• WHATare the facts?
  • HOWdoes this affect me?
  • WHENis this happening?
  • WHEREdo I get more info?

Reform News

Wellness Programs in the Workplace

Wellness is a big issue for everyone. Both individual Americans and the businesses they work for benefit when wellness issues are being addressed on a regular basis. As a result, many workplaces are offering wellness incentive programs to promote good health among their workers. Federal regulations help insure that these programs don’t discriminate against those […]

Do I Need Disability Insurance?

There are many different types of insurance coverage, beyond simple health insurance. One coverage that many Americans have questions about is disability insurance. Many employers offer disability insurance, but only 30 percent of workers have the coverage. This article provides details to help you better understand if disability insurance is right for you. Understanding Disability […]

What is Balance Billing?

Paying for health needs can be expensive, and many Americans were relieved when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) made health insurance available and affordable for many, many more citizens. However, sometimes having health insurance isn’t the end of paying for health procedures. Depending on your insurance company and provider network, you may get a bill […]

Medicare Celebrates 50 Years

On July 30, 1965, President Johnson signed Medicare into law as part of the Social Security Amendments of 1965. This sweeping change to the health care laws provided health insurance to people age 65 and older, regardless of income or medical history. On July 30, 2015, we celebrate the 50th birthday of Medicare. History of […]

New Preventive Services Added to Plans Without Cost-Sharing

One of the biggest benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was that Americans received access to a host of preventive benefits through their insurance plans, without any cost-sharing to receive them. This means that Americans can receive these services without paying a copayment or deductible. Recently, two new services were added to the list […]

Child-Only Insurance an Option for Families

While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) made insurance more accessible to many Americans, some adults still do not have access to their own health insurance. Instead, they focus on getting the best care they can for their family, especially their children. Although the ACA has a number of benefits that extend to health insurance for […]

What You Didn’t Know You Could Use FSAs For

A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is a benefit offered by some employers that allows you to set aside pre-tax money for out-of-pocket medical expenses. Generally, the money in FSAs has to be used before the end of the year or it is lost – there is usually no carryover into the next year. Some employers […]

King v. Burwell Ruling Issued

Many lawsuits challenge the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but few are as significant as the King v. Burwell case. This case challenged specific language in the ACA and held that citizens in states with federally-run healthcare exchanges should not qualify for tax subsidies to reduce premium costs. The case made it to the Supreme Court […]

How to Get Help Paying Prescriptions

As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has improved access to health care, prescription drug costs have continued to be an active concern for many Americans. The ACA included a provision that will close the Medicare Part D “donut hole” over time, which helps seniors significantly. However, getting prescriptions without insurance coverage can be very difficult. […]

Before You Accept a Job: Questions to Ask Employers About Health Coverage

With all of the changes that have taken place in health care and coverage since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed, it’s important to be aware of what coverage is available to you. This is especially true if you are looking for a new job. Some employers are required to offer health insurance, but […]

The State of Dental Care in the U.S.

Amid all the buzz about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and changes in medical health insurance, dental health has fallen off the radar. Unfortunately, many of the mandates and affordable options that apply to medical health insurance do not apply to adult dental coverage. However, improvements have been made to children’s dental coverage. The State […]

Steps to Getting Health Coverage for Small Businesses

As a small business owner, you’ve probably thought about offering health insurance to your employees. However, for many small businesses, health insurance can be very expensive. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has made important changes to make it easier for small businesses to offer health insurance to their staff. It’s also important to note that […]

Entrepreneurs: How to Choose & Use Health Insurance

As an entrepreneur, there are a lot of expenses you face in running your business. It can be easy to think you can go without health insurance, especially since the monthly fee can seem quite high. Unfortunately, that’s a risk you – and your family – can’t afford to take. Getting health insurance is of […]

What If My Hospital Closes?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) made a lot of changes to how health care is administered and paid for, including some adjustments to certain types of reimbursements. Unfortunately, that has placed some strains on certain health care providers. Hospitals Feeling the Pinch The ACA made some reductions in how much hospitals are paid for treating […]

Medicaid Turns 50

Happy Birthday Medicaid! On July 30, 2015, Medicaid celebrates its 50th birthday. There’s been a lot of controversy around Medicaid expansion since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but the basic program has not been questioned. As it hits 50 years of implementation, it’s a good chance to look at what Medicaid has […]

