On July 4, America will celebrate 239 years of independence.

Later in the month, our country will mark another historic moment: the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a law passed on July 26, 1990, that guarantees certain rights — and increased independence — to our compatriots with physical and intellectual disabilities.

In this era of ramps and lifts and other hallmarks of accessible design, it's sometimes hard to remember that not too long ago inaccessibility was the norm. And barriers abounded.

Damian Gadal / Creative Commons

It took Connecticut nearly two years to start dispensing the medical marijuana  the legislature approved for conditions like Multiple Sclerosis, epilepsy and cancer.

But, the program is growing strong  since it opened nine months ago. The list of covered conditions is growing and more dispensaries will be popping up to meet the needs of the almost 4,000 enrollees. 


A new report accuses crisis pregnancy centers of deceptive advertising, and distributing false information about reproductive health to their clients.

Do you know what broad spectrum means? What about SPF? No need to be ashamed if you can't answer those questions, because you're not alone.

In a survey of 114 people, a mere 7 percent knew that "broad spectrum" on a sunblock label means it defends against early aging.

Federal officials have spent years locked in a secret legal battle with UnitedHealth Group, the nation's biggest Medicare Advantage insurer, after a government audit detected widespread overbilling at one of the company's health plans, newly released records show.

Trish Buchanan

Waterbury's Acting Deputy Police Chief, Chris Corbett, was laid to rest on Tuesday. He died from a self-inflicted gun shot wound last week.

It's not uncommon: each year, more police die by suicide than are killed in the line of duty. 

More than 3,400 people are now under quarantine in South Korea's fight to contain an outbreak of the Middle East respiratory syndrome — a deadly virus that can cause severe pneumonia and organ failure.

So far, South Korea has reported 122 MERS cases. And the government is actively tracking the whereabouts of people possibly exposed to the virus.

Chung-ahm is a Buddhist monk who's quarantined in the Jangduk village in southern South Korea.

NuvaTube / Creative Commons

A bill that would clarify the nature of mental health services covered by insurance policies is awaiting Governor Dannel Malloy’s review.  

Brian Turner / Creative Commons

Connecticut's second-highest court has ruled that a transgender teenager's due process rights were violated when the state's child welfare agency sought her transfer to a prison last year.

Ian D. Keating / Creative Commons

Sarah Eagan, Connecticut's Child Advocate, said this legislative session accomplished a lot for children.


Time ran out this legislative session on a bill that would have allowed minors to be prescribed medical marijuana. The legislature's inaction means a Montville mother and her sick daughter will continue to live in Maine where children can legally be prescribed pot.

The states that set up their own insurance marketplaces have nothing to lose in King v. Burwell, the big Supreme Court case that will be decided by the end of June. But that doesn't mean those states are breathing easy.

With varying degrees of difficulty, all of the state-based exchanges are struggling to figure out how to become financially self-sufficient as the spigot of federal start-up money shuts off.

Thomas Marthinsen / Creative Commons

It’s nothing new that family steps in when family needs help. But more and more grandparents are raising grandchildren. At the center of this? Prescription drug and heroin addiction.

Slawomir Fajer/iStock / Thinkstock

Connecticut parents and guardians who want to exempt their children from immunizations for religious reasons will have to take an extra step, under a bill that's moving to Governor Dannel Malloy's desk.

foshydog / Creative Commons

When Connecticut's legislative session ends at midnight Wednesday, hundreds of pending bills will fade away without a vote.

A proposal that would give terminally ill patients the right to try experimental drugs has been ready for a vote in the House of Representatives since April 21, and is unlikely to be taken up before Wednesday night's deadline.

This week, I addressed a grab bag of questions related to insurance coverage of hearing aids, doctors who drop out of a plan midyear and what happens if you receive subsidies for exchange coverage but learn later on you were eligible for Medicaid all along.

My doctor is leaving my provider network in the middle of the year. Does that unexpected change mean I can switch to a new plan?

Licking the Sugar Habit

Jun 1, 2015
samantha celera/flickr creative commons

Americans consume more than 70 pounds of sugar a year and it's making us fat, unhealthy, and lazy. We know sugar's linked to things like heart disease, type II diabetes, and Alzheimer's, yet we can't seem to quit the habit. 

PBS NewsHour

More Connecticut students report feeling sad and hopeless and they are seeking help at school-based health clinics, counselors say.

Their problems range from bullying to family issues to anxiety.

Courtesy of Access Health CT

The agency that runs the state's insurance marketplace under Obamacare approved a new budget Thursday, and this will be the first year that Access Health CT will operate without substantial federal support. 


A bill that would allow minors to be prescribed medical marijuana now heads to the state senate for a vote.

Rennett Stowe / Flickr Creative Commons

In 1954, Roger Bannister did the previously unthinkable. He ran a mile in under four minutes. Six weeks later, his chief rival John Landy, did the same thing, and bettered Bannister's performance.

Thirteen months later, three other runners broke four minutes. Bear in mind that this had been considered impossible for as long as there had been time-keeping at track meets.

The Department of Defense says an attempt to ship inactive anthrax samples resulted in live samples being sent to labs in nine U.S. states and to a U.S. Air Force base in South Korea.

Fears of exposure to the potentially deadly disease prompted officials to advise four civilian workers to get preventive care; more than 20 military personnel are also being monitored. The samples were sent via commercial shipping companies, but the Pentagon says there is "no known risk to the general public."

Harriet Jones / WNPR

A Connecticut inventor has just patented a device that he hopes will help in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. It’s based on a theory about radio waves.

The state senate has passed a workers compensation bill that towns and cities say would impose new "mega mandates" on them. 

sima dimitric / Creative Commons

A new study shows Connecticut's seniors are the tenth healthiest in the nation.

Scott Caricato / Rookie Pix

The City of Hartford is considering the creation of two new positions to boost participation in citywide youth sports programs.

Dustin Chambers / ProPublica

Most of us don’t know much about Workers’ Compensation until we need it - and your experience will depend a lot on where you live. 

Caps on benefits and higher bars to qualify as “injured” are a few of the changes made in most states beginning in the 1990’s to lower the cost of Workers’ Compensation. 

Employers say the program costs too much for them to remain competitive, and convinced legislators and unions on both sides of the aisle to reduce benefits. 

The future of Vermont’s health insurance exchange depends on the Shumlin administration’s ability to meet a looming deadline. Still unanswered, though, is the question of how to proceed if the milestone goes unmet. Lt. Gov. Phil Scott and top lawmakers think the solution might be in Connecticut.

In Pennsylvania, it's estimated opioids like heroin killed at least 1,300 people last year. In Massachusetts, more than 1,000 have died, and in Connecticut, heroin deaths jumped more than 85 percent in two years.

But figuring out the size and scope of the problem is harder than many people think.

Pennsylvania, like many states, doesn't require reporting of specific details on drug overdoses, and whatever other information is available is at least two years old.

The problem of opiate addiction in Maine is one that state Rep. Barry Hobbins knows something about. "One of my family members has been struggling with this dreaded addiction of opiates for six years," he says.

So when pharmaceutical company Pfizer — which makes opioids that have abuse-deterrent properties — asked Hobbins to sponsor a bill that would require insurance companies to cover these more expensive drugs at the same level as other opioids, he agreed.