April 4, 2016, The New York Times, Reed Abelson- The Affordable Care Act was aimed mainly at giving people better options for buying health insurance on their own. There were widespread predictions that employers would leap at the chance to drop coverage and send workers to fend for themselves. But those predictions were largely wrong. Most companies, and particularly large employers, that offered coverage before the law have stayed committed to providing health insurance.
April 4, 2016, Kaiser Health News, Shefali Luthra- Talking about money is never easy. But when doctors are reluctant to talk about medical costs, a patient’s health can be undermined. A study published in Monday’s Health Affairs explores the dynamics that can trigger that scenario. Patients are increasingly responsible for shouldering more of their own health costs. In theory, that’s supposed to make them sharper consumers and empower them to trim unnecessary health spending. But previous work has shown it often leads them to skimp on both valuable preventive care and superfluous services alike.
March 31, 2016, The New York Times, Margot Sanger-Katz- Before Obamacare, health insurance companies routinely refused to sell policies directly to patients who had illnesses like AIDS, hepatitis C or heart disease. It should be no surprise to anyone, then, that once the Affordable Care Act required insurers to offer insurance to sick people, a lot more sick people signed up. That is the basic conclusion of a new report on health insurance customers from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association analyzing health insurance for 4.7 million Americans in 27 states and the District of Columbia.
The report shows nearly 28 percent of the remaining uninsured are eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program and about 10 percent have low incomes (at or below 200% of the federal poverty level) and are eligible for financial assistance through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces.
March 30, 2016, The New York Times, Ann Carrns- Millions of Americans who have health coverage through a big employer are receiving a new, unfamiliar tax form in the mail this year, thanks to the Affordable Care Act: the 1095-C. Most tax filers do not need to do much with it, except file it away with their tax records. But because it is new, the form is causing a bit of confusion, said Victor Saliterman, vice president and general manager for health care reform at the benefits and payroll administrator ADP.
March 16, 2016, ABC News, Cindy Galli, Stephanie Zimmerman and Brian Ross- The helicopter ambulance that rushed Shauna Laswell to a Las Vegas hospital after a heart attack may have saved her life. But when she got the air ambulance bill, she says she “almost had another heart attack.” It was $46,800 for an 85-mile flight. And after insurance she now owes almost $39,000. It wasn’t a billing mistake. Nor was the $35,000 bill Jean Medina got when her teenage daughter was airlifted 37 miles after complications from a tonsillectomy.