insurance

Health Insurance Changes
10:00 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Aetna CEO Sees Retail Market in Health Care

Mark Bertolini is CEO of Aetna.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Health care costs are going to be increasingly shifted to consumers. That was the message from Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini at a presentation Wednesday.

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Affordable Care Act
9:27 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Anthem Customers Await Health Care Confirmations

Credit vichie81/iStock / Thinkstock

Health insurer Anthem is still playing catch up on issuing enrollment confirmation to Connecticut consumers who’ve signed up for coverage through the state’s health care exchange.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Is Obamacare Working?

Access Health CT's New Britain storefront.
Arielle Levin Becker The Connecticut Mirror

The Affordable Care Act is the signature piece of the president's domestic agenda and it's now, finally, operational. The question is: Is it working? On Where We Live we talk Obamacare and ask whether it is doing what it promised - helping the nation's poor and uninsured. 

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Affordable Care Act
8:33 am
Tue January 14, 2014

New York Consumers Frustrated By Insurance Delays

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 7:32 am

New York's health insurance marketplace is working, but some consumers are still having problems with insurers. Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield is the state's largest insurer and the target of a lot of consumer complaints.

Affordable Care Act
3:33 am
Tue January 14, 2014

California Hospital Workers Pitch Obamacare To ER Patients

O'Connor Hospital in San Jose, Calif., is encouraging uninsured patients to sign up for coverage in the emergency room.
Sarah Varney for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 11:10 am

Angela Felan is sitting in the ER waiting room at O'Connor Hospital in San Jose, Calif. A blue surgical mask covers her nose and mouth, and a sweatshirt is pulled snug over her head.

She first came into the emergency room a few days ago with what she thought was bronchitis. The doctor prescribed an inhaler that cost her $56.

Felan, 31, works part time in retail and hasn't had insurance for at least a decade because she hasn't been able to afford it. "Unfortunately even not having insurance is just as expensive," she says.

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Affordable Care Act
5:50 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Federal Health Care Enrollees: Older Outnumber Younger

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 9:10 pm

For the first time, we are getting some demographic information about the more than 2 million people who have signed up for private health insurance through the exchanges set up by the federal government.

The New York Times reports that the Obama administration said older, less healthy enrollees outnumber healthy, younger ones. The Times adds:

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Access Health CT
4:28 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Private Insurer Struggles to Keep Up With Wave of Health Care Enrollments

Access Health CT CEO Kevin Counihan said Anthem has faced "some challenges" making sure billing statements and proof of insurance is getting to new enrollees in a timely fashion.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The head of the state's insurance marketplace said his number one priority right now is making sure people who signed up for health care coverage can get it. So far, about 40,000 Connecticut residents have enrolled in private insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act. Access Health CT CEO Kevin Counihan said that number rapidly growing.

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Pocket Technology
5:45 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Trouble Getting in a Workout? Try an App That Fines You When You Slack

The Pact team in San Francisco with Yifan Zhang, CEO, at the center.
Pact

  We live in an age where our cell phones tell us how much to exercise and what to eat. And people find that it's helping them. 

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Unpaid Wages
3:50 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

In Hartford Scandal, State Officials Seek to Arrest O'Garro

Earl O'Garro.
Credit Mike Priggins and Kyle Reyes / under30ceo.com

It's not getting any better for troubled insurance broker Earl O'Garro. The man at the center of a federal grand jury investigation in Hartford may soon be arrested for not paying his employees. 

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Hartford Insurance Scandal
3:40 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

In 2011, Tension Between O'Garro and Former Employer

Earl O'Garro.
Credit Fortnight Journal

There are new questions about the business background of Earl O'Garro -- the insurance broker at the center of a federal grand jury investigation in Hartford. 

In emails obtained from the city of Hartford, it's clear that O'Garro's former employer considered suing him once he left.

