States Simplify Medicaid Sign-Ups

Getting on Medicaid has never been so easy. In the past two years, 31 states and the District of Columbia have expanded eligibility for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, but even more have simplified sign-ups and renewals, according to a 50-state survey released Jan. 21. For example, 49 states this year take applications for Medicaid by telephone, up from 15 in 2013, reports the Kaiser Family Foundation. (KHN is an editorially independent program of the foundation.) All but one state …

Taking a Stand for Social Security

Social Security hasn’t gotten much attention yet in the presidential campaign. But we aim to change that. A growing cadre of AARP volunteers and concerned citizens is calling on every presidential hopeful to lay out a plan to keep the promise of Social Security for future generations. We call our new effort Take a Stand. I’m helping run it, and I recently traveled to the early battleground states of Iowa and South Carolina to see how it was faring. What …

Medicaid Expansion Helps Cut Rate of Older, Uninsured Adults From 12% to 8%

The health law’s expansion of Medicaid coverage to adults with incomes over the poverty line was key to reducing the uninsured rate among 50- to 64-year-olds from nearly 12 percent to 8 percent in 2014, according to a new analysis. “Clearly most of the gains in coverage were in Medicaid or non-group coverage,” says study coauthor Jane Sung, a senior strategic policy adviser at the AARP Public Policy Institute, which conducted the study with the Urban Institute. Under the health …

Supreme Court Hears Challenge to Health Care Law

For the second time in three years, the federal Affordable Care Act went before the Supreme Court on Wednesday. And before a packed courtroom, a divided group of justices mostly picked up right where they left off the last time. Once again, commentators and experts were left to wonder where Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy, considered swing votes in the case, stand. A decision is expected by the end of June. Unlike in 2012, the current case, …

5 Things to Know About the Obamacare Court Case

The Affordable Care Act is once again before the Supreme Court. On March 4, the justices will hear oral arguments in King v. Burwell, a case challenging the validity of tax subsidies helping millions of Americans buy health insurance if they don’t get it through an employer or the government. If the court rules against the Obama administration, those subsidies could be cut off for everyone in the three dozen states using healthcare.gov, the federal exchange website. A decision is …

Poll: If Court Rules Against Obamacare Subsidies, Most Want Them Restored

A new poll finds that most people think Congress or states should act to restore health insurance subsidies if the Supreme Court decides later this year they are not permitted in states where the federal government is running the marketplace. The court in March is set to hear King v. Burwell, a lawsuit arguing that the wording of the Affordable Care Act means that financial assistance with premiums is available in only the 13 states that created and are running …