(Joel Zimmer)

Percentage Of Adults Without Health Insurance Hits New Low

Two years ago, a Gallup survey estimated the percentage of adult Americans without health insurance at more than 17%. Even at the beginning of 2014, as the individual coverage mandate of the Affordable Care Act kicked, nearly 16% of Americans over the age of 18 were uninsured. The latest results from the polling organization currently put that rate at 11.4%, lower than any rate since Gallup began this survey in 2008. [More]

SCOTUS Ruling Means Millions Of Americans No Longer At Risk To Lose Health Insurance Subsidies

SCOTUS Ruling Means Millions Of Americans No Longer At Risk To Lose Health Insurance Subsidies

The Affordable Care Act scored a major victory today as the Supreme Court upheld provisions allowing the government to provide tax subsidies for consumers who purchased insurance through the program, although their states don’t have an official insurance exchange of their own. [More]

(rayovolks)

Federal Government Could Extend Open Insurance Enrollment To April 15

2014 tax returns are the first ones that American taxpayers are filing since the health insurance subsidies, mandate, and penalties of the Affordable Care Act have come into effect. Included in our tax returns this year will be a penalty of 1% of income for people who don’t have health insurance that provides a minimum level of coverage. That penalty is taking some people by surprise. [More]

(blue_j)

Consumer Behavior In Rhode Island Shows Shopping For A New Health Plan Can Pay Off

It might feel sometimes like you’re shopping in a vacuum, where you are the single entity in the world that matters — “Do I buy this shirt? Do I want to shop around for a new health plan?” — but the truth is, the choices we make as consumers can have an effect on everybody else. For example, if you didn’t shop around and change your health plan from last year, you might find that the price of that plan has gone up for everyone. [More]

(Nate Grigg)

CVS Collects Erroneous Birth Control Copays, Will Issue Refunds

Pharmacy chain CVS charged about 11,000 customers who have health insurance small copays when they picked up some recent prescriptions. What’s wrong with that? Those prescriptions were for generic contraceptive pills, which should be dispensed with no copay at all under the federal Affordable Care Act. Now those customers are due a refund. [More]

Bill To Undo Hobby Lobby Ruling Fails In Senate; May Come Back From Dead Later This Year

Bill To Undo Hobby Lobby Ruling Fails In Senate; May Come Back From Dead Later This Year

Last week, Senator Patty Murray of Washington introduced legislation that would have undone the recent Supreme Court Hobby Lobby ruling, in which the nation’s highest court found that closely held private corporations can exempt themselves from a federal law requiring them to provide health insurance that covers female contraception. Yesterday, the bill fell four votes short of moving forward, but it’s supporters are pledging to bring it up for another vote later in the year. [More]

Lawmakers To Try Undoing SCOTUS Hobby Lobby Ruling

Lawmakers To Try Undoing SCOTUS Hobby Lobby Ruling

In response to the recent Supreme Court decision that gave Hobby Lobby and other closely held private companies the ability to get around the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate by claiming a religious objection, a group of lawmakers are set to introduce legislation that would override that decision. [More]

What Does The Hobby Lobby Ruling Mean For Consumers?

What Does The Hobby Lobby Ruling Mean For Consumers?

This morning, the Supreme Court issued its ruling on one of the most-watched cases of the season, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. The issue was employer-provided healthcare, and what companies are required to provide under the Affordable Care Act. But the broader issues brought up by the ruling have implications beyond one craft store’s benefits package. [More]

Supreme Court Rules For Hobby Lobby In Contraception Case

(Nicholas Eckhart)

In perhaps the most closely watched case of this year, a very divided (5-4) Supreme Court ruled [PDF in favor of Hobby Lobby and a Pennsylvania cabinet company, and held that closely held corporations can not be required to provide health insurance coverage that includes contraception. [More]

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]