January 17, 2016 |
The rate of Hispanic children without health insurance fell to a historic low in 2014, the first year that key parts of Obamacare took effect, but they still represent a disproportionate share of the nation's uninsured youth, according to a new study. About 300,000 Hispanic children gained insurance in 2014 from 2013, dropping the number of uninsured to 1.7 million, researchers said. Their uninsured rate fell to 9.7 percent, almost 2 percentage points below the year before. In New Jersey, one of the 10 states with the largest populations of Hispanic children, the uninsurance rate for that group was 7.0 percent, compared with 7.4 percent in Pennsylvania.
January 10, 2016 |
DEAR ABBY: I recently graduated from college and moved in with my fiance. My parents have assumed most of the cost of our upcoming wedding after insisting we have a big, formal one. I'm still on their cellphone plan, and car and health insurance policies. I do not agree with my parents' religious or political views. However, my mother regularly sends me texts criticizing me for responding to family members' negative comments about my very general and inoffensive status updates. She says she's "disappointed," and then she and Dad threaten to not pay for the wedding.
January 2, 2016 |
The Pennsylvania Children's Health Insurance Program has posted success stories on its website as evidence of its value. There's the story of the Allegheny County mother who needed acute care for premature twins; the 217-pound 10-year-old who lost 97 pounds with medical supervision; and the Philadelphia woman who said knowing her 4-year-old had health insurance gave her peace of mind when he played outside. Despite such stories, Pennsylvania CHIP almost expired amid the legislature's inability to agree on a budget or almost anything else.
December 22, 2015 |
The Affordable Care Act will impose a 40 percent excise tax on employer-sponsored health coverage that costs more than $10,200 for single and $27,500 for family coverage. This "Cadillac tax" will also hit cost-control measures that have become increasingly popular with employers and employees alike: flexible spending arrangements, health savings accounts, and on-site employer health clinics. Private employers might be able to avoid the tax by unilaterally reducing employee health benefits.
December 21, 2015 |
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - They are connected to one another like never before. And they are as disconnected from American politics as ever. They're avid volunteers for community causes, yet most hardly seem to care about government or campaigns. They see a government that's not deserving of their trust, resistant to change, and barely caring about their needs. They don't think their vote counts. They are the young. Old enough to vote, numerous enough to pick a president or a Congress.
December 15, 2015 |
Maria Farias has been without health insurance since 2011, when her husband lost his job. The Port Richmond resident, who is from Paraguay, relies on a public health center, where she pays $10 to see a doctor, because she doesn't think she can afford nearly $300 a month for insurance. "I'm still thinking about how I can get health insurance," Farias, 45, said Sunday at a festival celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a major event for Latino Catholics. "I'm just afraid it's not going to be as affordable as they say," Farias said.
December 10, 2015 |
The penalty for failing to have health insurance is going up, perhaps even higher than you expected. Among uninsured individuals who are not exempt from the Affordable Care Act penalty, the average household fine for not having insurance in 2015 will be $661, rising to $969 per household in 2016, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis. Individuals will pay the penalty when they complete their federal taxes the following spring. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the Foundation.)
November 30, 2015 |
If you're in the individual market for health insurance and want to be covered by New Year's Day, you have until Dec. 15 to choose your plan on the Affordable Care Act exchange. Choosing a health plan is confusing, so it's understandable if you're tempted to just grab the lowest premium you can find. But don't do it. Depending on your family's income and health needs, you could come out ahead with a plan that has a higher monthly premium but that offers better coverage. That's why it's worth going over the last year's medical expenses, looking for items likely to come up again, such as prescriptions for chronic conditions.
November 16, 2015 |
Whether you are insured through your employer, the Obamacare marketplace, or Medicare, choosing the right plan is only the start of being a wise health-care consumer. It's now open-enrollment season for the marketplace, Medicare, and most employer plans, so you may be seeing a lot of advertising on the subject. Here are 10 tips to help you get started selecting a plan and then getting the most out of it: Read your options carefully. Even if you are choosing the same plan you had for 2015, there could be changes to it for 2016.
November 15, 2015 |
The Cios family of Bucks County could be a living advertisement for the wonders of modern medicine: dad's double knee replacement, mom's successful treatment for thyroid cancer, their two teenage daughters' repairs of assorted sports injuries. Along with the benefits, however, comes a flip side: a never-ending array of billing and insurance complications that are growing increasingly familiar to Americans wrestling with the health-care system. There were the out-of-network radiologists who read X-rays at a cost of $75 to $95 for each of four, vision and hearing screenings that were supposed to be 100 percent covered as preventive services ($68 for each child)