Posts Tagged ‘Affordable Care Act

26
Sep
14

63% Drop In Uninsured Oregonians?! Thanks ObamaCare

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OHSU: OHSU Study Shows 63 Percent Drop In Uninsured Oregonians

A study released today shows that the number of uninsured Oregonians fell by 63 percent from June 30, 2013 to June 30, 2014. “This first glance at Oregon’s uninsured rates shows that a significant number of Oregonians have benefited from expansions in access to health insurance,” said Peter Graven, Ph.D., health economist with the Center for Health Systems Effectiveness at OHSU and lead author on the study. “Our study found that 95 percent of Oregonians now have health insurance coverage”  the study’s key objective was to estimate the number of uninsured individuals in Oregon as a result of policy changes associated with the Affordable Care Act. The number of uninsured Oregonians in June 2013 was estimated to be approximately 550,000, or 14 percent of the total population. The study found that the number of uninsured individuals in Oregon declined to roughly 202,000 in June 2014, or 5.1 percent of the population.

“Since the beginning of the year, nearly all of the previously uninsured patients we care for at Richmond Clinic have gained health insurance coverage,” said Christina Milano, M.D., assistant professor of family medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine and family medicine physician at the OHSU Richmond Clinic in Southeast Portland. “This makes a huge difference for these patients who previously had to pay out of pocket or work out other payment agreements; it’s a big weight off their shoulders. There’s also a peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re covered if you have a critical illness in the future.” Medicaid eligibility extensions and expanded access to individual health plans through Cover Oregon, Oregon’s health insurance marketplace, drove the substantial increase in the number of insured Oregonians. Most of the newly insured are enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan, Oregon’s Medicaid program, which saw an increase of more than 360,000, or 59 percent. Participation in private non-group health plans saw a 20 percent increase in participation, primarily through Cover Oregon.

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OPB: Number Of Uninsured Oregonians Falls By 63 Percent

The number of Oregonians without health insurance dropped 63 percent in a year, according to a new study by Oregon Health and Science University. In the summer of 2013, more than half a million Oregonians didn’t have health insurance. By this summer — after the state expanded Medicaid and after people were allowed to enroll under the Affordable Care Act — that number dropped to just over 200,000. So in effect, the number of uninsured Oregonians went from 14 percent of the population to five percent.

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22
Sep
14

Who Loves ObamaCare? ➞ New Jerseyans

Image: Supreme Court Upholds Obama's Affordable Care Act

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Beth Fitzgerald: Sharp Decline In Uninsured New Jerseyans In Wake Of Obamacare, Report Finds

The number of uninsured New Jersey non-elderly adults plunged 46 percent — from 21.2 percent in September 2013 to 11.5 percent in June 2014 — according to a new report Friday from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. According to the report, co-authored by Joel Cantor, director of the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy, and Katherine Hempstead of RWJF, the decrease is statistically significant — and suggests that more than 520,000 New Jerseyans have obtained health coverage since September 2013. “This are the first numbers showing the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the number of uninsured in New Jersey,” Cantor said. “They show a robust response to the ACA.”

Cantor said the survey shows that “People are responding to the availability of subsidies for private plans (on HealthCare.gov) and to the expansion of Medicaid eligibility. It appears that the problem of the uninsured was cut nearly in half since the third quarter of 2013. We can expect the number gaining coverage to rise a bit further this year, as people eligible for Medicaid can still sign up. The next opportunity for other individuals to buy coverage will begin in November, when the HealthCare.gov annual enrollment period opens for 2015 plans.” The state was also very smart to opt for the Medicaid expansion, which is the main reason the uninsured is dropping at a faster rate than the national average. The big increase in federal funds that will be spent in premium subsidies and Medicaid will also help stimulate New Jersey’s economy. Good news all around.”

