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Category archives for: Health Care

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.

Florida Hospital Flagler CEO: State Must Extend Medicaid to Working Poor

| January 4, 2014

The Florida Legislature still has the opportunity this year to draw down $51 billion in federal dollars already sent to Washington to help pay the cost of health insurance for those who cannot afford it, argues Floridfa Hospital Flagler CEO Ken Mattison.

Despite Florida’s Resistance, A New Era Of Health Insurance Begins for Millions

| January 3, 2014

Thousands of previously uninsured Floridians woke up Wednesday morning with peace of mind for the first time in years. More than half of Florida’s nearly 4 million uninsured are projected to qualify for coverage through the Marketplace. Another million would qualify if the Florida Legislature would permit it.

Obamacare Dilemma:
High Deductibles vs. “Huge Fear”

| December 26, 2013

Going without insurance “is like gambling,” says a 43-year-old social worker. But the high deductibles of Affordable Care Act plans make them a hard sell, as the plans sold on the exchange are not as generous as employer-sponsored insurance.

Longing For Stormin’ Norman: How Obama’s Smugness Is Crippling His Leadership

| December 12, 2013

There are leaders out there. The Obama administration administration has let us down by failing to find them. As a result, the task Barack Obama has left himself is to convince us that the Affordable Care Act is a winner, not a clunker.

Medicaid Gap: A Reporter Who Covers Obamacare But Doesn’t Qualify For It

| December 4, 2013

The Supreme Court allowed states to opt out of the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, as Florida did, but the law didn’t include subsidies for people in those states who earn less than the federal poverty level to buy coverage through the exchanges. They were supposed to be covered under Medicaid. And Medicaid is not there for them.

With 3 Weeks To Go, Consumers Fear Ending Up Without Health Coverage On New Year’s

| December 2, 2013

The next three weeks are critical for consumers keen on getting health coverage as soon as the health law allows it on Jan. 1. People who desire coverage by then need to sign up in the new marketplaces no later than Dec. 23. Consumers can still enroll up to the end of March, but their coverage will begin later.

Despite $51 Billion For the Taking, Florida Unlikely to Expand Health Coverage in 2014

| November 25, 2013

Consumer groups, hospitals and insurers are clamoring for Florida to take the $51 billion in federal funds that have been offered to the state over the next decade to provide health coverage to the working poor. But those who are tuned in politically — even those who desperately want it to happen — say it’s very unlikely in 2014.

School District, County’s Largest Employer, Starts Health Clinic Experiment With Florida Hospital Flagler

| October 30, 2013

The $288,000 annual contract with Florida Hospital Flagler’s Prompt Care Clinic will allow 1,400 of the school district’s 1,700 employees to seek out primary care at no cost, but with some restrictions. The district hopes it will lower the annual increases in premiums that employees and taxpayers have been bearing.

Resisting Obamacare, Florida Becomes National Aberration as Scott Battles Sebelius

| September 19, 2013

Florida officials are callous and secretive, willing to keep information from citizens that could save their lives, according to the Obama administration’s top health official., while Gov. Rick Scott and other state officials are ramping up their attack on the federal online Marketplace and the “Navigators” who will help the uninsured use it to enroll in a health plan for 2014.

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