Affordable Care Act http://kplu.org en Wash. Health Insurance Rates To Increase, But By Less Than In Recent Years http://kplu.org/post/wash-health-insurance-rates-increase-less-recent-years <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/149411435&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>The cost of health insurance for individuals is <a href="http://www.insurance.wa.gov/about-oic/news-media/news-releases/2014/5-13-2014.html" target="_blank">probably going up next year</a> in Washington, but in a key test of the market under the Affordable Care Act, the rate hikes will be lower than in recent years.</p><p>How Obamacare would affect insurance rates has been one of the law’s big mysteries. There weren’t big price hikes this year, but now that the law has been fully in effect for some months, would there be a big jump for 2015?</p><p>According to the Office of the Insurance Commissioner, the answer is no. In paperwork filed with the OIC, the 17 insurance companies have asked for an average increase of 8.25 percent increase. Commissioner Mike Kreidler says that's the smallest increase in seven years.</p><p> Wed, 14 May 2014 00:10:31 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 16544 at http://kplu.org Wash. Health Insurance Rates To Increase, But By Less Than In Recent Years New Wash. Rules Target Cheap Health Plans http://kplu.org/post/new-wash-rules-target-cheap-health-plans <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/146956095&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Kreidler</span>&nbsp;has signed off on new rules for health plans, shrugging off criticism from insurers and medical providers.</p><p>The rules target a practice insurance companies have been relying on more lately: offering low-cost plans that cover care at fewer hospitals and other providers.</p><p>Kreidler says the new rules simply protect consumers’ right to know what they’re giving up for those lower premiums.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p> Mon, 28 Apr 2014 22:21:36 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 16301 at http://kplu.org New Wash. Rules Target Cheap Health Plans Wash. Health Exchange Reports Strong Enrollment Numbers Despite Early Glitches http://kplu.org/post/wash-health-exchange-reports-strong-enrollment-numbers-despite-early-glitches <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/146178747&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>After a rocky start, Washington’s health benefits exchange is taking a victory lap. Officials say the exchange got the late surge in enrollments it was counting on, pushing up its final numbers.</p><p>The first open enrollment period of Obamacare ended in March, and now that the exchange has processed most of the stragglers, it has released new numbers: 164,062 people enrolled in private plans, with another 423,205 enrolling in Medicaid through March 31. Factor in those now required to use the exchange’s website to re-up their Medicaid, and the number exceeds a cool million.</p><p> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 00:45:32 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 16237 at http://kplu.org Wash. Health Exchange Reports Strong Enrollment Numbers Despite Early Glitches New State Rules Could Limit Cheaper Health Plans With 'Narrow Networks' http://kplu.org/post/new-state-rules-could-limit-cheaper-health-plans-narrow-networks <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The practice of offering relatively inexpensive health plans with bare-bones provider networks has created tension between making health care affordable and keeping it accessible. It’s set to come to a head this week in Olympia.</span></p><p>The growth of “narrow networks” in Washington comes as the Affordable Care Act limits the ability of insurance companies to control their costs. That’s made it harder to offer plans at a range of prices — something the companies want to do as they compete for comparison shoppers on the health exchanges.</p> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 12:00:00 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 16123 at http://kplu.org New State Rules Could Limit Cheaper Health Plans With 'Narrow Networks' Obama: Affordable Care Act Enrollment Hits 8 Million http://kplu.org/post/obama-affordable-care-act-enrollment-hits-8-million President Obama says that enrollment under the Affordable Care Act has reached 8 million after the March 31 sign-up deadline was extended by two weeks.<p>"This thing is working," he told reporters at a White House briefing on Thursday.<p>The president said that 35 percent of those signing up through the federal government's website were under the age of 35. Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:57:45 +0000 Scott Neuman 16132 at http://kplu.org Obama: Affordable Care Act Enrollment Hits 8 Million On Last Day Of Enrollment, Shoppers Rush To Sign Up For Health Insurance http://kplu.org/post/last-day-enrollment-shoppers-rush-sign-health-insurance <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/142409638&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Midnight&nbsp;Monday marks the end of the first open enrollment period for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. That means most people without insurance&nbsp;come Tuesday will have to wait seven months to sign up.</p><p>In spite of some outages, last-minute shoppers have mobbed the websites for state and federal exchanges. And they also showed up in person at King County’s public health headquarters for an eleventh-hour enrollment event.</p><p> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 21:31:39 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 15515 at http://kplu.org On Last Day Of Enrollment, Shoppers Rush To Sign Up For Health Insurance Who In Washington Deserves An Extension On Monday's Obamacare Deadline? http://kplu.org/post/who-washington-deserves-extension-mondays-obamacare-deadline <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/141821201&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Washington’s health exchange is wrestling with how to accommodate people who have had trouble signing up for insurance. The March 31 deadline has been looming for months, as officials urge people to get covered or face a fine.</span></p><p>But considering the well-known problems at the state and federal exchanges, officials figured some people will need an extension. The question is who gets it.