health insurance

Affordable Care Act
10:00 am
Tue October 22, 2013

A Three-Week Checkup On Washington's Health Exchange

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.

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Open Enrollment
5:14 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Early Numbers For Wash. Health Exchange Look Strong

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.

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Washington Health Exchange
9:09 am
Mon October 7, 2013

King County Reaches Out To Uninsured

King County held an information fair for Seattle residents who have questions about getting health coverage.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Traffic to the Washington Health Exchange website has been busy since it launched last week. Although there have been fewer technical problems, the system has been slow at times.

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Health Care Exchange
12:07 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Back To Work After A Baby, But Without Health Insurance

People get information on California's health exchange at a table at Union Station in Los Angeles on Tuesday, the exchange's opening day.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 6:13 pm

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.

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Affordable Care Act
4:04 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

How To Get Health Insurance Through Washington's Marketplace

Flickr Photo/kindagetmego

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.

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Affordable Care Act
12:37 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Insurance Exchange 101: Here's What You Need To Know

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.
John Hanna AP

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 6:36 am

The Affordable Care Act has been through two years of legislative wrangling, a presidential election and a Supreme Court test that took it to the brink.

Now, after yet another round of debate and argument, major pieces of the federal health law are expected to kick in Tuesday.

If all goes as planned, people who don't have insurance or who buy it on their own will be able to shop online or at various locations in their communities for coverage that will take effect Jan. 1.

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Affordable Care Act
4:30 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Washington Health Insurance Exchange Set To Open

Flickr Photo/Alex Proimos

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.

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Health Insurance
8:34 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Lessons About Insurance In The Obamacare Data Dump

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.
M. Spencer Green AP

This week the Department of Health and Human Services released a ton of information about how insurance sold in 36 states under the Affordable Care Act will work.

Most of it came in the form of data showing the number of carriers and their premium prices in hundreds of regions.

Until now we've seen information on subsidized policies to be sold through online marketplaces released in trickles by states that are creating their own online portals.

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Health Insurance
2:27 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Bill Clinton Steps Up To Dispel The Confusion Over Obamacare

He's back! Unabashed wonk and former president Bill Clinton detangles the health care law.
Danny Johnston Associated Press

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 2:22 pm

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.

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Health Care Exchange
10:10 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Certification Of Wash. Health Plans Delayed

Flickr Photo/Alex Proimos

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.

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Health Exchange
11:43 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Abortions Not Covered By Group Health, But Not Charged Either

Mike Kreidler, Washington state insurance commissioner.

Seattle’s nonprofit health care system, Group Health, has said they won’t be offering abortion coverage in the new health care exchange.

But they also said women will be able to get an abortion without paying more.

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Health Exchange
10:36 am
Thu August 15, 2013

How Do You Say "Coverage Is Here" In 34 Languages?

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.
KUOW Photo/Madeline Ewbank

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.

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Health Care
10:20 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Cutting Through Obamacare Rollout Confusion

 The pace of implementation for the Affordable Care Act, known by critics and the president himself as Obamacare, is picking up this fall. Starting October 1 you can start shopping for a health plan in Washington state's new insurance exchange called Healthplanfinder. Obamacare is supposed to be fully in place by early next year. But there’s still a lot of confusion. Ross Reynolds tries to cut through some of that confusion by talking with Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler and taking listener calls.

Public Health
10:00 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Mapping Health Care Access, Around The Water Cooler, And Photographing Pine Ridge

Cover of Aaron Huey's book, "Mitakuye Oyasin," a collection of his photographs from the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Mapping King County’s Uninsured
In 2011, more than 200,000 adults living in King County had no health insurance. Now officials are mapping where they live. Why? We talk with King County Public Health director, Dr. David Fleming.
 

Around The Water Cooler
The sunny days are dwindling. Are you making the most of your summer? We hear attendance at Seafair was down this year. Did you go? Musicians Choklate Moore and John Roderick and The Stranger’s David Schmader join us around the Weekday water cooler to talk over these stories and more.


Photographing The Pine Ridge Reservation
National Geographic’s Aaron Huey spent years on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation photographing the Lakota tribe. His new book is called “Mitakuye Oyasi: All My Relations.”

Health Insurance
9:25 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Health Exchange Foreign Language Fact Sheets Get Poor Marks

Washington Health Benefit Exchange

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 5:02 am

Call it a case of “lost in translation.” Washington and Oregon’s new health insurance exchanges are getting poor marks for their efforts to communicate with foreign language audiences.

On the Washington Health Benefit Exchange website you can find fact sheets in eight foreign languages – from Cambodian to Somali. These one and two page documents are supposed to help uninsured families navigate the new world of the Affordable Care Act.

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