Affordable Care Act

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina

North Carolina's largest health insurer will send money back to about 700,000 customers to comply with a provision in the Affordable Care Act.  

A few days after a Texas judge ruled that the Affordable Care Act was unconstitutional, the federal government released details about how many people got coverage through the federal exchange the law created.

JOSH STEIN

Seventeen Democratic Attorneys General, including North Carolina’s Josh Stein, are asking the court to clarify last week’s ruling declaring the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional.

President Trump called a Friday ruling striking down the Affordable Care Act "Great news for America!" Democratic lawmakers rushed to decry the decision, calling it "monstrous" and "harmful." And Republican lawmakers remained mostly quiet Saturday.

Pixabay

The deadline to sign up for health insurance on the federal marketplace for 2019 is fast approaching. 

Saturday is the last day of open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act. Since Nov. 1, when open enrollment began, 4.1 million people have chosen health plans on the exchange. That’s down about 11 percent from the same time last year.

Pixabay

Almost 300,000 North Carolinians without health insurance could get a plan with no monthly premiums on the federal marketplace. That’s according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis. 

Pixabay

Thursday marks the beginning of the sixth year of open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. People can buy or renew health insurance plans on the marketplace through mid-December.

Blue Cross Blue Shield NC headquarters in Durham.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina

After years of rising prices for Affordable Care Act health insurance plans, many North Carolinians are in for a nice surprise – a price decrease. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina says the state approved its request to lower rates an average of 4.1 percent across the state. In the Charlotte and Gastonia areas premiums could decrease by as much as 16.5 percent. The amount will vary based on the tax credits people qualify for.

Blue Cross Blue Shield NC headquarters in Durham.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina

Insurance rates could go down next year for some Affordable Care Act participants in North Carolina.

Healthcare.gov

Preliminary numbers show 8.8 million people bought health insurance plans through the federal exchange this year nationwide. That’s 96 percent of last year’s sign-ups, despite a lot of changes to the Affordable Care Act and a shorter window to enroll. Sign-ups in the Carolinas were also close to that of last year.  

Healthcare.gov

This is the last week to sign up for health insurance through the exchange. More than 209,000 people in North Carolina have enrolled as of the first week in December, according to the federal count. 

Healthcare.gov

There is now a disincentive for health insurance navigators to set up shop in rural areas. Navigators are those specially trained people that help consumers sign up for health insurance on the marketplace. The Trump administration has tied their funding to how many people they sign up for coverage on the marketplace. Since chances are higher of signing up more people in urban areas, navigators in South Carolina are focusing on cities at the expense of rural areas.

healthcare.gov

It is unclear how many North Carolinians would be left uninsured under the updated Senate health bill. It was estimated that an earlier version of the bill would increase the uninsured population across the country by 22 million over the next decade.

Senator Thom Tillis
WFAE/UNC-TV

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis is used to fielding a lot of questions. It goes with the job. But many questions in the last two weeks have concerned his health since he passed out during a road race in Washington, D.C.

"I ran the fastest 2.5 mile race of my life. Unfortunately, it was a 3-mile race," he quips.  

As you can tell, Tillis says he’s fine. He says he just didn’t hydrate properly.

Of course, Tillis still gets asked about President Trump, Russia, health care, and immigration  - all topics he addressed with WFAE’s David Boraks.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina

North Carolina's largest health insurer is looking to raise premiums for its Obamacare plans by an average of 23 percent. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina sent the rate hike request to state regulators Thursday.

A big reason for the increase: efforts to end Obamacare.

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a replacement for the Affordable Care Act, best known as Obamacare.

And this version is different from a version the House failed to pass just weeks ago.

Governor Roy Cooper's effort to expand North Carolina's Medicaid program is on hold for at least two weeks, following a federal judge's order over the weekend. 

pills on a dollar bill
CC0 Public Domain

The future of the Affordable Care Act dominated the news Wednesday. While Democrats and Republicans huddled on Capitol Hill to discuss the future of the law, here in North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced his plan to expand Medicaid in the state.

Michael Tomsic

With Donald Trump's election, Republicans in Congress will soon be able to deliver on their promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. That's created some big questions for North Carolinians who already renewed their coverage or were planning to sign up.

One of the places people are going to try to figure all this out is the Mecklenburg County Health Department. Mark Van Arnam of Enroll America welcomed people recently as they walked in.

"Do you have a healthcare.gov account now?" Van Arnam asked. "Have you checked out your options in the marketplace before?"

healthcare.gov

The head of the Obamacare exchanges is encouraging consumers to continue signing up for health insurance even though Republicans are promising to repeal the law. The CEO of healthcare.gov acknowledges he can't guarantee there won't be changes in coverage.

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