Affordable Care Act

Hoosiers Numbers Up As ACA Enrollment Ends

Dec 14, 2017

Friday marks the last day Hoosiers can sign up for health insurance coverage in the Affordable Care Act’s Marketplace.

A flux of people enrolled when the open enrollment started Nov. 1 despite a cut in promotional material.

The enrollment period was shorter this year as President Donald Trump scaled back parts of the Obama-era federal law. Still, early numbers show about 79,000 Hoosiers had picked a plan on the healthcare.gov website through last week. That’s compared to about 71,000 at the same time last year.

It’s the last week for open enrollment on the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplace as the window closes Dec. 15. Health insurance experts say it’s business as usual despite a number of changes that have caused some confusion this year.

A shortened enrollment period is the most obvious difference for people signing up on the Marketplace this year. Reduced promotion and federal fighting over repeal of the law has added to uncertainty says Care Source Indiana’s Steve Smitherman.

Azar Nominated For HHS Secretary

Nov 13, 2017

President Donald Trump announced the nomination of a former Eli Lilly executive as Health and Human Services Secretary Monday. Alex Azar is the latest Hoosier headed to Washington for a post in the federal health sector.

The University of Notre Dame
Jennifer Weingart / WVPE

 

Employees of the University of Notre Dame will still have access to no cost birth control after the end of the year through a third party provider.

Notre Dame announced last week it would no longer provide coverage to employees. Their health care provider, Meritain Health, announced it will continue to offer the coverage at no cost to plan members.

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healthcare.gov

Nov. 1 marks the first day of 2018 open enrollment, the period in which people can sign up for insurance through healthcare.gov. The Affordable Care Act has been through the legislative wringer this year, and there are plenty of changes this period for people buying insurance on the marketplace. WFIU’s Becca Costello and Side Effects’ Sarah Fentem answer some open enrollment questions — with the help of some policy experts.

Cancer continues to be a leading cause of death for middle-aged Americans but the number of people seeking care for the disease is increasing.

A newly published paper in JAMA Oncology was co-authored by Indiana University professor Kosali Simon, who says the Affordable Care Act is to thank for an overall 33 percent decline in uninsured new cancer patients.

She says the study begs questions about when a diagnosis is made.

The White House announced late Thursday night the federal government will no longer provide cost sharing reductions for Affordable Care Act insurance plans. Indiana insurers — at least the two still left on the exchange — had been bracing for the news.

State Studies Barriers To Treatment Instead Of Prison

Oct 11, 2017

An estimated half of all people in state prisons have a substance abuse disorder. A few years ago Indiana lawmakers passed a bill revising the state’s criminal code to place nonviolent drug offenders in treatment instead of prison.

A legislative study committee, tasked to examine treatment options, finds there are many barriers.

Indiana Council of Mental Health Centers CEO Matt Brooks says Indiana is making moves to address this as a health issue instead of a criminal one

CHIP Expires: What That Means For Hoosier Children

Oct 2, 2017

Congress let funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) expire over the weekend. The program that provides health insurance for nearly 100,000 Hoosier children has reserves to continue normal operations for now.

Jointly funded by the federal government and the states, CHIP has covered Hoosier children for 20 years.

The Affordable Care Act increased funding and brought the state’s expenses down. Covering Kids and Families public policy director Mark Fairchild says Indiana has rollover money that will help cover as federal funding goes away.

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cgpgrey.com

The GOP’s latest Obamacare overhaul proposal could significantly reduce funding for state Medicaid programs and turn expansion plans — including Indiana’s HIP 2.0 — on their heads.

Students Urge Donnelly To Defund Planned Parenthood

Sep 21, 2017

A student anti-abortion group made a stop at U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly’s (D-Ind.) office. They want Donnelly to support the latest push to repeal the Affordable Care Act which includes a provision to defund Planned Parenthood.

Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins says Donnelly calls himself pro-life.

“Then voting against funding the single largest abortion vendor in our country should be a very, very easy decision,” she says.

Donnelly Won't Support Latest GOP Health Care Bill

Sep 20, 2017

Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) won’t support the GOP’s latest Affordable Care Act alternative.

Donnelly has repeatedly voted “no” this year on measures Senate Republicans have offered to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

U.S. Senate Republicans will try once again to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The new legislation would by some estimates cost nearly 500,000 Hoosiers their health care coverage and cut off hundreds of millions in federal funds to the state.

Chris Smalliege has attended numerous events to save health care outside of U.S. Sen. Todd Young’s (R-Ind.) office in Indianapolis over the past few months.

“I mean even Congress is feeling ACA fatigue right now,” Smalliege says. “We all are. We’d like this to end.”

