers in danger of owing back the subsidies connected with the coverage. The damage could be hundreds or even thousands of dollars. A consumer’s first hint that something is wrong is […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Compromise Is Coming — Maybe

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Democrats on Capitol Hill hope they are nearing the finish line in their months-long quest to enact President Joe Biden’s social spending agenda. After briefly dropping from […]

  • 3 States Limit Nursing Home Profits in Bid to Improve Care

    Nursing homes receive billions of taxpayers’ dollars every year to care for chronically ill frail elders, but until now, there was no guarantee that’s how the money would be spent. Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York are taking unprecedented steps to ensure they get what they pay for, after the devastating impact of covid-19 exposed […]

  • How to Crush Medical Debt: 5 Tips for Using Hospital Charity Care

    What if a law passed but no one enforced it? That’s essentially what has happened with one small but helpful rule about hospitals and financial assistance for medical bills. The Affordable Care Act, the health law also known as Obamacare, requires nonprofit hospitals to make financial assistance available to low-income patients and post those policies […]

  • Schedule Online Visits First? It’s the Next Big Thing in Health Insurance

    At the height of the covid-19 pandemic, people often relied on telemedicine for doctor visits. Now, insurers are betting that some patients liked it enough to embrace new types of health coverage that encourages video visits — or outright insists on them. Priority Health in Michigan, for example, offers coverage requiring online visits first for […]

  • Leader of California’s Muscular Obamacare Exchange to Step Down

    Peter Lee, who has steered California’s Affordable Care Act marketplace since late 2011 and helped mold it into a model of what the federal health care law could achieve, announced Thursday he will leave his post in March. As executive director of Covered California, Lee has worked closely with the administrations of Democratic presidents Barack […]

  • Headed Away to School? Here’s What Students With Health Issues Need to Know

    College is a time of transition, but for those managing chronic medical conditions, it may also be the first time they will be wholly responsible for their own health: setting appointments, securing supplies and pharmaceuticals, and monitoring symptoms. For those heading to schools far from home, it can be especially tricky navigating the complex world […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Here Comes Reconciliation

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The expansion of health benefits is a major piece of the tentative budget deal reached this week by Democrats in Congress. They plan to press ahead — […]

  • Senate Democrats’ Plan Boosts Spending on Medicare, ACA Subsidies, Long-Term Care

    The budget package Democrats are assembling in Congress would likely provide the biggest jolt to the American health care system since the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, according to sources familiar with work on the plan. Democrats in the Senate announced Tuesday night that they had reached a framework for a $3.5 […]

  • Children and Covid: Journalists Explore Grief and Vaccine Side Effects

    KHN senior correspondent JoNel Aleccia discussed grief among the estimated 46,000 children in the U.S. who lost a parent to covid-19 on NBC News NOW on Tuesday. Click here to watch Aleccia on NBC News NOW Read Aleccia’s “Thousands of Young Children Lost Parents to Covid. Where’s Help for Them?“ KHN senior correspondent Sarah Varney […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The ACA Lives

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. For the third time in nine years, the Affordable Care Act has survived a constitutional challenge at the Supreme Court. In a 7-2 decision, the court ruled […]

  • Corte Suprema se niega a revocar ACA, por tercera vez

    La Corte Suprema se negó por tercera vez a revocar la Ley de Cuidado de Salud a Bajo Precio (ACA) el jueves 17 de junio, desestimando una demanda presentada por un grupo de fiscales generales estatales republicanos que alegaban que un cambio realizado por el Congreso en 2017 había vuelto inconstitucional a toda la ley. […]

  • Supreme Court Declines to Overturn ACA — Again

    The Supreme Court on Thursday turned back its third chance to upend the Affordable Care Act, rejecting a lawsuit filed by a group of Republican state attorneys general claiming that a change made by Congress in 2017 had rendered the entire law unconstitutional. By a vote of 7-2, however, the justices did not even reach […]

  • Covered California Says Health Insurance Just Got Too Cheap to Ignore

    If you are uninsured because health coverage seemed too expensive the last time you looked, it’s time to look again. Use Our Content It can be republished for free. A new federal law could make it a whole lot cheaper to buy your own insurance if you don’t get coverage through an employer or a […]

  • Time to Say Goodbye to Some Insurers’ Waivers for Covid Treatment Fees

    Just as other industries are rolling back some consumer-friendly changes made early in the pandemic — think empty middle seats on airplanes — so, too, are health insurers. Many voluntarily waived  all deductibles, copayments and other costs for insured patients who fell ill with covid-19 and needed hospital care, doctor visits, medications or other treatment. […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Health Care as Infrastructure

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Health care makes some surprising appearances in President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan, even though more health proposals are expected in a second proposal later this month. The bill that would help rebuild roads, bridges and broadband capabilities also includes $400 billion to help […]

  • Indiana’s Medicaid Expansion — Designed by Pence and Verma — Panned in Federal Report

    Indiana’s Medicaid expansion — with its “personal responsibility” provisions that require enrollees to pay monthly premiums and manage health savings accounts — proved no better at improving health and access to care than other state expansions, a federally commissioned study found. Use Our Content It can be republished for free. Even when compared with states […]

  • Journalists Dish on Vaccination Loopholes and Alliances

    Reporter Fred Mogul discussed how college students are using loopholes to get vaccinated for travel with Newsy on Thursday. Click here to watch Mogul on Newsy Read Mogul’s “Some Dream — Others Scheme — To Find a Vaccine Before Spring Break” California politics correspondent Samantha Young discussed the relationship between Gov. Gavin Newsom and Blue […]

  • The Great Undoing: Which of Trump’s Policies Will Biden Reverse?

