Obamacare's health exchanges up and running - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Obamacare's health exchanges up and running

Updated:
© iStockphoto.com / Sean Locke © iStockphoto.com / Sean Locke
  • More NewsMore>>

  • Gender gap under Ohio governor nearly $10 an hour

    Gender gap under Ohio governor nearly $10 an hour

    DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - A newspaper investigation has found the average pay gap between men and women in the offices of four of Ohio's five elected statewide officials has grown to almost $10 an hour, as it's shrunk to under a dollar across the rest of state government.The Dayton Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/1jWcGS7 ) women working in Republican Gov. John Kasich's (KAY'-siks) office earn $9.81-an-hour less, on average, than men. That's the highest gender pay gap among statewide officeholders...More >>
    DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - A newspaper investigation has found the average pay gap between men and women in the offices of four of Ohio's five elected statewide officials has grown to almost $10 an hour, as it's shrunk to under a dollar across the rest of state government.The Dayton Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/1jWcGS7 ) women working in Republican Gov. John Kasich's (KAY'-siks) office earn $9.81-an-hour less, on average, than men. That's the highest gender pay gap among statewide officeholders...More >>
  • Ohioans encouraged to dispose of medications

    Ohioans encouraged to dispose of medications

    Monday, April 21 2014 10:12 AM EDT2014-04-21 14:12:20 GMT
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Ohio State Board of Pharmacy is encouraging Ohioans to participate in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's "Drug Take-Back Day" next weekend. The event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday allows people to drop off expired or unused prescription medications. The DEA is coordinating with local law enforcement agencies, which will accept the discarded controlled substances at various places around the state. Drop-off sites can be found here: http://1.usa.gov/PmDUp...More >>
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Ohio State Board of Pharmacy is encouraging Ohioans to participate in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's "Drug Take-Back Day" next weekend. The event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday allows people to drop off expired or unused prescription medications. The DEA is coordinating with local law enforcement agencies, which will accept the discarded controlled substances at various places around the state. Drop-off sites can be found here: http://1.usa.gov/PmDUp...More >>
  • Ohio theme parks building on record revenue

    Ohio theme parks building on record revenue

    Monday, April 21 2014 9:44 AM EDT2014-04-21 13:44:43 GMT
    MASON, Ohio (AP) - A new roller coaster at southwestern Ohio's Kings Island theme park is expected to contribute to another year of record revenue and attendance for its parent company. Sandusky-based Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. owns the park in Mason, as well as Cedar Point in northern Ohio. Net revenues last year reached $1.14 billion. A record-breaking 23.5 million visitors in 2013 attended Cedar Fair's 15 amusement and water parks in Ohio, eight other states and Canada. The Dayton Daily...More >>
    MASON, Ohio (AP) - A new roller coaster at southwestern Ohio's Kings Island theme park is expected to contribute to another year of record revenue and attendance for its parent company. Sandusky-based Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. owns the park in Mason, as well as Cedar Point in northern Ohio. Net revenues last year reached $1.14 billion. A record-breaking 23.5 million visitors in 2013 attended Cedar Fair's 15 amusement and water parks in Ohio, eight other states and Canada. The Dayton Daily...More >>

By Karen Pallarito
HealthDay Reporters

TUESDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The Affordable Care Act's new health insurance exchanges opened for business Tuesday amid the first federal government shutdown in 17 years and a push by Republicans in the House of Representatives to delay further implementation of "Obamacare."

The rollout of the exchanges, or marketplaces, marks a crucial step in the expansion of health insurance access to millions of uninsured Americans beginning in 2014. Under the law, most people without insurance face the prospect of a fine.

Despite the Capitol Hill clash between Republicans and Democrats, the exchanges will be up and running -- with varying degrees of success -- on Tuesday because the Affordable Care Act doesn't rely exclusively on annual appropriations from Congress.

Some health insurance exchanges were open but not fully functional. Officials in Colorado, Oregon and the District of Columbia announced computer system problems prior to the kickoff of open enrollment, which runs through March 31, 2014.

People in Oregon, for example, can't apply for coverage online for several weeks. Those who want to apply immediately must connect with one of the exchange's licensed agents or community partners.

Jesse Ellis O'Brien, a health-care advocate with the Oregon State Public Interest Research Group Foundation, said he "wouldn't be surprised" if other states found their websites weren't quite ready to go live, either.

"I think the key thing is October 1st is a starting point -- it's not a finish line," he said.

Federal health officials also confirmed last week that small businesses won't be able to apply online for coverage in federally run small business insurance exchanges until November, and that the Spanish-language version of HealthCare.gov, the government's health reform website, won't be ready to enroll people for a few weeks.

