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Articles filed under Affordable Care Act

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  •  The government’s revamped health care website was put to its biggest test yet as a record-breaking surge of Americans rushed to beat Tuesday’s extended deadline for signing up for coverage.

    Health care site put to the test as deadline nears Dec 24, 2013 12:00 AM
    The government’s revamped health care website was put to its biggest test yet as a record-breaking surge of Americans rushed to beat Tuesday’s extended deadline for signing up for coverage. After a disastrous, glitch-plagued rollout in October, HealthCare.gov, the website where people in 36 states can shop for insurance, received nearly 2 million visits Monday and handled the traffic well.

     
  •  The Obama administration on Monday effectively extended Monday’s deadline for signing up for insurance by a day, giving people in 36 states more time to select a plan.

    Last-minute insurance shoppers get 1-day extension Dec 23, 2013 12:00 AM
    Anticipating heavy traffic on the government’s health care website, the Obama administration extended Monday’s deadline for signing up for insurance by a day, giving Americans in 36 states more time to select a plan. But federal officials urged buyers not to procrastinate.

     
  •  MNsure contact center representatives specialist Carlos Villanueva, left, and guide Emily Joyce work in one many cubicles at the center in St. Paul, Minn. Experts in health insurance are becoming concerned that many first-time buyers will be in for a shock when they get medical care next year and discover they’re on the hook for most of the initial cost.

    Health plan sticker shock ahead for some buyers Dec 22, 2013 12:00 AM
    As a key enrollment deadline hits Monday, many people without health insurance have been sizing up policies on the new government health care marketplace and making what seems like a logical choice: They’re picking the cheapest one. Increasingly, experts in health insurance are becoming concerned that many of these first-time buyers will be in for a shock when they get medical care next year and discover they’re on the hook for most of the initial cost.

     
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  •  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says she will use authorities in the Affordable Care Act to issue a “temporary hardship exemption” for people whose existing insurance has been canceled because of the law so they will not be hit with tax penalties for failing to line up new coverage.

    Options set for those lacking new health coverage Dec 20, 2013 12:00 AM
    People whose existing health care insurance has been canceled because of the Affordable Care Act will not be hit with tax penalties for failing to line up new coverage as required under the law. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says she will use authorities in the law to issue a “temporary hardship exemption” from those penalties.

     
  •  For many Americans, problems with the government’s main health care website carry a bigger risk than frequent crashes, as higher premiums could follow if technical troubles scare off young customers crucial to the overhaul’s insurance coverage expansions.

    Overhaul website problems may trigger price hikes Dec 19, 2013 12:00 AM
    Problems with the government’s main health care overhaul website carry a bigger risk than frequent crashes: Higher prices could follow for many Americans if technical troubles scare off young people. The government has touted recent improvements to HeathCare.gov, but enrollment still lags far behind projections, and that has triggered worries that legions of potential customers in their 20s and 30s might not sign up.

     
  •  Doug and Amy Thompson of Batavia get advice on the federal health care law from navigator Nyla Whitehead at Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva.

    Suburban health insurance navigators gear up Dec 18, 2013 12:00 AM
    An army of health insurance navigators has had a busy week helping to enroll people around the suburbs in health care plans ahead of a federal deadline Monday for people to sign up for coverage that begin Jan. 1. Although some people vent about the new federal health care law, “I’ve been shocked by how sweet and patient and grateful people have been," one navigator said.

     
  •  The health insurance industry says consumers will get an extra 10 days to pay their first month’s premium under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

    Insurers allow more time to pay under health law Dec 18, 2013 12:00 AM
    The nation’s health insurance industry decided Wednesday to extend the deadline until Jan. 10 for Americans to pay for coverage that starts on New Year’s Day, as enrollment through the new federal and state insurance marketplaces appears to be surging.

     
  •  President Barack Obama meets with technology executives at the White House on Tuesday. From left are, Zynga founder Mark Pincus and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.

    Obama meets with tech CEOs amid NSA concerns Dec 17, 2013 12:00 AM
    President Barack Obama on Tuesday discussed the troubled federal health care website, government surveillance and other issues with executives from Google, Twitter, Apple and several other leading technology companies.

     
  •  Firms with fewer than 50 employees are exempt from the new health care law, unless those companies share a common owner. The aggregation rule is causing headaches for many small businesses.

    Health-care law’s aggregation rules vex small firms Dec 15, 2013 12:00 AM
    Firms with fewer than 50 employees are exempt from the new health care law, unless those companies share a common owner. The aggregation rule is causing headaches for many small businesses.

