Affordable Care Act http://kuer.org en Utahns Keep Health Insurance Subsidies for Now http://kuer.org/post/utahns-keep-health-insurance-subsidies-now <p></p><p>A federal court in Washington DC ruled Tuesday that Obamacare subsidies are illegal. Utah is among 36 states that would&nbsp;potentially be affected by this ruling, but for now, Utahns will continue to receive those subsidies.</p> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 22:23:26 +0000 Andrea Smardon 49718 at http://kuer.org Utahns Keep Health Insurance Subsidies for Now U Study Shows Medicaid Expansion Population is Bigger than Previously Estimated http://kuer.org/post/u-study-shows-medicaid-expansion-population-bigger-previously-estimated <p></p><p>Utah lawmakers were stunned to hear Thursday that the number of people who fall in the so-called health coverage gap is significantly higher than they thought. Researchers from the University of Utah presented <a href="http://le.utah.gov/interim/2014/pdf/00003826.pdf">results from a new report</a> on the Medicaid eligibility expansion population&nbsp;to a state health committee.</p> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 23:15:21 +0000 Andrea Smardon 49448 at http://kuer.org U Study Shows Medicaid Expansion Population is Bigger than Previously Estimated Health Advocates Stage Limbo Contest at Lockhart’s Office http://kuer.org/post/health-advocates-stage-limbo-contest-lockhart-s-office <p></p><p>Wearing fake grass skirts and plastic leis, health advocates took turns going under a limbo pole in front of House Speaker Rebecca Lockhart’s office Wednesday. The idea was to highlight the plight of Utahns who fall into the Medicaid coverage gap, and the pole was steadily lowered to represent each month this year that they have not been able to pay for healthcare. The mood was light, but Christine Stenquist quickly became emotional when she began talking about why she is taking part in this demonstration.</p> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 22:10:40 +0000 Andrea Smardon 49385 at http://kuer.org Health Advocates Stage Limbo Contest at Lockhart’s Office How Does Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Decision Affect Utah? http://kuer.org/post/how-does-hobby-lobby-supreme-court-decision-affect-utah <p></p><p>The US Supreme Court ruled Monday that two private companies&nbsp;with religious objections can avoid the contraceptives requirement in President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. It’s the first time the high court has declared that businesses can hold religious views under federal law.</p> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 22:27:47 +0000 Andrea Smardon 48603 at http://kuer.org How Does Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Decision Affect Utah? Salt Lake County Medicaid Argument Doesn’t Sway Republican Lawmaker http://kuer.org/post/salt-lake-county-medicaid-argument-doesn-t-sway-republican-lawmaker <p></p><p>The Salt Lake County Council is sending a letter this week to the Utah legislature asking them to support the Governor’s Healthy Utah Plan and accept Medicaid funds. County councilors have said those federal funds could offset a 12 percent budget shortfall for behavioral health services expected next year. But so far, state lawmakers are holding firm in their positions on Medicaid.</p> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 22:51:24 +0000 Andrea Smardon 47722 at http://kuer.org Salt Lake County Medicaid Argument Doesn’t Sway Republican Lawmaker Film Highlights Utah’s Health Coverage Gap http://kuer.org/post/film-highlights-utah-s-health-coverage-gap <p></p><p>A film debuting Tuesday in Salt Lake City highlights Utah’s low income citizens who don’t have access to affordable health insurance.&nbsp; The <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2kEubKv1LI">new documentary</a> tells the stories of Utah adults who fall within the state's coverage gap, earning too little to buy subsidized insurance on healthcare.gov, but too much to receive Medicaid.</p> Tue, 03 Jun 2014 21:50:33 +0000 Andrea Smardon 47277 at http://kuer.org Film Highlights Utah’s Health Coverage Gap Most Utahns in Health “Coverage Gap” are Working http://kuer.org/post/most-utahns-health-coverage-gap-are-working <p></p><p>Utah Governor Gary Herbert announced this week that he’s made good progress negotiating with the federal government on his alternative to Medicaid expansion. The governor says there are still some sticking points in the negotiations – including work requirements for those receiving government assistance. But a new study shows that many of those citizens are already working.</p> Fri, 23 May 2014 22:03:07 +0000 Andrea Smardon 46781 at http://kuer.org Most Utahns in Health “Coverage Gap” are Working Health Care Scorecard: Utah Among Worst for Access and Affordability http://kuer.org/post/health-care-scorecard-utah-among-worst-access-and-affordability <p></p><p>A new report shows Utah ranks among the worst states in the nation for access and affordability to health care.