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Category archives for: Health Care

Obamacare 2.0: Open Enrollment Starts With Few Glitches as Floridians Sign Up Over the Weekend

| November 17, 2014

Sharply contrasting with last year’s roll-out, enrollment for the Affordable Care Act, which started Saturday, has gone smoothly, as the federal government expects nearly 10 million insured by the time the window closes in February.

Judge Throws Out Florida’s Medical Marijuana Rules, Calling Them Vague and “Unbridled”

| November 15, 2014

Administrative Law Judge W. David Watkins sided with Miami-based Costa Farms and others that objected to the Department of Health’s use of a lottery to pick five licensees that will grow, process and distribute strains of non-euphoric marijuana authorized by the Legislature and approved by Gov. Rick Scott earlier this year.

Florida Hospital Flagler Names Chief Medical Officer and OR’s Nurse Manager

| October 17, 2014

Florida Hospital Flagler announced this week the appointment of Dr. Ronald Thomas as the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Lauretta Kiniery as the nurse manager for the hospital’s operating rooms, sterile processing department and endoscopy department.

Florida Hospital Flagler To See Medicare Payments Reduced 0.37% Per Patient, one of 148 Penalized in State

| October 7, 2014

The penalty is intended to jolt hospitals to pay attention to what happens to their patients after they leave and reduce the rate of readmission of Medicare patients.

Canceled Health Insurance: Round 2 Approaching, And It’ll Cost You More

| October 5, 2014

Thousands of consumers who were granted a reprieve to keep insurance plans that don’t meet the federal health law’s standards are now learning those plans will be discontinued at year’s end, and they’ll have to choose a new policy, which may cost more.

Nursing Home Surveillance: Should You Be Able to Spy On Your Grandma’s Caretakers?

| September 29, 2014

Illinois may be about to join at least four other states that have laws or regulations allowing residents to maintain cameras in nursing home patients’ rooms. Florida is not among them.

Insurers’ Latest Ploy: Shifting Costs to the Sick By Making Them Pay More For Drugs

| September 18, 2014

The Affordable Care Act is designed to forbid it, but health insurers are finding a new way to extract money from policy holders with pre-existing conditions–by steering them to more expensive drugs.

Family Insurance Premiums Rise Modestly For 3rd Year, But Still Approach $17,000

| September 11, 2014

While both critics and supporters of the Affordable Care Act are likely to find fodder for their positions, the report portrays 2014 as a relatively stable year for employer coverage, with little change in the type of plans offered or their costs.

Florida’s Obamacare Enrollment Projected To Rise to 1.1 Million by Next Year

| September 2, 2014

The number of Floridians enrolled in individual health plans under the Affordable Care Act in June was 866,485, with a 23 percent increase projected by 2015.

In Florida and Elsewhere, Obamacare Still GOP’s Favored Bait Even as Repeal Talk Fades

| August 25, 2014

Rather than just calling for repeal, Republican candidates focus on arguments about how the law is hurting consumers, government budgets or the economy even as millions of Americans have gained coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

1 in 6 Big Businesses Planning to Offer “Junk” Health Insurance Below ACA Standards

| August 18, 2014

Many thought such low-benefit “skinny plans” would be history once the health law was implemented. Instead, 16 percent of large employers will offer lower-benefit coverage along with at least one health plan that does qualify under ACA standards.

Average Cost of Silver-Range Insurance Plans Will Decline in Florida Marketplace

| August 11, 2014

About 75 percent of Floridians live in areas where the second-cheapest silver premium will actually decline, said Tasha Bradley, a spokeswoman for the federal Department of Health and Human Services.

Warts and All, Obamacare Saved Me From Bankruptcy

| August 10, 2014

FlaglerLive Editor Pierre Tristam exposes his health care bills before and after Obamacare, and before and after cancer, to show how without the Affordable Care Act, he and his family would have face ruin.

Those Double-Digit Health Insurance Rate Hikes in Florida? Blame State GOP.

| August 7, 2014

Sen. Bill Nelson, once Florida’s insurance commissioner, reminds residents that it was the Republican state Legislature that stripped the office of insurance regulation of the authority to approve, modify or reject rate hikes by health insurance companies, thus leading to current, unacceptable rate hikes.

Florida Blue Raising Premiums 17.6% for Exchange Policies as Obamacare Ire Spikes

| August 4, 2014

A dearth of younger and healthy enrollees and a greater-than-expected surge of people seeking expensive health services are factors driving up premiums. A new polls shows disapproval of Obamacare spiking in July.

