July 26, 2015 |
Indianapolis-based Anthem Inc. said Friday that it would acquire Cigna Corp., a major national health insurer with Philadelphia origins and 1,100 local employees, in a deal that would create the largest health-insurance company in the United States. The $54.2 billion transaction is one in a series of health-insurer mergers announced recently as firms scramble to get on top of rapid changes in the marketplace. The combined company will have more than $115 billion in annual revenue and an enrollment of 53 million members.
July 8, 2015 |
When economist Dan Polsky set out to study how many doctors were in the health-insurance networks available to Obamacare customers, he found out it was hard - even for him. How hard? "Nine out of 10," said Polsky, executive director of the University of Pennsylvania's Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics. He concluded that many of the 10.2 million people who have bought insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace probably don't realize they are giving up access to many physicians and hospitals in order to get lower premiums.
June 28, 2015 |
M.L. Simone isn't averse to risk. You might remember Simone, the self-proclaimed "most-educated coffee pourer in Philadelphia," who has a business degree and an art administration degree, and who first shared her insurance story here in December. She opened Hinge Cafe, a coffee bar/art gallery in Port Richmond when it was still a Maxwell House Coffee-drinking, blue-collar neighborhood. In Hinge's early years, Simone also risked not having health insurance. Starting a business put health insurance low on her list of priorities, not to mention that she couldn't afford it. But when her daughter was born five years ago, Simone jumped into the pre-Affordable Care Act individual health insurance market, paying a $600 monthly premium.
June 27, 2015 |
In its second ruling in three years upholding President Obama's health-care law, the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday turned back challengers' claims that the law barred health insurance subsidies to millions in 34 states, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. The 6-3 opinion, written by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., upheld a central pillar of the Affordable Care Act and allows the administration's five-year-old initiative to get health coverage to more Americans. The decision lifted a cloud that threatened to end coverage for millions of Americans, disrupt state insurance markets, and pressure politicians whose constituents receive the subsidies to find a way to save them.
June 27, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - Democrats celebrated. Republicans fumed. And while some promised to continue fighting to kill President Obama's signature health law after Thursday's defeat at the Supreme Court, others in the GOP said it was time to try other tactics, at least until they can take back the White House. "As long as there's a president named Obama, the health-care law will not be repealed," said Rep. Charlie Dent (R., Pa.). "We're going to have to deal with the law as it is, and try to make changes wherever and however we can. " Democrats, by contrast, gleefully celebrated a win that protects Obama's Affordable Care Act. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.)
June 26, 2015 |
SIX YEARS AGO, Lisa Longo of Phoenixville lobbied as an activist for President Obama's Affordable Care Act, known popularly as "Obamacare. " Today, the 50-year-old single mom, who works as an independent management consultant, depends on it. Without the $200-a-month subsidy she receives on the health insurance she buys through the government's marketplace, her 19-year-old daughter would lose access to doctors she's seen for the last decade, and...
June 22, 2015 |
After countless hours of courtroom argument, dozens of briefs, and seemingly endless legal maneuvering, the fate of President Obama's Affordable Care Act comes down to the meaning of six simple words. On June 28, 2012, when the U.S. Supreme Court first narrowly upheld the law, it seemed the bitter struggle over Obama's huge expansion of federally funded health care had come to an end. But the calm was short-lived. Within a few months, conservative legal theorists seized on a little-noticed sentence in the law that seemed to limit federal assistance for consumers to buy health insurance purchased on state-established exchanges, or marketplaces.
June 15, 2015 |
Before the Affordable Care Act, it wasn't unusual for people in the LGBT community to be locked out of health insurance. Insurers could legally deny coverage based on a person's sexual orientation, gender identity, or pre-existing health condition. "It was everything from trans men and women being denied health coverage because their health history was confusing to a hospital or an insurance company, to young LGBT people not being able to afford coverage," said Brian Sims, a Pennsylvania state representative, lawyer, and LGBT civil rights activist.
May 24, 2015 |
When Ilana Valinsky got her 2015 calendar, she flipped to May and circled the 18th, the day she would receive her master's degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania. "I'm the graduation speaker for my class," she said last week, taking a break from polishing her speech. "That's where my focus is. " Valinsky's focus shifts this week to finding a job and health insurance. Covered by a school plan through July 31, Valinsky doesn't want to risk being uninsured for a day. And for good reason: seven years ago, her mother died from breast cancer.
May 17, 2015 |
Reena Khan got health insurance the day before giving birth to her daughter. The 26-year-old had lost her job-based insurance three weeks earlier. She said her employer let her go when she couldn't continue working as a home health aide because she was pregnant. Desperate, Khan called the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, a statewide nonprofit that helps people find affordable health insurance. "I didn't want to be without insurance for me and my baby," said Khan, a Pakistani native who immigrated to the United States five years ago and settled with her family in Northeast Philadelphia.