New App Brings Doctor Housecalls into the Tech Age

Do you ever wish you could call a doctor to your home, the way it was years ago? Interestingly, in some areas of the United States, you now can. New smartphone apps, like Heal and others, allow you to order on-demand doctor’s services. What Heal is and How it Works In the same way that […]

Administration Clarifies Contraception Coverage Requirements

As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been rolled out over the last year and a half, there have been some controversies on certain coverage rules. As an example, a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) showed that insurers were very inconsistent with the birth control coverage they offered. Although the ACA requires birth […]

Some Insurers Fight ACA Requirements on Women’s Health Coverage

Many aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have been controversial, including women’s health issues. Lawsuits have been filed concerning business owners’ right to not pay for contraception or other services to which they have a  moral or religious objection. However, it’s been found that insurance companies themselves are offering less coverage of women’s services […]

Millions of Uninsured May Be Eligible for Special Enrollment Period

A lot has been made of the changes that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) brought to health insurance. One of the big focuses has been the specific open enrollment periods. With the ACA, you cannot purchase individual insurance anytime you would like. Instead, you have to purchase within a specific window of time each year. […]

Explore Short Term and Temporary Health Insurance Options

While having medical insurance without interruption is ideal, some Americans have circumstances that make that impossible. As a result, they may need to lean on short term health insurance or find a temporary health insurance plan. “Short term insurance” and “temporary insurance” are actually the same thing, and the terms are often used interchangeably – […]

New Resource Designed to Change Perceptions of Mental Illness

Mental health is an important, although often overlooked, aspect of overall wellbeing. For decades, mental health diagnoses have been classified using a huge manual called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM. This book functioned as a guide for practitioners and was used by insurers to determine coverage. A New Resource – […]

What is Long-Term Insurance and How Does it Work?

As Americans grow older, many start to think about their long-term care options. Unfortunately, what many don’t realize is that neither Medicare nor traditional health insurance cover long-term care. While a brief stay in a nursing home or skilled nursing facility may be covered as a form of rehab, long-term stays are not covered by […]

Understanding HIPAA and How It Affects You

When it comes to health care, privacy is very important. Health care providers have detailed, personal information about you and your medical treatment history, diagnoses, and even the names and information for relatives that are your emergency contacts. Keeping your medical information private is important for a number of reasons, so in 1996, HIPAA privacy […]

How the ACA Improved Health Care for Children

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) changed not only how health insurance affected our daily lives as adults, but also children’s health care. The goal of the ACA was to offer affordable coverage to more Americans, including children. This was done through changes in private and small group insurance, as well as changes in Medicaid and […]

The Pros and Cons of PPO Dental Insurance

As Americans make choices about their health insurance, many are considering dental insurance as well. While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was primarily focused on medical insurance, dental insurance cannot be overlooked. There are several types of dental coverage, including Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) dental insurance. How Dental PPO Plans Work PPO dental plans function […]

HMO Dental Plans Explained

While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) focused on changes to medical insurance, there are choices to make when it comes to dental insurance as well. Americans are adjusting to the changes in their medical coverage, but it’s important to be informed about different types of dental coverage as well, including health maintenance organization (HMO) dental […]

How to Save on Out-of-Pocket Health Care Costs

As Americans adjust to the changes made by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many are looking to save money. Monthly premiums on many plans are higher than they were before due to the limited rating factors and required coverage provisions that insurance companies now face. Fortunately, there is a way to save money on health […]

Hospitals’ Uncompensated Care Costs Drop

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was designed to provide more Americans with access to affordable health insurance. Since its implementation in 2014, it has done just that, with millions of Americans taking advantage of new health coverage. The expansion of Medicaid in many states, young adults staying on their parent’s insurance until age 26, and […]

Young Adults Have Coverage Through Parents – But Will They Use It?

