Julie Rovner http://news.wbfo.org en That Health Insurance Deadline Now Comes With Wiggle Room http://news.wbfo.org/post/health-insurance-deadline-now-comes-wiggle-room We're just five days away from the March 31 deadline to sign up for individual health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. For weeks, administration officials, including the president, have insisted that there would be no extensions to the scheduled end of the six-month open enrollment period.<p>But now there's some wiggle room. Let's review, shall we?<p><strong>Start with the key question: Is Monday still the deadline?</strong><p>Yes. Next Monday, March 31, is the last day for most individuals to sign up for health insurance for 2014 through the health exchanges or outside of them. Wed, 26 Mar 2014 21:12:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 41035 at http://news.wbfo.org That Health Insurance Deadline Now Comes With Wiggle Room Health Law's Employer Mandate Hits Another Speed Bump http://news.wbfo.org/post/aca-employer-mandate-hits-another-speed-bump The Obama administration is, again, delaying implementation of a part of the Affordable Care Act that requires employers to provide health insurance to their workers (or, potentially, face penalties). But this time it's not the entire "employer mandate" that's being delayed (<a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/07/02/198128747/affordable-care-acts-employer-mandate-delayed">as it was in 2013</a>) — just part of it.<p>For most businesses affected by the law (firms with fewer than 50 workers are exempt), the employer provisions will go into effect, as scheduled, on Jan. 1, 2015. Mon, 10 Feb 2014 22:26:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 40170 at http://news.wbfo.org Health Law's Employer Mandate Hits Another Speed Bump The Healthy, Not The Young, May Determine Health Law's Fate http://news.wbfo.org/post/healthy-not-young-may-determine-health-laws-fate Now that the problems with the balky <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/">HealthCare.gov</a> website are largely fixed, the Obama administration is finally feeling comfortable enough to launch some of the outreach it planned for last fall.<p>Its top target: young adults, specifically those between 18 and 35.<p>Actress and comedian Aisha Tyler and former Los Angeles Laker Magic Johnson are among the celebrity spokesmen. Fri, 24 Jan 2014 22:00:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 39877 at http://news.wbfo.org The Healthy, Not The Young, May Determine Health Law's Fate Health Care Costs Grew More Slowly Than The Economy In 2012 http://news.wbfo.org/post/health-care-costs-grew-more-slowly-economy-2012 Health care spending grew at a record slow pace for the fourth straight year in 2012, according to a new government report. But the federal officials who compiled the report disagree with their bosses in the Obama administration about why.<p>The <a href="http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/33/1/67.abstract">annual report</a> from the actuaries at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, published in the journal <em>Health Affairs</em>, found total U.S. Mon, 06 Jan 2014 22:43:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 39537 at http://news.wbfo.org Health Care Costs Grew More Slowly Than The Economy In 2012 HealthCare.gov Now Allows Window Shopping, And A Do-Over http://news.wbfo.org/post/healthcaregov-now-allows-window-shopping-and-do-over One thing that's clear about the relaunch of the troubled HealthCare.gov website is that it can accommodate more people.<p>Federal officials said <a href="http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20131203/IT/312030009/Obama-Healthcare-gov-now-working">more than 1 million users logged in on Monday</a>, and nearly that many on Tuesday.<p>But less attention has been paid to some other upgrades that are also making the site easier for people to use. Thu, 05 Dec 2013 08:16:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 38816 at http://news.wbfo.org HealthCare.gov Now Allows Window Shopping, And A Do-Over ACLU Sues, Claiming Catholic Hospitals Put Women At Risk http://news.wbfo.org/post/aclu-sues-us-bishops-says-catholic-hospital-rules-put-women-risk The American Civil Liberties Union has decided to go directly to the source of its unhappiness with the way women are treated in Catholic hospitals. Mon, 02 Dec 2013 21:54:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 38749 at http://news.wbfo.org ACLU Sues, Claiming Catholic Hospitals Put Women At Risk Emergency Contraceptive Pill Might Be Ineffective For Obese http://news.wbfo.org/post/emergency-contraceptive-pill-might-be-ineffective-obese The Food and Drug Administration says it is reviewing whether the maker of the most widely used emergency contraceptive pill needs to change its label in light of new evidence that it doesn't work to prevent pregnancy in overweight or obese women.<p>The word comes as <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/11/plan-b-morning-after-pill-weight-limit-pounds">news broke Monday</a> that makers of a similar product in Europe have re-labeled their "morning after pill" to reflect the latest scientific findings that the hormone levonorgestrel starts losing its effectiveness in women weighi Tue, 26 Nov 2013 07:52:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 38599 at http://news.wbfo.org Emergency Contraceptive Pill Might Be Ineffective For Obese Health Exchanges Brace For A December Deluge http://news.wbfo.org/post/looming-deadline-push-more-traffic-insurance-website The race is on to get the federal insurance website HealthCare.gov working smoothly by the end of November.