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Affordable Care Act

Connecticut, like other states, launched an online health exchange -- Access Health CT -- where residents can shop for and purchase health insurance. There could be new opportunities for the unemployed or uninsured to receive health insurance. Here, we gather our coverage of changes under the new federal law.

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Customers on Connecticut’s health care exchange use medical services at a much higher rate than non-exchange customers, according to insurance providers. 

Courtesy of Access Health CT

Access Health CT, the state’s health care exchange, finally knows what it will be able to offer its consumers next year, as ConnectiCare agrees to continue to offer plans. But the problem of unaffordable healthcare remains. 

ConnectiCare

Health insurer ConnectiCare has backed down and announced it will sell plans on the state’s health care exchange next year. The Farmington-based company withdrew its legal and regulatory appeals against the rates determined by the Connecticut Insurance Department. 

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It was revealed Monday that health insurer ConnectiCare has already quit the state’s health care exchange as it threatened. But the company still wants to find a way to continue to provide Obamacare plans, and has launched a rate appeal with Connecticut's insurance department. 

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Double-digit hikes in premiums look set to make health insurance even less affordable in Connecticut. But advocates say there will be few quick fixes for the rising cost of health care. 

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Connecticut-based health insurer Aetna is calling off its public insurance exchange expansion plans for next year as it becomes the latest big insurer to cast doubt on the future of a key element of the Affordable Care Act.

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Single-family home sales in Connecticut rose a bit over four percent in June, according to the latest report from The Warren Group, a banking and real estate trade publisher.

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Insurance brokers are concerned that they may no longer get commissions for business they sell on the state’s healthcare exchange, Access Health CT.

President Obama on Monday called on Congress to revisit the controversial idea of providing a government-run insurance plan as part of the offerings under the Affordable Care Act.

What's been described as the "public option" was jettisoned from the health law in 2009 by a handful of conservative Democrats in the Senate. Every Democrat's vote was needed to pass the bill in the face of unanimous Republican opposition.

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Connecticut’s Insurance Commissioner Katharine Wade said the 40,000 customers of HealthyCT shouldn’t panic about news that the health insurer looks likely to go out of business. Wade said her department will make sure that consumers experience a smooth transition.

The Obama administration is making it easier for people addicted to opioids to get treatment.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced new rules Wednesday to loosen restrictions on doctors who treat people addicted to heroin and opioid painkillers with the medication buprenorphine.

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Connecticut's Department of Insurance is reviewing rate increase requests filed by 14 health insurance companies that range on average from 2.1 percent to 32 percent. 

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A decision by the U.S. Supreme Court last week effectively limits the amount of healthcare claims information a state can gather. But one Connecticut official says the decision may not be the blow that many people think. 

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Roughly 8,000 people in Connecticut failed to pay their first month's premium for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.  And that means that they won't be covered under Obamacare this year. 

Hillary Clinton wants you to know that she was doing health care before health care was cool.

"You know, before it was called Obamacare it was called Hillarycare," Clinton said recently at a rally in Elko, Nev.

It's a stock line these days in her stump speeches and debates.

The term Hillarycare was coined back in the 1990s, when Clinton tried and failed to restructure the U.S. health care system during her husband's first term as president. It was supposed to be an insult, but now she's embracing it.

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More than 116,000 people signed up for private insurance through Obamacare in the program's third year of open enrollment. 

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has notified the federal government that Kentucky will dismantle its state health insurance exchange, Kynect.

The move will direct Kentuckians seeking health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, to use the federal health insurance site, HealthCare.gov.

More than 500,000 people have gotten health insurance through Kynect.

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Businesses are heaving a sigh of relief after the IRS relaxed new paperwork rules around the Affordable Care Act. But one expert is warning that the change may make life more difficult for employees.

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Open enrollment for the third year of the Affordable Care Act is ongoing, but at least one deadline has already passed. 

Many Health Co-Ops Fold, Others Survive Startup Struggles

Nov 26, 2015

Thousands of Americans are again searching for health insurance after losing it for 2016. That's partly because some large, low-cost insurers — health cooperatives, set up under the Affordable Care Act — are folding in a dozen states.

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Health insurance co-ops are companies that were given federal incentives to compete for business under the Affordable Care Act. Roughly two dozen of them set up shop across the country. Now, only half are still in business, and one of them is in Connecticut. 

Courtesy of Access Health CT

The third year of health insurance enrollment under the Affordable Care Act is here. But the goal now isn’t just increasing the number of people with insurance. It’s also making sure they go to the doctor. 

Month after month, Natalia Pedroza showed up at the doctor's office with uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure. Her medications never seemed to work, and she kept returning to the emergency room in crisis.

Walfred Lopez, a Los Angeles County community health worker, was determined to figure out why.

As a member of the Navajo tribe, Rochelle Jake has received free care through the Indian Health Service her entire life. The IHS clinics took care of her asthma, allergies and eczema — chronic problems, nothing urgent.

Recently, though, she felt sharp pains in her side. Her doctor recommended an MRI and other tests she couldn't get through IHS. To pay for them, he urged her to sign up for private insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

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The legislature recently made it harder for parents to stay on Husky, Connecticut's version of Medicaid. The state said that around 1,200 people risk losing their insurance coverage at the end of the month if they take no action.

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Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Johnson waged a war on poverty  to rebuild America as a “Great Society” where “no child will go unfed, and no youngster will go unschooled.” 

Medicaid was enacted in 1965 as part of sweeping legislation to provide food, education, healthcare and jobs to millions in poverty.  Once a benefit for poor single parents and their kids, Medicaid now covers mental illness, disabilities, the elderly and most recently, millions of the previously uninsured through Obamacare.

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