Affordable Care Act

News and updates about the Affordable Care act.

Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare Subsidies

Jun 25, 2015

The Affordable Care Act survived its second Supreme Court test in three years, raising odds for its survival but by no means ending the legal and political assaults on it five years after it became law.

Marlene Allen thought she had decent medical coverage after she fell in December and broke her wrist. She had come in from walking the dogs. It was wet. The fracture needed surgery and screws and a plate.

Weeks later, she learned her employer health plan would cover nothing. Not the initial doctor visit, not the outpatient surgery, not the anesthesiology. She had $19,000 in bills.

“Make sure you find out what kind of plan it is” when employers offer coverage, advises Allen, who lives in northern Minnesota. “I thought health insurance was health insurance.”

Coinsurance? Premium tax credit? HMO and PPO?

Swimming through the health insurance word soup can be frustrating for anyone. Even though I cover health, I couldn't define "cost-sharing reduction plan" until I Googled it just now.

What Health Law? Many Poor People Still Unaware Of Obamacare Options

Jun 11, 2015
A Kynect booth at the Kentucky Bourbon Festival in Bardestown, Ky., in 2013.
Phil Galewitz / KHN

Even in Kentucky, which championed the 2010 health care law by expanding Medicaid and running its own insurance marketplace, about half of poor people say they have heard little about the Affordable Care Act, according to a Harvard University study published Monday in Health Affairs.

State Obamacare Exchanges Experience Growing Pains

Jun 4, 2015

The states that set up their own insurance marketplaces have nothing to lose in King v. Burwell, the big Supreme Court case that will be decided by the end of June. But that doesn't mean those states are breathing easy.

With varying degrees of difficulty, all of the state-based exchanges are struggling to figure out how to become financially self-sufficient as the spigot of federal start-up money shuts off.

While studying to become a paralegal and working as a temp, Symphonie Dawson kept feeling sick. She found out it was because she was pregnant.

Living with her mom and two siblings near Dallas, Dawson, then 23, worried about what to expect during pregnancy and what giving birth would be like. She also didn't know how she would juggle having a baby with being in school.

Free means free.

The Obama administration said Monday that health plans must offer at least one option for every type of prescription birth control free of charge to consumers. The instructions clarify the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate.

shadow of a dune in Death Valley
By Brocken Inaglory (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

This Grace Notes essay originally aired on August 30, 2009.

Moments before I said goodbye to her family, I had gripped the hand of her brother-in-law as her pastor finished the prayer that he began with the Twenty-Third Psalm. He offered up his thanks for the miracle of her life, for the doctors and nurses who cared for her during her several-month struggle with acute leukemia, and for the steadfast love of her family.

Many women were thrilled when the Affordable Care Act became law in 2010, because it required insurance companies to cover a broad array of women's health services without any out-of-pocket costs.

Five years later, however, the requirement isn't being enforced, according to two new studies. Health insurance plans around the country are failing to provide many of those legally mandated services including birth control and cancer screenings.

The old saying goes, "Nothing is certain except death and taxes." But the Affordable Care Act has added a new wrinkle.

For many policyholders, the ACA has introduced a good deal of uncertainty about their tax bills. That has led to surprise refunds for some and higher-than-expected tax payments for others.

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