One of the more celebrated provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was the requirement for health insurance plans to cover dependent’s care up to the age of 26. This allowed millions of young adults access to more affordable health insurance through their parent’s employer or other plan. This provision dramatically increased the number of […]

Test Your Women’s Health Care Knowledge


Grandmothered Health Care Plans & How They Differ From Grandfathered Plans

When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed in 2010, there were some pre-2010 health plans that were allowed to remain in place without being ACA compliant. Most people are familiar with grandfathered plans, which don’t have to adhere to many ACA rules and can continue indefinitely as long as certain provisions aren’t changed. However, […]

Medicare Physician Payment Reform: A New Merit-Based System

Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there has been a lot of attention on various reforms that are still needed in health care. One of the most recent to be addressed was the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), a yearly adjustment to the payments physicians received for treating Medicare patients. History of the […]

Health Care Cost Growth Slows, But Americans Don’t Feel It

Health care costs have been a major issue for many years. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there were many conflicting opinions about what would happen to the cost of insurance and medical care overall. Since the ACA was enacted, health care costs have been growing at a much slower rate than […]

14 Million More Have Coverage, Yet Doctors Aren’t Swamped

After the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it became clear that millions of Americans were going to be newly able to access health care. While that was the purpose of the law, some commentators were concerned about what would happen to doctors’ workloads as a result. Many predicted long waits to access a […]

Understanding Cost Sharing

As you’ve reviewed your options for health insurance, especially since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you’ve probably come across the term “cost-sharing.” Cost-sharing requires the insured to pay part of the cost of their own medical care. How much is paid depends on the insurance plan chosen. Health Insurance Cost-Sharing For most […]

Health Law Brings Few Changes to Work Insurance Enrollment

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) made changes to how individuals purchased health insurance in the Marketplace, but also added requirements for employers. As of January 1, 2015, companies with 100 or more full-time equivalent (FTE) employees were required to offer health insurance to all full-time staff. As of January 1, 2016, the same requirement will […]

Exclusive Provider Organizations (EPOs) Explained

With many Americans now purchasing their own health insurance plans since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), being informed about insurance is more important than ever. There are several different types of insurance plans available, including Exclusive Provider Organization plans (EPOs). Benefits of an EPO An EPO plan is a type of managed […]

HMO vs. PPO: Which is Right for You?

There are a lot of different types of health insurance plans and each one works differently. Two of the most common are Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) and Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs). These two types of health insurance are quite different in terms of how they work and how much they cost. As a result, understanding […]

The Pros and Cons of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

A health savings account (HSA) is a way to save money for health costs that go above and beyond insurance coverage. This can be a very useful way to cover copayments, deductibles, and other non-covered expenses. HSAs are used in conjunction with a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) where the HSA helps patients cover the large […]

What Does Allowed Amount Mean on Your Health Insurance Statement?

When you receive a medical service or procedure that is billed to your insurance, your insurance company will send you a statement called an “Explanation of Benefits,” or EOB. This document has information relating to how much was paid on your recent treatment and how much is still owed. There is also another line item […]

What Are Insurance Codes and How to Understand Them

Health insurance coverage can be challenging for most patients to understand. When you receive documentation after a medical procedure or visit is paid for, it often contains abbreviations and codes that are not found elsewhere in day to day life. As a result, patients can have a hard time understanding these insurance billing codes. What […]

Explanation of Benefits Explained

As you use health insurance coverage, you receive paperwork regarding how much the insurance company paid for each claim made on your behalf. Unfortunately, many Americans simply file the papers without ever looking them over. This can lead to misunderstandings and significant financial costs if benefits are not being paid correctly. Explanation of Benefits (EOB) […]

Credit Rating Agencies More Flexible on Medical Debt

Medical costs can be a big concern for Americans who need a major procedure or who face the prospect of ongoing care. Unfortunately, those financial issues sometimes end up affecting the patient’s credit report, especially if they don’t have access to comprehensive insurance or have high deductibles. Fortunately, there has been a recent change in […]

Employers May Require Staff to Enroll in Insurance

Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the word “mandate” has been tossed around quite a bit – often in a negative way. Americans are mandated to have health insurance or they face a penalty on their taxes. Employers of a certain size are mandated to offer health insurance to their staff. Unfortunately, […]

Shared Decision-Making Between Doctors and Patients

As millions begin using health insurance coverage for the first time, Americans are becoming more educated and involved in their medical care. Much of this is the result of extensive news coverage surrounding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and new health insurance choices. Citizens are also finding themselves more empowered by the amount of information […]

Historic Numbers of Uninsured Americans Drop as Millions Gain Coverage

The purpose of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was to make affordable health insurance coverage more accessible to Americans. The results of a recent survey conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) show that those goals are being met. Millions of Americans have gained new coverage and the number of uninsured citizens […]

What Happens If the Supreme Court Rules Against Subsidies?

