Are You in the Hospital or Not?

If you think you are having a stroke, you’ll probably go to the nearest ER. But will the hospital admit you? After you have been checked into the ER, the doctor may instead put you under “observation,” especially if it is unclear whether you have had a stroke, a fainting spell or something else. What is observation status? It’s an outpatient designation used to monitor patients during periods of medical uncertainty. Rather than being formally admitted as inpatients, patients in …

Obama Eases Rules on Canceled Health Plans

President Barack Obama will ease rules that were causing some people to lose their health insurance under the health care law, he announced Nov. 14. Obama had repeatedly promised that consumers who like their health insurance plans could keep them under the new system. But some people who buy their own insurance – as opposed to getting it through an employer – found their plans canceled by insurers in recent weeks because they didn’t meet the minimum standards the law …

Health Marketplace: Costs for Similar Plans Can Vary Widely

By Jordan Rau and Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News Consumers shopping in the new health insurance marketplaces will face a bewildering array of competing plans in some counties and sparse options in other places, with people in some areas of the country having to pay much more for the identical level of coverage than consumers elsewhere. A Kaiser Health News analysis of the 1,923 plans being sold on federally run online marketplaces found wide variations of price and availability. For instance, …

Got Health Problems? Now You Can Get insurance Online

By Phil Galewitz, for Kaiser Health News. This KHN story was produced in collaboration with McClatchy. Denise Marshall of Sonoma, Calif., was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2011 and a year later, lost her toy company job along with her health insurance benefits. The good news is that her disease was caught early and she is now in remission. The bad news was her cancer diagnosis made it impossible to buy coverage because insurers thought she was too high a health …

The New Health Care Law: It’s Personal!

The following is a guest post by Charlotte Whittaker, AARP Kentucky volunteer Watch AARP Live September 19th, 10pm ET, 9pm CT For me, the Affordable Care Act could not be more personal.  You see, my grandson Mason suffers from an acute form of asthma.  His medications typically cost $8,000 per month. Without access to quality health care, I’m certain he wouldn’t be with us today. But because of the Affordable Care Act, Mason’s future is more secure. We can rest …

Losing a Job and Insurance? The New Marketplace Might Help

By Michelle Andrews, for Kaiser Health News Workers who lose their jobs and their employer-based health insurance will have new coverage options when the Affordable Care Act’s state marketplaces open in October. But consumer advocates are concerned many may not realize this and lock themselves into pricier coverage than they need. Today, the only option for many laid-off workers is to continue their employer-provided coverage for up to 18 months under the federal law known as COBRA. Because they have to pay the …