Affordable Care Act

Health Care Law
12:58 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

OK Attorney General: D.C. Court's Decision Could Affect Oklahoma Lawsuit

Oklahoma Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt
Credit Oklahoma Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt / Facebook

Update 3:15pm: see NPR's story about another court decision that affirms the federal health care law, saying the state exchanges set up by the federal government can offer subsidies to people who purchase insurance through those subsidies.

 

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Shots - Health News
9:37 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Skimpier Health Plans Could Impose Big Out-Of-Pocket Costs

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 2:02 pm

People are worried about being able to pay for health insurance. So the insurance industry and a group of Democratic senators have proposed offering cheaper, skimpier "copper plans" on the health law's marketplaces that could draw in people who were unhappy with the cost of available plans.

But consumer advocates and others who study the insurance market suggest that there may not be a big demand for these plans and that they could expose people to unacceptably high out-of-pocket costs if they got sick.

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Business
5:16 am
Tue July 1, 2014

How Many Companies Will Be Touched By Court's Contraception Ruling?

The Supreme Court said protecting the free-exercise rights of owners of corporations, such as Hobby Lobby Stores, protects religious liberty.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 5:46 pm

When the Supreme Court ruled Monday that "closely held" corporations don't have to pay for workers' contraception, you may have assumed the decision applied only to family-owned businesses.

Wrong. An estimated 9 out of 10 businesses are "closely held."

However, some benefits experts question just how many of those companies would want to assert religious views.

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Shots - Health News
4:00 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Hobby Lobby Ruling Cuts Into Contraceptive Mandate

Customers walk into a Hobby Lobby store in Oklahoma City on Monday.
Sue Ogrocki AP

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 3:57 pm

In a 5-4 decision Monday, the Supreme Court allowed a key exemption to the health law's contraception coverage requirements when it ruled that closely held for-profit businesses could assert a religious objection to the Obama administration's regulations. What does it mean? Here are some questions and answers about the case.

What did the court's ruling do?

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Here & Now
12:46 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Hobby Lobby Lawyer, Women's Group React To Birth Control Ruling

A Hobby Lobby store is seen on June 30, 2014, in Plantation, Florida. Today in Washington, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a suit brought by the owners of Hobby Lobby and furniture maker Conestoga Wood Specialties, ruling that companies cannot be forced to offer insurance coverage for birth control methods that the family-owned private companies object to for religious reasons. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 9:15 am

The U.S. Supreme Court wrapped up its term with a bang today, issuing two major decisions.

In one case, the court ruled that closely-held corporations, usually family-owned businesses like Hobby Lobby — the national arts and crafts chain that brought the suit — cannot be required to provide coverage for birth control methods that they object to for religious reasons.

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The Two-Way
9:19 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Some Companies Can Refuse To Cover Contraception, Supreme Court Says

Customers enter a Hobby Lobby store in Antioch, Calif., this past spring. The Supreme Court is ruling on the crafts store chain's resistance to portions of the Affordable Care Act. The store's owners cite their religious freedom.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 12:54 pm

The Supreme Court has ruled that family owned and other closely held companies can opt out of the Affordable Care Act's provisions for no-cost prescription contraception in most health insurance if they have religious objections.

The owners of the Hobby Lobby chain of arts and crafts stores and those of another closely held company, Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., had objected on the grounds of religious freedom.

The ruling affirms a Hobby Lobby victory in a lower court and gives new standing to similar claims by other companies.

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Oklahoma Watch
10:32 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Oklahoma Medicaid Enrollment Reaches New Record

The Javoric Flickr Creative Commons

The number of Oklahomans enrolled at one time in the state’s Medicaid program reached an all-time high in March, and officials are examining whether many people who signed up were spurred to do so by the Affordable Care Act.

By the end of March, there were 830,850 Oklahomans enrolled in SoonerCare, the state’s Medicaid program; that was the highest single-month total of enrollees since the program began, according to data from the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.

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The Two-Way
10:17 am
Fri April 11, 2014

'I Knew It Wouldn't Be Easy,' Outgoing Health Secretary Sebelius Says

Vice President Biden (from left), Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, President Obama and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell at the White House Friday. Sebelius is stepping down. Burwell is being nominated to replace her.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 12:53 pm

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who has borne the brunt of criticism for the troubled rollout of the HealthCare.gov website, said Friday that as she prepares to leave that agency she is thankful to have had the chance to work on "the cause of my life."

Her agency, Sebelius said, has been "in the front lines of a long overdue national change — fixing a broken health system."

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Medicaid: A Tale Of Two States

Angela Merten is an in-person assister for the federal online marketplace at Touchette Regional Hospital. But she says most of the people she'll help sign up for health insurance will qualify for Medicaid under Illinois' expanded program. (Véronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio)

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 3:46 pm

There are at least 62 million people enrolled in Medicaid programs across the U.S. today. That’s up about three million since the Affordable Care Act went into effect.

In most states, Medicaid eligibility used to be limited to financially needy people, including some elderly and some disabled adults. The ACA was designed to expand Medicaid coverage to all adults earning up to 138 percent of federal poverty levels.

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Politics
2:35 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Obamacare Rolls Into N.H. Like A Political Campaign — And Wins

In New Hampshire, where the Affordable Care Act remains unpopular, the state has exceeded expectations for insurance enrollments. Credit goes, in part, to a grass-roots campaign to sign people up.
Brian Snyder Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 9:34 am

Monday is the deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, or at least to begin the process. We already know that nationwide more than 6 million people have enrolled.

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