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Heard & Smith Social Security Lawyers / https://www.flickr.com/photos/social-security-disability/

Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act could save the government money by causing fewer people to sign up for disability benefits, according to a new study from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

 

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) says the Senate will aim to prevent President Donald Trump from cutting off subsidies provided by the Affordable Care Act.

Through the Affordable Care Act, the government provides subsidies for co-pays and deductibles to help reduce the cost of insurance to consumers.

This week, Republicans in Congress will try to rally votes behind a bill that proposes major changes to the way Americans get health care and how much they pay. In Indiana, thousands of Hoosiers could be affected. Use this Q&A to explore how the bill would affect you.

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Sarah Fentem and Lauren Chapman / Side Effects Public Media

As Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell works to drum up votes for his health care bill in Congress, people in his home state worry about what they could lose if the bill passes.

Indiana health insurers will file their 2018 rates this week for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace but uncertainty about the future of health care reform may play into price and availability for the roughly 150,000 Hoosiers in the system.

Beverly Knight is self-employed. She was able to have a double knee-surgery because she is covered under the ACA.  She’s worried about rate hikes.

“If President Trump’s plan to sabotage the ACA succeeds, and premiums skyrocket as many expect, hundreds of Hoosier families, including mine, will be devastated,” Knight says.

On Wednesday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released an updated report outlining potential effects of the updated GOP health care bill – the American Health Care Act. The findings indicate that over the next 10 years, 23 million Americans would lose insurance under the AHCA.

That’s one million fewer than the projection for the first version of the AHCA, which failed in the U.S House in March.

A small group gathered to protest outside the offices of U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) in after the U.S. House of Representatives sent the Affordable Care Act’s replacement to the U.S. Senate.

The Women’s March Indiana Chapter gathered supporters in downtown Indianapolis to speak out against the plan to repeal and replace Obamacare and support women’s healthcare.

Nancy Hanson has been showing up at Young’s office every week for months. She says she’s worried about the Republican reform bill called the American Health Care Act or AHCA.

The Indiana Democratic Party says a Congressional vote to repeal and replace Obamacare takes health care away from millions just to fulfill a political promise.

The Republican health care bill includes a trillion dollar tax cut – mostly for wealthier Americans – and cuts billions in government spending. And U.S. Rep. Luke Messer (R-Shelbyville), speaking on the House floor, says, most importantly, it repeals Obamacare.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act Thursday afternoon with support from seven of Indiana’s Republican representatives.

But as NPR reports, the bill is likely never to become law, at least as currently written, because the Senate is expected to make significant changes.

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Cristian C / Flickr

The GOP's proposed health law, the American Health Care Act, has some mental health and addiction treatment advocates worried.

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Sonny Abesamis / https://www.flickr.com/photos/enerva/

A newly-released report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicts 24 million people will lose insurance coverage if the proposed GOP Obamacare replacement passes.

That could have an effect on more than 500,000 Hoosiers.


 

With some federal lawmakers aiming to repeal the Affordable Care Act, state legislative leaders say the future of Indiana’s health care program, HIP 2.0, is uncertain.

U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) visited the Statehouse last week. And State House Speaker Brian Bosma says one of the things Young talked about was federal health care reform.

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Wikimedia Commons

In 2015, Indiana expanded its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act. The Healthy Indiana Plan, or HIP 2.0, extended coverage to about 250,000 low-income Hoosiers who were not previously eligible. Amid the turmoil in Washington over what to do with Obamacare, Indiana has applied to keep the program running for three more years.

Tuesday Marks Final Day For ACA Enrollment

Jan 31, 2017

The final day to enroll in the Affordable Care Act, ACA Health Insurance Marketplace is January 31.

Although final numbers haven’t been released yet, at last report, more than 167,500 Hoosiers had enrolled through the ACA marketplace. And about a quarter of them are first-time ACA enrollees this period.

Mark Fairchild is the director of public policy with Covering Kids and Families of Indiana and says the new enrollees prove the ACA increases coverage.

ACA Supporters Rally At Statehouse

Jan 31, 2017

The rally at the Indiana Statehouse was part of a national “save my care” bus tour sponsored by proponents of the landmark health-care law.

Former U.S. Rep. Baron Hill voted for the ACA in 2010 and says Republicans who now want to replace the Affordable Care Act, ACA, can’t keep its popular parts without keeping the requirement that everyone buy insurance.

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C-SPAN / https://www.c-span.org/video/?421723-1/hhs-nominee-representative-tom-price-testifies-capitol-hill

During a Senate grilling of Health and Human Services Secretary nominee Tom Price at the Georgia Representative’s confirmation hearing this week, Indiana Senator Todd Young expressed support for a lesser-known part of the Affordable Care Act.