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Affordable Care Act
12:50 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Despite Health Law, Many People May Be Left Underinsured

Insurance coverage is only one part of the health puzzle.
iStockphoto

People with chronic conditions will be better protected from crippling medical bills starting in January, as the health law's coverage requirements and spending limits take effect.

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Hartford Insurance Investigation
11:00 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Message to Earl O'Garro: The State is Coming for Its Money

Earl O'Garro's Marlborough home.
Credit Town Of Marlborough

Lawyers for the state are moving to seize property owned by embattled Hartford insurance broker Earl O'Garro, according to the office of the state attorney general.

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Affordable Care Act
10:03 am
Sun December 29, 2013

Enrollment Through Federal Health Market Surges In December

Alicia Martinez tries to sign up for a health care plan at a Miami Enrollment Assistance Center on Dec. 20, in Miami, Fla.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 1:49 pm

The White House released new figures on Sunday that show a surge in the number of Americans who have signed up for health insurance through the federal marketplace.

According to a blog post by Marilynn Tavenner, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administrator, 1.1 million Americans have signed up for coverage since the marketplace opened in October.

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Access Health CT
4:00 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

State: Obamacare Enrollment Surging Before Deadline

Credit BrianAJackson/iStock / Thinkstock

Officials running the state's new health care exchange say thousands of people are enrolling for insurance as Monday's deadline draws near.

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Hartford Insurance Investigation
1:15 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

More Answers About Hartford Treasurer's NYC Visit

Hartford City Hall.
Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

Ever since news broke that a federal grand jury was looking into dealings between insurance broker Earl O'Garro and the city of Hartford, there's been a question: How well do O'Garro and city Treasurer Adam Cloud know each other? Now we have a few more answers. 

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O'Garro and Cloud
8:55 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Hartford Auditor: a Problem Like Cloud's Could Happen Again

The City of Hartford's Internal Audit Commission.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

An auditor for the city of Hartford said he has no confidence that the kinds of protocol breaches that got the city treasurer and former finance director in trouble won't happen again.

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Affordable Care Act
2:44 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Highs and Lows for Access Health CT

Kevin Counihan
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut's rollout of the Affordable Care Act has gotten its share of praise. But it's had its share of challenges, too.

Kevin Counihan runs Access Health CT, the agency handling the state's implementation of the new health care law. He said of the more than 300,000 people without insurance in Connecticut, over 47,000 have enrolled for coverage since October 1.

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Affordable Care Act
1:37 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Health Exchange Enrollment By State, In 2 Charts

HHS

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 3:48 pm

Numbers released by the Obama administration show enrollment in health exchanges edged up in November, but the uptake remains far short of the administration's initial targets.

Roughly 264,000 people signed up for private insurance coverage last month through the federal and state exchanges, according to data from the Health and Human Services Department. That brings the total to about 364,000 for October and November.

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Employer Health Care
10:49 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Will Your Health Plan Become Like Your 401K?

Access Health CT's latest enrollment stats, as of December 5, 2013.

The Affordable Care Act wasn't aimed at people who already get health care through their employers, but it's having such a revolutionary effect on the marketplace, they might end up feeling its effects anyway. 

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Access Health CT
8:27 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Connecticut's Health Exchange Continues Enrollments, Seeks to Help Find "Best Value"

Credit Gubcio / iStock / Thinkstock

Access Health CT, the state's insurance exchange, said it has now signed up more than 23,000 people for health plans.

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Hartford Insurance Investigation
11:48 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Hartford Releases Documents Given to Federal Grand Jury

Earl O'Garro.
Credit Fortnight Journal

Last month, the city of Hartford gave a series of documents to a federal grand jury looking into the business dealings of troubled insurance broker Earl O’Garro. Now, the city has released those documents publicly.

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Mental Health
10:43 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Rule Spells Out How Insurers Must Cover Mental Health Care

Insurance plans that offer mental health benefits have to keep them in line with the coverage for medical care.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 4:41 pm

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 requires health plans that offer benefits for mental health and substance use to cover them to the same extent that they cover medical and surgical care.

