One clear lesson that health law advocates have drawn during the first two enrollment seasons under the Affordable Care Act is that many, many people need help sorting through their health plan choices as they try to enroll.
Among the many ways to get that assistance is by consulting a government-funded navigator or in-person assister (IPA), who must have training in the health law and enrollment procedures. Continue reading
Photo: Phil GalewitzA recent AHCJ chapter meeting featured discussion of Medicaid and story ideas for reporters to pursue. Facing the camera, from left to right, are Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call, Joan Alker of the Georgetown Center for Children and Families; Cindy Mann, former head of Medicaid official; and Matt Salo, head of the National Association of Medicaid Directors.
The Washington, D.C., chapter of AHCJ held an event about Medicaid in late October with Matt Salo, who leads the National Association of Medicaid Directors; Cindy Mann, who until January was the top U.S. official in charge of Medicaid at HHS and now works at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips; and Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown Center for Children and Families.
Here are some of their insights and story ideas that can help reporters keep this story fresh. Continue reading
We posted recently about California’s assessment of who was dropping out of the exchange, including the finding that most people leaving Covered California were getting health insurance elsewhere.
But as Abby Goodnough later reported from Yazoo City, Miss., that’s not always the reason for higher turnover in other areas. Retaining enrollees is a challenge – and affordability is one big reason. That’s true even for people whose premiums are heavily subsidized. Continue reading
In an Oct. 13 story, Susan Abram informed readers of the Los Angeles Daily News that a city sports arena was being transformed into a massive health clinic for four days. Hundreds of dentists, optometrists, nurses and other volunteers would offer free care to people in need.
This was not the first so-called “megaclinic” to come to the Los Angeles Sports Arena – and not the first time Abram had written about one. The reporter used her experience of past clinics, and insights into the nation’s evolving health care system, to bring a new and interesting angle to her story: Continue reading
Cover health care, or any beat, long enough and most journalists will discover that one story leads naturally to another.
Misty Williams (@ajchealthcare), who covers health care for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, has taken that concept to another level. She found that one series of articles leads to another.
In a new How I Did It for healthjournalism.org, Williams explained that in the spring of last year, she began work on a series to outline how the Affordable Care Act was affecting Georgia consumers. In that series, she reported that 400,000 state residents made too much money to qualify for Medicaid but also too little to receive tax subsidies for health insurance on the federal marketplace. Georgia is one of 19 states that has not expanded Medicaid under the ACA. Continue reading
Photo: Phil Galewitz
About 25 Washington, D.C., area journalists met on Sept. 30 to learn about how the Affordable Care Act was affecting a local brewery and discover how the district’s health insurance exchange was working to help such small employers gain coverage for their employees. Continue reading
There’s a lot of speculation about what outgoing House Speaker John Boehner may or may not accomplish in his last weeks in office.
Ending the acrimony about the Affordable Care Act is not one of them.
Not only is the House now rapidly moving ahead with another attempt to gut key sections of the law through a budget tool known as reconciliation (which President Obama would veto), Boehner has another ACA legacy. He was pivotal in filing the House of Representatives lawsuit charging that President Obama and his administration overstepped their authority in implementing the health law. Continue reading
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2013 and 2014Population Without Health Insurance Coverage by State: 2013 and 2014 (Click to enlarge.)
For the past two months, new data on the rate of the uninsured in the United States have reached what appear to be historic levels.
Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau released the latest numbers, reporting that the percentage of Americans who were uninsured last year dropped by 2.9 percentage points from 2013, the largest percentage-point decline since 2008.
In an article for Kaiser Health News, Julie Rovner went further, quoting Paul Fronstin, director of health research for the Employee Benefit Research Institute. The decline of almost 3 percent is, “probably the biggest drop ever,” Fronstin said. Continue reading
A recent post by Bruce Japsen at Forbes makes a quick supplement to a post we did recently highlighting how hospitals are faring in Medicaid expansion states vs. nonexpansion states.
Japsen knows a lot about the business side of the hospital industry and has written about the ACA’s impact on hospital finance. Recently he’s been paying attention to second-quarter earnings reports of publicly traded hospital companies. (As he notes, it’s the sixth quarter since ACA coverage expansion began.) Continue reading
Photo: Gulkana WSR via photopin (license)Alaska’s dramatic landscape, seen here at Gulkana River, a popular sportfishing river known for its salmon and other fish.
President Barack Obama’s trip to Alaska this week is aimed at highlighting climate change and the environment, but his health care overhaul has turned up in the news, too.
This particular story by Alaska Public Media’s Annie Feidt paints the Alaskan health landscape in full relief, profiling the state’s top health official amid wrangling over the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, or so-called Obamacare. Continue reading