On March 4, 2015, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in King v. Burwell regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This case addresses whether the federal tax subsidies that help Americans afford health insurance can apply in the 34 state Marketplaces that are facilitated by the federal Marketplace at Healthcare.gov. If the Court […]

Oral Arguments Made Before Supreme Court Against ACA

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has faced many legal challenges from those who oppose the law. One of the most significant is King v. Burwell, a case regarding the legality of tax subsidies that help lower insurance costs for consumers who qualify. The case has made it all the way to the Supreme Court and […]

U.S. Faces Shortage of Doctors by 2025

As more and more Americans gain access to health care due to changes by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), some medical providers are concerned. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) predicts that the nation will face a shortfall of 90,000 doctors by 2025. While this number is lower than the previously predicted shortage by […]

Mental Health Care for Young Adults Under the ACA

Mental health is a part of health care that often gets less attention than it deserves. The stigma associated with mental health issues can make them difficult to discuss, especially for young adults. Fortunately, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) made it easier for young people to obtain health insurance and increased access to mental health […]

Health Insurance Options for Entrepreneurs

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) made changes to how many Americans purchase health insurance, especially those who are self-employed. Previously, coverage was often unattainable and unaffordable for the self-employed. Health insurers were free to deny coverage based on health conditions or exclude coverage for certain conditions, and  insurance was often so expensive that many entrepreneurs […]

Health Coverage Subsidies: Do You Qualify?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) introduced tax subsidies to help Americans afford private health insurance. There are specific guidelines that need to be met before a health care subsidy will be awarded, and the amount varies based on family size and income. It’s very important to understand what subsidized insurance means and to know when […]

How to Get Help Paying for Health Insurance

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) aimed to provide as many Americans as possible with access to affordable health insurance. Many citizens are finding they need to take advantage of the ACA’s provisions that provide help with health care costs. Some people also wonder if health care financing of any kind is available. When You Need […]

What is a Multiemployer Health Insurance Plan?

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) a few years ago, Americans are more focused on understanding their health insurance options than ever before. Many people obtain their insurance from their employers, and have questions about the specific arrangement their employer uses for health insurance. Understanding Multiemployer Plans A multiemployer health insurance plan, […]

How to Change or Cancel Your Health Plan After Enrolling

As Americans learn more about health insurance options, questions begin to arise about enrollment. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) created a limited “open enrollment” window to review and purchase insurance and some Americans wonder how to change their health insurance plan after they’ve chosen one, or how to cancel Marketplace coverage once it’s purchased. How […]

Where Does Your State Stand on Vaccination Requirements for Students?

A lot of attention has been placed on the issue of vaccination as of late. The recent measles outbreak has caused medical professionals, educators, and others to remind Americans of the dangers of not being vaccinated on schedule. As a result, many are wondering when the vaccine for measles and other diseases are required for […]

Is The Doctor In (Your Network)?

When choosing your health insurance plan during open enrollment, you often need to ask additional questions to make sure the plan you buy is best for you and your family. One aspect that’s important is making sure your doctor is in the health insurance network. Unfortunately, ensuring that your doctors are part of your in-network […]

Tax Season Prompts Special Enrollment Period for Health Care Marketplace

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) changed a lot about how Americans choose and buy health insurance. It also created a mandate that all Americans must have health insurance or pay a tax penalty, starting with the 2014 tax year. Tax filings for 2014 will occur up through April 15, 2015, and there is a concern […]

37 States to Extend Open Enrollment Deadline

After February 15, 2015, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) open enrollment period ended. However, some states have decided to extend the deadline in order to allow their citizens to purchase health insurance through mid-April when they file taxes. In addition, 2014 was the first year that there was a tax penalty for not having health […]

Open Enrollment Ends, Millions Select Plans

The latest open enrollment period for Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance plans ended February 15, 2015. The White House announced that millions of Americans have health insurance coverage as a result of the ACA and the marketplaces it created. Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment Results For 2015, the Obama Administration set a goal of […]