Florida Insurers Owe $41.7 Million in Rebates to Individuals and Companies, Topping Nation

| July 24, 2014

The latest round of paybacks brings Florida’s three-year total from the Affordable Care Act’s rebate program to almost $220 million. This year’s rebate will average $65 per family in Florida, according to the report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In a Major Blow to Obamacare, Court Rules Health Insurance Subsidies Illegal in 36 States, Including Florida; 2nd Court Disagrees

| July 22, 2014

The decision is a potentially fatal blow to the Affordable Care Act, but it conflicts with an opposite conclusion by a different appeals court on the same day. In Florida, 91 percent of those enrolled get an average monthly subsidy of $278 a month. Most could not afford the premiums without the subsidies, which would disappear if the decision sticks.

Florida Blue, State’s Biggest Health Insurer, Will Raise Rates in Response to Obamacare

| July 21, 2014

Florida Blue snagged a third of all new policies under Obamacare, but rates are going up due to a lack of younger and healthy enrollees and a greater-than-expected surge in people seeking expensive health services.

Why Obtaining Your Own Medical Records May Now Cost You a Small Fortune

| July 14, 2014

For-profit companies in the new “release of information” or “disclosure-management” industry now charge $1 a page, in paper or digital format, for what used to be free, while the Florida Board of Medicine is looking to make the $1-a-page standard for all.

Regulators Draw Sharp Criticism Over Controls On Florida’s New Pot Industry

| July 7, 2014

At the top of the complaint list: concerns about a proposed lottery system to award five organizations the chance to grow, manufacture and dispense a type of medical marijuana approved by Florida’s Republican-dominated Legislature this spring.

Florida Giving Up 63,800 Jobs By Rejecting Federal Medicaid Expansion

| July 7, 2014

Florida has not accepted the offer of federal funds — estimated at $51 billion over a decade — provided in the Affordable Care Act to cover uninsured people who fall into a gap. Florida has about 850,000 of them.

For Floridians, Affordable Care Act Lives Up To Its Name: Average Monthly Premium Is $68

| June 19, 2014

The $68 a month average premium is considerably less than the national average of $82. The plans are subsidized through tax credits taken in advance. Ninety-one percent of those who enrolled in Florida received the financial help, averaging $278 a month.

Mega Health Bill Favoring Nurse Practitioners, Trauma Centers and Drs. Without State License Clears House Panel

| April 10, 2014

The bill would protect private for-profit trauma centers, allow for independent practice for nurse practitioners and allow out-of-state doctors to participate in telehealth without a Florida license. The Florida Medical Association opposes the latter two.

Obamacare Tally: Florida Subsidies Average $3,000, But Some Families Complain of Costly Exclusion

| April 1, 2014

And yet only one in four Floridians who qualifies for a subsidy had enrolled in a plan by March 1, leaving 1 million eligible residents uninsured. A mother describes how the law’s employee-insurance provision barred her family from subsidies.

As March 31 Deadline Nears: Going Without Health Insurance Will Likely Cost You At Tax Time

| March 26, 2014

If you thought you could get health coverage later this year, you may not get that chance until November, which means that you’ll most likely have to pay a penalty of 1 percent of your income at tax time, even if only a single member of your family is not insured. Penalties rise in subsequent years.

Lawmaker Files Bill Favoring Trauma Centers Run by HCA, Gov. Scott’s Former Company

| February 27, 2014

The proposal, opposed by numerous Florida hospitals, would help the HCA health-care chain keep trauma centers open and could short-circuit a debate about how the Florida Department of Health determines where new trauma centers should be allowed to open.

Obamacare Enrollment Surging in Florida Despite Resistance from State Officials

| February 18, 2014

By the end of January, nearly 300,000 Floridians had enrolled in a new health plan through Obamacare — a surge that left most other states in the dust, despite state officials’ opposition to the Affordable Care Act and the relative scarcity of helpers available.

In Major Shift, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Now Urges Fix, Not Repeal, of Obamacare

| February 1, 2014

In 2010, the Chamber got behind a major business lawsuit to fight it at the U.S. Supreme Court. Now, in a striking about-face, the chamber says the Affordable Care Act is here to stay and should be worked on, not repealed.

Hendry County, With Highest Uninsured Rate in Florida, Sees Little Impact From Obamacare

| January 27, 2014

Thirty-five percent of Hendry County’s 33,000 residents under 65 lack health insurance, but nearly a month after the health law’s expansion of coverage began, local health officials say little has changed for most uninsured residents.

Obamacare’s Popularity Overwhelms Florida Blue as System Crashes, Costing Enrollees

| January 20, 2014

Many who signed up and paid Florida Blue for their new plan between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 say the insurer has lost them in its computer system.  Now, when they go to the doctor or try to get a prescription filled, they have to pay the bill themselves or cancel.

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