Affordable Care Act

The individual mandate, a critical provision of President Barack Obama’s landmark Affordable Care Act, is unconstitutional, a three-judge panel on the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.

TOPEKA, Kansas The 2020 federal marketplace for individual health insurance includes more options than ever for Kansas, and premiums for some of those plans are less expensive than 2019. But for the second year in a row, all of the plans will leave consumers footing the full bill for most out-of-network care.

The silver lining: Two new insurance companies have jumped into Kansas this year, offering health plans in some of the state’s most populous counties. A third insurer that’s already active in Kansas City and its suburbs is expanding to 12 more southeast and central Kansas counties.

Forty-two boxes of returned mail lined a wall of the El Paso County Department of Human Services office on a recent fall morning. There used to be three times as many.

Every week, the U.S. Postal Service brings anywhere from four to 15 trays to that office in Colorado Springs. Each contains more than 250 letters that it could not deliver to county residents enrolled in Medicaid or other public assistance programs.

Texans can start buying health insurance through the marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act later this week. Open enrollment for the online marketplace, healthcare.gov, starts Friday Nov. 1 and ends Dec. 15 this year.

Last year, after a federal judge in Texas declared the entirety of the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, throwing into question millions of Americans’ health coverage, the state’s Republican leaders promised they would come up with a plan to replace it.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Wednesday that his office filed a brief with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.

More than 1 million Texans signed up for health insurance plans through the Affordable Care Act during the enrollment period that ended the day after a federal judge ruled the law is invalid. That's almost 40,000 fewer sign-ups than during the last enrollment period.

With less than two weeks of open enrollment left, Austin nonprofit Foundation Communities says it's reporting a noticeable decline in the number of Latinos signing up for health insurance through healthcare.gov, the federal insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act.

After a decade of improvement, a new study suggests the rate of uninsured children is increasing in Oklahoma.

Texans who want to buy health insurance plans on the individual marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, can start enrolling today through Dec. 15 on healthcare.gov.

The Nebraska Department of Insurance wants to hear your questions and concerns, so once again they are holding listening sessions throughout the state beginning the first week of October.  

Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson / The Texas Tribune

Justin Nelson, a Democrat running for attorney general, is positioning himself as the champion of protections for pre-existing conditions, one of the most popular provisions of the landmark health care law.

From The Texas Tribune:

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Texas and Oklahoma were among non-Medicaid expansion states with the highest rates of uninsured adults, especially those living in rural areas. Meanwhile, that rate in Kansas and Nebraska were among the lowest.

Kansans seeking health insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s federally run exchange will have the choice of three insurers in 2019.

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer said in a statement that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, Medica Insurance Co. and Ambetter from Sunflower Health Plan will offer 23 separate plans for individuals through HealthCare.gov, the federal government exchange.

For the first time in years, the uninsured rate in Texas is starting to climb again. After the Affordable Care Act went into effect in 2014, the state’s uninsured rate dropped from 22 percent to about 16 percent in 2016. However, that trend has started to move in another direction.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is challenging the Affordable Care Act at a hearing in federal court in Fort Worth today.

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Texas and Kansas stand to be repaid over $400 million in lost health care funds if a late-August Federal ruling stands.

As The Austin American-Statesman reports, a federal court in North Texas has ruled that the federal government improperly charged Texas, Kansas, and a few other states millions of dollars in Medicaid fees, in an effort to help fund the Affordable Care Act.

In a little-noticed court filing last month, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asked a federal judge to get rid of a popular part of the Affordable Care Act in Texas. In particular, his request could affect a part of the law that protects people with pre-existing conditions from being denied health insurance or being priced out of a health plan.

The Trump administration recently announced big cuts to a program that helps people sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

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Groups whose job it is to help Texans sign up for health care will soon lose most of their federal funding, reports Houston Public Media.

Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act began last week, but few Texans are aware of the fact.

Michael Jones / The Texas Tribune

The open enrollment period to buy health insurance through the federal government ends Dec. 15. With the enrollment window cut in half and Trump administration limitations on the budget, more Texans could go uninsured.

From The Texas Tribune:

Health navigators are available in Wichita to help people complete applications for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace before Friday's enrollment deadline.

One of the community sites offering free, in-person enrollment assistance is the La Familia Senior/Community Center north of downtown Wichita. A bilingual health navigator is taking appointments through Friday to help people get signed up for a health plan.

La Familia executive director Carla Lee says this is the third year the organization has offered the one-on-one assistance.

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If you don’t have health care, this week marked the beginning of the open enrollment period on Healthcare.gov. If you plan to get care on the Healthcare.gov exchanges, you only have until Dec. 15 to find coverage.

Wallethub

After the Affordable Care Act became law, insurance rates in America dipped to historic lows. But those uninsured rates are on the rise again, thanks to uncertainty in the insurance markets. And uninsured rates can vary wildly across states.

The personal finance website Wallethub recently set out to find which states had the lowest rates of uninsured citizens.

Health care advocates say they’ll keep the pressure on Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran as debate moves forward on a possible repeal of Obamacare. Moran voted to go ahead with debate on a health care overhaul, but in the past he’s voiced concerns about Medicaid cuts.

Related: Moran Explains Position On Obamacare Repeal After Vote Against Bill

Editor's note: This story was updated at 7:20 a.m. July 26.

Despite misgivings about the closed-door process used to write a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and its potential impact on rural health care providers, Republican U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran joined his Kansas counterpart, Pat Roberts, in voting Tuesday to begin debate on the legislation.

But a short time later, Moran was one of nine GOP senators who voted against a replacement bill backed by Republican leaders.

For a public official unaccustomed to the limelight, U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran can’t seem to avoid it when it comes to the national healthcare debate.

Farmers, Ranchers Concerned About Health Care Costs

Jul 18, 2017
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As the national debate on health care heats up, farmers and ranchers have a lot on the line.   

As Politico reports, farmers have been struggling with the economic challenges of sluggish crop prices and sharply lower farm income. And even though close to 90 percent of farmers have health insurance, their concerns over health care is more widespread than it may seem.

Updated at 2:00 p.m. ET

One of the senators who stuck the knife into the Senate's latest plan to replace the Affordable Care Act was one Republicans hadn't been worried about.

Moran is a 20-year veteran of the Hill where he has been a reliable Republican — he was elected to the House in 1996 and the Senate in 2010.

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