Posts Tagged ‘aca

24
Apr
15

ObamaCare: The Wonderful Gift That Keeps On Giving

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Jeffrey Young: Uninsured Rate Gets Lower And Lower, Thanks To Obamacare

The Affordable Care Act was designed to slash the percentage of Americans who lack health insurance, and it’s working. The uninsured rate fell to 11.9 percent during the first quarter of this year, 1 percentage point below the rate at the close of 2014, according to the findings of a Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index poll published Monday. The decline coincides with the start of benefits for new Obamacare enrollees at the beginning of 2015. The latest uninsured figure from the Gallup survey is the lowest since the polling firm began tracking the number in 2008, and contributes to a remarkable decline of 5.2 percentage points in the share of people without health coverage since the end of 2013, just before the first wave of Obamacare health insurance enrollees joined the ranks of the insured.

African-Americans, Hispanics and people with low incomes saw the greatest gains in insurance coverage, Gallup found. the pollsters conclude that Obamacare is mostly responsible for the current trend because the uninsured rate is lower than it was in early 2008, when the economy was in recession. About 12 million people are covered by private health insurance obtained via the exchanges, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. A separate analysis published by the department last month estimates that 16 million fewer Americans are uninsured because of the Obamacare coverage expansion, including the exchanges and Medicaid.

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13
Apr
15

9 In 10 Adults Covered? Thanks, ObamaCare

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Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar: Survey: Nearly 9 In 10 US Adults Now Have Health Insurance

Underlining a change across the nation, nearly 9 out of 10 adults now say they have health insurance, according to an extensive survey released Monday. As recently as 2013, slightly more than 8 out of 10 had coverage. The Gallup-Healthways survey found that the share of adults who lack insurance dropped to 11.9 percent for the first three months of this year, the lowest level since that survey began its tracking in 2008. The latest update overlaps with the period when the health law’s second sign-up season was winding down. Coverage gains from 2014-2015 translate to about 3.6 million fewer adults uninsured since the fall, before open enrollment got under way, according to Gallup. “The Affordable Care Act had three major objectives: increase coverage, slow the rate of increase in costs, and improve health,” said Dan Witters, research director for the poll.

“The first one is clearly a win. Coverage is increasing; there is no question about it.” On balance, an estimated 14.75 million adults have gained coverage since the fall of 2013, when the law’s first open enrollment season was about to begin, according to Gallup. Hispanics saw the biggest coverage gains of any ethnic or racial group. The uninsured rate dropped 8.3 points among Latinos since the end of 2013. Recent gains in coverage have benefited people up and down the income ladder. But the most notable improvement has been among those making less than $36,000 a year, a group that traditionally struggled to get and keep health insurance. Their uninsured rate dropped 8.7 points since the end of 2013.

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12
Apr
15

Democrat Or Republican? ObamaCare Has Your Back

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Amy Lynn Smith: Having Faced A Medical Bankruptcy, Republican Has A Change Of Heart About The ACA

When health insurance became available through Healthcare.gov last year, Theresa had her doubts about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As a fiercely independent small business owner — and a Republican — the only news she saw about Obamacare was negative. Theresa says she’s grateful she didn’t listen to the people who told her Obamacare was “bullsh*t.” Through Healthcare.gov, she found a Silver plan for just $94 per month, with the help of tax credits. About six years ago, Theresa had polyps on her vocal cords and her doctor told her if she didn’t have surgery she could choke on them or bleed to death. Plus, there was a chance the polyps could turn cancerous.

Theresa didn’t have a choice, but without insurance her surgeons demanded payment in advance. She says the surgery and subsequent care cost her “tens of thousands of dollars.” Fortunately, starting in January 2015 Theresa will have health insurance that’s accepted by all her doctors, with a $700 annual deductible and $1,450 out-of-pocket maximum limit. It will cost her just a $20 co-pay to see her primary physician and $50 to see a specialist. She can’t wait to schedule all her check-ups, including the necessary follow-up on the remaining polyps she couldn’t afford to have removed.

