Affordable Care Act

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Today is the last day to sign up for Affordable Care Act insurance if you want it to kick in by January 1, 2014, and while Healthcare.gov has gotten much easier to use, Ohio is still far short of its enrollment goals.

When WYSO talked to Maxine Johnson last month, she had tried six times to sign up for Obamacare. She finally got a plan after major fixes to the website went through in December.

Affordable Care Act Deadline Looms, Sebelius Ensures Website Reliance

Dec 20, 2013

We’re approaching an important deadline under the new federal health care law. In order to receive coverage by January 1st under the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, Americans must enroll by this Monday. The deadline was extended after the federal exchange website experienced some highly-publicized problems. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says she understands the frustration that’s out there but encourages people to give the site another try.

Lewis Wallace / WYSO

 The Montgomery County Department of Job and Family Services reports uninsured people in the Dayton area are starting to take advantage of the newly expanded eligibility for Medicaid.

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The federal online health care marketplace has been plagued with problems from its launch. President Obama promised a fix by November 30th. That deadline has come and gone, and things are markedly better, according to John Bowblis, an economics professor at Miami University who specializes in the health care industry. He says significant improvements have been made for the consumer experience with faster download times and successful completion. However, Bowblis adds there may still be snags when it comes to that data being transferred to insurance companies.

Lewis Wallace / WYSO

The State of Ohio and insurance industry advocates have launched an effort to urge veterans, students, and people changing careers to seek out insurance jobs. As baby-boomer employees begin to retire in droves, Ohio insurance companies expect to have 17,000 job openings in the next five years in all areas from claims to government relations.

As the fiasco continues in Washington over the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, technical problems still plague healthcare.gov, the website that was meant to be the law’s easy one-stop shop for subsidized health care plans. Enrollment numbers released last week were disturbingly low, with just 27,000 enrollments through the federal site in the first month after its Oct. 1 launch.

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Federally-funded Medicaid expansion is projected to save the state over $400 million. Now, lawmakers and other groups are pitching their ideas for how to use that money. There's not a lot of agreement on what to do with the savings. Emily McCord speaks to Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles about the different options on the table.

Taylor: Obama Should Have Seen Health Care Extension Coming

Nov 15, 2013

The president has announced a one-year extension so health insurers can continue their current health plans for individuals and small-groups. The move comes after reports that nearly five million Americans were being dropped from their existing plans because those plans didn’t meet the federal standards set by the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare. Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor, who also serves as director of the Ohio Department of Insurance, has been a vocal opponent of the health care overhaul and says the Obama administration should’ve seen this coming.

A new study says about 544 thousand Ohioans will be eligible for tax credits under the federal health care law if they purchase coverage through the new health insurance marketplaces.

The state-by-state analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that only seven states have more residents eligible for tax credits than Ohio. Texas tops the list with 2 million. Nationally, an estimated 17 million people could get the credits.

Southwest Ohio businesses have a new health care option on the table: so-called “self-insurance” allows companies to cut out the middle man.

The South Metro Regional Chamber of Commerce in Miamisburg has signed up to give its members access to a national self-insurance pool with hundreds of other businesses, which chamber director Julia Maxton says can save them money.

“It’s very clean, it’s very clear,” Maxton said. “It is something that they can understand.”

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