Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 9:07 am
Tambra Momi has been eagerly awaiting the promise of guaranteed health insurance.
Since 2011, she has battled Dercum's disease, a rare and painful condition in which noncancerous tumors sprout throughout her body, pressing against nerves.
Jobless and in a wheelchair, Momi needs nine different drugs, including one costing $380 a month, to control the pain and side effects. No insurer has been willing to cover her, she says, except a few that have taken her money and then refused to pay for her medications.
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.
As part of implementing the Affordable Care Act, state and federal health exchanges kicked off three weeks ago. The launch has been no walk in the park. State-run exchanges and the federally-run, Healthcare.gov, have been plagued with website problems: failed-log ins, long wait times and, in the case of Washington’s own wahealthplanfinder.org, a non-functioning website for the first few days.
Despite its glitchy start, Washington has been touted as one of the best functioning state marketplaces. Marcie Sillman talks with spokesperson Michael Marchand from Washington’s Health Benefit Exchange.
Washington state’s health exchange is one week old. To date, more than 9,400 people have enrolled for health coverage. More than half of them will be newly eligible for Medicaid when the program expands in January. In addition, 10,000 more people have filled out applications but have yet to hit the purchase button.
People get information on California's health exchange at a table at Union Station in Los Angeles on Tuesday, the exchange's opening day.
Credit Sarah Varney
Pardit Pri was excited to learn the new health insurance exchanges could help her.
Credit Sarah Varney
Pardit Pri had health insurance until she quit her job as a legal administrative assistant to stay home with a new baby. Now that baby is 20 months old, and the Orange County, Calif., resident still hasn't found a job with insurance coverage.
Pardit Pri had health insurance until she decided to quit her job as a legal administrative assistant and stay home with her newborn son 20 months ago. She thought she'd have coverage by now. But it didn't work out that way.
"I knew that I wasn't going to be working for a while because I decided to stay home with my son, and I thought ... 'OK, fingers crossed. Nothing will happen during that time,' " she says, as she plays with her son in their Orange County, Calif., apartment.
The Affordable Care Act, colloquially called Obamacare, is here. Washington's health insurance marketplace, Healthplanfinder, is set to open Tuesday morning. In the marketplace, users can find, compare and sign up for health insurance. How does it work and what information will you need? David Hyde talks with Washington Health Benefit Exchange's director of communications, Michael Marchand.
The audience concentrates on a presentation by Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger's office about the federal health care overhaul at the University of Kansas satellite campus in Overland Park, Kan., earlier this month.
Starting October 1, uninsured people will be able to shop online for private insurance in health insurance marketplaces, also known as exchanges. In Seattle, nonprofits and other organizations have been out educating people about how to sign up for insurance through the exchange.
Chicago insurance broker Sean Whaley told The Associated Press earlier this month that his self-employed clients were frustrated that didn't have the information to plan ahead for their families' health care costs in 2014.
With the launch of the major piece of the Affordable Care Act less than a month away, the Obama administration is escalating the public relations push with one of their most effective weapons – former President Bill Clinton, now known to many as explainer in chief.
It will be another week before Washington consumers will know how many new certified health plans will be be sold in the exchange. The exchange is a web-based market for health insurance that’s part of the Affordable Care Act. The nine-member board that governs the exchange voted Thursday to delay certification until next week.
Jennifer DeYoung, health reform policy analyst, and Penny Lara, project manager, at Seattle-King County Public Health with Michael Marchand, communications director at Washington Health Benefit Exchange, at a recent media briefing for ethnic media.
This week state and county officials met with local ethnic media. They hope the media will help them get the word out to non-English speakers about health care changes coming this fall.
The briefing was part of a statewide campaign to let consumers know that beginning in October, there will be 31 new health plans available for purchase at the state’s online marketplace. But the challenge for organizers will be more than just language barriers.