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25
Mar
15

President Obama Celebrates Five Years Of ObamaCare

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President Barack Obama smiles while speaking during an event marking the 5th anniversay of the Affordable Care Act at the South Court Auditorium of Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC.

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Obama takes a bow as he is introduced by Beran to deliver his remarks on the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act on the White House campus in Washington

President Barack Obama takes a bow as he is introduced by Dr. Nancy Beran

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Obama smiles after joking about a lack of a predicted Republican alternative to Obamacare, as he delivers remarks on the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House campus in Washington

President Barack Obama smiles after joking about a lack of a predicted Republican alternative to Obamacare

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Obama delivers remarks on the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act on the White House campus in Washington

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Obama applauds as he is introduced by Beran to deliver his remarks on the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act on the White House campus in Washington

Obama departs after remarks on the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act on the White House campus in Washington

22
Mar
15

ObamaCare: Five Years Later, Millions Covered. Thanks, President Obama

21
Mar
15

What the Affordable Care Act means to me…. coverage for $1/month!

I’m not sure where to begin…so let me go back to a little over three years ago when I had to begin the process of purchasing health care on the individual market.

I was no longer able to stay on my parents plan and my COBRA coverage had run out from my previous employer (somewhat ironically selling Healthcare/Life insurance) and thus began an exhaustive search for an affordable option.

I had several pre-existing conditions due to basketball/tennis related injuries that required several surgeries and had moved backed to Indianapolis to help my father recover from serious heart problems. The job market wasn’t great at the time so I figured I would work part-time and go back to school.

After finally settling on what I thought would be the kind of coverage ideal for me, I purchased a plan from Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield. They are the largest insurance provider in the state and had a decent plan that fit my needs. It was called the Lumina 2500.

The plan was pretty cheap (139/month) considering it was on the individual market. The crux of the plan was I would have no co-pay for doctor visits/ER/pharmacy, but I had to pay the negotiated price between the provider/insurance companies in full.

For example: If I got sick and went to the family physician and the bill was ~ $200 I would end up paying $80, if the medicine was ~ $60 I would pay ~ 25 depending of if there was a generic available (the ~ $85 total all of went toward my deductible of $2500 which was also the maximum out-of-pocket for the year).

This plan worked for me because I knew no matter what happened in a given year I would never have more $4000 in expenses (including my premium). I only got one major cold during the three  following years so I thought this was great. ABBS did jack my rate up ~20% every year (2014 premium was $180) but I  could live with that since the Affordable Care Act would be available shortly.

 To my chagrin, Gov. Pence did not set up a state exchange last year and also didn’t expand Medicaid.

At the end of 2013 I decided to go to school full-time in the hopes to get into a radiology program. At the same time I was hoping to find a better option on the national healthcare marketplace once it was rolled out. I came to find out that Anthem dominated the insurance market here in the state of Indiana (they were essentially the only company that joined the marketplace that had good in-network providers)….. the kicker was being a pseudo monopoly all their comparable plans were actually closer to $400/month. Since I didn’t have enough taxable income, I also didn’t qualify for any subsidies so I was stuck with my current plan & the expectation of a rate hike ever year…. or so I thought.

Around early Nov. 2014, Anthem announced that it was discontinuing my insurance plan and I had to find another one through them or another insurance company. The insurance commissioner of our state was one of only two in the country (according to Anthem, Connecticut was the other) that were not extending the grandfather clause of allowing you to keep your insurance plan if you liked it.

Continue reading ‘What the Affordable Care Act means to me…. coverage for $1/month!’