<p>And it's not just because that's what federal officials have promised. Mon, 25 Nov 2013 10:07:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 38574 at http://news.wbfo.org Medicaid Enrollment Is Brisk Despite HealthCare.gov Troubles http://news.wbfo.org/post/medicaid-enrollment-brisk-despite-healthcaregov-troubles Buried in the paltry enrollment numbers for the Affordable Care Act that were released last week was something that came as a surprise to many — the success states are having signing people up for the Medicaid program, which provides health care to low-income people.<p>During the first month the health exchanges were open, just over 100,000 people managed to choose a private health plan, according to <a href="http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2013/MarketPlaceEnrollment/rpt_enrollment.pdf">the report</a>. Wed, 20 Nov 2013 23:57:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 38488 at http://news.wbfo.org Medicaid Enrollment Is Brisk Despite HealthCare.gov Troubles Can You Keep Your Old Health Plan? It May Depend On Where You Live http://news.wbfo.org/post/will-you-get-keep-your-health-plan-depends-where-you-live President Obama's proposal to try to let more people keep their canceled health insurance policies sounded so simple when he announced it Thursday.<p>"Insurers can extend current plans that would otherwise be canceled into 2014. And Americans whose plans have been canceled can choose to re-enroll in the same kind of plan," he said in unveiling the proposal at the White House.<p>In other words, if your insurance company says so, you can keep your existing health policy for another year. Fri, 15 Nov 2013 21:46:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 38377 at http://news.wbfo.org Can You Keep Your Old Health Plan? It May Depend On Where You Live Health Care Registration Numbers Are Revealed http://news.wbfo.org/post/health-care-registration-numbers-are-revealed The Obama administration says just about 100,000 people managed to choose health plans through the federal and state health exchanges during their first month of the program. Critics say that shows the law is failing. But most analysts say the first month's numbers wouldn't have meant very much, even if the federal website had been working properly. Thu, 14 Nov 2013 10:53:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 38317 at http://news.wbfo.org Insurance Cancellations Elbow Out Website Woes At Health Hearing http://news.wbfo.org/post/insurance-cancellations-elbow-out-website-woes-health-hearing When the head of the agency responsible for the troubled <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/">Healthcare.gov</a> went before Congress for the first time since its foibles became apparent Oct. 1, she probably didn't expect that many questions would be on something else altogether.<p>But the website turned out not to be the focus of questions for Marilyn Tavenner by Republicans at the <a href="http://waysandmeans.house.gov/">Ways and Means Committee</a> hearing Tuesday. Tue, 29 Oct 2013 21:31:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 37938 at http://news.wbfo.org Insurance Cancellations Elbow Out Website Woes At Health Hearing More Technical Issues For Obamacare, But Good News For Medicare http://news.wbfo.org/post/more-technical-issues-obamacare-good-news-medicare Monday was yet another troubled day for the Affordable Care Act.<p>Sunday night, the outside vendor that operates two key parts of the website that lets people browse and sign up for health insurance experienced a failure.<p>The failure took place at a vendor called <a href="http://www.terremark.com/">Verizon Terremark</a> and presumably affected other clients as well as <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/">HealthCare.gov</a>, the federal website that people use to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.<p>By 7 a.m., federal officials say, the data hub at HealthCare.gov that cert Mon, 28 Oct 2013 21:15:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 37908 at http://news.wbfo.org More Technical Issues For Obamacare, But Good News For Medicare Why Postponing Insurance Mandate Is No Easy Fix For Obamacare http://news.wbfo.org/post/why-postponing-insurance-mandate-no-easy-fix-obamacare The Obama administration has entered full damage-control mode over the balky website intended to enroll people in new health plans under the Affordable Care Act.<p>Senior officials met Wednesday morning with <a href="http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Glitc">Democrats on Capitol Hill</a>, and in the afternoon insurance CEOs got an audience at the White House. Wed, 23 Oct 2013 20:05:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 37782 at http://news.wbfo.org Why Postponing Insurance Mandate Is No Easy Fix For Obamacare States' Refusal To Expand Medicaid May Leave Millions Uninsured http://news.wbfo.org/post/states-refusal-expand-medicaid-may-leave-millions-uninsured President Obama on Tuesday appointed one of his top management gurus, Jeffrey Zeints, to head the team working to fix what ails HealthCare.gov, the troubled website that's supposed to allow residents of 36 states to enroll in coverage under the Affordable Care Act.