Affordable Care Act

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From Kaiser Health News:

Even in Kentucky, which championed the 2010 health care law by expanding Medicaid and running its own insurance marketplace, about half of poor people say they have heard little about the Affordable Care Act, according to a Harvard University study published Monday in Health Affairs.

As the Kansas legislative session winds down, a late-session attempt to make Medicaid expansion a bargaining chip was sidelined by debates on a tax and budget plan. Expansion would have made all Kansas adults with incomes up to 138 percent of poverty eligible.

khi.org

Some state legislatures are moving to shield residents’ federal health insurance subsidies in advance of a U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding the Affordable Care Act.

The Kansas Legislature is not among them.

As Kansas lawmakers work toward a tax plan to end the 2015 session, they have not had any briefings on the King v. Burwell case, the verdict expected in June or its implications for the nearly 100,000 Kansans who purchased insurance from healthcare.gov, the online insurance exchange.

AAFP

Federal officials estimate that more than 1.3 million Kansans now have private health insurance that includes preventive services at no out-of-pocket cost. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson has more. 

  This story comes from Kansas Public Radio.

Bryan Thompson / kansaspublicradio.org

Accountability. It means taking responsibility for an action or result. Lately, it’s taken on a new connotation in the field of health care. The Affordable Care Act provides a way for health care networks to get bonus payments by providing better care, and keeping Medicare patients healthier. As Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson explains, these Accountable Care Organizations are about to have a larger presence in Kansas.

The companies managing Kansas' privatized Medicaid program continued to lose money in 2014. Amerigroup, Sunflower Health Plan and United Healthcare cut their losses from the year before, but still took a loss of $52 million. Losses totaled $116 million in 2013.

Feds Warn, Use It or Lose It

Apr 27, 2015
Kansas Health Institute

An ultimatum has been laid down by the federal government that Kansas and Tennessee officials need to expand Medicaid or risk losing hospital funds.

These states could be jeopardizing special funding to pay hospitals by not expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Farmers and ranchers have had a little more than a year to adjust to the Affordable Care Act. Some chafe against the requirement to buy health insurance, but others are starting to appreciate parts of the new law.

A special enrollment period for health insurance through the federal marketplace started Sunday. But, not everyone's eligible.

KHI News Service

News that Gov. Sam Brownback has softened his position on Medicaid expansion wasn’t exactly racing through the Statehouse on Thursday.

But it certainly had some legislators buzzing.

In remarks Wednesday to conservative lawmakers in Missouri, Brownback said if the Kansas Legislature presented him with a budget-neutral expansion bill, he would likely sign it, according to a report in the Missouri Times.

According to a recent survey, Kansas is the only state with an increased number of uninsured.

schiffner.com

Obamacare enrollment grew by nearly 70 percent in both Kansas and Missouri during the most recent sign-up period, according to preliminary figures released Wednesday by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The number of Kansans enrolled in health insurance plans offered through the Affordable Care Act marketplace increased to 96,226 from 57,013. Missouri enrollment jumped to 253,969 from 152,335.

Several red-state governors have recently dropped their opposition to Medicaid expansion reports the Kansas Health Institute.

Utah, Wyoming, Montana and Tennessee are pursuing expansion options that use billions in additional federal Medicaid dollars.  The increase helps low-income adults purchase private coverage or create health savings accounts.

16 states, including Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas are not discussing the issue.

kansaspublicradio.org

Premiums in the federal health insurance Marketplace are slightly higher, on average, compared to last year, but not in Kansas.  KPR's Bryan Thompson reports Kansas is bucking the trend.

