Affordable Care Act http://wnpr.org en Federal Courts Weigh in on Obamacare Subsidies http://wnpr.org/post/federal-courts-weigh-obamacare-subsidies <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Should the federal government help Americans pay for their new health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act? That's a question being tackled in courts across the country. T</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">wo of them have issued very different rulings.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 20:44:35 +0000 Jeff Cohen 25713 at http://wnpr.org Federal Courts Weigh in on Obamacare Subsidies U.S. Appeals Courts Issue Conflicting Decisions On Obamacare Subsidies http://wnpr.org/post/us-appeals-courts-issue-conflicting-decisions-obamacare-subsidies A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday dealt a significant blow to the Affordable Care Act, when it threw out an IRS regulation that governs subsidies. Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:59:00 +0000 editor 25691 at http://wnpr.org Forum Explores Innovation as a Way to Improve Nation's Health Care System http://wnpr.org/post/forum-explores-innovation-way-improve-nations-health-care-system <p>Connecticut Congressman John Larson sponsored a health care forum on Monday at the legislative office building in Hartford.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>"Improving Our Health Care System Through Science and Innovation" was a chance for a panel of prominent health care leaders to tout how innovations in their area of expertise are saving lives and pulling down the cost of health care.</p><p> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 15:48:18 +0000 Ray Hardman 24980 at http://wnpr.org Forum Explores Innovation as a Way to Improve Nation's Health Care System The Wheelhouse: Health Insurance; Charter Schools; Bridgewater Turns The Car Around http://wnpr.org/post/wheelhouse-health-insurance-charter-schools-bridgewater-turns-car-around <p>It looks like the world'’s largest hedge fund won'’t build a new headquarters in Stamford…. What does that say about the state'’s economic development plans? A charter school organization faces investigations of its finances and operations. What does it say about the school reform movement? We’'ll look at those stories, plus the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate, and whether the employer-based insurance model makes sense today.</p><p> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 13:00:00 +0000 John Dankosky, Tucker Ives, Lydia Brown & Catie Talarski 24624 at http://wnpr.org The Wheelhouse: Health Insurance; Charter Schools; Bridgewater Turns The Car Around Some Companies Can Refuse To Cover Contraception, Supreme Court Says http://wnpr.org/post/companies-can-refuse-cover-contraception-supreme-court-says The Supreme Court has ruled that family owned and other closely held companies can opt out of the Affordable Care Act's provisions for no-cost prescription contraception in most health insurance if they have religious objections.<p>The owners of the Hobby Lobby chain of arts and crafts stores and those of another closely held company, Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., had objected on the grounds of religious freedom.<p>The ruling affirms a Hobby Lobby victory in a lower court and gives new standing to similar claims by other companies.<p><strong>Update at 1:15 p.m. Mon, 30 Jun 2014 14:19:31 +0000 Bill Chappell 24508 at http://wnpr.org Some Companies Can Refuse To Cover Contraception, Supreme Court Says Obamacare Agency Changes Course, Releases Public Information http://wnpr.org/post/obamacare-agency-changes-course-releases-public-information <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">One dollar and 22 cents.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">That's how much Access Health CT, the state's health insurance marketplace, </span><a href="http://wnpr.org/post/states-bill-obamacare-call-center-significantly-higher-estimated" style="line-height: 1.5;">pays its call center operator</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> for each minute it spends on the phone helping someone navigate the Affordable Care Act. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It's also a number that </span>Maximus,<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;the call center operator,&nbsp;</span><a href="http://wnpr.org/post/company-says-health-care-exchange-contracts-are-trade-secrets" style="line-height: 1.5;" target="_blank">has tried to keep from public disclosure for months</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p><p> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Jeff Cohen 24423 at http://wnpr.org Obamacare Agency Changes Course, Releases Public Information Health Care Can Be Key To A Better Life For Former Inmates http://wnpr.org/post/health-care-can-be-key-better-life-former-inmates A San Francisco law now permits the sheriff's department to enroll inmates in health insurance policies under the Affordable Care Act — policies designed to cover medical care after a prisoner's release. Sheriff <a href="http://www.sfsheriff.com/executives.html">Ross Mirkarimi</a> believes that making sure people have health coverage when they leave jail will help keep them from committing another crime and coming back.