Updated ACA Cost Enrollment Estimates

There were many concerns about the changes the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would bring to the United States economy. One was the overall cost of the program, especially the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has been estimating the overall cost of the ACA’s coverage expansion each year since the law […]

Measles Outbreak 2015

One of the latest health care threats that Americans face is the recent measles outbreak. Though measles was declared eliminated from the United States in 2000, measles outbreaks continue to occur around the country. From January 1, 2015 through February 13, 2015, 141 people from 17 states and Washington, D.C. were reported to have measles. […]

Medicaid and Low-Income Americans: The ACA Coverage Gap

Many changes were made to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during its implementation. One important change had to do with Medicaid expansion by states. Originally, the ACA envisioned that all states would expand Medicaid to cover lower-income Americans who were earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. As a result, the health […]

Who is Eligible for Veterans Health Administration Care?

With many Americans having served their country in recent wars and military actions, the Veteran’s Health Administration is seeing a lot of new patients. However, not everyone who is a veteran is eligible to receive VA health care. Fortunately, the guidelines are published, so you can find out if you are likely to qualify before […]

Financial Distress Declines for Health Care Costs

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), access to health care and affordable health insurance has dramatically increased. As of December 23, 2014, 6.4 million Americans had enrolled in individual health insurance plans through Healthcare.gov, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. That number does not include additional individuals and families […]

Turning 26 Soon – Steps to Securing Health Insurance

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) changed health insurance policies so that young adults could stay on their parents’ coverage until age 26. However, at age 26 you will need to obtain new coverage. Fortunately, there are a lot of options available to you for securing health insurance. Health Care Until You’re 26 Before you turn […]

Dental Care Options for Low Income Americans

Most Americans realize that having health insurance is important, but they may not think about dental care. Dental care for children under 18 is considered an essential health benefit under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but adult dental care is often not included in insurance plans. How to Get Affordable Dental Care Affordable dental coverage […]

The Traveler’s Guide to Health

Many Americans love to travel, and unfortunately they may not think about how to make sure they have care if they get sick or injured on the trip. Whether you are simply traveling temporarily or actually need health insurance while living abroad, international medical insurance is an important way to protect yourself financially. What Travel […]

5 ObamaCare Myths Debunked

With any major and controversial change in law, there are going to be concerns. Unfortunately, sometimes these concerns turn into misconceptions and myths that get passed around as fact. This has been especially true of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare. There are many myths being passed around as health care reform […]

Understanding Full Time Equivalent (FTE) Employee Coverage

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare, has made significant changes in how small businesses approach health insurance options. Businesses of a certain size will soon face penalties if they don’t offer health insurance to full-time staff. While the Obama administration denies that this represents a “mandate,” the fact remains that the penalty […]

How to Apply for ACA Insurance Before Time Runs Out

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the rules and timeframes for purchasing individual and small group health insurance changed. Health insurance can now only be purchased during the open enrollment period and the current open enrollment period ends February 15, 2015. Applying for Medical Insurance Many Americans already have health insurance the […]

Challenges in Implementation of PA Medicaid Expansion

Encouraging states to expand their Medicaid programs was a major focus of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government could not require a state to expand – instead, each state could choose to expand or not. Pennsylvania’s state Medicaid was one of many that chose to expand to […]

UnitedHealth in California

There were many changes in health insurance after the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and many of them were controversial. Individual health insurance in California was especially hard hit, with many policies being cancelled and some insurers leaving the market entirely. UnitedHealth in California With the uncertainty surrounding individual health insurance in California […]

Tax Filing Tips: Health Care and Tax Credits

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), your health insurance choices can now affect your taxes. This year, it may be important to get advice on how to calculate taxes, especially if you bought health insurance through the Marketplace and receive tax credits to help with your premium and/or cost-sharing. Health Insurance and […]

Stretching Your Health Care Dollars

As we enter 2015, many people are focusing on their goals for a new year. Saving money, managing costs, and keeping a budget are some popular goals for the new year. One way to accomplish those goals is to consider how to reduce your health care costs and maximize the value you get for each […]