Nicole Kaeding, state policy manager for Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy group in Arlington, Va., said she expects these sorts of stories to persist. "Piling thousands of pages of regulation onto an insurance market is an unworkable solution. We're beginning to see just how unworkable it is," she said.

Not even proponents of the health reform law had expected such an immense undertaking to get off the ground without a hitch.

"You know, I think it would be foolish to say that everything is going to go perfectly," Gary Cohen, director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said during a news briefing last week. "On any big IT [information technology] project, there always are going to be things that you can improve on and make better," he said.

The new health exchanges offer one-stop shopping for health insurance coverage. Eligible Americans can compare health plans and prices and choose the coverage that suits them best.

The exchanges will also determine whether people are eligible for public health coverage under Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program.

Some 7 million people are expected to enroll in private health coverage through the exchanges in 2014, according to estimates by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Another 9 million will enroll in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program, according to the research outfit's projections.

If you are uninsured, here's how the exchanges are designed to work:

- When you apply for coverage through the health exchanges, you'll find out if you are eligible for federal tax credits to lower your monthly health plan premiums. That help is available to people earning between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level, or $11,490 to $45,960 for a single person and $23,550 to $94,200 for a family of four. And depending on your income, you may qualify for cost-sharing subsidies to reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.

- The exchanges also serve as a gateway for people with very modest incomes to enroll in Medicaid. If you live in one of 24 states or the District of Columbia where Medicaid eligibility is expanding in 2014, you can earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level -- $15,856 for a single person or $37,384 for a family of four -- and qualify for coverage in the public health program.

How smoothly enrollment goes is likely to vary somewhat by state.

Pennsylvania, for example, is one of 27 states where the federal government is running the state's health insurance exchange.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded a little more than $2.5 million in grants -- a third of what some states received -- to train so-called "navigators" to provide in-person assistance to people who need enrollment help, according to Antoinette Kraus, director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network.

"Our concern is that there will not be nearly enough (navigators) to keep up with the demand," she said. Her organization is encouraging community organizations to get certified to help educate consumers and assist them in applying for coverage.

"We will need an all-hands-on-deck approach to getting the word out," Kraus said.

More information

Visit the official federal government website for details on coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
  • Around the WebMore>>

  • GM boosting China production capacity to 5 million

    GM boosting China production capacity to 5 million

    Sunday, April 20 2014 10:52 AM EDT2014-04-20 14:52:53 GMT
    Sales of GM-brand vehicles in China should reach 5 million next year, and Cadillac sales will double to 100,000, the president of General Motors said Sunday.More >>
    The president of General Motors said Sunday that the company and local partners are boosting production capacity for GM-brand vehicles in China to 5 million.More >>
  • Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

    Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:03 AM EDT2014-04-20 13:03:14 GMT
    NASHPORT, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.Helen Felumlee (FEHL'-uhm-lee) of Nashport in central Ohio died April 12. She was 92. Her husband, 91-year-old Kenneth Felumlee, died April 13.The couple's children say the two met as teenagers and had been inseparable since then.The Zanesville Times Recorder reports (http://ohne.ws/1in7erG) that the pair married Feb. 20, 1944, and raised eight children.Their...More >>
    NASHPORT, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.Helen Felumlee (FEHL'-uhm-lee) of Nashport in central Ohio died April 12. She was 92. Her husband, 91-year-old Kenneth Felumlee, died April 13.The couple's children say the two met as teenagers and had been inseparable since then.The Zanesville Times Recorder reports (http://ohne.ws/1in7erG) that the pair married Feb. 20, 1944, and raised eight children.Their...More >>
  • Easter Bunny train sparks New Jersey brush fires

    Easter Bunny train sparks New Jersey brush fires

    Sunday, April 20 2014 8:31 AM EDT2014-04-20 12:31:46 GMT
    POHATCONG TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - A train carrying the Easter Bunny in northwestern New Jersey has ignited several small brush fires.The Express-Times newspaper in Easton, Pennsylvania, reports the fires occurred Saturday in Pohatcong Township and Phillipsburg. No major property damage is reported. A firefighter from the New Jersey state forest fire service fell and dislocated his hip.Huntington Volunteer Fire Company Chief Peter Pursell tells the newspaper the diesel en...More >>
    POHATCONG TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - A train carrying the Easter Bunny in northwestern New Jersey has ignited several small brush fires.The Express-Times newspaper in Easton, Pennsylvania, reports the fires occurred Saturday in Pohatcong Township and Phillipsburg. No major property damage is reported. A firefighter from the New Jersey state forest fire service fell and dislocated his hip.Huntington Volunteer Fire Company Chief Peter Pursell tells the newspaper the diesel en...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms