Georgia Gov. Kemp's health care waivers win federal approval
ATLANTA — The federal government will approve Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s plan to reshape Medicaid and individual insurance in Georgia under the Affordable Care Act, the governor and a top Trump administration health official announced on Thursday.Kemp says the proposals aim to create a pathway along several steps — for those who qualify — from being unemployed and uninsured, to eventually having insurance and being engaged in the community.To do that, Kemp plans to expand Medicaid coverage to about 50,000 of the state’s 408,000 uninsured, extremely poor adults. To qualify, recipients would have...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Commentary: Barrett will destroy the Affordable Care Act
If Republican senators steamroll Amy Coney Barrett onto the Supreme Court, she could become the crucial fifth vote to overturn the Affordable Care Act, sometimes called Obamacare. That represents a serious threat to families of color.This isn’t a theoretical discussion. The Supreme Court is slated to hear oral arguments on the Trump administration’s latest attempt to overturn the ACA on Nov. 10, exactly one week after the presidential election. Barrett could be a justice by then.The Trump team’s latest effort to kill the health care law turns on its penalty for not having insurance, which the ...
Tribune News Service
Medicare fall enrollment opens Oct. 15. Here's what is new this year
Medicare’s fall enrollment period, which this year is Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, is a time for seniors to review their coverage and make changes for the coming year.Whether you have traditional Medicare with a supplement to cover out-of-pocket costs plus a stand-alone drug plan, or a Medicare Advantage plan that wraps coverage together in one package, there are always small tweaks to plans that are worth reviewing. Plans may change which brands of drugs are covered, or which doctors are in-network, and you don’t want to discover that next year when it’s too late to switch.Wading through the many ...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
The COVID-19 pandemic may make getting health insurance harder. Here's why
The high cost of treating COVID-19, its long-term health complications for those who recover, and the economic ramifications of the pandemic are driving home the value of the protections created under the Affordable Care Act — and how much trouble many Americans will find themselves in if the law is overturned.A week after the presidential election, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments in a lawsuit brought by Texas and a group of Republican attorneys general that seeks to get rid of the Obama-era health-care law. An opinion is expected to be handed down next year.If the court d...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
UnitedHealthcare launches big Medicare expansion
UnitedHealthcare is trying to grow its already large business selling Medicare Advantage health plans by adding 271 counties to its nationwide service area.It’s the company’s “largest footprint expansion in five years,” the Minnetonka, Minn.-based health insurance giant said in a Thursday announcement. The service area will grow by roughly 16%, the insurer says, to a total of 2,117 counties.UnitedHealthcare’s push is just one of several changes for 2021 that insurers are announcing with the start Thursday of the annual marketing season for Medicare Advantage health plans as well as prescriptio...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
KC's largest healthcare insurance provider will return to Obamacare exchange in 2021
KANSAS CITY — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, the area’s largest healthcare insurance provider, will return to the Affordable Care Act marketplace next year after leaving it in 2018.The insurer lost more than $100 million on its exchange plans from 2014 to 2017, calling the losses “unsustainable” when it announced in May 2017 that it was dropping out of the ACA, commonly known as Obamacare.Blue KC had struggled to make more money on the exchange than it paid in claims. But the marketplace is more stable in 2020 and there is new need in the scores of people who have lost their jobs a...
The Kansas City Star
What Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death could mean for millions of Americans with Obamacare
The future of the Affordable Care Act — under which millions of Americans gained health insurance — has become more uncertain with the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a case challenging the law, also known as Obamacare, Nov. 10. In the past, the court has upheld the law by a narrow margin, with Ginsburg voting to support it. Her death increases the chance that the court could rule in a way that would invalidate or weaken the law.“This really, in some ways, puts a bull’s-eye on the Affordable Care Act,” said Audra Wilson, president ...
'Abortion is healthcare' billboards in Illinois area remind people that Medicaid covers the medical procedure
CHICAGO — After then-Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill in 2017 expanding Medicaid coverage of abortion costs, employees at the Chicago Abortion Fund were still hearing from people who were Medicaid-eligible, or already had Medicaid, who didn’t know that their abortion procedures could be covered.“In a lot of instances, they were delaying that care while trying to come up with the money, and this whole time they could’ve been able to access care,” said Megan Jeyifo, executive director of the Chicago Abortion Fund, an organization that helps people emotionally and financially as they seek...
'It's always a scary thing': Millions of Americans may have recently lost health insurance
CHICAGO — If Vahap Sarac and his wife can’t find affordable health insurance for their family soon, they’re considering sending their young daughters to live with their grandparents in Estonia.Sarac was furloughed from his job as a banquet captain at the Palmer House Hilton hotel when COVID-19 hit in mid-March, after working there for more than 30 years. The health insurance coverage he has through his job is scheduled to end Oct. 1.Estonia has a far lower rate of deaths from COVID-19 than the U.S. and near-universal health coverage.“We don’t want to separate from our kids,” said Sarac, 55 of ...
Chaos? Irrelevant? Pandemic shifts Affordable Care Act legal fight
AUSTIN, Texas — A lot has happened since March 2, when the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Texas’ bid to strike down the Affordable Care Act.Two days later, Texas discovered its first case of COVID-19, and Gov. Greg Abbott declared a statewide emergency over the pandemic nine days after that.As the coronavirus spread over the next five months — cutting short more than 161,000 lives nationwide — the toll has changed the tenor of the case before the country’s highest court.Supporters of the wide-ranging law have flooded the court with pleas to preserve the Affordable Care Act, arguing that it ...