2014-2015 Flu Outbreak Season

The flu season has arrived, and this year is proving to be tougher than most. The highly recommended flu shot is protecting Americans from many versions of the flu, but a mutation of Influenza A has still made thousands of people ill. Unfortunately, the flu shot this year does not protect from this particular mutation. […]

Catastrophic Coverage: What’s the Catch?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) made a lot of changes to the benefits health insurance companies must offer in their plans sold in the individual and small group markets. As a result, many benefits and more comprehensive coverage are required. Some healthier Americans were using plans known as “limited benefit plans” (or “bare bones plans”) […]

Cancer Insurance Plan Options

Serious health needs are a major concern for all Americans, which is part of the reason the Affordable Care Act (ACA) aims to provide lower-cost coverage for more Americans. Some people’s biggest health concern – and among the most expensive to treat – is cancer. Prior to the ACA, some Americans bought cancer insurance to […]

Employer Mandate Takes Effect

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) introduced a lot of new requirements into health insurance. One provision that recently took effect is known as the “employer mandate.” The ACA requires that companies with 100 or more full-time equivalent (FTE) employees offer health insurance to their full-time staff. This took effect on January 1, 2015. As of […]

Emergency Insurance Coverage

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) changed a great deal about health insurance, including how emergency care is treated. In the past, health insurers had a lot of discretion in determining what care would be covered and where it could be obtained. Now, the ACA requires emergency medical care to be covered equally no matter where […]

Health Insurance Options for Seniors

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) changed a lot about how Americans purchase health insurance. Some are curious about health care for seniors – especially about health insurance for seniors without Medicare. Health Care for Seniors Most Americans 65 and over qualify for Medicare. Americans who have Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) are considered covered and […]

Women’s Health Insurance Coverage & Concerns Under the ACA

Having health coverage is an important issue for all Americans, including women. Unfortunately, women are more likely to be covered on a spouse’s or partner’s insurance, which puts them at risk of losing coverage in case of job loss, divorce, or their partner’s death. Fortunately, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has made changes that make […]

2014 – 2015 Health Care Enrollment May Surpass Projections

The second annual enrollment period is in full force for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare. The Obama administration hopes to have 9.1 million Americans enrolled in health insurance coverage by the end of 2015. Based on current ObamaCare projections, that goal will be met and possibly even surpassed. Enrollment Goals for […]

Illegal Immigrant Enrollment in ObamaCare

As more and more Americans gain health insurance coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), some are wondering what the status is of insurance for immigrants. Many are concerned about the effect of ObamaCare on illegal, or undocumented, immigrants, as well. The ACA addresses these concerns clearly. Insurance for Immigrants For those who can […]

Alternatives to COBRA Coverage

When you lose employer-sponsored health insurance, most employers are required to offer you COBRA continuation health insurance. However, the high price of continuation coverage is often enough to cause a health event in itself! As a result, many Americans who lose employer-based coverage are looking for alternatives to COBRA insurance that can take effect as […]

Your Guide to COBRA Coverage

When you lose your employer-based health insurance, the first thing on your mind is where you will find health coverage going forward. In most companies, your employer-sponsored health insurance will end at midnight on your last work day, though some plans maintain coverage through the end of the month. Fortunately, most employers are required to […]

How Unpaid Medical Bills Impact Your Credit Score

When you need help with medical bills, even after insurance, it’s easy to rack up a lot of debt in the form of unpaid medical bills. Being in debt is bad enough, but there are also other impacts. Unpaid medical bills and credit score are linked, and as a result having medical debt can impact […]

Slow Health Care Spending Growth in 2013

Health care costs are a major concern in the United States, and one of the goals of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is to reign in health care spending. In 2013, health care spending increased just 3.6 percent, the fifth straight year of increases below 5 percent. This is a welcome sign for many who […]

Copayment vs. Coinsurance

When choosing health insurance, it’s important to look beyond the monthly premium payment in evaluating costs. Health insurance plans have differing monthly payments, but they also have cost-sharing aspects, such as copayments and coinsurance. Understanding cost-sharing is essential in choosing the right health insurance plan for you and your family. What is a Copayment? A […]

Do You Need Supplemental Health Insurance?