<p>One inmate — Sophia — recently requested help signing up for a health plan. Thu, 12 Jun 2014 11:08:00 +0000 editor 23482 at http://wnpr.org Health Care Can Be Key To A Better Life For Former Inmates Malloy Holds Transportation Crisis Meeting; Maximus Worker Source of Health Data Brea http://wnpr.org/post/malloy-holds-transportation-crisis-meeting-maximus-worker-source-health-data-brea <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/-iimhf36zSQ" width="560"></iframe></p><p>U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal is calling on the Coast Guard to restrict the number of times it allows a railroad swing bridge over the Norwalk River to rotate open. In a letter to the Coast Guard, Blumenthal says the bridge failed 16 times in 271 openings during 2013. Governor Malloy held a “Crisis Summit” earlier today to discuss the problem.</p><p><strong>Health Exchange Worker&nbsp;Comes Forward After Data Breach</strong></p> Mon, 09 Jun 2014 21:55:41 +0000 Teri McCready 23311 at http://wnpr.org Call Center Worker on Leave for Access Health CT Data Breach http://wnpr.org/post/call-center-worker-leave-access-health-ct-data-breach <p>Connecticut's health insurance exchange said the owner of a backpack found on a Hartford street containing Social Security numbers and other data works for a call center vendor, and has been placed on administrative leave.&nbsp;</p><p> Mon, 09 Jun 2014 13:16:28 +0000 Associated Press 23277 at http://wnpr.org Call Center Worker on Leave for Access Health CT Data Breach Frustrated By The Affordable Care Act, One Family Opts Out http://wnpr.org/post/frustrated-affordable-care-act-one-family-opts-out The Robinson family of Dallas started out pretty excited about their new insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act.<p>Nick Robinson had turned to Obamacare after he lost his job last summer. He had been working as a youth pastor, and the job included benefits that covered him, his two young daughters, and his wife, Rachel, a wedding photographer.<p>Nick says he wasn't too nervous at first, because everyone was healthy. Tue, 27 May 2014 07:27:00 +0000 editor 22552 at http://wnpr.org Frustrated By The Affordable Care Act, One Family Opts Out Poll: Latinos Underinformed On Obamacare http://wnpr.org/post/poll-latinos-underinformed-obamacare <p>A <a href="http://enrollamerica.org/" target="_blank">new poll</a> by a non-profit working to get people health insurance coverage say that a lack of understanding hindered Obamacare enrollment for at least one demographic groups: Latinos.&nbsp;</p><p> Thu, 22 May 2014 17:37:18 +0000 Jeff Cohen 22316 at http://wnpr.org Poll: Latinos Underinformed On Obamacare GOP Strategy To Run Against Health Law Hits Snags http://wnpr.org/post/gop-strategy-run-against-health-law-hits-snags Last year, the Republican playbook for keeping control of the House of Representatives in 2014 and winning the Senate consisted of a fairly simple strategy: Run against Obamacare.<p>But now that the 2014 races are starting to take shape, that strategy isn't looking quite so simple. Democrats are fighting back. Thu, 22 May 2014 14:01:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 22309 at http://wnpr.org GOP Strategy To Run Against Health Law Hits Snags Survey Reveals Chronic Illness Is a Problem For Adults in Connecticut http://wnpr.org/post/survey-reveals-chronic-illness-problem-adults-connecticut <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Results of </span><a href="http://www.fchealth.org/index.php/publications_media/ct_healthcare_survey" style="line-height: 1.5;">the Connecticut Heath Care Survey</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> were released on Wednesday. On the surface, the numbers pretty look good: 91 percent of the 4,608 adults surveyed reported having health insurance, and 87 percent said their health is good to very good.</span></p><p> Fri, 16 May 2014 12:23:20 +0000 Ray Hardman 21924 at http://wnpr.org Survey Reveals Chronic Illness Is a Problem For Adults in Connecticut Graduation Rates Rise; Democrats Hold Nominating Conventions http://wnpr.org/post/graduation-rates-rise-democrats-hold-nominating-conventions <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/YkUjKT_K-kQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p>State officials announced today at Hartford’s Insurance and Finance Academy--that Connecticut’s high school graduation rate increased for the fourth consecutive year.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5">The gap between graduation rates of black and white students, Hispanic and white students, and also among affluent and poor students &nbsp;also narrowed.</span></p><p><strong><span style="line-height: 1.5">Political Parties Holding Nominating Conventions</span></strong></p> Wed, 14 May 2014 21:02:42 +0000 Teri McCready 21829 at http://wnpr.org State's Bill For Obamacare Call Center Significantly Higher Than Estimated http://wnpr.org/post/states-bill-obamacare-call-center-significantly-higher-estimated <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">One part of the Affordable Care Act has become less affordable: call centers. </span>Maximus<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, the company that runs the phone banks to enroll people in Connecticut, originally said it would charge the state $15 million over roughly three years.