health insurance

Because Of COVID-19: People Are Losing Health Insurance

Sep 3, 2020
Image via Pixabay

There are few aspects of life that have not been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Side Effects Public Media has launched a Facebook Live series called “Because of COVID-19” to examine these ripple effects and offer solutions and resources.

Our first edition looked at the way many people have lost their jobs and their employer-provided health insurance due to layoffs and business closures. 

Christine Herman/Illinois Public Media

After Rebecca and Bruce Austin gave birth to their daughter, they struggled to get pregnant again. So they signed up to become foster parents.

“I wouldn’t change it for anything,” says Rebecca, reflecting on the past nine years. 


Sam Horton/Indiana Public Broadcasting.

Farmers across the Midwest are facing tight profit margins and rising healthcare costs. And that means some hold off getting medical treatment or forgo health insurance altogether. In response, some state farm bureaus are trying to fill that gap by creating their own group health plan.

Why This Free Health Clinic Is Pushing To Expand Medicaid

Dec 26, 2019
Sebastián Martínez Valdivia / Side Effects Public Media

On a chilly afternoon, Terry Cox has come to Mountain View, Mo., to see a dentist. He’s waiting on a bench outside a converted rectory.

“Came to get a tooth check and see what they got to do to it," Cox says. "Maybe get ‘em all out.”

The 56-year-old works in northern Arkansas, and drove an hour and a half to the Good Samaritan Care Clinic.

It’s open enrollment season for the health insurance marketplace established by the Affordable Care Act. But many people who need to sign up may not know it. The Trump administration has made a number of moves to diminish the law, including cuts to marketing and outreach. That creates obstacles for groups that help people sign up. 

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

new report finds the number of children without health insurance in Indiana has increased. This is the second year the state has followed this national trend.

The percentage of uninsured children in Indiana went up from 5.9 percent in 2016 to 6.6 percent in 2018. Georgetown University Center for Children and Families executive director Joan Alker, says Indiana is one of 13 states with increases this significant. 

Lindsey Moon / Side Effects Public Media

For months, Democratic presidential candidates have been swarming Iowa, seeking support for the caucuses on February 3. Healthcare -- and how to pay for it -- is one of the biggest issues for voters. More than half of the state’s hospitals are operating in the red, while per capita spending on health care is rising sharply. So what are the candidates proposing when it comes to Medicare?


Paige Pfleger, Side Effects Public Media

Holmes Co., Ohio, is a patchwork of farmland. Modest houses perch on sloping hills and laundry hangs from clothes lines, flapping in the wind. There are horses and buggies – some driven by farmers in straw hats, others by women with their hair covered in bonnets, babies on their laps.

Holmes is one of the healthiest counties in Ohio. It’s also the least insured.

Today was the start date for a federal policy that gives companies more leeway to skip insurance coverage for contraceptives. Companies can now limit coverage on moral or religious grounds -- so fewer women are likely to get coverage.

SARAH FENTEM | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

People with rare metabolic disorders need medical foods to keep from going hungry, but costs and regulations mean some go without or have to find a workaround.

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To an outsider, the fancy booths at last month’s health insurance industry gathering in San Diego aren’t very compelling. A handful of companies pitching “lifestyle” data and salespeople touting jargony phrases like “social determinants of health.”

But dig deeper and the implications of what they’re selling might give many patients pause: A future in which everything you do — the things you buy, the food you eat, the time you spend watching TV — may help determine how much you pay for health insurance.

Sarah Fentem / Side Effects Public Media

Members who fail to renew coverage under Indiana’s Medicaid program will be subject to a six-month suspension period. That’s despite previous notice in 2016 from the federal government that the state can’t enforce such lockouts.

Sarah Fentem / Side Effects Public Media

The federal government has granted a one-month extension to Indiana’s Medicaid program, known as the Healthy Indiana Plan, or HIP 2.0, which was set to expire this month.

This buys time for the state and federal government to finalize details of how the program works, according to a press release from Gov. Eric Holcomb's office. 

Kentucky got the green light from the federal government Friday to require people who get Medicaid to work. It's a big change from the Obama administration, which rejected overtures from states that wanted to add a work requirement.

Sarah Fentem / Side Effects Public Media

This year’s enrollment on the federal healthcare marketplace dipped just slightly in Indiana, despite a shortened sign-up period and a drop in federal navigator funding.


Trump Administration Rule Paves Way For Association Health Plans

Jan 5, 2018
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The Department of Labor on Thursday released proposed new rules that proponents say will make it easier for businesses to band together in “associations” to buy health insurance.

The bill passed by Congress late Thursday to keep most of the federal government funded for another month also provided a temporary reprieve to a number of health programs in danger of running out of money, most notably the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP.

urbanworkbench / https://www.flickr.com/photos/urbanworkbench/

Indiana emergency physicians are concerned a new insurance policy to curb emergency department visits could scare away patients. The policy, already in place in three other states, will take effect for Indiana Anthem policy holders next month.

Five Takeaways From The Congressional CHIP Impasse

Dec 14, 2017

Two months past its deadline, Congress has yet to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program, leaving several states scrambling for cash.

Updated at 8 p.m. ET

CVS is preparing to buy the health insurance giant Aetna for $69 billion, the companies say.

This week, Colorado became the first state to notify families that children who receive health insurance through the Children's Health Insurance Program are in danger of losing their coverage.

Updated 5:56 p.m. ET

Senate Republicans now plan to try to repeal the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate as part of a tax overhaul bill.

Several Senate Republicans said Tuesday that including the repeal in tax legislation, currently making its way through a key Senate committee, would allow them to further reduce tax rates for individuals without adding more to the deficit.

Some States Roll Back 'Retroactive Medicaid,’ A Buffer For The Poor

Nov 14, 2017

If you’re poor, uninsured and fall seriously ill, in most states if you qualify for Medicaid — but weren’t enrolled at the time — the program will pay your medical bills going back three months. It protects hospitals, too, from having to absorb the costs of caring for these patients.

Rock And Enroll: Open Enrollment Questions, Answered

Nov 1, 2017
healthcare.gov

Nov. 1 marks the first day of 2018 open enrollment, the period in which people can sign up for insurance through healthcare.gov. The Affordable Care Act has been through the legislative wringer this year, and there are plenty of changes this period for people buying insurance on the marketplace. WFIU’s Becca Costello and Side Effects’ Sarah Fentem answer some open enrollment questions — with the help of some policy experts.

Sarah Fentem / Side Effects Public Media

Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act exchange starts this week. But customers shopping for 2018 plans may not get as much help as they have in previous years.


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