Many Americans are looking more closely at their health insurance needs as the focus on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to grow. The ACA, also known as ObamaCare, provides Marketplaces where uninsured Americans can purchase health insurance. It also changed many other aspects of health insurance law. One question Americans have when they review […]

Private Insurance Exchange Explained

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) created state exchanges where uninsured Americans could buy health insurance. However, not all private health insurance is purchased through an ACA Marketplace. During open enrollment, it’s possible to buy private insurance through the Marketplace or through a private exchange set up by an insurer or broker. Here’s the difference. ACA […]

ACA Open Enrollment Update

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare, created Marketplaces in each state where uninsured Americans could purchase health insurance. It also changed health insurance enrollment so that policies could only be purchased during a specific open enrollment period each year, unless an individual qualified for a special enrollment period at a different time. […]

Slow Start for SHOP Enrollment

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), all Americans are now required to have health insurance or face a tax penalty, unless they can obtain an exemption.  The SHOP Marketplace is made available to help companies with 50 or fewer full-time staff offer coverage to their staff, helping them obtain affordable coverage. By […]

Competition Keeps Marketplace Premiums In Check

In creating the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare, the Obama administration aimed to address concerns about high health care costs. Prior to the passage of the law, double digit increases in health insurance costs were common from year to year. The ACA included provisions to keep costs and premiums from rising so […]

Individual Mandate Honor System

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare, has several controversial elements. One is the individual mandate, which requires all Americans to have health insurance coverage or pay a tax penalty, unless they are able to obtain an exemption. However, the actual enforcement of the penalty for the first year of ObamaCare relies on […]

2015 Health Insurance Coverage Costs

Ever since the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare, was passed, the question of health insurance costs has been at the forefront of discussion. With 2014 drawing to a close, we are ending the first year of ObamaCare, and the open enrollment period for 2015 has begun. Early changes in insurance costs are […]

Millennials: Targeted for Health Insurance Enrollment

The passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare, created a lot of change in the health insurance market. During the newest enrollment period, millennials will continue to be an important target of enrollment efforts. Without young adults enrolling in health insurance coverage, the insurance risk could become dangerously skewed. The Importance […]

How to Get Health Care When Unemployed

When you lose your job, it can be a real jolt. Part of the issue you face in that situation is that you generally lose your employer-based health insurance too. Fortunately, due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare, you have a lot of options available to get health insurance if you […]

Impact of the Republican Majority Senate on the ACA

In the November 2014 elections, the American people voted for a change in Washington. The Obama administration now faces a Republican majority in both the House and the Senate. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare, is largely opposed by Republicans. As a result, it is likely the legislation will face new challenges. […]

Renew or Switch Your ObamaCare Plan?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare, created health insurance Marketplaces where uninsured Americans could obtain insurance. The current open enrollment period started November 15, 2014, and will last until February 15, 2015. Selections made by the 15th of the month will take effect on the 1st of the following month, so those who want […]

Prepare for Health Care in Retirement

Health care is an important issue at all stages of life, especially at retirement. Those who are in their working years will likely have insurance through an employer or through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace. After you hit age 65, you will likely be eligible to enroll in Medicare. Understanding Medicare Medicare is made […]

When Medicare Advantage is Right for You

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare, almost all aspects of health care have changed. Implementation of the ACA made some changes to Medicare, specifically to the payouts that Medicare gives to private plans who insure Medicare beneficiaries. Medicare vs. Medicare Advantage Medicare is health insurance coverage provided directly […]

ObamaCare and Wellness Incentives

Employee wellness has always been an important issue to businesses and the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has sharpened that focus. The ACA, also known as ObamaCare, includes provisions that require insurance plans to offer many preventive benefits free of charge. The access to these tests and treatments, along with employer-sponsored health incentives, […]

Advances in Health Care with Telemedicine

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare, dramatically increased the number of Americans who have access to health care. As a result, some providers are feeling pressure to find a way to meet patients’ needs more quickly. In addition, payment reforms are underway to help providers receive payment for health management rather than […]

Medical Reimbursement Accounts: HSAs vs FSAs

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) gave Americans access to health insurance options that many had not considered before. The ACA, also known as ObamaCare, created state Marketplaces where Americans could compare and purchase health insurance plans. Some health insurance plans utilize tax-advantaged financial accounts that sometimes cause confusion, such as Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and […]

