Affordable Care Act

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

A lot of attention has gone to the relatively few counties that may not have an insurer next year in the individual marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act. In most of the country, however, marketplace enrollees will have options.

That’s especially true in Central Texas, where folks looking to buy insurance are going to have even more insurers to choose from.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

For Carol Elliott, a Port Aransas resident in her early 60s, the Affordable Care Act is not a failure.

“The Affordable Care Act saved my life,” the musician says.

Elliott lived in Nashville for a long time, but has spent the last 15 years living in the island town in the Gulf of Mexico off the Texas shore.

She says money has always been tight, and she’s had to cut corners through the years. That’s often meant she’s been priced out of health insurance.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

In a matter of weeks, the U.S. Senate could be voting on a Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act. On Wednesday, 25 health care advocacy groups in Texas sent a letter to Republican Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz raising concerns about the plan.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Despite uncertainty about the future of the Affordable Care Act, there are still new parts of the law going into effect.

In fact, at the start of this year, a provision prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, sex, age or disability in certain health programs or activities formally kicked in. In Texas, that has translated into a new standard for language-access programs across the state.

After years of waiting, it's finally here.

KUT

Around the country, Republican congressmen are facing angry crowds at town hall meetings – mostly from people defending the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

With talk of Republicans in Congress repealing the health care law in the coming months, this could be the last time the health insurance marketplace, created under the Affordable Care Act, can offer Texans insurance.

From Texas Standard:

House Speaker Paul Ryan has said repealing the Affordable Care Act – or Obamacare – is a day-one priority for President Donald Trump and Republicans have already taken the first step towards repealing it.

Martin do Nascimento/KUT News

The enrollment period for the federal health insurance exchange ends Jan. 31. For many Texans who don’t get their insurance through an employer, this has been an affordable way to get a policy in the state for the past few years.

But if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, this could be the last year it’s an option.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Federal lawmakers have set their sights on repealing the Affordable Care Act as quickly as possible. According to a new study, if they succeed, Texas could lose thousands of jobs in the coming years, but it could be more than just health care jobs.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The fourth open enrollment period for the federal health insurance program is in full swing. People who can’t get insurance through an employer, Medicaid or Medicare can now buy private insurance through the Affordable Care Act until Jan. 31.

But there’s some uncertainty about the program’s future this time around.

DarkoStojanovic/Pixabay (CC0)

From Texas Standard:

The ACLU and ACLU of Texas are getting involved in a lawsuit over a regulation in the Affordable Care Act. In August, Texas filed a lawsuit against federal regulations that prohibit healthcare discrimination against people who are transgender. The lawsuit was announced by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, representing the Franciscan Alliance. The lawsuit will be heard in Wichita Falls.

The rules state that healthcare entities are not allowed to deny or limit services – including gender transition services – based on race, national origin, sex, age or disability.

 


Saying they now have new information that significantly changes the case before them, the Supreme Court justices sidestepped a constitutional decision on the latest Obamacare challenge and sent the government and the religious organizations back to the drawing board.

In a unanimous decision, the court said it was not deciding the central question in the case: whether Obamacare's contraceptive mandate substantially burdens some organizations' right to exercise their religion.

From the healthcare.gov enrollment site

Sunday is the last day to buy health insurance for 2016 on the federal health insurance exchange.

Austin’s freelancers, contractors and musicians are among those taking the most advantage of the program.


KUT News

More people in Texas had health insurance in 2014 than 2013 – the number of insured Texans went up by more than 700,000 people.

Still, according to numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Wednesday, Texas had the highest rate of uninsured people in the U.S. in 2014. And now, it has the highest number of uninsured people, too. 

Charlotte Carpenter for KUT News

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule, possibly today, on a case that will decide whether tax subsidies for health insurance plans bought on the federal marketplace are legal.

If the court strikes down the subsidies, however, the matter of who decides what happens next in Texas remains murky. 

Photo courtesy wallyg, flickr.com/70323761@N00

Before the end of the month, possibly as soon as today, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on a case called King v. Burwell. The decision could affect the price of health insurance for roughly 1 million people in Texas.

It's a decision that comes down to four words.

Jeff Heimsath/KUT News

On Tuesday, the White House released numbers illustrating the effect of the Affordable Care Act here in Texas — numbers that came out on the same day that President Obama delivered a speech in which he described his signature health care law as a success.

President Obama spoke Tuesday at the Catholic Hospital Association conference in Washington, D.C. He told the audience the Affordable Care Act has turned out better than even its supporters expected.

"Nearly one in three Americans have already been covered," he said, receiving applause. "More than 16 million people driving our uninsured rate to its lowest level, ever. Ever."

KUT News

Some Texans may have benefited more than others from the Affordable Care Act, according to research by the Episcopal Health Foundation and Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the rate of uninsured Hispanics has dropped 38 percent. As of March this year, less than a quarter of Hispanics still didn't have health insurance.

KUT News

The signup period to buy an Obamacare plan for 2015 ended last month, but now, there’s a separate window to sign up for a very specific group of people.

Elizabeth Colvin, the director of nonprofit Insure Central Texas, which helps people with the health insurance application process, says this is only for people who are penalized on their 2014 tax return for being uninsured last year.

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