Affordable Care Act

Kansans will likely increase the pressure to expand Medicaid next year, to cover thousands of uninsured residents.

Advocates say they'll push for an expansion once lawmakers convene their annual session January 13.

The Republican-dominated Legislature's displeasure with the federal health care overhaul led it to reject the expansion, which would be paid for with federal dollars.

Besides movie theaters and Wal-Mart, one place that will stay open this Thanksgiving is the new HealthCare.gov "exchange operations center." Staffers on the "tech surge" to fix the error-riddled site have just days to meet the Obama administration's self-imposed deadline for a functioning site.

We've been reporting a lot lately on the troubled rollout of President Obama's signature health care law. But at the same time, there are rumblings of a major shift in the way companies offer private health insurance to workers.

It involves what are called "private health care exchanges." These are similar to — but completely separate from — the public exchanges you've heard so much about.

Some experts say this new approach soon could change how millions of Americans receive their health care.

The race is on to get the federal insurance website HealthCare.gov working smoothly by the end of November.

And it's not just because that's what federal officials have promised. December could see a surge in demand for health insurance.

"There is an avalanche coming," says Bryce Williams, managing director for exchange solutions at the benefits consulting firm Towers Watson.

A new analysis says the problem of people facing higher costs due to cancellations of their individual health insurance plans have been blown out of proportion. Only six tenths of a percent of Kansans with individual policies are at risk of this situation.

That amounts to fewer than 900 people in Kansas, and about 1.5 million nationwide. The analysis is by the health consumer group, Families USA, which has been a steadfast supporter of the Affordable Care Act.

As federal tech launches go, it's not just HealthCare.gov that didn't take off. A report from IT research firm the Standish Group finds that 94 percent of federal IT projects come in late, over budget or get scrapped completely.

President Obama focused on the issue of procuring technology for the federal government in a recent interview.

Buried in the paltry enrollment numbers for the Affordable Care Act that were released last week was something that came as a surprise to many — the success states are having signing people up for the Medicaid program, which provides health care to low-income people.

The largest health insurance company in Kansas will offer another year of coverage under plans that it had expected to cancel because of the federal health care overhaul.

A Kansas group is gearing up to push again for an expansion of the state's Medicaid program as encouraged by the federal health care overhaul, despite strong opposition from Republican legislators.

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger and the state's largest health insurer say they're not sure yet about the implications of President Barack Obama's decision to modify part of the federal health care overhaul.

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