<p>But even if the team gets the website working as it should, millions of Americans may still log on to discover that they aren't eligible for any health coverage at all. And that won't be due to any technical glitch. Wed, 23 Oct 2013 07:13:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 37766 at http://news.wbfo.org States' Refusal To Expand Medicaid May Leave Millions Uninsured So What's The Real Deadline For Obamacare Sign-Up? http://news.wbfo.org/post/so-whats-real-deadline-obamacare-sign The health exchanges are now open, though some have a lot of glitches. You still have lots of questions about how the Affordable Care Act affects you and your family.<p>And we have answers. In our ongoing series, we're addressing questions you've asked about the sign-up process.<p><strong>With people having so much trouble logging onto the websites to get coverage, some are wondering how soon they have to sign up for coverage to avoid the potential penalties. </strong><p>Don't worry, there's still plenty of time. There are really just two important dates to keep in mind. The first is Dec. 15. Mon, 14 Oct 2013 07:22:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 37538 at http://news.wbfo.org So What's The Real Deadline For Obamacare Sign-Up? Insurance Exchange 101: Here's What You Need To Know http://news.wbfo.org/post/insurance-exchange-101-heres-what-you-need-know The Affordable Care Act has been through two years of legislative wrangling, a presidential election and a Supreme Court test that took it to the brink.<p>Now, after yet another round of debate and argument, major pieces of the federal health law are expected to kick in Tuesday.<p>If all goes as planned, people who don't have insurance or who buy it on their own will be able to shop online or at various locations in their communities for coverage that will take effect Jan. Mon, 30 Sep 2013 07:37:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 37167 at http://news.wbfo.org Insurance Exchange 101: Here's What You Need To Know Administration Touts Lower-Than-Expected Obamacare Premiums http://news.wbfo.org/post/administration-touts-lower-expected-obamacare-premiums Premiums in the health insurance exchanges set to open next week will be lower than anticipated, the Obama administration announced Wednesday.<p>According to a <a href="http://www.npr.org/assets/news/2013/hcmarketplace.pdf" target="_blank">report</a> released by the Department of Health and Human Services, "premiums nationwide will ... Wed, 25 Sep 2013 04:15:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 37044 at http://news.wbfo.org Administration Touts Lower-Than-Expected Obamacare Premiums Would A Federal Shutdown Delay Health Care Exchanges? http://news.wbfo.org/post/would-federal-shutdown-delay-health-care-exchanges Well, it's almost Oct. 1, the day of a threatened government shutdown <em>and</em> the day state health insurance exchanges are scheduled to begin operations.<p>Those are the online marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act where people can compare health plans and sign up for coverage.<p><strong>Would closing down the government delay the opening of the health exchanges?</strong><p>Probably not. And there are a few reasons why. Tue, 24 Sep 2013 20:59:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 37039 at http://news.wbfo.org Would A Federal Shutdown Delay Health Care Exchanges? Employers Trim Health Costs By Cutting Coverage For Spouses http://news.wbfo.org/post/employers-trim-health-costs-cutting-coverage-spouses When UPS told workers that it would no longer offer health coverage for spouses who had their own job-based insurance, it caused a big stir. But the shipping giant has plenty of company.<p>So many employers are trying to cut back on health coverage for spouses that it has become a trend. Thu, 19 Sep 2013 07:20:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 36890 at http://news.wbfo.org Employers Trim Health Costs By Cutting Coverage For Spouses After A Decade, Congress Moves To Fix Doctors' Medicare Pay http://news.wbfo.org/post/after-decade-congress-moves-fix-doctors-medicare-pay Hear the words health care and Congress, and you think fight, right?<p>And you'd be forgiven, particularly because the House has now voted <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/02/gop-obamacare-vote_n_3695871.html">some 40 times</a> in the past two years to repeal or otherwise undo portions of the Affordable Care Act.<p>But something unusual happened just before Congress left for its summer break. Fri, 06 Sep 2013 06:54:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 36575 at http://news.wbfo.org After A Decade, Congress Moves To Fix Doctors' Medicare Pay You Ask, We Answer: More Of Your Questions About The Affordable Care Act http://news.wbfo.org/post/you-ask-we-answer-more-your-questions-about-affordable-care-act The Oct. 1 launch of the new <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/06/21/193925145/with-health-exchanges-poised-to-open-pr-push-draws-scrutiny">health insurance exchanges</a> is now less than two months away, and people are starting to pay attention to the changes these new marketplaces may bring to the nation's health care system.<p>We know it's confusing, so we're spending part of the summer and fall answering at least some of your questions about the law. Mon, 19 Aug 2013 07:06:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 36102 at http://news.wbfo.org You Ask, We Answer: More Of Your Questions About The Affordable Care Act Obamacare Foes Make Final Push To Stop Health Law's Implementation http://news.wbfo.org/post/obamacare-foes-make-final-push-stop-health-laws-implementation <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHEo_7fLy1Y</p> Thu, 08 Aug 2013 07:20:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 35835 at http://news.wbfo.org Obamacare Foes Make Final Push To Stop Health Law's Implementation Congress May Be Getting Its Own Obamacare Glitch Fixed http://news.wbfo.org/post/congress-may-be-getting-its-own-obamacare-glitch-fixed As its last official action before leaving for a five-week summer break, the House today voted — for the 40th time — <a href="http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/315267-house-votes-to-block-irs-enforcement-of-obamacare">to block implementation</a> of the federal health law.