Supreme Court Hearing Arguments On Hobby Lobby’s Challenge To Contraception Mandate

Supreme Court Hearing Arguments On Hobby Lobby’s Challenge To Contraception Mandate

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments today in a case that could have a far-reaching impact on businesses whose owners’ religious beliefs may run counter to the medical needs of their employees, as craft store chain Hobby Lobby and a Pennsylvania cabinet-making business each challenge the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that employers provide health insurance that includes coverage for contraception. [More]

34% Of Uninsured Choosing To Stay Without Health Coverage, 70% Don’t Know About Subsidies

34% Of Uninsured Choosing To Stay Without Health Coverage, 70% Don’t Know About Subsidies

We’d like to think that most of you know that March 31 is the deadline to obtain health insurance or face a penalty for lack of coverage, but if you’re one of the millions of uninsured Americans, it’s about a 50/50 chance that you’re actually aware of this deadline. And to about one-third of the country’s uninsured, the deadline doesn’t matter because they are choosing to go without coverage. [More]

(Tom Raftery)

Get Your Health Insurance Company’s Attention: Use Twitter

Over at ProPublica, they recently learned what we at Consumerist have known since 2008: when you’re having customer service trouble, sometimes the best way to use alternate means to get the attention of someone who can help you. Propublica discovered that some consumers are using Twitter to navigate the intensely personal and deeply confusing world of health insurance. [More]

Is Target Shaving Workers’ Hours So It Doesn’t Have To Insure Them?

Is Target Shaving Workers’ Hours So It Doesn’t Have To Insure Them?

Earlier this week, Target announced that it would no longer offer health insurance to part-time employees (those who work fewer than 32 hours per week), while at the same time claiming that it would not be trimming employees’ schedules so that they no longer qualify as full-time workers. However, some Target employees tell Consumerist that company execs aren’t telling the truth. [More]

(KogeLiz)

Walgreens Will Provide Some Prescriptions For A Month To Backlogged Health Care Enrollees

One problem facing people who have been trying to sign up for healthcare under the Affordable Care Act but who haven’t been able to do so successfully is the dilemma of how to get certain medications once January hits. Walgreens says it’ll hand out a month’s worth of some prescriptions at no upfront cost to those people. [More]

(spectreman)

Coming Soon: Vending Machine Calorie Counts

The Affordable Care Act doesn’t just mean highly entertaining conversations over dessert amongst your relatives this holiday season. There’s one new requirement that’s been sort of overshadowed by health insurance exchanges and electronic medical records: companies that own more than 20 vending machines will have to post calorie counts for the items they sell. [More]

Sample 834 data. It's not supposed to be diagonal, don't worry.

What Is An 834 Transaction, And Why Should I Care?

The good news is that Healthcare.gov, the health insurance marketplace for states that haven’t set up their own exchanges, is now up and functional. Well, the front end is working. Now that eligible people in need of insurance are able to log in and sign up, the next step is for the site to send their information over to the health insurance companies. That’s where things might go very wrong. [More]

California Pulls Plug On 10 Bogus Healthcare Sites

California Pulls Plug On 10 Bogus Healthcare Sites

Confusion over the Affordable Care Act is already causing more than a few headaches these days. The last thing consumers need is scam websites set up to look like official state exchanges with the purpose of tricking people into turning over their personal information. Today, California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced that her office has shut down 10 sites passing themselves off as the state’s official insurance marketplace. [More]

(frankieleon)

Healthcare.gov Thinks I’m Ineligible For Insurance Because I’m In Jail?

The good news is that lots and lots of people were interested in signing up and shopping for health insurance once exchanges opened on October 1st. The bad news was that the site and its identity-verification services weren’t up to the task. So the Department of Health and Human Services apologized in a blog post…a post that accepts user comments. These comments make interesting reading. [More]

Password reset confusion.

Gov’t Healthcare Site Reps Get The Wrong Script, Tell Callers To Reset Their Passwords

Many call centers rely on scripts so representatives know what to do when customers call with problems. Which is fine, it’s not like people actually expect a flock of experts waiting to provide their own spin on a situation. But using a script can turn a resource into a source of confusion if the call center reps are reading off the wrong script. We’re looking at you, Healthcare.gov. [More]

Trader Joe’s Gets Rid Of Health Insurance Benefit For Part-Timers

Trader Joe’s Gets Rid Of Health Insurance Benefit For Part-Timers

At first glance, this story has a scary headline: Trader Joe’s is yanking health insurance away from many employees because of Obamacare. That is what’s happening, but leaves out that yes, workers are losing their coverage…because the Affordable Care Act means that adults whose jobs don’t provide health insurance but who are well above the poverty line will have access to reasonably priced insurance through state exchanges. [More]

(frankieleon)

Health Insurance Marketplace Goes Live Oct. 1, But Most Don’t Have A Clue What That Means

Unless you’ve had wool stuffed in your ears you might’ve heard the words “Affordable Care Act” bandied about for a while now. And starting Oct. 1, open-enrollment season officially begins for people to purchase insurance coverage. But what does that even mean? If you don’t know, you’re not alone: According to a new poll, 51% of Americans say they don’t understand how that will affect them or their families. [More]

Some Employers Really Want To Ditch Your Spouse

Some Employers Really Want To Ditch Your Spouse

It’s nothing personal, but some employers really want to ditch their workers’ spouses. They’re not making people get divorced, but are dropping spouses who have access to health insurance benefits through their own employers. It was big news yesterday when UPS announced that they plan to do exactly that, a change that affects about 15,000 people. [More]

(RedAndJonny)

If Someone Calls To Sell You Insurance For Obamacare, Hang Up And Call The FTC

While we’re starting to hear more about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act now that there are only a few months left until the health insurance mandate is in place and all Americans are supposed to have coverage. What you should know and remind the people you care about, though, is that no one is supposed to call you up to sell you any kind of special insurance. [More]

(list)

Forever 21: Decision To Cut Staffers’ Hours Was Made “Independent Of Affordable Care Act”

Forever 21 is facing a bit of social media blowback after a memo reportedly leaked online, detailing its plans to reduce “a number of full-time non management positions” like stock associates and sales associates to 29.5 hours or fewer starting this week. Some critics are accusing the company of doing so to avoid providing health care coverage to full-time employees under the impending Affordable Care Act mandate. [More]

(RedAndJonny)

How Will People Without Bank Accounts Pay For Health Insurance?

Next January, everyone in America will have to have health coverage or run afoul of federal health care law. But what about those 51 million adults who heavily rely on check-cashing stores and money lenders, and who may not have a checking or savings account? If you don’t have a relationship with a bank, it’s going to be tricky to pay for that required coverage. [More]

White House Cuts Health Care Application From 21 Pages To 3

White House Cuts Health Care Application From 21 Pages To 3

Last month, the Obama administration took a lot of heat when it unveiled a draft application for health insurance that ran some 21 pages in length and included all manner of invasive questions about the applicant’s medical history. Today, the final product was unveiled, and it’s significantly skinnier this time around. [More]

(jking89)

Denny’s Franchisee To Add 5% “Obamacare Surcharge”

The owner of dozens of Denny’s restaurants and the Hurricane Grill chain says he plans on adding a 5% “Obamacare Surcharge” to his menus in 2014 when a number of facets of the Affordable Care Act will kick in. [More]