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Obamacare

  

Open enrollment on HealthCare.gov started Sunday, and federal health officials expect the third year of open enrollment to be more challenging than in previous years.

Ten million people still don't have health insurance two years after the Affordable Care Act went into effect.

Some never bought a policy. But 20 percent went to the trouble of signing up on HealthCare.gov, or one of the state insurance exchanges, and even made payments. Then, those 2 million people let their insurance lapse.

NPR asked visitors to our Facebook page to tell us why.

It's open enrollment time for many people who have health insurance through their job, and Florida’s state employees are among those who are thinking about making changes to their plans.

With sign-up season starting in less than two weeks, the Obama administration indicated on Monday that some long-awaited upgrades to the government's health insurance website could take more time before they're customer-ready.

Bush Outlines Healthcare Plan, But Who's Not Covered?

Oct 14, 2015

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said he would scrap the national health insurance law known as Obamacare.

Bush outlined his plan to replace it during a speech in New Hampshire Tuesday.

Bush wants a system that protects people from worst-case scenarios rather than comprehensive coverage that includes services they may not want. He said insurance shouldn’t cover everything.

US Boosts Privacy Protection On Health Insurance Website

Oct 12, 2015

Responding to criticism from civil liberties advocates, the Obama administration said Friday it has strengthened consumer privacy protections on the government's health insurance website as a new sign-up season nears.

President Barack Obama has signed legislation aimed at preventing premium increases that some smaller businesses were expecting next year under his signature health care law.

Consumers shopping on the government's health insurance website should find it easier this year to get basic questions answered about their doctors, medications and costs, according to an internal government document.

The Obama administration says it's getting harder to sign up those remaining uninsured under the president's health care law. 

Florida Blue is introducing hybrid plans into Florida’s Affordable Care Act marketplace. They  could give consumers both more and fewer choices in providers.

The monthly premiums for many of the plans sold on the federal health insurance marketplace will be increasing for Floridians in 2016, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. 

About 1.8 million households that got financial help for health insurance under President Barack Obama's law now have issues with their tax returns that could jeopardize their subsidies next year. Administration officials say those taxpayers will have to act quickly.

"There's still time, but people need to take action soon," said Lori Lodes, communications director for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which runs HealthCare.gov.

About 7.5 million Americans paid an average penalty of $200 for not having health insurance in 2014 — the first year most Americans were required to have coverage under the Affordable Care Act, the Internal Revenue Service said Tuesday.

By contrast, taxpayers filing three-quarters of the 102 million returns received by the IRS so far this year checked a box indicating they had qualifying insurance coverage all year.

Following the Supreme Court health care ruling to uphold subsidies nationwide, President Obama said Thursday that the Affordable Care Act is "here to stay."

The Supreme Court, in King v. Burwell, will soon decide whether more than a million Floridians will lose subsidies they rely on to buy insurance on HealthCare.gov.  

Federal health officials have awarded more than $5 million in grants to 10 health centers in Florida to serve newly insured patients under the Affordable Care Act.

The grants are expected to serve about 46,000 patients, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The “Access Point” grants are going to:

Banyan Community Health Center, Inc.                 Miami                   $703,602

Thursday, April 30 is the last day for people in Florida and the three dozen other states that use the federal health insurance marketplace to buy a health insurance plan on HealthCare.gov.  

People in Florida and the three dozen other states that use the online federal insurance marketplace at HealthCare.gov have a little time left to shop for health insurance.

This special enrollment period for insurance plans under the federal health law runs through Thursday, April 30.

It’s for people who didn't know -- or understand -- that they could face a tax penalty for not having health coverage, according to federal officials.

This is the first part in our series, Falling Into The Gap, in collaboration with the Miami Herald. Read more about the coverage gap and find affordable care on WLRN.org/healthgap.

Several million Americans hit with new federal fines for going without health insurance are getting a second chance to sign up, and that could ease the sting of rising penalties for being uninsured.

But as the enrollment window reopened on Sunday in Florida and the 36 other states that use the federal health insurance marketplace at HealthCare.gov, it’s unclear how many know about the time-limited opportunity, let alone will take advantage of it.

The deadline to buy health insurance coverage for 2015 has come and gone. But some people without insurance are just finding out now that they have to pay a tax penalty, and they're getting another chance to sign up.

Federal health officials announced Friday morning that they’re offering a new, special open enrollment period for consumers who are preparing their 2014 taxes now and figuring out that they owe a tax penalty under the Affordable Care Act.

Florida has eclipsed California to become the state with the highest number of consumers buying health coverage through new insurance markets under the Affordable Care Act, according to federal statistics released Wednesday.

Ahead of the Sunday deadline to sign up for insurance on HealthCare.gov, the latest enrollment numbers show that close to 1.4 million people in Florida have signed up. That's more than any other state that uses the federal marketplace.

 The Obama administration is moving closer to its goal of 9.1 million people signed up for private coverage under the president's health care law.

Florida leads the federal marketplace states, with 1,270,995 people enrolled. Texas has nearly 920,000.

The Health and Human Services Department says at least 400,000 people signed up last week. That brought total enrollment in the 37 states served by HealthCare.gov to more than 7.1 million.

Are you thinking about tax day yet? Your friendly neighborhood tax preparer is. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen declared this tax season one of the most complicated ever, partly because this is the first year that the Affordable Care Act will show up on your tax form.

Tax preparers from coast to coast are trying to get ready. Sue Ellen Smith manages an H&R Block office in San Francisco, and she is expecting things to get busy soon.

"This year taxes and health care intersect in a brand-new way," Smith says.

  

Back in November, Phil Ammann of St. Petersburg was figuring out what he was going to do for health insurance. He found himself having to select a new plan, since the plan he bought on HealthCare.gov, was no longer going to be an option in 2015.

He wasn't the only Floridian going back to re-enroll in a plan.  According to federal health officials, 51 percent of the 673,255 Floridians who enrolled during the first weeks of enrollment were returning customers. 

It's the second year of enrollment for health insurance plans under the federal health law on HealthCare.gov, the website that Floridians, and people in dozens of other states, use to shop for health insurance.

As of Dec. 15, we have passed a key deadline, the deadline to buy a plan to have coverage that starts Jan. 1. But open enrollment runs through Feb. 15, 2015, and we have gathered a panel to talk about what consumers be doing now if they still need to get health insurance coverage to comply with the federal health law known as Obamacare.

Lottie Watts

  

The deadline has passed to buy a health plan on HealthCare.gov for coverage that starts Jan. 1, 2015.

But open enrollment goes through Feb. 15, 2015, and this week on Florida Matters on WUSF 89.7 FM, we talk about what consumers should do if they need to buy a health plan. The show airs on Tuesday, Dec. 16 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 21 at 7:30 a.m. 

The average monthly premiums for Affordable Care Act "silver plans" increased by double digits in most Florida counties for 2015, according to an Associated Press analysis.

In their analysis, AP reporters Mike Schneider in Orlando and Kelli Kennedy in Miami  compared premiums after averaging them for all silver plans, without taking subsidies into account. 

From a tailgating party with Gator fans in Gainesville to a beer festival in Pensacola, Floridians had plenty of opportunities Saturday to get in-person help signing up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. And as the second year of enrollment kicks off, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell is making a swing through Florida today to help get the word out.  

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