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Affordable Care Act Guide » Updates

Changes to health care under the law, at a glance

Posted on October 15, 2013 at 3:55 pm

The Associated Press An overview of some of the key changes to health care services under the Affordable Care Act: ESSENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS Under the law, health insurers must cover 10 essential benefits. This will make health plans more costly, but also more comprehensive. Starting next year, the rules will apply to all plans offered to individuals or through the small-group market to employers with 50 or fewer workers. The

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Updates » Older Stories

  • Key consumer questions about the health reforms

    Posted on October 15, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    The Associated Press How do I know whether “Obamacare” applies to me? Polls show many Americans remain mystified by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare” as it is commonly known. But there’s an obvious starting point: Do you have health care coverage? If your employer provides health insurance for you, it’s likely you don’t have to do anything on Oct. 1, when enrollment begins. The president has

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  • Applying for health insurance? Homework involved

    Posted on October 15, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Getting covered through President Barack Obama’s health care law might feel like a combination of doing your taxes and making a big purchase that requires research. You’ll need accurate income information for your household, plus some understanding of how health insurance works, so you can get the financial assistance you qualify for and pick a health plan that’s right for your needs. The process involves federal agencies

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  • ABCs of Obamacare: a glossary for consumers

    Posted on October 15, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    The Associated Press Major new laws come with their own jargon, and President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul is no exception. With the first open enrollment season kicking off for the uninsured, here are some terms consumers might want to get familiar with: Affordable Care Act — The most common formal name for the health care law. Its full title is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Opponents still

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  • Exchanges create confusion for Medicare recipients

    Posted on October 15, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    MIAMI (AP) — Dear seniors, your Medicare benefits aren’t changing under the Affordable Care Act. That’s the message federal health officials are trying to get out to some older consumers confused by overlapping enrollment periods for Medicare and so-called “Obamacare.” Medicare beneficiaries don’t have to do anything differently and will continue to go to Medicare.gov to sign up for plans. But advocates say many have been confused by a massive

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  • Haves and have-nots as health care markets open

    Posted on October 15, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Having health insurance used to hinge on where you worked and what your medical history said. Soon that won’t matter, with open-access markets for subsidized coverage under President Barack Obama’s overhaul. But there’s a new wild card, something that didn’t seem so critical when Congress passed the Affordable Care Act back in 2010: where you live. Entrenched political divisions over “Obamacare,” have driven most Republican-led states to

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  • Newly insured to deepen primary care doctor gap

    Posted on October 15, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Getting face time with the family doctor could soon become even harder. A shortage of primary care physicians in some parts of the country is expected to worsen as millions of newly insured Americans gain coverage under the federal health care law next year. Doctors could face a backlog, and patients could find it difficult to get quick appointments. Attempts to address the provider gap have

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  • Myriad languages, cultures challenge health reform

    Posted on October 15, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Set on a gritty corner of Oakland’s International Boulevard, the nonprofit Street Level Health Project offers free checkups to patients who speak a total of 22 languages, from recent Mongolian immigrants seeking a doctor to Burmese refugees in need of a basic dental exam. It also provides a window into one of the challenges for state officials who are trying to implement the Affordable Care Act,

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  • Key dates in Obama health care overhaul law

    Posted on October 15, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    The Associated Press Medicare was signed into law on July 30, 1965, and within a year seniors were receiving coverage. President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act on March 23, 2010, and the uninsured start getting coverage more than three years later on Jan. 1, 2014. Some key dates in the saga of Obama’s signature legislation: ___ March 23, 2010 — Obama signs the Patient Protection and Affordable Care

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  • Health law could overwhelm addiction services

    Posted on October 15, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    CHICAGO (AP) — It has been six decades since doctors concluded that addiction was a disease that could be treated, but today the condition still dwells on the fringes of the medical community. Only 1 cent of every health care dollar in the United States goes toward addiction, and few alcoholics and drug addicts receive treatment. One huge barrier, according to many experts, has been a lack of health insurance.

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  • ‘Obamacare’ contractors project confidence

    Posted on October 15, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Major contractors hooking up the internal plumbing of President Barack Obama’s health care law projected confidence Tuesday that they will be ready to go by an Oct. 1 deadline, even though the system is still being tested. With just three weeks to go before new state health insurance markets launch, efforts are ongoing to reliably link up government agencies, the markets themselves and private health plans. The

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  • Have and Have Nots as Health Care Markets Open

    Posted on October 9, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Having health insurance used to hinge on where you worked and what your medical history said. Soon that won’t matter, with open-access markets for subsidized coverage coming Oct. 1 under President Barack Obama’s overhaul. But there’s a new wild card, something that didn’t seem so critical when Congress passed the Affordable Care Act back in 2010: where you live. Entrenched political divisions over “Obamacare,” have driven most

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