health care

Enrollment Deadline Looms
9:39 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Washington Health Exchange Back Up After Being Down — Again

Flickr Photo/kindagetmego

The holiday frenzy isn’t the only deadline looming.

For people who expect to have health coverage when the new year starts, the deadline to enroll for a health plan is December 23.

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Affordable Care Act Rollout
12:46 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Washington's Health Exchange Has One Rough Week

Wahealthplanfinder.org, Washington's online health exchange, which has been experiencing outages in the last week.

Marcie Sillman talks with Michael Marchand, Washington Health Benefit Exchange spokesperson, about the past weeks outage on the state's online exchange.

Avoiding Complications
4:26 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

How To Stay Safe During Your Next Hospital Visit

Flickr Photo/cursedthing

Ross Reynolds checks in with Consumer Union's Lisa McGiffert about how to prepare for a hospital visit to minimize your risk of infection or complications.  McGiffert heads the Safe Patient Project, the campaign that put out "Your Hospital Survival Guide" for Consumer Reports.

Health Care
9:57 am
Tue December 3, 2013

The Nurse Will See You Now ... In The Drugstore

Bartell Drugs is building out clinic space behind its pharmacy at the University Village.
Credit BartellDrugs.com

When was the last time you called your primary care doctor and got in the same day? It doesn’t happen often.

“People often end up in the ER,” said Wellesley Chapman, a physician at Group Health, “or we like to have people go to an urgent care if they absolutely can’t get in to see us today.”

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Affordable Care Act
2:53 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Mike Kreidler: Why You Can't Keep Your Bad Health Insurance Plan

Flickr Photo/kindagetmego

Marcie Sillman talks with Mike Kreidler, Washington State Insurance Commissioner, about his decision to reject President Obama's proposal to allow consumers to retain, for an extra year, health insurance policies that aren't up to the standards of the Affordable Care Act.

Health Care
10:40 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Sorry, Washingtonians: You Won’t All Be Able To Keep Old Health Plan

Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler.
Credit insurance.wa.gov/

Within hours of President Barack Obama’s announcement that people could keep their old insurance plans – at least for another year – Washington state’s insurance commissioner said he wouldn’t abide.

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Health Care
9:30 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Canceled Health Care Plans May Be Renewed For One Year, Obama Says

Washington state's health plan finder Website.
Credit healthplanfinder.org

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bowing to pressure, President Barack Obama on Thursday announced changes to his health care law that would give insurance companies the option to keep offering consumers plans that would otherwise be canceled.

“Everyone understands that I’m not happy that the rollout has been wrought with a whole range of problems I have been deeply concerned about,” Obama said.

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Health Care
8:47 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Obama Moves To Delay Cancellations Of Insurance Plans

President Barack Obama speaking at the White House on Thursday.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 10:18 am

  • LISTEN: The president's news conference and NPR coverage of it

President Obama announced Thursday that Americans who have had their health insurance plans canceled because of his Affordable Care Act can keep those plans for another year if they wish.

Those cancellations — most effective on Jan. 1 — have sparked intense criticism of the ACA, in part because the president pledged many times that if Americans liked the health plans they had, they wouldn't have to give them up under the terms of his program.

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Health Exchange
6:54 am
Wed November 13, 2013

HealthCare.gov's Mystery Lady Says She's Been Cyberbullied

HealthCare.gov

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 10:21 am

The woman whose smiling face adorned the HealthCare.gov website in the first days after its launch has stepped forward to tearfully address those who she says cyberbullied her as they took potshots at the Obama administration's troubled online health exchange.

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Health Care Reform
4:28 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Insurance Coverage Of Mental Health Services Grows Under Affordable Care Act

Ross Reynolds talk with Amnon Shoenfeld, the director of King County’s Mental Health, Chemical Abuse and Dependency Services Division, about the new health care regulations for insurance companies.

Faith-Based Organizations
3:59 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

State Proposes New Rules For Hospitals To Address Merger Concerns

Marcie Sillman talks with NARAL Pro-Choice Washington's executive director Rachel Berkson about the group's reaction to new proposed rules for hospital mergers in Washington, including increased public transparency and recommending hospitals post their end-of-life and reproductive health policies online.

Health Care
11:12 am
Fri November 1, 2013

For Some, Health Exchange Is A Breeze. For Others, An Unending Headache

New hires train to take calls at Washington's health exchange call center in Spokane Valley.
Credit Northwest News Network Photo/Jessica Robinson

KUOW's Ruby de Luna explains the successes, and challenges, of the first month of Washington's health exchange.

Washington’s health care exchange got off to a rocky start one month ago Friday: from the temporary shut down on its first day to the recent errors calculating tax credits. Even so, Washington state has fared well compared to the federal Website and even has some fans.

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Health Care
4:30 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Washington Insurance Commissioner On Health Plan Cancellations

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler.

Marcie Sillman checks in with Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler to find out the truth behind the “discontinuation and replacement notices” that health insurance companies are sending Washingtonians.  And she’ll get an explanation on the battle between Seattle Children’s Hospital and Premera Blue Cross that is playing out over the new health exchange.

Affordable Care Act
4:05 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Health Exchange Rollout: What The Feds Got Wrong And What Wash. Got Right

A HyperCard parody of the federal health care exchange, which has been plagued by technical issues since rolling out earlier this month.
Flickr Photo/Daniel Rehn

Congressional Republicans begin a series of hearings today on the problematic rollout of the federal government’s health exchange website. Since its launch earlier this month, healthcare.gov has been plagued by a number of technical issues and the Spanish language version hasn’t even launched yet.

Here in Washington, the health exchange rollout had a glitchy start, but overall, it’s fared much better than the federal website.

Bill Schrier is the former Chief Technology Officer for the city of Seattle. He currently serves as senior policy advisor to the chief information officer of Washington state. He talks with Marcie Sillman about what the other Washington did wrong, and what Washington state did right.

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Women and Health
6:56 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Breast Milk Bought Online Has High Levels Of Bacteria

A lab technician at the Mothers' Milk Bank Northeast in Newton Upper Falls, Mass., prepares donated breast milk for pasteurization in August 2012. The process kills harmful bacteria.
Elise Amendola Associated Press

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 10:53 am

Online breast milk marketplaces can be a godsend for a mother who might not be producing enough for her baby but still wants her child to get the the health benefits of breast milk. But milk sold on one popular website had more bacterial contamination than that from a milk bank, a study finds.

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