&nbsp;The Commonwealth Fund, a non-profit, non-partisan organization based in Washington, DC, released its <a href="http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Publications/Fund-Reports/2014/Apr/2014-State-Scorecard.aspx">Scorecard on State Health System Performance</a> this week.</p> Thu, 01 May 2014 23:08:35 +0000 Andrea Smardon 45719 at http://kuer.org Health Care Scorecard: Utah Among Worst for Access and Affordability Salt Lake City LDS Ward Helps Congregants Sign Up for Health Insurance http://kuer.org/post/salt-lake-city-lds-ward-helps-congregants-sign-health-insurance <p>Many faith leaders in Utah have been vocal about encouraging lawmakers to <a href="http://kuer.org/post/utahns-rally-more-medicaid-coverage">expand Medicaid in the state</a>. But the dominant faith – the <a href="http://www.lds.org" target="_blank">Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints </a>– has been silent when it comes to the <a href="http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/" target="_blank">Affordable Care Act</a>. In the meantime, one LDS ward in downtown Salt Lake City is quietly working to help congregants get access to health insurance.</p> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 02:46:55 +0000 Andrea Smardon 44138 at http://kuer.org Salt Lake City LDS Ward Helps Congregants Sign Up for Health Insurance Herbert: Delay Hasn't Hurt Medicaid Alternative http://kuer.org/post/herbert-delay-hasnt-hurt-medicaid-alternative <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Governor Gary Herbert says he doesn’t think Utah’s long delay in coming up with an alternative to expanding Medicaid has hurt the prospect of a successful program.</p> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 19:22:53 +0000 Dan Bammes 44011 at http://kuer.org Herbert: Delay Hasn't Hurt Medicaid Alternative Agriculture Secretary Encourages Rural Utahns to Consider Obamacare http://kuer.org/post/agriculture-secretary-encourages-rural-utahns-consider-obamacare <p></p><p>US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is encouraging rural Utahns to sign up for health insurance before the federal deadline on Monday. Secretary Vilsack says that Utahns who live in rural areas have a lot to gain from the federal Affordable Care Act.</p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 21:57:45 +0000 Andrea Smardon 43972 at http://kuer.org Agriculture Secretary Encourages Rural Utahns to Consider Obamacare Session Ends with No Medicaid Decision, Talks Continue http://kuer.org/post/session-ends-no-medicaid-decision-talks-continue <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Another Utah legislative session has ended without a decision on Medicaid, but Governor Gary Herbert and healthcare advocates are declaring a victory of sorts.</span></p> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 06:29:36 +0000 Andrea Smardon 43368 at http://kuer.org Session Ends with No Medicaid Decision, Talks Continue House Speaker Criticizes Governor’s Health Plan, calls it Obamacare Expansion http://kuer.org/post/house-speaker-criticizes-governor-s-health-plan-calls-it-obamacare-expansion <p></p><p>When Governor Gary Herbert laid out his Healthy Utah plan Thursday he said he was confident that it would get support from the state legislature as well as the federal government.&nbsp; But the governor’s proposal to accept federal money to help low-income Utahns buy health insurance may meet some resistance from Republicans in the state House…. especially the House speaker.</p> Fri, 28 Feb 2014 23:00:57 +0000 Andrea Smardon 42790 at http://kuer.org House Speaker Criticizes Governor’s Health Plan, calls it Obamacare Expansion Governor Herbert's Health Plan: Take Federal Money, Don’t Expand Medicaid http://kuer.org/post/governor-herberts-health-plan-take-federal-money-don-t-expand-medicaid <p>Governor Gary Herbert announced his long-awaited plan Thursday concerning Medicaid and health coverage for the poorest Utahns. He’s calling it Healthy Utah.</p><p>The Supreme Court decided in 2012 to let states choose whether to expand Medicaid as it was intended under the Affordable Care Act. Now, more than a year and a half later, after reviewing proposals from the state house, the senate, and panels of stakeholders, Governor Herbert finally revealed <em>his </em>plan.</p> Fri, 28 Feb 2014 00:02:41 +0000 Andrea Smardon 42749 at http://kuer.org Governor Herbert's Health Plan: Take Federal Money, Don’t Expand Medicaid Senate Republicans Consider Partial Medicaid Expansion http://kuer.org/post/senate-republicans-consider-partial-medicaid-expansion <p></p><p>A Republican state senator has put forth a proposal for a partial expansion of Medicaid in Utah. Senate majority leaders say they are meeting Wednesday night to decide whether they will get behind this proposal, a different House plan that rejects Medicaid dollars, or another solution all together.