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21
Sep
14

Self-Employed? ObamaCare Has You Covered

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Jason: Affordable Care For The Self-Employed

The day I finally got affordable health insurance, I practically ran through the streets yelling the good news. I wanted everyone in Atlanta to know that I was covered. Up until that moment, having insurance had been a constant uphill battle. My struggle to find affordable care began in 2012. I underwent an MRI and the results showed an anomaly in my brain. Following the procedure, I went through a bunch of tests to determine whether it was malignant. Thankfully, doctors assured me that it was benign, and I thought the worst was over. But the MRI results began to follow me. Health insurance companies didn’t care that it was benign—they used it as a reason to deny me coverage.

That’s why I signed up for health insurance through the new marketplace as soon as I possibly could, not only for my peace of mind, but for the good of my business. I chose a gold plan with a $2,500 deductible. It was an incredible feeling that, months later, still hasn’t gone away. I feel like being self-employed no longer means having to fend for myself. Since I got affordable care, my business has grown. I’ve been able to use the savings on my health insurance to hire part-time analysts and assistants to help. As a self-employed person, I feel like I’m finally on a level playing field with my friends who work at large companies with good health care plans.

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09
Sep
14

ObamaCare: Still Standing Strong

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Paul Krugman: Obamacare Life Spiral

Imagine taking a time machine back to 2010 and telling Republicans in Congress, who were arguing that the CBO was wildly underestimating Obamacare’s cost, that the law would be cheaper than predicted and, at least in the states that accepted its Medicaid dollars, cover more people than the Congressional Budget Office thought. After the laughing and mocking and the calling of security, let’s say you offered this prediction in the form a of a bet. What odds do you think Obamacare’s critics would have offered? 2:1? 5:1? 10:1? But you don’t have to go back to 2010. Look at John Cochrane in late 2013, taking it for granted that Obamacare would implode in a death spiral within a few months. Look at The Hill just four months ago, telling us that double-digit premium hikes were coming.

One question we might ask here is, why is the news so good? The answer, I’d suggest — although I hope the real experts will weigh in — is that we’re actually seeing the opposite of a death spiral; call it a life spiral. For one thing, the huge surge in enrollments late in the day meant that the risk pool this year is better than insurers expected, and they now expect 2015 to be better still. Also, importantly, big enrollments mean that more insurers are entering the market, increasing competition. And, of course, the better the deal the more people will sign up: success feeds success.

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Kaiser Family Foundation: Premiums Set To Decline Slightly For Benchmark ACA Marketplace Insurance Plans In 2015

An early look at the cost of health insurance in 16 major cities finds that average premiums for the benchmark silver plan – the one upon which federal financial help under the Affordable Care Act to consumers is based – will decrease slightly in 2015. The new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation analyzes premiums in the largest cities in 15 states and the District of Columbia where information from rate filings is available. Premiums for the second-lowest cost silver plan for individuals

will fall by an average of 0.8 percent from current levels in these cities when open enrollment begins on Nov. 15, according to the study. The analysis finds that the premium for the second-lowest-cost silver plan is decreasing in 7 of the 16 areas studied – but also that changes in average premiums will vary considerably across areas. At least two insurers will offer coverage through the marketplaces in the major city in each of the 15 states studied and D.C. Most areas will have five or more insurers, and three will have 10 or more.

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03
Sep
14

ObamaCare Has Your Back Even While Changing Jobs

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Amy Lynn Smith: Changing Jobs? Obamacare Has Got You Covered No Matter What

The Affordable Care Act gives everyone the freedom to change jobs without worrying about finding affordable insurance, even outside the open enrollment period. When Maria changed from a job that provided health insurance to one that didn’t, she wasn’t worried for a moment about getting covered — even though she has a pre-existing condition. That’s because she knew she could get insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) no matter what. “I didn’t go a single day without coverage because I knew what my new salary would be,” she says.

“I could sign up immediately using the estimator tool based on what my income would be to qualify for a tax credit. I didn’t have to wait for my new job to start, which was awesome.” About eight years ago, she was in a job she hated but couldn’t leave because health insurance was out of reach financially. The best she could do with a pre-existing condition was a catastrophic plan for $75 a month that “covered almost nothing” with a $10,000 deductible. She stayed in that job for a year and a half, a choice she wasn’t forced to make this time.

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