Category Archives: Health care reform

Affordable Care Act survives again as SCOTUS rejects third challenge

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at joseph@healthjournalism.org.

Photo by dbking via Flickr

Ruling 7-2 on Thursday in a challenge that Texas and other states brought against the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Supreme Court found the plaintiffs lacked the legal standing to bring the lawsuit.

“The decision preserves health insurance subsidies for more than 20 million Americans and protections for tens of millions more whose preexisting medical conditions could otherwise prevent them from obtaining coverage,” as David G. Savage explained in an article for The Los Angeles Times. Continue reading

Resources for journalists on how the American Rescue Plan will reduce the number of uninsured Americans

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at joseph@healthjournalism.org.

American Rescue Plan Act: Health Coverage Provisions Explained,

Source: “American Rescue Plan Act: Health Coverage Provisions Explained,” from the Center for Children and Families and the Center on Health Insurance Reforms at the Georgetown Health Policy Institute, March 11, 2021.The American Rescue Plan reduces the maximum income contribution households would need to pay for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, limiting the top level to 8.5% of income.

Included in the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan (ARP) that President Biden signed into law last Thursday is an estimated $34 billion to fund the Affordable Care Act’s most significant expansion since Congress passed the ACA in 2010.

The new law is expected to extend health insurance coverage to about 2.5 million uninsured Americans, according to a recent analysis from the Congressional Budget Office.

“The American Rescue Plan will be the biggest coverage expansion in the 11-year history of the Affordable Care Act (ACA),” said a spokesperson for the federal Department of Health and Human Services. Now that the bill is signed into law, HHS will provide additional information about implementation. Continue reading

Journalism partners unveil National Science-Health-Environment Reporting Fellowships program for 2021-22

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

National Science-Health-Environment Reporting FellowshipsJournalists interested in building careers reporting on science, health and the environment are eligible to apply for new cross-cutting fellowships designed to provide training, networking, mentoring, new sources and story ideas, while allowing them to stay at their jobs.

The National Science-Health-Environment Reporting Fellowships are a first-ever collaboration of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (CASW), the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ), and the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ). The year-long fellowships are open to early-career journalists interested in covering any or all of the three fields.

Continue reading

As ACA marketplaces reopen for a special enrollment, health care journalists have a bigger role than ever

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at joseph@healthjournalism.org.

According to a KFF report on marketplace eligibility among the uninsured, more than half of the uninsured who could get a free bronze plan live in Texas, Florida, North Carolina, or Georgia. Other states with large shares of uninsured residents who could sign up for a no-premium bronze plan include Alabama, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Source: Marketplace Eligibility Among the Uninsured: Implications for a Broadened Enrollment Period and ACA Outreach, KFF, Jan. 27, 2021.According to a KFF report on marketplace eligibility among the uninsured, more than half of the uninsured who could get a free bronze plan live in Texas, Florida, North Carolina, or Georgia. Other states with large shares of uninsured residents who could sign up for a no-premium bronze plan include Alabama, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming.

On Monday, the Biden administration reopened the marketplaces for the Affordable Care Act for three months under a special open enrollment period.

As health care journalists we may want to consider the civic duty we have to explain some of the problems consumers are likely to face during this special enrollment period (SEP) through May 15.

One of our primary obligations may be to explain how consumers can avoid getting ripped off or being stuck with a health insurance policy that does not provide the full coverage consumers need. (See details below on how scammers have preyed on consumers seeking ACA-compliant coverage.) Continue reading

AHCJ’s annual conference rescheduled for October

About Jeff Porter

Jeff Porter is the director of education for AHCJ and plays a lead role in planning conferences, workshops and other training events. He also leads the organization's data collection and data instruction efforts.

With safety as a top consideration, AHCJ has changed the dates for the world’s premier health journalism conference.

Health Journalism 2021 is scheduled for Oct. 28-31 in Austin, Texas. The downtown Hilton Austin will serve as the main conference site.

“We have been working closely with the hotel in Austin to secure these new dates for Health Journalism 2021,” said AHCJ Executive Director Andrew Smiley. Continue reading