&nbsp;</p><p>Republican Senator Brian Shiozawa is an Emergency Room doctor. So he’s all too familiar with the coverage gap - those 54,000 Utahns who live in poverty and can’t get health insurance.</p> Wed, 26 Feb 2014 23:29:07 +0000 Andrea Smardon 42700 at http://kuer.org Senate Republicans Consider Partial Medicaid Expansion No Money in State Budget to Fund GOP Alternative to Medicaid Expansion http://kuer.org/post/no-money-state-budget-fund-gop-alternative-medicaid-expansion <p></p><p>A Republican proposal to provide health coverage for those under the poverty line has advanced to the House floor for consideration, but lawmakers in charge of the budget say there is no money for it at this point, and time is running out to accept any new requests.</p> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 23:53:25 +0000 Andrea Smardon & Brian Grimmett 42647 at http://kuer.org No Money in State Budget to Fund GOP Alternative to Medicaid Expansion Salt Lake City Man in Recovery from Heroin Addiction Falls in Coverage Gap http://kuer.org/post/salt-lake-city-man-recovery-heroin-addiction-falls-coverage-gap <p></p> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 06:54:03 +0000 Andrea Smardon 42381 at http://kuer.org Salt Lake City Man in Recovery from Heroin Addiction Falls in Coverage Gap House Republicans Work to Close “Coverage Gap” Without Expanding Medicaid http://kuer.org/post/house-republicans-work-close-coverage-gap-without-expanding-medicaid <p></p><p>Republican state lawmakers have come up with a proposal to provide health insurance for those who fall below the poverty line, but it does not expand Medicaid in the state. Democrats say rejecting those federal dollars is irresponsible.</p> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 06:36:09 +0000 Andrea Smardon 42380 at http://kuer.org House Republicans Work to Close “Coverage Gap” Without Expanding Medicaid Congressman Chris Stewart Tells Legislature to Expect More Congressional Push Back Against Obamacare http://kuer.org/post/congressman-chris-stewart-tells-legislature-expect-more-congressional-push-back-against <p>Republican <a href="http://stewart.house.gov/" target="_blank">Congressman Chris Stewart</a> gave a report on his efforts in Washington D.C. to members of the House and Senate today.</p><p>He told members of the Senate that he believes in the true idea of federalism, and advocated for a shift in power from his job in Washington to the Utah Legislature.</p><p>“I believe that we have enormous challenges and problems ahead of us, but most of those are best addressed at the state,” he said.</p> Tue, 18 Feb 2014 21:13:11 +0000 Brian Grimmett 42317 at http://kuer.org Congressman Chris Stewart Tells Legislature to Expect More Congressional Push Back Against Obamacare The Coverage Gap: Transgender Utahn Can’t Get Health Insurance http://kuer.org/post/coverage-gap-transgender-utahn-can-t-get-health-insurance <p></p><p>The Affordable Care Act is in effect across the country, but some Utahns are finding that they still don’t have any options for health insurance. As part of an ongoing series, KUER looks at those find themselves in this coverage gap. In today’s installment, we meet a 32-year-old who is in the process of coming out as transgender.</p> Thu, 13 Feb 2014 01:57:00 +0000 Andrea Smardon 42081 at http://kuer.org The Coverage Gap: Transgender Utahn Can’t Get Health Insurance The Coverage Gap: Transgender Utahn Can’t Get Health Insurance http://kuer.org/post/coverage-gap-transgender-utahn-can-t-get-health-insurance-0 <p></p><p>The Affordable Care Act is in effect across the country, but some Utahns are finding that they still don’t have any options for health insurance. As part of an ongoing series, KUER looks at those in this coverage gap. In today’s installment, we meet a 32-year-old who is in the process of coming out as transgender.</p> Thu, 13 Feb 2014 01:57:00 +0000 Andrea Smardon 42082 at http://kuer.org The Coverage Gap: Transgender Utahn Can’t Get Health Insurance Hatch to Senate: Immigration Reform Must Happen, Affordable Care Act Needs to be Replaced http://kuer.org/post/hatch-senate-immigration-reform-must-happen-affordable-care-act-needs-be-replaced <p></p><p>Republican U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch touched on health care, immigration this morning when he addressed the Utah House and Senate Floors at the State Capitol.</p><p>Earlier this week, Hatch announced he is co-sponsoring a new Republican-led healthcare bill that he hopes will replace the Affordable Care Act. He says the&nbsp;Patient Choice Affordability, Responsibility, and Empowerment — or CARE — Act will cost less and have fewer mandates than the current health law.