health insurance

About 15,000 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island members may be among the victims of a massive cyber attack. Health insurance giant Anthem, which offers Blue Cross plans in other states, revealed that hackers had stolen the personal information of nearly 80 million customers earlier this month. Anthem offers Blue Cross plans in other states.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island chief privacy officer Martha Holt Castle said they’re working with Anthem to repair the damage. Meanwhile, a letter will be sent to affected Rhode Islanders.

HealthSource RI is out with its most recent enrollment data.

It looks like the state's online health insurance marketplace kept two-thirds (71%) of enrollees from last year and gained a quarter more (about 5,000 new enrollees). So with total enrollments for 2015 at 22,910, HealthSource RI didn't lose a bunch of customers but didn't gain a whole lot either.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The deadline to renew health insurance plans through Health Source RI is coming up on December 23rd.  The state’s health insurance exchange is holding an enrollment fair today in Warwick to help customers in person. We checked in with a few to find out how it’s going.

Warwick resident Kim Darcy was waiting her turn to speak with a health insurance counselor. Darcy plans to re-enroll. And she says she’s thankful there’s a plan she can afford after going without for many years.

Rhode Island Kids Count found kids enrolled in the health insurance program for low-income children and families have better access to preventative health care. The new study on RIte Care comes on the program’s 20th anniversary.

HealthSource RI director Christine Ferguson has penned an op-ed in the Providence Journal to plead her case for keeping the health insurance exchange in local hands. Her commentary comes days after a Projo editorial arguing the state should scrap its exchange.

Health care providers say their patients can’t afford the co-pays and deductibles in their new health insurance plans. A special Rhode Island senate commission met with providers Wednesday to learn more. David Spencer is head of the Drug and Alcohol Treatment Association of Rhode Island. He said the patients struggling with costs are primarily those with plans from the state’s online health insurance exchange.

“What’s happening is a lot of these individuals are not following through on treatment, dropping out," said Spencer.

Enrollment on the state’s health insurance marketplace Health Source R-I is going relatively smoothly. This is the second enrollment period since it opened last year.

Health Source RI spokeswoman Maria Tocco says there were some minor issues with the web site and the call center phones but they were addressed quickly. Wait times swelled over the weekend and some scheduled appointments for hours later.

Data on the number of individual and family enrollments so far are expected toward the end of this week.

Today marks the beginning of open enrollment for HealthSource RI, the state’s online health insurance marketplace. It’s the second enrollment period for the exchange. Plus, there have been some changes.

It’s open enrollment now for individuals and families who don’t have health insurance or need to renew a plan they bought on Health Source the last time around. Enrollment is open through February 15. Plans bought on the exchange last year will not automatically renew.

This Saturday the state’s online health insurance marketplace, Health Source RI, opens for enrollment. It’s the second open enrollment period since HealthSource launched. This year there a couple of changes.

HealthSource faces an uncertain future in Rhode Island as we have a new governor and funding for the exchange runs out at the end of 2015.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s health care reporter Kristin Gourlay joins host Elisabeth Harrison to talk about what’s new on HealthSource this year, and what to make of the uncertainty.

Open enrollment for Rhode Island’s online health insurance marketplace, HealthSource RI, begins November 15. Individuals who are already enrolled must renew their coverage.

Individuals and families who enrolled in a health insurance plan on HealthSource RI the last time around must renew their coverage or pick a new plan by December 23rd. Why? One reason is that their coverage will not automatically renew. Another , said Health Source RI head Christine Ferguson is the choices have changed.

The main promise of the Affordable Care Act was - and is - to get more Americans covered by health insurance. But news today about Walmart's dropping coverage for 30,000 part-time workers reminds us there's still a rocky road to coverage for some.

With open enrollment for coverage through the health insurance exchanges right around the corner (Nov. 15), I thought it might be a good time to shine a spotlight on a couple of groups affected.

Many small businesses will be renewing health insurance coverage for their employees beginning in September. And HealthSource RI head Christine Ferguson says she hopes small business owners will consider plans on the state’s health insurance exchange. They’ll find some new options this time around, she says.

“We are in the finalization of the plan design. And we have plans that cost less than they cost last year," said Ferguson. "And we have a wider range of options. We have more carriers in the market for individuals as well as on the employer side.”

Reactions are still coming in to today's U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of Hobby Lobby (that decision, that the company is not required to cover contraceptives as part of employees' health insurance, can be read here.). Here are a few so far. Keep in mind, more decisions related to this one are expected.

Another legislative session has wrapped up. Health care reporter Kristin Gourlay joins host Dave Fallon in the studio to talk about how health care fared on Smith Hill.

Here's a transcript of their discussion.

The state’s largest hospital chain and largest insurer have inked an agreement to share patient data that will help them look for ways to improve health and save money. The deal is the largest of its kind in the state and could shape health care for more than 35,000 Rhode Islanders.