ObamaCare and Women’s Health Care

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare, impacted health care for all Americans. There were specific provisions in the law that impacted women’s health care in particular. Prior to the ACA, women were often charged more for insurance and sometimes struggled to gain access to birth control and other health services. The ACA […]

Supreme Court and the ACA Individual and Employer Mandate

Two of the key elements in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare, are the individual and employer mandates. Simply put, the individual mandate requires all individual Americans who don’t have an exemption to have health insurance or face a tax penalty. The employer mandate requires all employers with 50 or more full […]

Obamacare Tax Subsidies Face Legal Challenge

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), like many other major pieces of legislation, has its share of opponents and detractors. The most recent court case concerns the tax subsidies provided by the federal government to help Americans afford health insurance purchased in the Marketplace. Understanding the Tax Subsidy Challenge The legal challenge that will come before […]

How States That Didn’t Expand Medicaid Impact Hospitals

One of the goals of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare, was to significantly increase the number of Americans who had health insurance. Hospitals supported the law in part because the ACA would reduce the amount of care that they needed to provide to people without insurance. The provisions of the ACA, […]

High Deductible Health Insurance Plans

The passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare, created a lot of changes in the health care market. Along with setting up an insurance marketplace in every state, the law included requirements that expanded the required coverage in insurance plans. As a result, some insurance plans went up in price significantly, […]

Your Guide to Medicare Open Enrollment

With all of the news surrounding the upcoming open enrollment season, it’s important that seniors are aware of the process for Medicare open enrollment. The Medicare open enrollment season is different than the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace, so seniors should pay close attention to their enrollment notices. The ACA Marketplace is not for seniors […]

What to Expect from ObamaCare: Round 2

As November 15, 2014 quickly approaches, Americans are wondering what to expect when the second enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) begins. The ACA, also known as ObamaCare, created both federal and state health insurance marketplaces where uninsured Americans could purchase insurance. There have been some changes to the Marketplace since the last […]

Is the ACA Website Ready for 2015 Enrollment?

The initial launch of health care marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was anything but smooth. The ACA, also known as ObamaCare, was intended to allow more Americans to access affordable health care. However, in the first year of enrollment, technical issues plagued both the state-based and federally-run Marketplace websites. The Obama administration […]

The ACA: A Year In Review

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare, had its big rollout with much fanfare in the fall of 2013. Policies were intended to be effective January 1, 2014, with many provisions of the ACA becoming effective the same date. Now, in the fall of 2014, we can see how ObamaCare fared in its […]

ObamaCare and Support for Medicaid Expansion

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare, many aspects of American health care came into focus. One area of particular interest was Medicaid, which helps provide health coverage to lower-income Americans and children. Part of the ACA was a provision to encourage states to expand Medicaid to cover additional […]

ObamaCare May Expand Americans’ Employment Options

The passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare, has changed American health care in many ways. By making health insurance more affordable to a larger number of Americans, the ACA may expand Americans’ employment options. The Marketplaces in each state, and expanded Medicaid eligibility in some states, make it easier and […]

The U.S. Health Care System and Ebola

The U.S. health care system received quite a shock on September 30, 2014, when it was discovered that a man in Dallas, TX had Ebola. The man had just come from Liberia and developed symptoms about 4 days after arriving in the U.S. The fact that two health care workers who cared for him subsequently […]

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare, there has been a lot of focus on the costs of health insurance. Fortunately, there are things that you as a consumer can do to keep costs low – not only your own out-of-pocket costs, but the overall cost of care that […]

The Pros and Cons of an HMO

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare, created state-based Marketplaces where uninsured Americans can buy health insurance. There are many different forms of health insurance available and understanding the choices is essential to making a good decision. One common form of coverage available is a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). Benefits of an HMO […]

The 80/20 Rule and Other Health Care Cost Measures

When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed, there were many concerns about what the effect of the law would be on health insurance premiums. The ACA, also known as ObamaCare, included a broad increase in required coverage by health insurance companies. It also removed the ability of companies to refuse coverage on pre-existing conditions […]

US Health Care Costs for 2015

The passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare, spurred many controversies. One of the biggest was what the impact of the law would be on health care costs. Some observers were concerned that eliminating exclusions for pre-existing conditions and giving more Americans subsidized access to care would drive up costs. However, […]