</p> Fri, 31 Jan 2014 22:04:32 +0000 Whittney Evans 41536 at http://kuer.org Hatch to Senate: Immigration Reform Must Happen, Affordable Care Act Needs to be Replaced After Delay, State Now Processing Medicaid Applications from Healthcare.gov http://kuer.org/post/after-delay-state-now-processing-medicaid-applications-healthcaregov <p></p><p></p><p></p><p>After weeks of waiting, thousands of Utahns will find out if they qualify for Medicaid. Confusion and technical difficulties with the federal exchange website <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/">healthcare.gov</a> have left some Utahns’ applications in limbo.</p> Sun, 12 Jan 2014 17:18:00 +0000 Andrea Smardon 40670 at http://kuer.org After Delay, State Now Processing Medicaid Applications from Healthcare.gov Utahns on Primary Care Network Won't Lose Insurance Yet http://kuer.org/post/utahns-primary-care-network-wont-lose-insurance-yet <p></p><p>Utahns who receive health insurance through the state’s Primary Care Network will likely have more time before they are cut from the program. PCN was set to expire at the end of this year, but state health officials say they have verbal confirmation from the federal government that the program will be funded for another year.</p> Thu, 19 Dec 2013 22:13:12 +0000 Andrea Smardon 39801 at http://kuer.org Utahns on Primary Care Network Won't Lose Insurance Yet Utah Obamacare Enrollment Up More Than 400% http://kuer.org/post/utah-obamacare-enrollment-more-400 <p></p><p>The number of Utahns who have signed up for health insurance through the federal exchange quadrupled last month.&nbsp; That’s according to federal <a href="http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2013/MarketPlaceEnrollment/Dec2013/ib_2013dec_enrollment.pdf">enrollment data</a> released Wednesday morning.</p> Wed, 11 Dec 2013 22:36:50 +0000 Andrea Smardon 39428 at http://kuer.org Utah Obamacare Enrollment Up More Than 400% Some Utahns Find Affordable Insurance on Healthcare.gov, Some Don’t http://kuer.org/post/some-utahns-find-affordable-insurance-healthcaregov-some-don-t <p></p><p>Now that <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/">healthcare.gov</a> is working better, more Utahns are going online to sign up for insurance. KUER’s Andrea Smardon reports that it’s affordable for some, expensive for others, and not available at all for more than 100,000 Utah citizens.</p> Mon, 09 Dec 2013 22:29:12 +0000 Andrea Smardon 39317 at http://kuer.org Some Utahns Find Affordable Insurance on Healthcare.gov, Some Don’t State Hospital Association Endorses "Utah Approach" to Medicaid Expansion http://kuer.org/post/state-hospital-association-endorses-utah-approach-medicaid-expansion <p></p><p>Some of Utah’s healthcare powerbrokers are honing in on a plan to expand Medicaid that they think the state legislature might approve. At a healthcare conference in downtown Salt Lake City Thursday, former lieutenant governor Greg Bell - now president and CEO of the Utah Hospital Association – laid out his vision.</p><p>Bell says the state’s decision on Medicaid expansion will really be decided by the Utah legislature. &nbsp;</p> Fri, 06 Dec 2013 00:06:05 +0000 Andrea Smardon 39157 at http://kuer.org State Hospital Association Endorses "Utah Approach" to Medicaid Expansion Club Jam to Host Healthcare Happy Hour http://kuer.org/post/club-jam-host-healthcare-happy-hour <p></p><p>Community groups around the state have been holding events to educate people about the Affordable Care Act, but <a href="http://www.utahpridecenter.org">Utah Pride</a> is trying something different Wednesday to reach their target demographic - healthcare happy hour.</p> Tue, 03 Dec 2013 22:48:20 +0000 Andrea Smardon 39050 at http://kuer.org Club Jam to Host Healthcare Happy Hour State Task Force Narrows Options for Medicaid in Utah http://kuer.org/post/state-task-force-narrows-options-medicaid-utah <p></p><p>A state legislative committee has decided not to consider a full Medicaid expansion as defined by the federal Affordable Care Act. Instead, the Health System Reform Task Force is considering three alternative options.</p> Fri, 22 Nov 2013 00:03:44 +0000 Andrea Smardon 38567 at http://kuer.org State Task Force Narrows Options for Medicaid in Utah Governor Herbert Looks Toward Middle Ground for Medicaid Expansion http://kuer.org/post/governor-herbert-looks-toward-middle-ground-medicaid-expansion <p>Governor Gary Herbert has still not made a decision about expanding Medicaid benefits, but at his monthly KUED news conference today he did shed some light on the decision making process.</p><p>For the past several months Governor Herbert has insisted that all options are still on the table when it comes to the expansion of Medicaid benefits, but his most recent comments suggest that he’s looking at finding some sort of middle ground.</p> Thu, 14 Nov 2013 21:01:14 +0000 Brian Grimmett 38210 at http://kuer.org Governor Herbert Looks Toward Middle Ground for Medicaid Expansion