Among other things, the law prohibits treatment limits and copayments or deductibles that are more restrictive than a plan's medical coverage.

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Affordable Care Act
3:08 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

'This Law Is Working,' Obama Says Of Health Care

While conceding that "more problems may pop up as they always do when you're launching something new," President Obama on Tuesday said the troubled HealthCare.gov website "is working well for the vast majority of users" and his Affordable Care Act "is working and will work into the future."

"We may never satisfy the law's opponents," Obama added during an afternoon event at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House. But, he said, "we know the demand [for health insurance] is there and we know the product on these marketplaces is good."

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Hartford Insurance Investigation
12:51 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

For O'Garro, Debts Large and Small

Earl O'Garro.
Credit Fortnight Journal

The line of people who want their money from Earl O'Garro continues to grow.

O'Garro is the man at the center of a federal grand jury investigation looking into $670,000 in missing taxpayer money. The city of Hartford paid him to pay its insurance bills, and he apparently never did.  

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Affordable Care Act
10:19 am
Sun December 1, 2013

HealthCare.gov Is Now Working Smoothly, White House Says

The HealthCare.gov website.
Jon Elswick ap

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 11:07 am

White House officials say the government's health insurance website, which has been plagued with problems ever since it launched in October, is now working smoothly for most users.

"The site is now stable and operating at its intended capacity with greatly improved performance," Jeffrey Zients, the president's appointee to fix the site, said during a telephone conference with reporters on Sunday. The bottom line, said Zients, is that Healthcare.gov is "night and day" from what it was at launch.

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Health Insurance
9:16 am
Mon November 25, 2013

No Individual Health Insurance Policy Fix for Connecticut

Deputy Insurance Commissioner Anne Melissa Dowling gives evidence to lawmakers
Credit CT-N

Individuals who've received cancelation notices on their health insurance policies in Connecticut must now find an alternative. Governor Dannel Malloy said he will not allow insurance companies to renew plans that don't comply with the Affordable Care Act, rejecting President Obama's fix announced last week.

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Affordable Care Act
5:43 am
Sun November 24, 2013

Colorado Ads Use Sex And Alcohol To Sell Health Insurance

This controversial ad riffing off the legendary "got milk?" campaign is one of several marketing health insurance to young people in Colorado.
Thanks Obamacare campaign

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 1:41 pm

Try this on for size: The Affordable Care Act is good for young adults because it'll save them money on health care, leaving them more to spend on liquor and birth control.

That's one way to interpret the message from a provocative new ad campaign in Colorado. Not everyone is thrilled with it.

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Affordable Care Act
12:23 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Connecticut Rejects Individual Health Policy Fix

Governor Dannel Malloy extended the health care enrollment deadline to December 22.
Credit Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy said he will not allow insurance companies to renew non-compliant health plans in Connecticut, rejecting President Obama's fix announced last week. The President left it to states to decide whether to adopt his change, which was a response to news that hundreds of thousands of people across the country had received insurance cancelation notices. 

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Ethics In Hartford
4:52 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Ethics Codes, Labor Law, and Adam Cloud

Hartford City Hall.
Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

Hartford city auditors have said that Treasurer Adam Cloud had an apparent conflict of interest when it came to his family's business relationship with a city insurance broker. But this isn't Cloud's first run-in with the ethics code.

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Hartford Insurance Scandal
5:59 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Cloud's Attorney Sheds Light on NYC Hotel Stay

Hartford Treasurer Adam Cloud.
Credit City of Hartford

Earlier this week, we reported that there were unanswered questions about a receipt for a New York City hotel room billed to the city of Hartford. On the reservation were city treasurer Adam Cloud and embattled insurance broker Earl O'Garro -- two men named in a federal investigation into nearly $700,000 in missing taxpayer money.

Now, Cloud's attorney is providing some answers. 

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