Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 2:12 pm
If you are buying health coverage in the Colorado ski resort towns, the Connecticut suburbs of New York City or a bunch of otherwise low-cost rural regions of Georgia, Mississippi and Nevada, you have the misfortune of living in the most expensive insurance marketplaces under the new health law.
A federal grand jury is looking into the business dealings of Hartford insurance broker Earl O'Garro. And from the beginning, what raised eyebrows was the relationship between O'Garro and city Treasurer Adam Cloud -- O'Garro did business with Cloud's family.
Now, there's another development. A woman who was a paid campaign consultant for Cloud's 2011 campaign also got a job with Hybrid.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.