</span></p><p>The state now says the cost of that contract could nearly double.&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 14 May 2014 12:03:00 +0000 Jeff Cohen 21776 at http://wnpr.org State's Bill For Obamacare Call Center Significantly Higher Than Estimated Employers May Start Paying You To Buy Health Insurance http://wnpr.org/post/employers-may-start-paying-you-buy-health-insurance What if employers started giving workers a chunk of cash to buy health insurance on their own instead of offering them a chance to buy into the company plan? Are workers ready to manage their own health insurance like they do a 401(k)?<p>The idea that employers might drop their health plans and replace them with a "defined contribution" for employees has been around for years. Tue, 13 May 2014 15:37:00 +0000 Michelle Andrews 21759 at http://wnpr.org Employers May Start Paying You To Buy Health Insurance Dental Care Still Out of Reach For "Huge Piece of the Population" http://wnpr.org/post/dental-care-still-out-reach-huge-piece-population <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Your teeth may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to health care. Dentists say oral health problems seldom get better on their own, and can point to disease elsewhere in the body, including diabetes and some forms of cancer and leukemia. Of course, a toothache can just be painful.</span></p><div><p>But if you’re an adult who doesn’t have dental insurance, caring for your teeth and your health can be a real challenge. The Affordable Care Act covers dental care for children, <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/can-i-get-dental-coverage-in-the-marketplace/" target="_blank">but not adults</a>, and dental care isn't cheap.</p> Thu, 08 May 2014 19:16:47 +0000 Alan Yu 21378 at http://wnpr.org Dental Care Still Out of Reach For "Huge Piece of the Population" Company Says Health Care Exchange Contracts Are "Trade Secrets" http://wnpr.org/post/company-says-health-care-exchange-contracts-are-trade-secrets <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The company&nbsp;that got the multimillion-dollar contract to run the call centers for the health care exchange Access Health CT -- called&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Maximus</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;-- is refusing to release invoices and contracts to show exactly how much they are paid by the state.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Wed, 07 May 2014 13:17:19 +0000 Alan Yu 21411 at http://wnpr.org Company Says Health Care Exchange Contracts Are "Trade Secrets" Big Ambitions And Flawed Technology Tripped Up State Exchanges http://wnpr.org/post/big-ambitions-and-flawed-technology-tripped-state-exchanges Among the states that looked to expand health coverage to nearly all their citizens, Massachusetts was an early front-runner.<p>The state passed its own health care law back in 2006 mandating near-universal insurance coverage. That law became a model for federal action. Tue, 06 May 2014 18:13:00 +0000 Scott Hensley 21394 at http://wnpr.org Big Ambitions And Flawed Technology Tripped Up State Exchanges Obama Cracks Wise At White House Correspondents Dinner http://wnpr.org/post/obama-cracks-wise-white-house-correspondents-dinner <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lq_wMv_MeQc</p> Sun, 04 May 2014 06:45:00 +0000 editor 21249 at http://wnpr.org Obama Cracks Wise At White House Correspondents Dinner Lawmaker Supports Highway Tolls; Bill Makes it Easier for Charitable Raffles http://wnpr.org/post/lawmaker-supports-highway-tolls-bill-makes-it-easier-charitable-raffles <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Xgm7Q4JYZbg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p>A key lawmaker in the Connecticut General Assembly is embracing a White House proposal to loosen restrictions on tolling federal interstates. &nbsp;Rocky Hill state Representative Tony Guerrera-- a co-chairman of the legislature’s Transportation Committee-- says that tolls are the answer to Connecticut’s declining gas tax revenues. He said it would also allow the state to reduce its high taxes on gasoline. &nbsp;</p> Fri, 02 May 2014 21:55:43 +0000 Teri McCready 21192 at http://wnpr.org Obamacare Enrollees Emboldened To Leave Jobs, Start Businesses http://wnpr.org/post/obamacare-enrollees-emboldened-leave-jobs-start-businesses Until recently, Mike Smith, 64, of Long Beach, Calif., worked 11 hours a day, Monday through Friday and then half a day on Saturday. He was a district manager for a national auto parts chain.<p>He dreamed of retiring early, but it wasn't an option for him because he and his wife relied on the health insurance tied to his job.<p>"At our age, with some pre-existing medical conditions, it would have been very costly to buy insurance on the open market — about $3,000 a month," he says.