Health insurance enrollment events in King County, Monday, March 31th

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SeattleKing County and partner organizations will be hosting events in your community where you can get help enrolling in Washington Healthplanfinder for health insurance coverage today, Monday, the last day to enroll for coverage this year..

Certified customer-service experts will be available at each event to provide individual help as you compare and enroll in health insurance coverage and, if eligible, gain access to tax credits, reduced cost sharing, and public programs such as Medicaid. More ways to get help with insurance enrollment.

What to bring with you:

  • You will need to know your birth date, social security number, and annual income before taxes and deductions.
  • Legal immigrants will need to supply a passport, alien, or other immigration numbers.

Event for today, Sunda7, March 39th:  Continue reading

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Affordable Care Act: What happens next?

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seven-Hand_Written_7By Julie ApplebyMary Agnes Carey and Phil Galewitz
KHN Staff Writers

Just because open enrollment for people who buy their own health insurance formally closes March 31 doesn’t mean debate over the health law will take a hiatus.

After more than four years of strident rhetoric, evidence about how the law is actually working is starting to trickle in.

Here are seven things to watch before the next enrollment period begins in November:  Continue reading

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Health news headlines — March 31

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Women’s Health — Week 30: Urinary Incontinence

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tacuin womenFrom the Office of Research on Women’s Health

Urinary incontinence, or loss of bladder control, can range from mild leaking to uncontrollable wetting.

For some women, the risk of public embarrassment prevents them from enjoying many activities with their family and friends.

Urine loss can also occur during sexual activity and cause tremendous emotional distress. Under a health care provider’s care, incontinence can be treated and often cured.  Continue reading

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Washington state will not extend insurance signup deadline

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clockEarlier this week, the Obama administration announced that it was extending the March 31 deadline for people who had difficulty signing up on the federal government health insurance exchange, healthcare.gov, due to technical issues.

However, Washington state will not extending the deadline for Washington state residents seeking coverage through the state-run insurance exchange, Washington Healthplanfinder,  Richard Onizuka, CEO for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange announced last Wednesday

Here are the details:  Continue reading

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How do marketplace plans differ from others; Will cost-sharing subsidies affect my HSA; Who pays the penalty for an adult child?

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Question Q&ABy Michelle Andrews
KHN – Mar. 29, 2014

The open enrollment period ends March 31, and people continue to have many questions about how the health law and the exchanges work.

Q.  I am an insurance agent. When I got trained for the California health insurance marketplace, we were told that the coverage on and off the exchange would be “mirrored” coverage, with the same benefits and providers. But that is not what I am hearing from my clients. Are the plans the same or not?  Continue reading

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National enrollment numbers look OK, but state numbers matter more

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SixBy Julie Rovner, NPR News
March 28, 2014

With this year’s deadline to register for individual health insurance just a weekend away, much attention is being lavished on two numbers — the 6 million Americans who have signed up so far, and the percentage of those folks who are (or aren’t) young.

But experts say the national numbers actually don’t mean very much.  Continue reading

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Q: How do I get a subsidy if I’m hiding from my abusive spouse?

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Question Q&ABy Michelle Andrews
KHN – Mar 28. 2014

Q. How can victims of domestic violence get premium tax credits on the exchange if they’re still married but don’t want to file a joint tax return with their spouse?

A. This issue, long recognized as a problem by advocates and government officials alike, has been resolved to some extent.  Continue reading

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Private insurance enrollment on exchanges tops 6 million

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ACA health reform logoMarch 27, 2014 — With just four days until the March 31 deadline to enroll through the health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act, the number of Americans who have signed up for private insurance plans has topped 6 million, the White House said today.

That puts the number enrolled over the 6-million target set by the administration and predicted by the Congressional Budget Office.

According to the White House there has been a surge in enrollments as the deadline approaches, with 1.5 million visitors coming to the exchange website Healthcare.gov yesterday and 430,000 calls to the exchange call centers.

 

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Average subsidy for insurance purchased on health exchange: $2,890

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ACA health reform logoBy Jenny Gold
KHN
Mar. 27, 2014

Americans have already qualified for about $10 billion in tax credits to help them purchase private health insurance this year through the Affordable Care Act, according to a study from the Kaiser Family Foundation. (KHN is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)

That’s an average of $2,890 for each of the 3.5 million people who qualified for a subsidy as of March 1 — about 83 percent of those who enrolled in an exchange plan.

In Washington state 107,000 have signed up for plans on the state’s exchange.  Eight out of ten  qualified for a subsidy.  The average subsidy was $3,280 for a total of $285 million for the state as a whole. However, only one in three people who are eligible for subsidized insurance in the state has signed up for insurance..

But four of five Americans who could qualify for a subsidy hadn’t applied for coverage by that date. And sign-up rates varied greatly by stateContinue reading

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‘Private Option’ for Medicaid would cut benefits

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Center for Medicare & Medicaid ServicesBy Christine Vestal
Stateline Staff Writer

When Arkansas won federal approval to use Medicaid expansion dollars to help low-income people purchase private health insurance, officials on both sides of the aisle applauded the compromise.

For supporters of the Affordable Care Act, it meant coverage for the millions of uninsured Americans who live in states that have resisted Medicaid expansion under the ACA.

For governors and lawmakers opposed to the law, it was a politically feasible way to accept billions in federal dollars and improve the overall health of their residents without embracing “Obamacare.”

Now, as more states craft their own versions of what is known as the “private option” – and Arkansas seeks revisions to its original plan – advocates are increasingly concerned that the private market approach to Medicaid expansion could erode the effectiveness of the Medicaid program.  Continue reading

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You’ve been harmed by a medical error — what do you do now?

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Question markBy Marshall Allen
ProPublica

I often speak to people who have become victims of patient harm. They, or maybe a loved one, went to the hospital, nursing home or doctor’s office and suffered a preventable injury, infection or medical error.

Many times they’re seriously disabled. Or they’re calling me because their family member or loved one was killed.

If studies are accurate, more than a million patients are harmed a year by the medical care they thought would heal them.

When it happens, many patients and their family members don’t know where to turn for answers and accountability.

To provide some guidance I spoke to Helen Haskell, founder of Mothers Against Medical Error.

She recommends they take six steps.  Continue reading

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Health insurance enrollment events in King County, Wed. March 26

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King County and partner organizations will be hosting events in your community where you can get help enrolling in Washington Healthplanfinder for health insurance coverage beginning on January 1, 2014.

Certified customer-service experts will be available at each event to provide individual help as you compare and enroll in health insurance coverage and, if eligible, gain access to tax credits, reduced cost sharing, and public programs such as Medicaid. More ways to get help with insurance enrollment.

What to bring with you:

  • You will need to know your birth date, social security number, and annual income before taxes and deductions.
  • Legal immigrants will need to supply a passport, alien, or other immigration numbers.

Continue reading

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Half of uninsured not planning on getting coverage, poll

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By Jordan Rau
KHN

With less than a week left for customers to apply for insurance through the health care marketplaces, a poll released Wednesday finds that half of the people still without health coverage intend to remain uninsured.

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 7.27.54 AM

Five million people have signed up for insurance since the marketplaces created by the federal health law opened  in October. Continue reading

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Health news headlines — March 26th

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