Affordable Care Act | KERA News

Affordable Care Act

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The health insurance marketplace is ten days old, and the traffic jam at healthcare.gov still hasn’t cleared up. That’s been frustrating for Texans and the people trying to sign them up. As part of our series Obamacare 101, we take a look at some North Texas companies who are celebrating, not complaining about the Affordable Care Act.

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Now that the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplace is open for enrollment, what does that mean for North Texans? And if you want to take part in the marketplace, how can you make the most of it?

That’s the focus of the first hour of today’s “Think” on KERA 90.1 FM. At noon, KERA’s Lauren Silverman will talk with host Krys Boyd about Obamacare. Listen live here.

Call in with your questions: 1-800-933-5372. Or email think@kera.org

Brush up on the Affordable Care Act with KERA’s ongoing Obamacare 101 series:

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Okay, I know. Remembering birthdays, bill payments, and where you left your keys is hard enough. But there are a few dates you should keep in mind now that the Health Insurance Marketplace is up and running (sort of) in Texas. Here’s a breakdown, courtesy of the Texas Medical Association’s “Hey Doc” educational campaign.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Imagine not having to fill out that new patient form every single time you see a different physician. Or doctors getting automatic notices when a patient is admitted to the emergency room. These are some of the promises of electronic health records.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

For years the government has been trying to convince doctors to trade in their pads and pens for computers and tablets – and not just because their handwriting is often illegible. The switch plays a fundamental role in achieving the promises of Obamacare -- lower costs and more access. Not all North Texas physicians are taking the bait.

BlueCross BlueShield of Texas

The traffic jam of people checking out health insurance options online hasn’t completely let up. But here’s what North Texans will find once they make it past the login page: 40 plus plans to choose from. A handful are from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas — the largest provider of health benefits in the state.

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Speaking to an audience in New Jersey yesterday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry called the opening of the Obamacare health insurance marketplaces a “felony” against young people.

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More than two million Texans may qualify for insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. But many have no idea they’re eligible. We've got a calculator, so you don't have to do the math.

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This fair might not have corny dogs or deep fried lattes, but it will offer a free bag of healthy groceries and an all-you-can learn Obamacare buffet.

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We’re getting an idea of what health insurance may cost through the Affordable Care Act marketplace that opens in Texas next week. A report released today puts a dollar figure to ‘affordable’ health insurance.

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Attention seniors, you will not lose Medicare coverage when the health insurance marketplace opens in October, nor will you have to go to the new online exchange to sign up for plans.

Sorry, wrong number

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In three weeks, the Texas health insurance marketplace will be open for business. There will be a variety of plans to choose from – the basic bronze and even platinum – but all of them, and many private insurance plans too – will be required to cover certain benefits like checkups starting in 2014.

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If you want job security and a good salary, investing in putting an “M” and a “D” in front of your name is a pretty solid way to go. Today there is unprecedented demand for MD’s, or family physicians, in Texas and across the U.S., according to a new study led by Irving-based consulting firm Merritt Hawkins.

Why?

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Lace up your shoes and get ready to jump in — the health insurance marketplace opens in less than a month. And even though the details of the plans — or prices — available to Texans on the new site haven’t been revealed, you can still get a leg up by preparing early.

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There are nearly six million people in Texas without health insurance. The majority will be able to get coverage when the state marketplace opens in October, but not everyone. Undocumented immigrants won’t be able to sign up for health care through the exchange. 

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Republican Senator Ted Cruz faced some hecklers in Dallas Tuesday night as he urged conservatives to demand their elected representatives vote to defund ObamaCare.

The push comes as Cruz is increasingly mentioned as a likely presidential candidate in 2016.

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When it opens October 1st, this marketplace will not have any lines. At least that’s what we’re hoping. In Texas, the federally run health insurance marketplace (formerly known as “the exchange”), is an online shopping site designed to take the confusion out of buying private health insurance. So how will it work and who needs to shop there? We got the breakdown from Stacey Pogue of the Austin-based nonprofit, the Center for Public Policy Priorities.

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Money for the so-called health insurance “navigators” has arrived. The federal government announced Thursday that eight Texas organizations will receive a total of $10.8 million to train “navigators” to help uninsured Texans find coverage on the new marketplace set to open Oct.1.

Dickey's Barbecue Pit

Running a business like Dickey’s Barbecue Pit or La Duni Latin Cafe is about to get more complicated. There are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to the Affordable Care Act (also known as ACA or Obamacare), but there is general consensus that it will have a big impact on businesses.

Governor Rick Perry is doing little to welcome U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ to Texas.

Sebelius is scheduled to meet today with officials in Austin and San Antonio to talk about how local communities can take advantage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) program as it rolls out later this year.

In a statement emailed to the media Perry said the program, which he calls Obamacare, is “increasingly convoluted”. 

When you arrive at a hospital, your first question probably isn't "Who owns this place?" But the answer may be important. Critics say doctor owned hospitals increase prices, cherry-pick patients and create conflicts of interest. The Dallas Morning News reports Physician-owned hospitals in North Texas are finding ways to expand despite provisions in the Affordable Care Act that discourage their growth.

Dallas County has been named on a “worst” list of 30 counties nationwide that have some of the highest numbers of uninsured.  In fact, 22 of the counties are in Texas.

The list was released by the Center for American Progress, a group which supports the implementation of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

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Health insurance companies aren’t the only ones competing for your money as the Affordable Care Act’s insurance mandate deadline approaches. Scammers are also trying to get in on the confusion. According to Jim Quiggle, a national spokesman for the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud. There are a variety of tricks con artists use to get sensitive information – most often they’ll pose as representatives of government agencies.

Connor Industries

The Obama Administration is delaying part of the health-care reform law that requires businesses with more than 50 employees to provide health insurance.  That's good news for Fort Worth small business owner Grady Payne, CEO of Connor Industries.

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The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has unveiled its new HealthCare.gov website, featuring a 24/7 educational hotline for information about the health insurance marketplace set to open on October 1st. 

A federal appeals court has dealt the Obama administration yet another blow in its quest to keep at least some age restrictions on the sale of emergency contraceptive pills.

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May 12th through May 18th is National Women’s Health Week. And it’s a good time to clarify how the Affordable Care Act impacts women.

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Who says you can’t have fun and a get a mammogram? This week is National Women’s Health Week, and you can celebrate here in North Texas a few ways:

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Ten-minute physicals and health insurance paperwork aren't just frustrating for patients – they're a pain for doctors, too. One of every 10 Texas doctors say they are moving away from accepting insurance and toward a flat fee for coverage. They call it "concierge care," or direct medicine.

More than 4,000 U.S. doctors offer concierge services. That’s 30 percent more than last year. And Texas is a hot zone: at least a dozen doctors have gone concierge in Dallas-Fort Worth alone. Here’s a basic overview.

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