Affordable Care Act

file / RIPR

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.

Associated Press / University of Minnesota, State Health Access Data Assistance Center

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.

Al Tomkins / Poynter

I just returned from a seminar for reporters on covering what may come next for the Affordable Care Act. One of the last sessions was a talk by prominent bioethicist Art Caplan, new head of the NYU Langone Medical Center's Division of Medical Ethics (you can read more his illustrious career here).

Some of the lowest-income Rhode Islanders may be losing their health insurance coverage or paying a bit more for it by the end of this month.

Rhode Island’s health insurance exchange reports that more than 9800 Rhode Islanders have signed up for health coverage with private insurance plans to date. And while you might have missed the deadline to get covered as of January 1st, enrollment remains open through March 31st.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for a weekly business segment we're calling "The Bottom Line." Each Friday they look at business news and themes that affect local business and the public.

This week Dave and Mark talk with HealthSource RI Director Christine Ferguson. They take a look at the response of small businesses in the state to the new health insurance marketplace and separating Rhode Island’s health exchange from the problems at the federal level.

When to Listen

Flo Jonic / RIPR

A couple of deadlines tied to Obamacare are coming up. One of them for people signing up for coverage that starts January first … that deadline is the day before, December 31st.

If you have health insurance through your employer, great. And in Rhode Island, that's the vast majority. But if you don't, or if your insurance is being canceled, now's the time to make a decision about what you're going to do. Here are some reminders and a few helpful tips about deadlines and what's available.

Individuals and families

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for a weekly business segment we're calling "The Bottom Line." Each Friday they look at business news and themes that affect local business and the public.

This week Dave and Mark talk with insurance broker James Raiola of Mass Mutal. They discuss the how the state’s health insurance exchange is offering plans for small businesses and what kind of company can benefit from using the exchange.

When to Listen

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

file / RIPR

A bit more than 2600 Rhode Islanders have signed up for health insurance coverage through HealthSource RI. That's a fraction of everyone who’s eligible-- 2%, to be exact, of the estimated 125,000 uninsured Rhode Islanders who could sign up for coverage on Rhode Island’s health insurance exchange.

The Obama administration has extended the deadline to sign up for health insurance coverage that takes effect January first by one week. Rhode Islanders now have until December 23rd to enroll in a plan on HealthSource RI.

Individuals and small businesses have another week to sign up for health insurance coverage that begins January 1st. The new deadline is December 23rd, instead of December 15, to accommodate consumers who may have had trouble signing up online and to ease the possible rush of sign-ups at the last minute.

You might be, if:

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Rhode Island’s health insurance exchange, HealthSource RI, said several hundred small businesses have started applications for health plans through the site. And there’s more new data about who is enrolling in plans on the exchange.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island has opened its first retail location in Warwick, another sign of the shifting health insurance business landscape.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The head of Rhode Island's online insurance marketplace says she's encouraged by the amount of interest consumers have shown in signing up for health insurance on the state’s newly launched health exchange.

It’s been up and running since October 1st to help uninsured Rhode Islanders and small businesses get the health coverage most are required to have by January 2014.

Healthsource RI leader Christy Ferguson briefed state senators on how it’s working last night. She says the exchange could help drive down health care costs if plenty of small businesses sign up.

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