In a phone conversation on Thursday afternoon, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius discussed some of the current issues surrounding the Affordable Care Act.
Sebelius has faced criticism over the health exchange rollout, canceled insurance policies and abortion coverage. Some of her strongest critics hail from Kansas, the state where Sebelius twice served as governor.
Insurance shoppers will need to register on the marketplaces by Monday, Dec. 23 to get coverage starting on Jan. 1, 2014. Open enrollment will continue until March 31.
Now that healthcare.gov has undergone some major tweaks, supporters of the Affordable Care Act hope that a lot more people will go online and compare insurance rates. But what might surprise shoppers is how rates and subsidies vary depending on their address.
In Missouri, insurance buyers in different parts of the Show-Me State are seeing some of the most extreme cost differences in the country.
Missouri will allow health insurance companies to continue offering policies that otherwise would have been canceled under the terms of the new federal health care law.
Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon announced Thursday that the state will let insurers sell individual and small-group policies in 2014 that were to be canceled because they didn't meet federal coverage requirements taking effect next year.
The wait for one of the biggest pieces of Obamacare is over. Starting Tuesday, Americans who don't have access to affordable health insurance through their employers can shop for coverage in new online marketplaces, also known as exchanges. The Kansas Insurance Department has been holding meetings across the state to answer questions about the exchange.
Linda Sheppard is the Kansas Insurance Department’s Director of Health Care Policy. She says the state is ready as it can be.
Whether or not you agree with the Affordable Care Act politically, you might be wondering what your health insurance options will be under this new law, particularly if you don't get insurance from your employer.
Jessica Hembree, program officer at the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, andSandy Praeger, Kansas insurance commissioner, join us to answer questions about the new health insurance marketplaces in Kansas and Missouri.
More than 20,000 people in Kansas have their voter registrations on hold, which means their vote won't count until the situation is resolved. About 80 percent of these stalled registrations happened at driver’s license offices and stem from a new law requiring people to show proof of citizenship when they register to vote.
In recent weeks, states like Colorado, California and Oregon have been hit hard by advertising campaigns designed to let people know about their state-created health marketplaces. State health marketplaces are a central part of the Affordable Care Act, but information about Missouri’s health marketplace has been hard to find. And that’s not just because the state decided not to set one up.
Kansas is one of 10 states the Rand Corporation studied in detail. The study predicts that by 2016, only 6.6 percent of Kansans too young for Medicare will be uninsured. Without the new law, that figure would be more than 14 percent.
The report’s author, Jon Bailey, says the premium tax credits to help pay for individual health insurance plans, and the caps on out-of-pocket costs will be especially important to people who live in rural areas.
In a little less than two months, Kansans will be able to begin shopping for individual health insurance plans through the new, online marketplace called the exchange. Most of the plans will be sold by three companies.
According to Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger, they'll be the same three companies that provide the bulk of health insurance in Kansas now: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, Blue Cross of Kansas City, and Coventry.
Kansas policymakers have decided not to expand the state's Medicaid program or to create a Kansas-specific exchange for consumers to buy individual health insurance policies. But the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will bring some changes to the Medicaid program, whether the state's political leaders want to cooperate, or not.
A rural doctor throughout his career, Gary Yarbrough of Parsons, Kansas represents a medical minority, that of solo practitioner.
Steve Kraske talks with Dr. Yarbrough about the impact he, and other solo doctors, face from the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Hear the drastic change he made in light of the demands the Act places upon medical professionals.
The Medicare Summary Notice senior citizens receive every month has been redesigned. The changes are meant to make it easier to spot fraudulent claims.
As part of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, the federal government has devoted new resources to rooting out fraud, waste, and abuse in the Medicare program. The notice beneficiaries receive each month to explain their claims is being upgraded to make it easier to spot claims for services they never received.
After the passing of the Affordable Care Act, confusion about the future of health insurance in our country has become the norm. But as the legislation comes into play in the next year, everyone from private health insurance companies to employers providing health care to their employees need to be well versed on the upcoming changes.
Medicaid, the public health insurance program for low income and disabled residents, is no small chunk of change in Missouri. It comprises a huge portion of the state’s budget (more on that in Part 2). It also covers a lot of people: about one in ten residents.
Last year’s Supreme Court ruling left a key part of the federal health law up to states to decide: whether to expand Medicaid. About half of states have said they’ll go along with an expansion. The rest are undecided or opposed. Leaders in Missouri are still divided on what to do. Missouri’s Governor supports an expansion but he faced one of his toughest crowds yet, when meeting with Senate leadership this week.
Northland Health Care Access is one of several health clinics that receives funding through the temporary health levy. The levy, up for a renewal vote on Tuesday, also funds ambulance services and care for the uninsured at Truman Medical Centers.
Kansas City has long supported health services for people without insurance or a means to pay. This is primarily done through a health levy, or property tax, that brings in about $50 million annually. A portion of that tax will soon expire. Renewing it is now up for a popular vote this Tuesday. It’s Question 1 on the ballot. Despite all the contention around health policies and spending right now, there doesn’t appear to be much opposition to the local measure.
For more than a year, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and others at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have been courting states to take part in setting up and running a health insurance exchange. But Missouri, home of an enthusiastic governor and opposing legislature, keeps sending mixed messages. Now, with Friday’s deadline looming for states to commit to joining the feds in setting up an exchange, it appears as though HHS will be flying solo in the Show-Me state.
A federal court is scheduled today, to take up one Missouri business’ challenge to a recently enacted provision of the federal health law. The provision requires that most employee-health plans include no-cost coverage of contraceptives, but the rule has faced backlash from several businesses and lawmakers around the region.