Affordable Care Act

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

For the first time in years, the uninsured rate in Texas is starting to climb again. After the Affordable Care Act went into effect in 2014, the state’s uninsured rate dropped from 22 percent to about 16 percent in 2016. However, that trend has started to move in another direction.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is challenging the Affordable Care Act at a hearing in federal court in Fort Worth today.

Consumers who buy insurance through the Affordable Care Act markets may be pleasantly surprised this fall as average premiums are forecast to rise much less than in recent years.

The price of a 2019 policy sold on the ACA exchanges will increase less than 4 percent, according to an analysis of preliminary filings from insurers in all 50 states by ACASignups.net, a website and blog run by analyst Charles Gaba that tracks ACA enrollment and insurer participation.

And those insurers are expanding their offerings.

Julia Reihs / KUT

In a little-noticed court filing last month, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asked a federal judge to get rid of a popular part of the Affordable Care Act in Texas. In particular, his request could affect a part of the law that protects people with pre-existing conditions from being denied health insurance or being priced out of a health plan.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Trump administration recently announced big cuts to a program that helps people sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Shelby Knowles/Texas Tribune

Texas is suing the federal government over President Barack Obama's landmark health law — again.

In a 20-state lawsuit filed Monday in federal court, Attorney General Ken Paxton argued that after the passage of the GOP's tax plan last year — which also repealed a provision of the sweeping legislation known as "Obamacare" that required people to have health insurance — the health law is no longer constitutional.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Almost the same number of Texans who signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during the last enrollment period signed up this time, according to the federal government. The figure took experts by surprise because there were federal cuts in funding for outreach and assistance.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

As Congressional Republicans prepare to send a tax overhaul to President Trump's desk, health care advocates worry about a possible repeal of the individual mandate, the part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires everyone to have health insurance. 

A possible repeal of the mandate could affect a lot of people in Texas, which has the highest percentage of people paying a tax penalty for not having health insurance, according to a New York Times analysis of IRS data.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

It’s been a week since open enrollment began for insurance under the Affordable Care Act, and groups in Austin say they are experiencing a surge in sign-ups.

Health care activists were concerned that new policies from the Trump administration – including budget cuts for outreach and navigators – would lead to a drop in enrollment.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act online marketplace has begun, and depending who you are, you might be spending less on a plan this year – or significantly more. 


Starting next week, Americans will again be able to shop for health plans on the Affordable Care Act marketplaces. Open enrollment in most states runs from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Open enrollment for health plans through the Affordable Care Act starts Nov. 1. But, this year, cutbacks in federal money for outreach efforts for potential enrollees could mean fewer people signing up for health insurance in Texas.

That gap in federal outreach means the work of getting people signed up could fall squarely on local advocates like Vitoria Ortega of Foundation Communities.

Central Health
Martin do Nascimento / KUT

The fourth open enrollment period for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace is less than a month away.

This time things will be different, though.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Nora Chovanec showed off the chickens in her backyard last March while talking about a newly proposed Republican health care bill to replace Obamacare.

The 29-year-old was on a health care plan through the online marketplace created by Obamacare. It allows people who don’t get insurance through an employer to buy a plan on their own.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Texas has the highest population of uninsured people in the nation. 

Roughly 4.5 million people in Texas didn’t have health insurance in 2016, leading the nation in both the number and percentage of residents who are uninsured, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released today.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

A lot of attention has gone to the relatively few counties that may not have an insurer next year in the individual marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act. In most of the country, however, marketplace enrollees will have options.

That’s especially true in Central Texas, where folks looking to buy insurance are going to have even more insurers to choose from.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

For Carol Elliott, a Port Aransas resident in her early 60s, the Affordable Care Act is not a failure.

“The Affordable Care Act saved my life,” the musician says.

Elliott lived in Nashville for a long time, but has spent the last 15 years living in the island town in the Gulf of Mexico off the Texas shore.

She says money has always been tight, and she’s had to cut corners through the years. That’s often meant she’s been priced out of health insurance.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

In a matter of weeks, the U.S. Senate could be voting on a Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act. On Wednesday, 25 health care advocacy groups in Texas sent a letter to Republican Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz raising concerns about the plan.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Despite uncertainty about the future of the Affordable Care Act, there are still new parts of the law going into effect.

In fact, at the start of this year, a provision prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, sex, age or disability in certain health programs or activities formally kicked in. In Texas, that has translated into a new standard for language-access programs across the state.

Ted Cruz
Mengwen Cao/KUT

From Texas Standard:

It’s one day after United States Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) assured residents of Denton that the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is not dead.

Cruz joined Host David Brown to talk about foreign affairs, repealing Obamacare and this year’s race for the Senate.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

More than 1.2 million Texans are signed up for health insurance through the federal marketplace. That’s the part of Obamacare that allows companies to sell plans directly to individuals. Under the GOP replacement bill working its way through Congress, there could be big changes to how the government helps these individuals pay for their plans.


Allison Shelley

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz gave a pessimistic prediction Wednesday for the new House Republican health care bill's chances in the Senate — though he said the bill's fate would be improved with some changes. 

After years of waiting, it's finally here.

KUT

Around the country, Republican congressmen are facing angry crowds at town hall meetings – mostly from people defending the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

With talk of Republicans in Congress repealing the health care law in the coming months, this could be the last time the health insurance marketplace, created under the Affordable Care Act, can offer Texans insurance.

From Texas Standard:

House Speaker Paul Ryan has said repealing the Affordable Care Act – or Obamacare – is a day-one priority for President Donald Trump and Republicans have already taken the first step towards repealing it.

Martin do Nascimento/KUT News

The enrollment period for the federal health insurance exchange ends Jan. 31. For many Texans who don’t get their insurance through an employer, this has been an affordable way to get a policy in the state for the past few years.

But if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, this could be the last year it’s an option.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Federal lawmakers have set their sights on repealing the Affordable Care Act as quickly as possible. According to a new study, if they succeed, Texas could lose thousands of jobs in the coming years, but it could be more than just health care jobs.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The fourth open enrollment period for the federal health insurance program is in full swing. People who can’t get insurance through an employer, Medicaid or Medicare can now buy private insurance through the Affordable Care Act until Jan. 31.

But there’s some uncertainty about the program’s future this time around.

DarkoStojanovic/Pixabay (CC0)

From Texas Standard:

The ACLU and ACLU of Texas are getting involved in a lawsuit over a regulation in the Affordable Care Act. In August, Texas filed a lawsuit against federal regulations that prohibit healthcare discrimination against people who are transgender. The lawsuit was announced by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, representing the Franciscan Alliance. The lawsuit will be heard in Wichita Falls.

The rules state that healthcare entities are not allowed to deny or limit services – including gender transition services – based on race, national origin, sex, age or disability.

 


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