Posts Tagged ‘insurance

22
Mar
15

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

07
Feb
15

Uninsured Rate Falls Again. Thanks, ObamaCare

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Dylan Scott: This Chart: Uninsured Rate Drops Under Obamacare

The percentage of uninsured Americans has fallen from 13.9 percent to 10.2 percent since Obamacare coverage took effect, according to new data from the Urban Institute. The difference is even more pronounced in states that expanded Medicaid under the law. In those states, the uninsured rate dropped from 12.6 percent to 8.4 percent from the second quarter of 2013 to the third quarter of 2014.

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Michael Karpman: QuickTake: Uninsurance Rate Down 25 Percent For Working Adults And 31 Percent For Low-Income Workers Since September 2013

Recent HRMS data show an estimated 10.6 million adults ages 18 to 64 gained coverage between September 2013, just before the first open enrollment period for the ACA’s health insurance Marketplaces, and September 2014, just before the second open enrollment period (Long et al. 2014). Between September 2013 and September 2014, the uninsurance rate fell 3.4 percentage points (95% CI [2.0, 4.9]; figure 1) for working nonelderly adults. The share of working nonelderly adults without insurance declined from an estimated 13.6 percent just before the first open enrollment period to 10.2 percent in September 2014, a 25.3 percent decline.

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03
Feb
15

A Life Saved Thanks To ObamaCare

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Amy Lynn Smith: Young Woman With A Heart Condition Can Finally Get The Care She Needs Thanks To The ACA

When Jae Stewart was 14 years old, she collapsed in the gym while playing basketball. The doctors said she had a heart murmur and sent her on her way, but little did Jae know this was the beginning of a lifetime of heart trouble. Jae had her first heart attack at age 21 and another after a serious car accident a few years later. She had her first stroke before she was 30. Jae didn’t have insurance at all for many years. She’s an occupational therapist, but in 2012, when she had her stroke, her employer didn’t provide health insurance. She was sent to one of the best heart hospitals in Texas, where everyone thought she’d get great care. But that’s not what happened About 15 minutes later a guy walks in and tells me I’m being discharged.

I couldn’t even walk, because every time I got up my blood pressure would bottom out or go through the ceiling. I didn’t even have a ride home. I couldn’t believe they were going to discharge me after I had a stroke. The guy told me if I felt I needed to be there I had to go back through the ER to get admitted again. So Jae is enormously grateful for Obamacare. She’s been covered since early 2014. Her premium this year is $402 per month because she doesn’t qualify for a tax subsidy, but her other costs are low. Her annual deductible is $1,000 and her out-of-pocket maximum is $3,250. She pays $25 to see her doctor and $50 for specialists. Best of all, her prescription medications have zero co-pay. Not only does this make Jae’s healthcare costs more manageable, it means she can afford to see her doctors regularly so they can figure out exactly what’s going on with her heart.

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29
Jan
15

Lowered Healthcare Costs? Thanks, ObamaCare

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Tara Culp-Ressler: How The Obama Administration Is Getting Serious About Lowering Health Costs

The Obama administration unveiled an ambitious plan on Monday that will make historic changes to the way that doctors get paid. The ultimate goal is to tie more of doctors’ payments to the quality of care they provide, hopefully driving down the trillions of dollars that the U.S. currently spends on health services every year. The reforms are targeted at Medicare, the government program that provides coverage for Americans over the age of 64. Most Medicare providers currently get paid through what’s called a “fee for service” system. They’re paid a flat free for every test or procedure they perform, regardless of whether those services actually improve their patients’ health. Now, the administration wants to shift the program so that more of its payments are tied to health outcomes.

Essentially, that means providers will be rewarded for keeping their patients healthy, and penalized for unnecessary services that don’t advance that goal. Proponents of payment reform are encouraged by the move — which they see as a serious step toward creating a health care system that’s based on the value, rather than the sheer volume, of services. The Affordable Care Act has been slowly moving in this direction over the past few years. The health law created alternative payment models — called “Accountable Care Organizations,” or ACOs — to incentivize providers to work together to improve patient care and cut down on costs. So far, there’s been some evidence that ACOs are successfully improving the quality of health care for Medicare patients. Some are also starting to generate cost savings. If ACOs save enough money, the participating providers earn bonuses, a goal that about a fourth of of them hit last year.

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18
Jan
15

ObamaCare: Making History Every Day

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Tara Culp-Ressler: Obamacare Has Reversed A Negative Trend. Researchers Call It ‘Remarkable’

For the first time in a decade, the number of people struggling to pay their medical bills has started to decline, according to a new survey released on Thursday by the Commonwealth Fund. The researchers attributed the historic drop to the number of people gaining insurance under the health care reform law. Between 2012 and 2014 — as Obamacare’s main coverage expansion took effect — the Commonwealth researchers found that the number of people who had issues paying for health treatment dropped from 41 percent to 35 percent. Over the same time period, the people who skipped out on health services because they couldn’t afford them declined from 43 percent to 36 percent

In a press release, the researchers described the declines as “remarkable.” This marks the first time since 2005, when Commonwealth started surveying people on these questions, that the number of Americans struggling to afford medical care hasn’t increased. Commonwealth’s findings, which also documented a drop in the number of Americans going without insurance, track closely with other surveys that have reported declines in the uninsured rate under Obamacare. The number of Americans without health care was reduced by about 25 percent last year, which means that between eight million and eleven million people have gained coverage.

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Margot Sanger-Katz: Signs of A Decline In Financial Distress Connected To Medical Bills

After rising for a decade, the number of Americans experiencing financial distress from their medical bills has started to decline, a new survey has found. The result provides new evidence that the Affordable Care Act, by providing uninsured people with health insurance, is also improving their financial security, a major goal of the law. The large telephone survey, from the New York-based health research group the Commonwealth Fund, has been asking people about their medical bills every few years for a decade. In each survey through 2012, a higher percentage of Americans said they struggled to pay their medical bills, were paying off medical debt or had been contacted by a collection agency.

The most recent installment of the survey, the first since the health law’s major provisions kicked in, shows a reversal in that trend. The survey also found that fewer people were avoiding doctors’ visits because of concerns about cost. But Commonwealth also found that, over all, even people who had insurance before 2014 were having fewer problems with medical bills than they were before. That change may reflect rules in the health law that require individual insurance plans to cover a minimum set of benefits for every customer.

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