health insurance

Health Care
1:29 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Rhode Island Health Insurer Reacts to DOMA Decision

It’s unclear how exactly Wednesday's U.S. Supreme Court decision on DOMA will affect health care coverage for same-sex spouses. But Rhode Island’s largest health insurer has already been extending such benefits.

As an employer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island has been offering health coverage to its employees’ same-sex spouses since 2010, said Blue Cross compliance officer Martha Holt Castle.

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The Pulse
12:20 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

No Health Insurance? Get Ready to Enroll.

UPDATE: HHS unveiled a newly redesigned healthcare.gov today, which lets users learn more about enrolling in health insurance plans through online insurance marketplaces beginning October 1st. I tried it out. The web site leads you through a series of questions and presents you with your likely options for coverage and whatever financial assistance might be available to help you pay for that coverage. It also creates a customized "checklist" to help you prepare for enrollment, which includes a list of documents you'll need to gather.

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Health Care
4:20 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Hittner Nominated as Next Health Insurance Commissioner

Kathleen Hittner, MD
Credit Rhode Island Foundation

Governor Lincoln Chafee has nominated Dr. Kathleen Hittner as Rhode Island’s next Health Insurance Commissioner. Hittner must be confirmed by the senate.

Hittner has been tapped to replace outgoing commissioner Chris Koller, who is stepping down to become president of the Milbank Memorial Fund in New York City.

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Health Care
12:17 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

RI Insurers Must Disclose Prices to Doctors

For the first time, Rhode Island’s insurance commissioner has directed health insurers to disclose what they pay for health care services. But that information won’t necessarily be directly available to patients.

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Health Care
11:44 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Online Health Insurance Marketplace to Offer 28 Plans

Rhode Island’s online marketplace for health insurance is taking shape in preparation for October 1st. That's the date the exchange is scheduled to be up and running with a variety of new health plans to choose from.

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The Pulse
3:08 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Are You Eligible for Health Care Tax Credits?

A new report from consumer health care advocacy group Families USA crunched the numbers, state by state. They found that almost 83,000 Rhode Islanders will be eligible for something called the "premium tax credit" in 2014. Families USA, by the way, calls itself nonpartisan, although some say the organization is biased because of its clear support for the Affordable Care Act.

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Health Care
12:01 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Insurance Commissioner Koller Stepping Down

Christopher Koller, at right
Credit Stew Milne

Rhode Island’s first health insurance commissioner, Christopher Koller, will be leaving his post this summer. Koller will be heading a foundation in New York City.

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Health Care
3:42 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Health Insurers Seek Rate Hikes for 2014

Rhode Island health insurers have filed their requests for increases in premium rates next year. Some small businesses and individuals could see some significant hikes.

Small businesses could see their plan rates drop as much as 20 percent or spike as much as 40 percent. But the average Blue Cross increase is expected to be about 15 percent. Tufts asked for about 13 percent.

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Health Care
3:08 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Lt. Gov. Roberts: Planning a New Way to Pay for Health Care

Rhode Island is beginning a public effort to develop a statewide plan to improve the way we pay for health care. Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts is leading the effort.


With a $1.6 million dollar grant from the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, Roberts launched the six-month planning initiative. A series of public meetings will gather input from experts and community members. Roberts says she wants a plan to help health care providers and insurers move away from payments for a particular treatment or service toward paying for improved health.

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Health Care
4:04 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

No Delay for Rhode Island's Health Insurance Exchange for Small Businesses

The federal government is pushing back the launch of an online health insurance marketplace for small businesses that’s part of the Affordable Care Act. But there will be no delay in Rhode Island.

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