ACA

State Uninsured Rate Increases, Tops National Average

Sep 13, 2018

More than 2.6 million people in Florida lacked health insurance at some point in 2017, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Florida insurers selling health insurance under the Affordable Care Act requested the lowest premium hikes since the law's inception, despite numerous obstacles from the Trump administration and major rate increases last year.

States Leverage Federal Funds To Help Insurers Lower Premiums

Aug 15, 2018

When Tracy Deis decided in 2016 to transition from a full-time job to part-time contract work, the loss of her employer’s health insurance was not a major worry because she knew she could get coverage through the marketplace set up by the Affordable Care Act.

Putnam, DeSantis Campaign Against Obamacare

Aug 14, 2018

The two main Republican candidates battling for Florida governor have a simple message when it comes to health care: Just say no to Obamacare.

Obamacare Audit Finds Improper Payments

Aug 14, 2018

The Obama administration improperly paid insurance companies and HMOs nearly $434 million in 2014 when Affordable Care Act policies first became available, according to a new federal inspector general’s report. 

People who don't get insurance through their jobs will now be able to buy short-term policies that may be cheaper than Affordable Care Act coverage. These plans won't have to cover as many medical services and are exempt from covering people with pre-existing conditions.

The departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury announced new rules Wednesday that make it easier for consumers to replace ACA insurance with these short-term policies.

The Trump administration says it will restore Affordable Care Act payments to insurers that it had recently frozen, leading to concerns about higher premiums next year.

Programs that help people sign up for Affordable Care Act plans in Florida will have their funding cut by 81 percent this year.

This week, we're tackling questions from readers who are worried about health insurance roadblocks in the face of a serious illness or medical crisis.

Q: I think genetic testing could be a great tool for physicians. My fear is what the insurance industry will do with the information, especially in today's political climate. Could they decide that you have a pre-existing condition and charge a higher rate, or not cover you at all?

The Trump administration said Saturday that it is temporarily halting billions of dollars of payments designed to help insurers meet the Affordable Care Act requirement that they provide coverage regardless of whether a person is healthy or sick.

The Trump administration is close to finalizing a health insurance option for small firms and self-employed people that would cost less but could cover fewer benefits than current plans, congressional officials and business groups said.

The Trump administration is refusing to defend key parts of the Affordable Care Act, essentially arguing that federal courts should find the health law's protections for people with pre-existing conditions unconstitutional.

The federal lawsuit hinges on the ACA's individual mandate, or the requirement to get health coverage or pay a penalty. The mandate has long been a sticking point for conservatives, who argue that the government should not be telling individuals what coverage they must have.

Premiums for health insurance plans sold on the federal marketplace are expected to increase by nearly 16.9 percent in Florida next year due to changes in the Affordable Care Act, according to a new analysis.

Released on Friday by the Center for American Progress, the analysis estimates that a decision by Congress and President Donald Trump to repeal the mandate that people buy health insurance, coupled with proposed changes to the types of policies that can be sold, will increase premiums for Floridians by $1,011.

Vision Care Lags, With Blind Spots In Insurance Coverage

May 15, 2018

Every day, a school bus drops off as many as 45 children at a community eye clinic on Chicago's South Side. Many of the kids were referred to the clinic after failing vision screenings at their public schools.

Clinicians and students from the Illinois College of Optometry give the children comprehensive eye exams, which feature refraction tests to determine a correct prescription for eyeglasses and dilation of their pupils to examine their eyes, including the optic nerve and retina.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has this pen. It's not all that remarkable looking, but he held it up multiple times Monday at a briefing with reporters.

"This pen," he said, "has a lot of power."

And he said he is prepared to use it.

Azar was making the point that in the area of drug prices, the head of HHS — which runs the Medicare and Medicaid programs and buys about $130 billion in prescription drugs each year — can make a lot of changes in the pharmaceutical market. And he doesn't need congressional approval to do it.

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