18
Mar
15

GOP Screams Lame Duck! President Obama Moves America Forward

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Stephen Collinson: Obama Redefines The Lame Duck Presidency

At the time in his tenure when most presidents fret over their waning clout, Barack Obama is redefining the concept of the lame duck. His administration has been energized by his aggressive use of executive power. Some of the most hard-won achievements of his early years in office are beginning to pay off. And his political luck seems to be turning. With a term and a half behind him, Obama’s prospects are brighter than they have been for years. Though Republicans paint Obama’s glass as half full, and argued that the administration is overstating its record, that hasn’t rattled the man in the Oval Office.

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The new sense of serenity in the White House solidified this week with figures showing that more than 16 million people have now signed up for health plans under Obamacare, the president’s top domestic achievement. That news came on the heels of booming jobs growth numbers and a tangible feeling that after years of slow recovery, things are looking up economically. The unemployment rate, at 5.5%, is at its lowest point since May 2008, before the Great Recession. And the U.S. economy is in much better shape than most of its rivals in the developed world. The White House believes that its initiatives on community college funding, the president’s moves to regulate the Internet and actions to reshape the immigration system are delivering a political dividend,

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reasoning that many Americans are happy to see gridlock broken and the president taking action, a factor that might be partly reflected in Obama’s better poll numbers. Obama, meanwhile, more relaxed than ever. He’s speaking about race more freely than any time since he became president, notably in his speech on the 50th anniversary of the Selma civil rights marches earlier this month. And the White House counts a climate accord with China and a visit to India earlier this year as big wins for its strategy of rebalancing foreign policy towards Asia. The GOP, for its part, is learning what the White House found out years ago — that winning the Senate last year, and with it control of both chambers of Congress, brings its own problems.

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16
Mar
15

16.4M Thanks to President Barack Obama

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16
Mar
15

ObamaCare Sets Another Record

 

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Yasmeen Abutaleb: Nearly 11.7 Million Signed Up For Obamacare Health Insurance: HHS

Nearly 11.7 million people have either signed up or re-enrolled for insurance coverage under the U.S. healthcare reform law, more than the 9.1 million predicted by the Obama administration,health officials said on Tuesday. As of Feb. 22, about 8.8 million signed up in one of the 37 states that use online exchanges operated by the federal government and 2.85 million were in the 14 states, and Washington, D.C., that operate their own exchanges, the Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement. In the states that use the federal exchange, called healthcare.gov,

87 percent qualified for a tax credit averaging $263 per month, according to HHS. It said more than half of consumers in states using healthcare.gov bought a plan that cost $100 or less after tax credits. Enrollment across the board has largely exceeded expectations, health officials said. The enrollment period for 2015 coverage opened on Nov. 15 and closed on Feb. 15. More than 4.1 million people under 35 years old have purchased health insurance through state and federal exchanges, the HHS said Tuesday, about a third of enrollees.

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13
Mar
15

The Freedom To Pursue Dreams. Thanks, ObamaCare

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Amy Lynn Smith: The Affordable Care Act Gives Virginia Woman The Freedom To Pursue Her Dream

Lisa Kaneff has always considered herself a writer. In fact, that’s how she’s always introduced herself to people. But she wasn’t living that dream to the fullest, until the Affordable Care Act (ACA) made it possible. After 12 years in marketing, Lisa says she woke up one day feeling “stuck” in a professional current, just floating along. She didn’t have any debt other than a small student loan, and being in her early 30s she decided the time was right. Lisa, who lives in Virginia, launched her business in March 2014 as a full-time writer. She works frequently with progressive non-profits and politicians. “Writing about candidates that supported the ACA was inspiring,” she says. “I felt like these people were fighting for me, too.”

Lisa has polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal imbalance that can lead to other health issues if left untreated. She also has a thyroid condition and has had multiple foot surgeries. These conditions require regular follow-up with her doctors. When Lisa tried to apply for insurance during her unemployment, she could not even get bare-bones catastrophic coverage because of her PCOS. A second insurer turned her down for the simple fact that she’d been turned down by the first insurer. Eventually, she was able to get insurance but it didn’t cover much for the price. Thanks to the ACA, everything Lisa needs is covered.

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