Noteworthy News

Archive for August, 2014


Millions Eligible to Pursue Health Insurance Before Next Open Enrollment Period

Approximately seven million Americans will not need to wait until the next open enrollment period to take advantage of enhanced access to health insurance made possible through the Affordable Care Act. While the next open enrollment period does not begin until November 15, people who have experienced major changes in their lives – those who have moved, lost their insurance, married, or gained citizenship – do not need to wait until then to seek insurance through the federal or state exchanges. The seven million figure is based on an analysis by the group Enroll America.  Learn more about how it [&hellip

Hospitals, Charitable Groups to Pay Insurance Premiums?

Hospitals and charitable groups such as the United Way are exploring the possibility of paying the health insurance premiums of uninsured patients who come through hospital doors. Such an approach would enhance access to care for the uninsured while helping hospitals get paid for care they will be providing regardless of whether the patients in question have health insurance. Such a practice is not entirely new.  A United Way organization in Wisconsin raised $2 million to help low-income residents purchase health insurance and hospital groups in New York and Florida are exploring a similar approach. Health insurers oppose the idea, [&hellip

Charity Care? Wait a Minute

Many hospitals are considering whether they should continue to provide charity care to people who were eligible for Affordable Care Act subsidies to purchase health insurance but chose instead to remain uninsured. The issue for many is whether the availability of charity care is an inducement for some people not to purchase health insurance and whether such patients are unwilling or unable to pay for care. Some hospitals have decided not to provide non-emergency charity care to those who chose not to purchase subsidized health insurance.  Others are currently considering whether they need to revise their approach to charity care.  [&hellip

500,000 at Risk of Losing New Health Insurance

About 500,000 people newly insured through the Affordable Care Act may lose their health insurance at the end of September if they cannot prove their eligibility for that insurance. Most of the cases being reviewed involve whether the newly insured are living in the U.S. legally. Currently, federal officials are reviewing information provided by 200,000 people but another 300,000 have not responded to requests for information about citizenship, immigration status, or income.  About one-half of those affected reside in Texas and Florida. The affected people have until September 5 to provide the requested information.  Those who fail to do so, [&hellip

Clinics Jumping Into Medicaid

Across the country, many free clinics that have long served the uninsured are becoming Medicaid providers. Not to be confused with federally supported community health centers, these clinics have long been an important part of the health care safety net, and today, many are keeping their doors open, and billing Medicaid for their services, as part of an effort to ensure that their long-time patients still have access to care in communities that may not have many physicians who accept Medicaid patients. Across the country there are about 1200 such free clinics, and while many are shutting their doors, others [&hellip

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