obamacare

Debrief: The Debate Over Sustaining HealthSource RI

Jun 5, 2014
RIPR FILE

State lawmakers have plenty of competing priorities to consider as they wrap up the legislative session. One of those is what to do with the state’s health insurance exchange, HealthSource RI. Health care reporter Kristin Gourlay joins host Dave Fallon to talk about the lively debate that's developed around this question of whether to keep HealthSource going or scrap it and default to the federal health insurance exchange, healthcare.gov.

Lt. Gov. Defends HealthSource RI

Jun 3, 2014

Lawmakers are being asked to decide the fate of HealthSource RI, the state’s online health insurance exchange. At issue is how to pay for it, or whether to scrap it. And plenty of voices are weighing in on the conversation. The latest claims state officials were told years ago that building an exchange wasn’t viable but did it anyway.

As you may know, there's a debate in the Rhode Island Statehouse over how to fund the state's online health insurance marketplace, HealthSource RI, after the Obamacare money runs out. Some say the $17 - $23 million dollar price tag to fund the site, customer service reps and centers, and infrastructure needed to negotiate for health insurance plans for sale on the site is just too much for a state with anemic coffers.

In a switch, the head of Rhode Island’s version of Obamacare says HealthSourceRI won’t need about $5 million dollars in state funding for the next fiscal year.

HealthSourceRI director Christine Ferguson last week said the exchange would need $4.6 million dollars in state money to keep going next year.

Republican Second Congressional District candidate Rhue Reis joins Bonus Q+A to talk about his challenge to Democratic Congressman Jim Langevin, and a host of related issues, including jobs and the economy; the federal budget; Obamacare; immigration, and more.

What's Next For HealthSource RI?

Mar 31, 2014

As you may know, today is the deadline for individuals and families to sign up for health insurance coverage through HealthSource RI, if you don't already have coverage. But what happens tomorrow?

Well, if you're an individual or a family without coverage now, and you can't get it through your employer or via Medicaid, you'll have to wait until the next open enrollment period, November 15, 2014. Also, you might face a tax penalty.

Last Chance To Enroll On HealthSource RI Is Monday

Mar 28, 2014

Monday is the deadline to enroll in a health insurance plan through HealthSource RI, the state’s online insurance marketplace. That’s the last chance to enroll until November.

The push is on to attract as many eligible Rhode Islanders to HealthSource RI to sign up for a health insurance plan. March 31st is the deadline to enroll in coverage in order to avoid a tax penalty for the year. And the next open enrollment period doesn’t start until mid-November for coverage that begins the following January. So if you were waiting until the last minute, now’s the time.

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.

The latest numbers out of the state's health insurance exchange show most residents are enrolling in Medicaid and And many of those who have enrolled in private health insurance are getting financial assistance to help pay for their coverage.

 

New numbers show nearly 20,000 Rhode Islanders have signed up for insurance on HealthSource RI, the state's insurance exchange. Meanwhile, almost 49,000 have enrolled in a state-paid Medicaid plan. The numbers also show 133 small businesses have enrolled to offer their employees and families coverage through the exchange.

 

HealthSource RI Opens Temporary Walk-In Center In Warwick

Mar 10, 2014

Rhode Island’s health insurance exchange is opening a temporary walk in center in Warwick today. Open enrollment on HealthSource RI ends this month.

RI Hospitals Post Operating Losses for 2013

Feb 24, 2014
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island hospitals posted a nearly $59 million dollar operating loss in 2013. That’s just one aspect of a troubling economic picture emerging in a new report on the state of the state’s hospitals.

Thousands of RI Latinos May Qualify for Obamacare

Feb 11, 2014

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.

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.

RI County Tops List Of Uninsured

Feb 6, 2014
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.

The Ethics of Preventative Medicine

Jan 27, 2014
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).

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