Tag Archives: enrollment

Experts have advice for the last-minute Medicare Advantage shoppers among your audience

A screenshot from a television ad on Friday for a Medicare Advantage plan from UnitedHealthcare.

A screenshot from a television ad on Friday for a Medicare Advantage plan from UnitedHealthcare.

Watching the TV ads during the evening news, you would think Medicare Advantage plans were the greatest health insurance bargain ever invented. Consumers should not be fooled, however.

It’s true that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services made it possible for Medicare Advantage (MA) health plans to offer more benefits to seniors enrolled in Medicare. Some of these plans offer coverage for vision, hearing, and gym memberships) while not charging a monthly premium, and some MA plans will even pay for seniors’ Medicare Part B premium, said John Barkett, a senior director of policy affairs at the health care consulting firm Willis Towers Watson. Continue reading

Bright spots in the ACA: Some successful states may surprise you

Image: Courtesy of Robert Wood Johnson FoundationClick through to see a larger image.

When we think of states doing well under the Affordable Care Act, we tend to think of the usual suspects, Democratic leaning states like California, Massachusetts and New York. And it’s true that the states using their own online exchanges for ACA enrollment tend to be the high performers.

What about the states that use the federal platform, Healthcare.gov? Continue reading

ACA enrollment holds quite steady for 2018

The final 2018 ACA marketplace enrollment figures are out – and they are higher than many people had expected going into year two of the Trump presidency.

Overall enrollment is 11.8 million – a drop of 3.3 percent from 12.2 million in 2017. (The peak was 12.7 million in 2016, the final enrollment period that took place completely during the Obama administration.) Continue reading

Being ‘underinsured’ another measure of health coverage

A recent Commonwealth Fund report shows that the rate of Americans who are underinsured reached 41 percent last year, up from 12 percent in 2003. The fund defines an underinsured person as having been insured all year but with out-of-pocket costs (excluding premiums) of 10 percent or more of income; out-of-pocket costs, excluding premiums, equal to 5 percent or more of income if low-income; or deductibles equal to 5 percent or more of income.

The Commonwealth Fund

This year the rate of those who are uninsured has risen steadily, as the Gallup Sharecare Well Being Index shows. In the third quarter, the share of Americans without health insurance was 12.3 percent, according to Gallup’s most recent quarterly report.

After President Donald Trump announced that he would end cost-sharing subsidies under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Danielle Wiener-Bronner covered the story for CNN and Jeffrey Young wrote about it for The Huffington Post. Continue reading

What you should know when reporting on Medicare open enrollment

Photo: Steve Slater via Flickr

Photo: Steve Slater via Flickr

This year’s fall open enrollment for Medicare beneficiaries began on Oct.15 and continues through Dec. 7. Anyone eligible for Medicare benefits can now make changes without penalty to their health and drug coverage options, whether enrolled in traditional Medicare (Parts A and B) or Medicare Advantage (Part C). Changes will go into effect on Jan. 1. Continue reading