    KHN has put together an interactive tool of significant health policies implemented by the Trump administration using its own authority — executive orders, agency guidance or formal regulations — and is tracking Biden administration and court actions. We will update this chart as actions are taken. Topics: Affordable Care Act | HHS Operations | Immigration […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Getting Down to Work at HHS

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. As questions swirl about the covid vaccine made by AstraZeneca, public health experts are worried the confusion could create more doubts among people already hesitant to get a vaccine. Meanwhile, the first Senate-confirmed officials are settling into their offices at the Department of Health and […]

  • Democrats Gave Americans a Big Boost Buying Health Insurance. It Didn’t Come Cheap.

    When Democrats pushed through a two-year expansion of the Affordable Care Act in the covid-relief bill this month, many people celebrated the part that will make health insurance more affordable for more Americans. This story also ran on NPR. It can be republished for free. But health care researchers consider this move a short-term fix […]

  • Lots of Health Insurance Help in Covid Relief Law — But Do Your Homework First

    There’s something for everyone with private health insurance in the American Rescue Plan Act, but determining the best way to benefit may be confusing. This story also ran on NBC News. It can be republished for free. The $1.9 trillion covid relief law that President Joe Biden signed this month will make coverage significantly more […]

  • Journalists Analyze the Covid Relief Bill

    Reporter LJ Dawson discussed how undocumented immigrants have been left out of the pandemic relief package with Newsy on Tuesday. Click here to watch Dawson on Newsy Read Dawson’s “Without a Pandemic Safety Net, Immigrants Living Illegally in US Fall Through the Cracks“ KHN correspondent Emmarie Huetteman discussed Affordable Care Act provisions included in the […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Open Enrollment, One More Time

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. An estimated 9 million Americans eligible for free or reduced premium health insurance under the Affordable Care Act have a second chance to sign up for 2021 coverage, since the Biden administration reopened enrollment on and states that run their own marketplaces followed suit. […]

  • Los mercados de seguros de salud reabrieron. Esto es lo que necesitas saber

    Para quienes han estado sin seguro médico durante la pandemia, el alivio ya está a la vista. En enero, el presidente Joe Biden firmó una orden ejecutiva para abrir el mercado federal de seguros de salud durante tres meses, desde el lunes 15, para que las personas sin seguro puedan comprar un plan y o […]

  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Covid and Kids

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Nearly a year into the pandemic, many public schools are still closed to in-person instruction. But while there is increasing evidence that schools are not a major source of infection, teachers and staffers remain concerned about going back to class before they are vaccinated. Meanwhile, […]

  • Advocates View Health Care as Key to Driving LGBTQ Rights Conversation

    When Allison Scott came out as a trans woman in 2013, she told not only family and friends, but also her primary care physician. She didn’t need his help with hormone therapy. She had another doctor for that. But she wanted to share the information with her doctor of more than 10 years in case […]

  • Many Health Plans Now Must Cover Full Cost of Expensive HIV Prevention Drugs

    Ted Howard started taking Truvada a few years ago because he wanted to protect himself against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. But the daily pill was so pricey he was seriously thinking about giving it up. Under his insurance plan, the former flight attendant and customer service instructor owed $500 in copayments every month […]

  • With Becerra as HHS Pick, California Plots More Progressive Health Care Agenda

    SACRAMENTO — President-elect Joe Biden didn’t back “Medicare for All” during his campaign. Yet his choice of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to serve in the nation’s top health care post is fueling California lawmakers’ most progressive health care dreams, including pursuing a government-run single-payer system at the state level. “Now it’s much more real, […]

  • Think Your Health Care Is Covered? Beware of the ‘Junk’ Insurance Plan

    Looking back, Sam Bloechl knows that when the health insurance broker who was helping him find a plan asked whether he’d ever been diagnosed with a major illness, that should have been a red flag. Preexisting medical conditions don’t matter when you buy a comprehensive individual plan that complies with the Affordable Care Act. Insurers […]

  • Were You Notified About Missing Tax Forms for Your ACA Subsidy? Blame COVID.