<p>But the Affordable Care Act changed that. Smith retired in January. Wed, 30 Apr 2014 01:12:00 +0000 editor 21026 at http://wnpr.org Obamacare Enrollees Emboldened To Leave Jobs, Start Businesses Advocates, State Working to Expand Behavioral Health Coverage For the Poor http://wnpr.org/post/advocates-state-working-expand-behavioral-health-coverage-poor <p></p><p>The Affordable Care Act is all about getting people health insurance. Once they're insured, there's another hurdle: getting them access to care. That's a particular problem for people living on low incomes.</p><p>It's even more of a problem for the poor who seek behavioral health care.&nbsp;</p><p> Tue, 29 Apr 2014 13:43:13 +0000 Jeff Cohen 20961 at http://wnpr.org Advocates, State Working to Expand Behavioral Health Coverage For the Poor Free Dental Clinic Continues to Draw Crowds http://wnpr.org/post/free-dental-clinic-continues-draw-crowds <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">More than 2,000 people waited outside the XL Center in Hartford this past weekend to get free dental work at the Connecticut Mission of Mercy dental clinic.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">There were so many people that hundreds had to line up overnight.</span></p><p> Mon, 28 Apr 2014 14:26:34 +0000 Alan Yu 20886 at http://wnpr.org Free Dental Clinic Continues to Draw Crowds Obama: Affordable Care Act Enrollment Hits 8 Million http://wnpr.org/post/obama-affordable-care-act-enrollment-hits-8-million President Obama says that enrollment under the Affordable Care Act has reached 8 million after the March 31 sign-up deadline was extended by two weeks.<p>"This thing is working," he told reporters at a White House briefing on Thursday.<p>The president said that 35 percent of those signing up through the federal government's website were under the age of 35. Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:22:00 +0000 Scott Neuman 20337 at http://wnpr.org Obama: Affordable Care Act Enrollment Hits 8 Million The Wheelhouse Talks Debates, Obamacare, and ...Burritos? http://wnpr.org/post/wheelhouse-talks-debates-obamacare-and-burritos <p>In this edition of our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we ask two big questions surrounding the 2014 race for governor. What impact will John Rowland's latest scandal have on Republicans? What impact will President Barack Obama have on Governor Dannel Malloy and the state's Democratic congressional delegation?</p><p>Also: did you join the herds of UConn basketball fans in line for $1.00 burritos?</p><p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 13:00:00 +0000 John Dankosky, Tucker Ives, Lydia Brown & Catie Talarski 20232 at http://wnpr.org The Wheelhouse Talks Debates, Obamacare, and ...Burritos? Patients Often Win If They Appeal A Denied Health Claim http://wnpr.org/post/patients-often-win-if-they-appeal-denied-health-claim Federal rules ensure that none of the millions of people who signed up for Obamacare can be denied insurance — but there is no guarantee that all health services will be covered.<p>To help make sure a patient's claims aren't improperly denied, the Affordable Care Act <a href="http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/rights/appeal/appealing-health-plan-decisions.html">creates national standards</a> that allow everyone who is denied treatment to appeal that decision to the insurance company and, if necessary, to a third party reviewer.<p>For Tony Simek, a software engineer in El Mirage, Arizona, appealing Mon, 14 Apr 2014 18:42:00 +0000 editor 20119 at http://wnpr.org Patients Often Win If They Appeal A Denied Health Claim Head of State Health Insurance Exchange Reflects on Lessons Learned http://wnpr.org/post/head-state-health-insurance-exchange-reflects-lessons-learned <p>Now that the deadline for enrollment in Obamacare has passed, the head of Connecticut's health insurance exchange has said he learned a few lessons.</p><p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 19:28:38 +0000 Patrick Skahill 19929 at http://wnpr.org Head of State Health Insurance Exchange Reflects on Lessons Learned Connecticut to Share Its Obamacare Computer Code http://wnpr.org/post/connecticut-share-its-obamacare-computer-code <p>Connecticut's Obamacare enrollment website did well enough this year to attract the interest of other states. Officials from Access Health CT said they are finalizing a deal with the state of Maryland to share computer code.</p><p> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 21:03:24 +0000 Jeff Cohen 19735 at http://wnpr.org Connecticut to Share Its Obamacare Computer Code The Wheelhouse Respects the Process http://wnpr.org/post/wheelhouse-respects-process <p>On Tuesday,&nbsp;<a href="http://wnpr.org/post/rowland-wont-talk-wants-respect-process">former Governor John G. Rowland took to the airwaves </a>at his usual time on his&nbsp;WTIC AM talk show, despite being named in federal court as an alleged co-conspirator to a campaign finance scheme. He wouldn't comment on the accusations, only to say, "I am not going to be discussing the recent news and legal developments. I am sure that you all understand. And I want to respect the process."</p><p> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 13:00:00 +0000 Colin McEnroe, Catie Talarski & Lydia Brown 19450 at http://wnpr.org The Wheelhouse Respects the Process