<p>But it was something that happened late Thursday night affecting members of Congress and their staffers' own health insurance that attracted more attention around the Capitol.<p>Back in 2010 when Congress passed the health law, Republicans basically dared its Democratic sponsors to require that members of Congress Fri, 02 Aug 2013 21:19:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 35696 at http://news.wbfo.org Congress May Be Getting Its Own Obamacare Glitch Fixed Will Obamacare Mean Fewer Jobs? Depends On Whom You Ask http://news.wbfo.org/post/definition-full-time-becomes-sticking-point-obamacare Of all the contentious claims about the Affordable Care Act, few have been more contentious than over the impact it's having on employers.<p>It's hard to <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2013/may/02/business/la-fi-part-time-healthcare-20130502">pick up a newspaper</a> or <a href="http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/your_money/job_news/part-time-hours-cut-due-to-health-care-costs">turn on a television</a> without seeing a story about some boss cutting workers' hours or saying he won't be doing any more hiring because of the health law.<p>But is the law really having an impact on the economy?<p>Not su Tue, 30 Jul 2013 20:26:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 35602 at http://news.wbfo.org State Laws Limiting Abortion May Face Challenges On 20-Week Limit http://news.wbfo.org/post/state-laws-limiting-abortion-may-face-challenges-20-week-limit Banning abortions after a specific point in pregnancy has been a popular trend in the states this year. Last week, <a href="http://www.texastribune.org/2013/07/18/perry-signs-abortion-bill-law/">GOP Gov. Mon, 22 Jul 2013 14:29:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 35381 at http://news.wbfo.org State Laws Limiting Abortion May Face Challenges On 20-Week Limit White House Muddles Obamacare Messaging — Again http://news.wbfo.org/post/white-house-muddles-obamacare-messaging-again This summer was supposed to be a time to <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/06/21/193925145/with-health-exchanges-poised-to-open-pr-push-draws-scrutiny" target="_blank">reintroduce the public</a> to the Affordable Care Act and teach people how to sign up for benefits this fall.<p>But that's not what's happening.<p>Instead, earlier this month, the Obama administration decided to <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/07/03/198387347/delay-for-insurance-mandate-pleases-businesses" target="_blank">delay some key pieces of the law</a>, most notably the requirement for larger empl Fri, 19 Jul 2013 07:23:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 35309 at http://news.wbfo.org White House Muddles Obamacare Messaging — Again White House Delays Key Piece Of Affordable Care Act http://news.wbfo.org/post/white-house-delays-key-piece-affordable-care-act <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.<img src="http://www.google-analytics.com/__utm.gif?utmac=UA-5828686-4&utmdt=White+House+Delays+Key+Piece+Of+Affordable+Care+Act&utme=8(APIKey)9(MDAwMjMzNDA2MDEyOTc4NzE1NzhiYWUyMA004)"/></div><p>Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.<p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>And I'm David Greene.<p>The Obama administration set off some pre-4th of July fireworks last night. Wed, 03 Jul 2013 08:52:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 34893 at http://news.wbfo.org Affordable Care Act's Employer Mandate Delayed http://news.wbfo.org/post/affordable-care-acts-employer-mandate-delayed Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel. The Obama administration announced late today that it is delaying a key part of the Affordable Care Act. Businesses will now have another year to prove that they are providing health insurance or that their employees, otherwise, have health insurance from some other source. Companies had complained that the reporting requirements to prove this were too complicated and too burdensome. NPR's Julie Rovner joins me now to explain. Tue, 02 Jul 2013 22:44:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 34885 at http://news.wbfo.org You Ask, We Answer: Demystifying The Affordable Care Act http://news.wbfo.org/post/you-ask-we-answer-demystifying-affordable-care-act The biggest changes in health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act are set to begin less than three months from now. Oct. 1 is when people can start signing up for coverage in new state health exchanges. The policies would kick in on Jan. 1, 2014.<p>It can all be <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2013/06/seniors-obamacare-democrats-kathleen-sebelius-93472.html?hp=f3">a little confusing</a>, we agree. So two weeks ago, we asked what you wanted to know about the health law.<p>You weren't shy; our inbox was stuffed. Here are some answers. Mon, 01 Jul 2013 07:04:00 +0000 Julie Rovner 34827 at http://news.wbfo.org You Ask, We Answer: Demystifying The Affordable Care Act