Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment called The Bottom Line.
This week, HealthSource RI director Christine Ferguson joins Dave and Mark to talk about the approaching deadline for open enrollment, how to attract more small businesses, young 'invincibles,' and Latinos to the health insurance exchange, and funding the exchange into the future.
When to Listen You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.
Rhode Island took advantage of millions in federal dollars to build and launch its own health insurance exchange. Now as that federal money is about to run out, HealthSource RI director Christine Ferguson says she’s got a plan for the 2015 fiscal year, which starts this July.
Looks like a mixed bag. Check out this interactive map from the Commonwealth Fund. Of the states with their own, state-run marketplaces, some plan to raise revenue for their exchanges with taxes or "assessments" on health insurance premiums, for instance. Others, like Rhode Island, seem to be still undecided.
A new analysis out from the US Health and Human Services agency estimates that about 17,000 uninsured Latinos in Rhode Island may qualify for assistance buying a health insurance plan on HealthSource RI or for Medicaid. That's out of RI's total Latino population of about 112,000. Both seem like sizeable numbers for a state of only about a million.
Rhode Island’s online health insurance exchange has nearly doubled enrollment numbers since January. The news comes as the deadline for individuals to get covered is less than two weeks away.
More than 16,000 Rhode Islanders have enrolled in health insurance plans on HealthSource RI as of this past weekend. That’s up from 9800 at the beginning of January. HealthSource RI says most enrollees have qualified for some kind of help paying for those plans – a reduced monthly premium and assistance with co-pays and deductibles.
A new analysis of some of the most recent census data for the Associated Press by the University of Minnesota's State Health Access Data Assistance Center finds that half the nation's uninsured people under age 65 live in just 116 of the nation's 3143 counties.
Providence County, RI is one of those, as you can see on this map here.
More than 15% of the county's 500,000 or so citizens are uninsured, according to the analysis.
News from the state's health insurance commissioner (OHIC): insurers are making good on their commitment to invest more of their premium revenue in primary care. OHIC directed insurers to raise the amount they spend on their members' primary care by one percentage point every year for four years. And in a new report the agency says they're going to hit those targets.