     
  • Copies of the application for the Health Insurance Marketplace from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are arranged for a in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. The health care website’s improved performance has both U.S. political parties shifting strategies, with President Barack Obama’s team preparing a January advertising blitz and a wave of celebrity promotions to boost enrollment, allies said. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

    Fact Checker: GOP leader’s healthcare claims Dec 15, 2013 12:00 AM
    Sen. Mitch McConnell has long been a critic of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. But his recent comments on Fox News appeared overheated: Are the 85 percent of Americans who have health insurance facing “extraordinary disruption?”

     
  •  A Hispanic-themed mural is seen on the side of a building in Arcola, Ill., in Douglas County. Douglas has both a large Hispanic population and Amish population. Hispanics in the U.S. are more likely to be uninsured than the rest of the population _ about 31 percent lack health coverage, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Douglas is second only to Cook County in percentage of Illinoisans without health insurance.

    Out-of-pocket costs mixed under new health law Dec 15, 2013 12:00 AM
    Are requirements of the nation’s new health care law driving up out-of-pocket costs for people buying their own insurance? In some cases, yes. But the law also eliminated some of the largest deductibles, or the amount a consumer pays for actual medical care before an insurance company begins paying.

     
  •  Americans who already have health insurance are blaming President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul for their rising premiums and deductibles, and overall 3 in 4 say the rollout of coverage for the uninsured has gone poorly.

    Poll: Health law seen as eroding coverage Dec 15, 2013 12:00 AM
    Americans who already have health insurance are blaming President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul for their rising premiums and deductibles, and overall 3 in 4 say the rollout of coverage for the uninsured has gone poorly.

     
  •  Actor Adrienne Matzen poses in Chicago’s theater district. Matzen, 29, who has been mostly uninsured since she turned 21, is now looking for a low monthly premium insurance plan on the federal website.

    Sticker shock may await health insurance buyers Dec 15, 2013 12:00 AM
    The next big challenge for the nation’s health care law may be sticker shock, when consumers find they’re still paying high medical bills after buying low-cost insurance for the first time.

     
  • Suburban Hispanics attend free concert, get health screenings in Hoffman Estates Dec 14, 2013 12:00 AM
    Getting a health screening might not sound like the best way to spend a Saturday afternoon, but families who did so at La Pachanga del Año — or “Party of the Year” — in Hoffman Estates this weekend were rewarded with prizes, family-friendly activities and a free concert featuring five Mexican music groups.

     
  • An Amish buggy and horse travels down a road in Arthur, Ill., in Douglas County, which has the second highest percentage of Illinoisans without health insurance of all the counties in Illinois.

    Amish, immigrants boost number of Illinois' uninsured Dec 14, 2013 12:00 AM
    In Illinois, 1.8 million residents are uninsured, or 14 percent of the total population, according to Census Bureau estimates from 2012 and 2013. That's squarely in the middle of U.S. states, with Texas at the top of the list at 24 percent.

     
  •  With days to go before an important deadline, the state of Illinois is launching a long-delayed TV advertising blitz on Friday telling people to “enroll now” for insurance coverage under the nation’s health care law.

    Illinois TV ads push health insurance Dec 12, 2013 12:00 AM
    With days to go before an important deadline, the state of Illinois is launching a long-delayed TV advertising blitz on Friday telling people to “enroll now” for insurance coverage under the nation’s health care law.

     
  •  Newly released federal figures, as of Nov. 30, show more people are picking private insurance plans or being routed to Medicaid programs in states with Democratic leaders who have fully embraced the federal health care law than in states where Republican elected officials have derisively rejected what they call “Obamacare.”

    Feds try to smooth bumpy health care transition Dec 12, 2013 12:00 AM
    Anticipating more health care disruptions, the Obama administration Thursday announced a batch of measures intended to help consumers avoid lapses in their care and coverage as the president’s overhaul takes effect in January.

     
  •  In this image from video provided by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, a man kicks the wrong leg as a doctor checks his reflexes in an ad from the Midwestern insurer. Wellmark launched ads recently in Iowa and South Dakota poking fun at technical problems that have plagued the federal governmentís insurance enrollment website while trying to lure away some potential customers.

    Iowa insurer pokes fun at federal website in ads Dec 8, 2013 12:00 AM
    A Midwestern company not participating in the federal health insurance marketplace next year launched ads recently in Iowa and South Dakota that poke fun at the technical problems that have plagued the federal government’s enrollment website.

     
  •  Ken Statz, a health insurance broker, has been stymied in his efforts to enroll clients through the online HealthCare.gov web site.

    Insurance agents feeling left out of ‘Obamacare’ Dec 8, 2013 12:00 AM
    Brokers around the country are finding frustration as they try to help customers navigate the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces while earning the commissions they’ve long built their businesses around. Some insurers and insurance agents are calling on President Barack Obama’s administration to allow them to bypass healthcare.gov and enroll consumers directly.

     
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