    The notice from the federal health insurance marketplace grabbed Andrew Schenker’s attention: ACT NOW: YOU’RE AT RISK OF LOSING FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE STARTING JANUARY 1, 2021. As he read the notice, though, the Blacksburg, Virginia, resident became exasperated. Schenker, his wife and their teenage son have a bronze-level marketplace plan. Based on their income of about […]

  • Workers Who Lost Jobs Due to COVID May Need Help Getting Coverage This Fall

    Michelina Moen lost her job and health insurance in April. Only weeks earlier she had begun to feel ill and not her usual energetic self — in what she describes as a textbook case of “really bad timing.” The Orlando, Florida, resident sought treatment in May. After a series of tests, doctors told Moen she […]

  • Justices Bound to See ACA as ‘Indispensable,’ Says Californian Leading Defense

    SACRAMENTO — When the U.S. Supreme Court hears a case Tuesday that could decide the fate of the Affordable Care Act, California will be leading the defense to uphold the federal law that touches nearly every aspect of the country’s health care system. It’s usually the federal government’s job to defend a federal law, but […]

  • Feds Approve Fractious Georgia Plan to Change ACA Marketplace

    With the Trump administration announcing two days before Election Day that Georgia’s website will no longer provide options for residents shopping for plans starting in 2022, consumers will need to rely on private brokers, insurance companies, agents and commercial websites. Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who pushed the plan, argued that this would give […]

  • Medicare Fines Half of Hospitals for Readmitting Too Many Patients

    Nearly half the nation’s hospitals, many of which are still wrestling with the financial fallout of the unexpected coronavirus, will get lower payments for all Medicare patients because of their history of readmitting patients, federal records show. The penalties are the ninth annual round of the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program created as part of the […]

  • If They Sweep on Election Day, Dems Still Face a Challenge Meeting Health Promises

    Democrats are favored to win both chambers of Congress after years of campaign-trail promises about health care. But with a pandemic, a more conservative Supreme Court and lingering disagreements between progressives and moderates, it could be difficult for Democrats to turn those promises into law. In the final days of the campaign, COVID-19 and the […]

  • The Trump Medicaid Record: Big Goals, Yet Few Successes

    President Donald Trump entered office seeking a massive overhaul of the Medicaid program, which had just experienced the biggest growth spurt in its 50-year history. His administration supported repealing the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, which has added millions of adults to the federal-state health program for lower-income Americans. He also wanted states to require […]

  • Did Trump Confuse the Public Option With ‘Medicare for All’?

    During the final presidential debate, President Donald Trump claimed that 180 million people would lose their private health insurance to socialized medicine if the Democratic presidential nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, is elected president. “They have 180 million people, families under what he wants to do, which will basically be socialized medicine — you […]

  • In Tamer Debate, Trump and Biden Clash (Again) on President’s Pandemic Response

    In the second and final debate of the 2020 presidential race, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden sparred over Trump’s handling of the pandemic and Biden’s plan to reform health care. In stark contrast to the first debate, there was more policy talk. There was also less interrupting. Trump said a COVID-19 […]

  • Even With ACA’s Fate in Flux, Open Enrollment Starts Soon. Here’s What’s New.

    Facing a pandemic, record unemployment and unknown future costs for COVID-19 treatments, health insurers selling Affordable Care Act plans to individuals reacted by lowering rates in some areas and, overall, issuing only modest premium increases for 2021. “What’s been fascinating is that carriers in general are not projecting much impact from the pandemic for their […]

  • Biden’s in the Ballpark on How Many People Have Preexisting Conditions

    The first minutes of Tuesday’s presidential debate immediately turned to how President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg could undo the Affordable Care Act and its protections for people with preexisting conditions. “There’s 100 million people that have preexisting conditions,” said former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, arguing […]

  • Opposition to Obamacare Becomes Political Liability for GOP Incumbents

    In the 2014 elections, Republicans rode a wave of anti-Affordable Care Act sentiment to pick up nine Senate seats, the largest gain for either party since 1980. Newly elected Republicans such as Cory Gardner in Colorado and Steve Daines in Montana had hammered their Democratic opponents over the health care law during the campaign and […]

  • Back to the Future: Trump’s History of Promising a Health Plan That Never Comes

    Ever since he was a presidential candidate, President Donald Trump has been promising the American people a “terrific,” “phenomenal” and “fantastic” new health care plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. But, in the 3½ years since he set up shop in the Oval Office, he has yet to deliver. In his early days on […]

  • Don’t Count on Lower Premiums Despite Pandemic-Driven Boon for Insurers

    When COVID-19 smacked the United States in March and April, health plans feared medical costs could skyrocket, jacking up premiums drastically in 2021, when millions of the newly unemployed might still be out of work. But something else happened: Non-COVID care collapsed as hospitals emptied beds and shut down operating rooms to prepare for an […]

  • Azar Says Federal Law Had Preexisting Conditions Covered Before ACA. Not So Much.

    “First off, it’s in statute already in HIPAA that preexisting conditions are covered.” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, on July 9, speaking at a virtual summit sponsored by The Hill newspaper One of the most popular features of the Affordable Care Act is its guarantee of insurance coverage — at no greater cost […]