What You Need to Know About the Postponed Employer Mandate

From Kaiser Health News Surprising both friends and foes of the health law, the Obama administration on Tuesday announced the delay of a key provision: the requirement that all but the smallest employers offer medical coverage or pay a fine. Companies with at least 50 workers now have until 2015 to provide coverage if they don’t offer it already, giving them and Washington an extra year to work through the complex details of the legislation. The administration will deliver more …

Those Left Out of Medicaid Expansion Won’t Be Penalized … Or Insured

By Alvin Tran, Kaiser Health News Low-income Americans who live in states that have decided not to expand Medicaid eligibility will not face penalties if they fail to buy insurance next year. Discussion: 78 million consumers saved $3.4 billion on ACA-provisioned health insurance That’s according to a final rule on exemptions to the health law’s individual mandate – the law’s controversial requirement that most Americans have health coverage or pay a penalty in 2014. That rule was published Wednesday. The health …

Want a Head Start on Getting New Health Insurance?

Where to begin? Come Oct. 1, when the online health insurance marketplaces open for business, that will be the challenge for many people who want to get coverage under the health care law. To get ready for the launch, they can visit the government’s newly revamped HealthCare.gov website. Or they can call the 24-hour call center, which opened June 24. It’s supposed to be able to handle enrollment questions in 150 languages. The website asks a few simple questions, such …

Obama: Health Law ‘Working the Way It’s Supposed to’

From Kaiser Health News In California Friday, President Barack Obama praised the health law benefits already in place and talked about the state’s health insurance marketplace. He also placed a special emphasis on touting the law to the state’s Latino population. Here’s a transcript of his remarks: OBAMA: These leaders from California’s government, the California Endowment, and major Spanish-language media outlets have joined together to help implement the Affordable Care Act here in California and to educate folks about how to …

These Doctors Are Transforming Medicine. Is Yours Keeping Up?

By Ankita Rao, Kaiser Health News Dr. Thomas Bellavia transformed his traditional medical practice in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., into a so-called medical home where patients are seen by teams of doctors and nurses.  He says it has paid off in better, more coordinated care for his patients and healthier income for the nurse practitioners and physicians in his group. Dr. Mark Holthouse took a different tack – limiting his El Dorado, Calif., clinic to 400 patients a year, and adding services such as …

The Affordable Care Act Turns Three

The Affordable Care Act is three years old. So what does that mean? What has happened to improve health care over the past few years? Let’s take a quick look: People with Medicare now get a 52.5% discount on brand-name drugs and a 21% discount on generics. People are already seeing a lot of savings. Medicare has a free initial checkup and a free yearly wellness checkup. Medicare also covers preventive care for free. For people with insurance, free preventive …