Medicare and the Marketplace: 4 Things You Need to Know

There’s a lot to understand about the health insurance marketplace that opens on Oct. 1 – not to mention the Affordable Care Act (or “Obamacare”), which created it. But if you’re on Medicare, there’s really nothing to be confused about. Here are key facts to remember: If you’re on Medicare, don’t worry about the marketplace. The new health exchanges, as they’ve also been called, are for people without insurance. Medicare beneficiaries will continue to have Medicare. Unfortunately, there’s a lot …

New Health Plan Premiums Will Be Less Than Expected

By Julie Appleby and Phil Galewitz, for Kaiser Health News Just days before new online health insurance markets are set to open, the Obama administration Wednesday released a look at average premiums, saying rates in most states are lower than earlier projected – and that 95 percent of consumers will have at least two insurers to choose from. The report – released the same day that President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton touted the law’s benefits – comes …

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 …

The Health Care Law – Look Who’s Talking

The public’s most trusted sources of information about the Affordable Care Act – Obamacare, as many Americans know it – aren’t necessarily the ones they’re most likely to be hearing from. This from the most recent Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, which also tells us that lots of Americans – 44 percent of those surveyed – are confused about the health care law, with 31 percent unsure whether it is the law, 8 percent thinking that it has been repealed and another …

If You Have Medicare, No Need to Go to Insurance Marketplaces

By Susan Jaffe, Kaiser Health News. This story produced in collaboration with USA Today While the Obama administration is stepping up efforts encouraging uninsured Americans to enroll in health coverage from the new online insurance marketplaces, officials are planning a campaign to convince millions of seniors to please stay away – don’t call and don’t sign up. “We want to reassure Medicare beneficiaries that they are already covered, their benefits are not changing and the marketplace doesn’t require them to do …

Find Out Whether Your Hospital Has Too Many Readmissions

Is your hospital’s revolving door turning too quickly? Each year, more than a million Americans wind up back in the hospital within 30 days after leaving for reasons that could have been prevented. That includes one in five Medicare hospital patients. Medicare has begun penalizing hospitals with high readmission rates for patients being treated for heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia – new categories will be added in the future – and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) …