The Affordable Care Act open enrollment period is underway.  KUT reported one of the barriers stopping people from getting coverage can be summed up in three words: health insurance literacy.  Here are the cliff notes for health insurance terms:

A HMO requires you to pick a primary physician.  That person will become your health home, and any services you want have to be approved by that physician.

newportacademy.com

A new report from the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services says Kansans on Medicare will save more than $10 million this year on prescription drugs, thanks to one of the lesser-known provisions of the Affordable Care Act reported Bryan Thompson for Kansas Public Radio

alexmandossian.com

One of the lesser-known parts of the Affordable Care Act is about to put some money back into the pockets of nearly 60,000 Kansas families.  The refunds will total $3.6 million reported Bryan Thompson for Kansas Public Radio.

roberts.senate.gov

Republican U.S. Senator Pat Roberts recently signed a pledge sponsored by the conservative women’s organization, Independent Women’s Voice.  The pledge is to repeal, defund and dismantle the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare blogged Peter Hancock for the Lawrence Journal-World.

tacticalminc.com

In Kansas, The Kansas Health Institute recently reported that more than 10,000 Kansans applied or Medicaid or CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) in January.  That is an increase of 20% over the monthly average since the Affordable Care Act’s insurance marketplace was launched.

sostadiumstatus.blogspot.com

Colorado has expanded the Medicaid program, as part of the state’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  That means tens of thousands of new Medicaid patients will have access to healthcare.  Proponents of the Affordable Care Act say that getting more people insured will cut down on emergency room visits, but a recent study shows that is not what happened in Oregon according to a recent conversation on Colorado Matters from Colorado Public Radio.

KERA

While the individual mandate requires ever American to have health insurance, there is a big exception to the Affordable Care Act that more and more people are taking advantage of.

hipstercrite.com

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently announced enrollment numbers for the federal and state online health insurance marketplaces that opened Oct. 1.  106,185 people in the United States have selected insurance plans during this period. 

Huelskamp: A tactical change on Obamacare

Nov 11, 2013
J.M. EDDINS, JR./MCT

The same man who was pushing to shut down the government just a few weeks ago to defund the Affordable Care Act, now says another government shutdown to stop funding for ACA isn’t likely to happen in January according to a recent Politico story

The reason why the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, was designed is just as important as the what the law does says Sheldon Weisgrau, senior consultant with Rural Health Consultants.  Weisgrau recently spoke at the NAACP Annual Freedom Fund according to the Salina Journal

Affordable Care Act: New Premium Calculator

Oct 21, 2013
moaablogs.org

The Obama administration recently released a new online tool that allows users to see premium estimates by state, level of coverage, and age categories without creating an account.  Previously, an account had to be created before individuals could see what plans were available and what premiums would be according to the Kansas Health Institute.

Michael Schumacher / AGN Media

The Amarillo Area Foundation recently hosted a symposium hoping to provide answers many have about the Affordable Care Act which many have dubbed Obamacare. Health care providers, administrators, business owners, and other citizens came to find out more according to the Amarillo Globe News.

Millions Left Without Despite Affordable Care Act

Oct 3, 2013
nytimes.com

A sweeping national effort to extend health coverage to millions of Americans will leave out two-thirds of the poor blacks and single mothers and more than half of the low-wage workers who do not have insurance, the very kinds of people that the program was intended to help, according to an analysis of census data by The New York Times.

The Obama administration released a report containing average premiums across the nation.  Rates in most states are lower than earlier projections, but there are huge variations among states according to the Kansas Health Institute

Obamacare could be a tough sell in rural America

Sep 20, 2013
Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

The Affordable Care Act, often called “Obamacare,” takes a big step forward Oct. 1 when new health insurance marketplaces open for enrollment. Rural families are more likely to qualify for subsidized coverage, but reaching them to sign up will be part of the challenge.

So, will farm country take advantage of new health insurance subsidies? That’s the question in Nebraska.

Almost 200,000 Nebraskans don’t have health insurance. Nearly half of them are spread across the state’s rural areas.

texastribune.org

Once again, estimates recently released by U.S. Census Bureau say Texas has the most uninsured in the nation according to a recent article from The Texas Tribune.    

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