Obamacare Plans

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 — …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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. …

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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 …

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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 …

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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. …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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

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 …

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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 …

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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 healthcare.gov and states that run their own marketplaces followed suit. …

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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 …

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The ACA Marketplace Is Open Again for Insurance Sign-Ups. Here’s What You Need to Know.

This story also ran on NPR. It can be republished for free. For people who’ve been without health insurance during the pandemic, relief is in sight. In January, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to open up the federal health insurance marketplace for three months as of Monday so uninsured people can buy a …

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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, …

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Health Issues Carried Weight on the Campaign Trail. What Could Biden Do in His First 100 Days?

Joe Biden ran on an expansive health care platform during his 2020 presidential campaign, with a broad array of promises such as adding a government-sponsored health plan to the Affordable Care Act and lowering prescription drug prices. Perhaps most significantly, he pledged to get control of the covid pandemic that claimed more than 400,000 American lives …

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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 …

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Biden’s First Order of Business May Be to Undo Trump’s Policies, but It Won’t Be Easy

The party split in Congress is so slim that, even with Democrats technically in the majority, passing major health care legislation will be extremely difficult. So speculation about President-elect Joe Biden’s health agenda has focused on the things he can accomplish using executive authority. Although there is a long list of things he could do, …

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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 …

Many Health Plans Now Must Cover Full Cost of Expensive HIV Prevention Drugs Read More »

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, …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: Obamacare Alum Andy Slavitt Takes Stock of the COVID Pandemic — So Far

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Andy Slavitt has spent much of 2020 talking with almost everybody who knows anything about the COVID-19 pandemic — and sharing what he learns in real time, first on Twitter, then on his pandemic podcast, “In the Bubble.” To do our own podcast episode about what we’ve …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Fiscal general de California: los jueces deben ver que ACA es “indispensable”

Sacramento.- Cuando la Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos esté escuchando el martes 10 un caso que podría decidir el destino de la Ley de Cuidado de Salud a Bajo Precio (ACA), California liderará la defensa de la ley federal que impacta en casi todos los aspectos del sistema de salud del país. Por lo …

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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 …

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Feds Approve Fractious Georgia Plan to Change ACA Marketplace

With the Trump administration announcing two days before Election Day that Georgia’s healthcare.gov 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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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

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 …

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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 …

Opposition to Obamacare Becomes Political Liability for GOP Incumbents Read More »

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 …

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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 …

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Missourians to Vote on Medicaid Expansion as Crisis Leaves Millions Without Insurance

ST. LOUIS — Haley Organ thought she had everything figured out. After graduating from a small private college just outside Boston, she earned her master’s degree, entered the workforce and eventually landed a corporate job here as a data analyst. Life seemed to be going as planned until the national retailer that Organ worked for …

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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 …

Azar Says Federal Law Had Preexisting Conditions Covered Before ACA. Not So Much. Read More »