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.

Thomas Good, Wikimedia Commons; SROPhotos, Flickr Creative Commo

Are you ready for the 2014 gubernatorial election? We don't know if we are, but we're wading into it anyway after Senate Minority Leader John McKinney announced his bid for the governor's mansion.

On Tuesday, President Obama announced that one-year delay for a crucial aspect of his Affordable Care Act. The delay gives businesses another year to figure out how to comply with the law.

Hospitals are making cuts to programs and staffing following the passage of the new state budget. WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports. First, St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford cut funding to a city infant mortality program. Then, last week, Waterbury Hospital announced it is cutting its workforce. Both hospitals blamed the cuts on a decrease in state funding.

The state has a problem. People who apply for food and medical benefits often face substantial delays before finally getting their approvals. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, it's an issue that has now twice ended up in federal court. Advocates for the poor say the solution is in the staffing.

Commercial insurers are very close to revealing the rates they’ll charge for healthcare plans under the new Connecticut healthcare exchange. It’s been a long, uncertain road to get here.

Commercial insurers are very close to revealing the rates they’ll charge for healthcare plans under the new Connecticut healthcare exchange. As WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, it’s been a long, uncertain road to get here.

Harriet Jones

Connecticut's system of primary healthcare still relies heavily on small, physician-owned practices. It's a quaint hangover in a world that's increasingly dominated by large multi-specialty groups, and hospital-owned practices. But as WNPR's Harriet Jones reports, Connecticut's small practice doctors are looking to wield just a bit more clout.

Dr Doug Gerard sees his last patient of the morning. He's an internist in New Hartford, the only primary care doctor in town.

"Knock on wood, I haven't missed a day in practice due to illness since the beginning."

Obamacare Explained

Feb 1, 2013
courtesy Barbara Glassman Dell, MetroHartford Alliance

The Affordable Care Act is nothing if not complicated. Now a series of workshops aims to educate Connecticut employers about just how to comply. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

 

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Earlier this week Connecticut became one of six states to get the go ahead from the federal government to set up a health exchange, an online store for buying health insurance.

All 50 states must offer a health exchange by October as part of Obamacare.

Joining us by phone is Kevin Counihan, CEO of the Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange.

With legal and political battles over the Affordable Care Act all but settled, it now appears that the health care overhaul law is here to stay. The goal of the law is to promise insurance coverage for more Americans and, if it works, increase access to care.

Chion Wolf

We get together a few times a year to talk about the issues that face small businesspeople in Connecticut.  And today's topic is Health Care.

As Connecticut officials try to comply with the Affordable Care Act and provide health coverage to the uninsured, they have a big question to answer: Just who are the state's uninsured? Jeff Cohen has this report.

Connecticut has over 300,000 people without health insurance. Of them, more than 200,000 are adults who will be able to buy insurance from the state's new online marketplace -- called an exchange -- come 2014. These are adults who aren't poor enough for Medicaid and who don't have insurance of their own.

Last week, lawmakers didn't act on a proposal to expand membership on a board that will help shape the future of health care in the state. WNPR's Jeff Cohen explains.

As part of the controversial Affordable Care Act, states across the country are working to set up what are called exchanges -- marketplaces that will eventually let the uninsured comparison shop health insurance plans. In Connecticut, that process is run by a board. The board will decide which types of benefits insurance companies will have to offer as part of their plans.

A bill that would prohibit insurers from charging patients for colonoscopies that end up as surgical procedures passed the legislature. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, it now awaits the governor's approval.

Not long ago, we told you about an oddity in health insurance. It went like this. Under the nation's new health care law, called the Affordable Care Act, most preventative screenings should come at no additional cost to patients. But what happens when a screening turns into a treatment? Here's what happens.

Earlier this month, the Obama administration said it wanted to let states play a bigger role in deciding what kinds of benefits should be covered by health insurance. Now, as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, some advocates in Connecticut want to be sure that consumers have a voice in the state's decision, too. The Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010. By 2014, those without insurance will have the option of getting it through a state-administered exchange. 

As the U-S Supreme Court prepares to test the constitutionality of President Obama's signature health care reform law, state officials across the country are trying to figure out the best ways to implement it -- even if they don't think it's the best option out there.  Victoria Veltri is Connecticut's health care advocate.  As the state gears up for the introduction of its private health insurance exchange, where those without insurance can buy it, Veltri told WNPR's Where We Live that she'd like to see something totally different.  A public health insurance plan.

Chion Wolf

Connecticut’s new healthcare advocate, Victoria Veltri is tasked with helping residents through the maze of health care laws, regulations and roadblocks.

Veltri’s involved in disputes between insurance carriers and health care providers; disputes about the state’s Medicaid program for low-income adults; and about the implementation of state health exchanges.

The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether it's constitutional to make Americans buy health insurance -- and if not, whether the rest of the health care overhaul can take effect.  The court's announcement means some uncertainty for Connecticut and states across the country.

One year ago today President Obama signed into law his health care reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Today at the state Capitol a host of supporters, including most of Connecticut's Washington delegation, will join together to celebrate the anniversary.  We checked in with Judith Stein, the executive director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy, to hear how this law has affected Connecticut residents over the past year.

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