Affordable Care Act

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The enrollment period for the federal health insurance marketplace closed Monday night, with higher enrollment than last year in both Kansas and Missouri. But as Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson explains, the numbers don’t tell the whole story.

Prior to the Affordable Care Act, the number of Americans without health insurance ranged from about 15 to 18 percent. Now, it’s below 10 percent for the first time ever.

Andy Marso / Heartland Health Monitor

Medicaid applications are piling up in Topeka because of problems with a new computer system, which are also causing some Kansans to lose their coverage.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

Carla Eckels sat down with Sheldon Weisgrau, director of the Health Reform Resource Project, to talk about the Affordable Care Act in Kansas.

Stephen Koranda

Committees in the Kansas House and Senate have introduced a Medicaid expansion bill modeled after one approved by Indiana’s conservative Republican governor and legislature.

The Kansas proposal is designed to appeal to the Republicans who control the legislature. It would require the approximately 150,000 people expected to gain coverage to help pay for it. And it would cancel coverage for those who fall behind in their payments.

Gage Skidmore, flickr Creative Commons

For the third consecutive year, Gov. Sam Brownback is proposing to use money generated by a federal law that he opposes to help balance the state budget.

Jim McClean / Heartland Health Monitor

Consumers across Kansas and Missouri appear to be selecting health plans in the Affordable Care Act marketplace at a brisk pace. Enrollment in both states is ahead of last year’s place.

Heartland Health Monitor’s Jim McLean has the story of one area business owner who says she might not be in business if not for the health reform law. It’s a story that may sound familiar to anyone who’s heard former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius speak recently.

healthcare.gov

Federal officials say that about 50,000 Kansans have signed up for health care since the Nov. 1 start of the current open enrollment period.

Nearly 130,000 Missouri consumers have done the same.

The numbers include only people who either switched plans or enrolled in coverage for the first time. Consumers who maintained existing coverage won’t be counted until the enrollment period ends on Jan. 31.

The government has extended until Thursday the deadline to sign up for health coverage starting Jan. 1 under the Affordable Care Act.

Government officials said a surge of people selecting plans over the two days before the original Tuesday deadline led to the extension. One million people left contact information after encountering delays logging onto the healthcare.gov website or reaching call centers, the officials said.

Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

The federal health insurance marketplace opened Nov. 1 for 2016 coverage. An effort called Cover Kansas has been branching out all across the state to help Kansans find a plan that best suits their needs. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson paid a visit to one of their outreach events in Dodge City.

Healthcare.gov

Navigators are preparing for an event in Wichita next week to help consumers decide on a health insurance plan. Coventry insurance will no longer be offered, so consumers will need to pick another option in the federal marketplace.

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