</p><p> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 12:01:00 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 15407 at http://kplu.org Who In Washington Deserves An Extension On Monday's Obamacare Deadline? KPLU's Annotated Guide To The Health Insurance Gobbledygook You Need To Know http://kplu.org/post/kplus-annotated-guide-health-insurance-gobbledygook-you-need-know <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/141172079&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">One thing about the Affordable Care Act is that now we’re all expected to be informed consumers about buying insurance. If you’ve never done that, you might be surprised at all the jargon you’re supposed to know. And if you’ve waited until the last minute to enroll — most people have until March 31 to sign up and dodge the fine, it’s time to start cramming.</span></p><p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 19:01:00 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 15164 at http://kplu.org KPLU's Annotated Guide To The Health Insurance Gobbledygook You Need To Know Edgy Washington State Ads Urge Young People To Buy Insurance http://kplu.org/post/edgy-washington-state-ads-urge-young-people-buy-insurance-0 <p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15.454545021057129px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">They drink. They dance. And they love the Sasquatch Music Festival, an annual phenomenon in Washington state. But will young people sign up for insurance on the state's health exchange?</p> Wed, 05 Mar 2014 21:17:52 +0000 Scott Hensley 14482 at http://kplu.org Edgy Washington State Ads Urge Young People To Buy Insurance High Enrollment In A State With No Love For Obamacare http://kplu.org/post/high-enrollment-state-no-love-obamacare-0 <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The latest figures on who's signing up under the federal health care law tell a surprising story about one of the most conservative states in the country.</span></p><p>Even though Idaho politicians regularly condemn Obamacare, Idahoans are signing up at one of the highest per capita rates in the country, second only to Vermont.</p><p> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 17:38:30 +0000 Jessica Robinson 14083 at http://kplu.org High Enrollment In A State With No Love For Obamacare Glitch Leaves Nearly A Thousand On The Hook For Promised Subsidies http://kplu.org/post/glitch-leaves-nearly-thousand-hook-promised-subsidies <p>The federal subsidies are what’s supposed to make Obamacare work;&nbsp;people who wouldn’t be able to afford a decent health plan get help to&nbsp;offset the cost.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">But nearly a thousand people who bought plans on Washington’s exchange have learned they’ll be on the hook for the full premium this month. &nbsp;</span></p><p>About 950 people who were supposed to get retroactive coverage won’t&nbsp;have their promised subsidies discounted from their January bill.&nbsp;They’ll still get the money, but they’ll have to wait until they do&nbsp;their taxes in 2015. Tue, 28 Jan 2014 01:03:34 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 12947 at http://kplu.org Glitch Leaves Nearly A Thousand On The Hook For Promised Subsidies Wash. Health Exchange Looking To Skew Younger http://kplu.org/post/wash-health-exchange-looking-skew-younger <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">A diverse group of people have signed up for private health insurance on Washington's state-run exchange, but officials say they still need more young people on board.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">As of Jan. 2, some 71,205 people had <a href="http://www.wahbexchange.org/news-resources/press-room/press-releases/jan-7-enrollment-report" target="_blank">enrolled in private plans </a>on Washington's health insurance exchange, a good deal less than the goal of 130,000. But Exchange CEO Richard Onizuka said it’s still on the low end of the expected range.</span></p><p> Thu, 09 Jan 2014 13:01:00 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 12406 at http://kplu.org Wash. Health Exchange Looking To Skew Younger Wash. State Extends Deadline For Health Insurance http://kplu.org/post/wash-state-extends-deadline-health-insurance <p style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif, Geneva; font-size: 15.454545021057129px; line-height: 15px;">Washington residents who have started but not finished their applications for insurance through the state's new health care exchange are getting a deadline extension.</p><div style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif, Geneva; font-size: 15.454545021057129px; line-height: 15px;"><p>State officials announced Wednesday that anyone who begins an application before Dec. 23, will have until Jan. 1 to finish. Exchange spokesman Michael Marchand says they'll get as much help as they need to make that happen.</p> Thu, 19 Dec 2013 00:34:10 +0000 The Associated Press 11866 at http://kplu.org Wash. State Extends Deadline For Health Insurance Wash. Health Exchange Up and Then Back Down Again http://kplu.org/post/wash-health-exchange-and-then-back-down-again <p style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif, Geneva; font-size: 15.454545021057129px; line-height: 15px;">The website for Washington's&nbsp;<font color="red">health</font>&nbsp;insurance&nbsp;<font color="red">exchange</font>is back down again with new technical issues after problems last week took the website down for four days.</p><div style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif, Geneva; font-size: 15.454545021057129px; line-height: 15px;"><p>Spokeswoman Bethany Frey says problems at the Washington Department of Social and&nbsp;<font color="red">Health</font>&nbsp;Services forced wahealthplanfinder.org to shut down Monday morning. DSHS is having problems with its own system that helps determine whether people are eligible for free or reduced cost insurance.</p> Mon, 09 Dec 2013 21:00:57 +0000 The Associated Press 11526 at http://kplu.org Wash. Health Exchange Up and Then Back Down Again Kreidler Defends Decision to Decline Health Care Extension http://kplu.org/post/kreidler-defends-decision-decline-health-care-extension <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Like a lot of big projects, </span>Obamacare<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> needs time to be successful. That was the message from Washington State Insurance Commissioner&nbsp;Mike </span>Kreidler<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, who testified before a House subcommittee in Washington, D.C. Wednesday.</span></p><p>Kreidler had been invited to speak by Washington Rep. Jim McDermott, but quickly found himself in the crosshairs of another, Rep. Dave Reichert.&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 04 Dec 2013 21:29:27 +0000 Ed Ronco 11421 at http://kplu.org Kreidler Defends Decision to Decline Health Care Extension