Affordable Care Act | KUER 90.1

Affordable Care Act

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Utahns employed to help people navigate signing up for Obamacare insurance are busier than usual. That's after two weeks in the 2017 open enrollment period.

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Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, starts tomorrow. Obamacare was threatened with repeal numerous times this year but for now it’s still the law. 

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The beginning of the 2018 enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, will happen Nov. 1. It comes after a series of changes to the sign-up period.

Vekeo screenshot and Brian Grimmett

Utah’s Senators are not supporting a plan in Washington that would continue subsidies that bring down the cost of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. 

Obamacare Rates Could Jump For Some Next Year

Sep 28, 2017
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The Utah Insurance Department announced their rates for next year’s Obamacare health plans on Thursday. It’s a significant increase, but it won’t affect everyone equally. 

Sen. Hatch Leads Hearing On Obamacare Replacement

Sep 25, 2017
C-Span

Sen. Orrin Hatch led a contentious hearing Monday on the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill, the latest plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Vekeo screenshot and Brian Grimmett

Utah’s senators could have one more chance to vote on a proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, but time is running out.

Screenshot- U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions

Utah Governor Gary Herbert was in Washington on Thursday, where he joined governors of several other states in urging Congress to help stabilize Obamacare’s individual health insurance markets.

Alexa Ard


Ask any member of Utah’s congressional delegation what should happen to the Affordable Care Act next year and you’ll likely get an answer similar to this one by Rep. Jason Chaffetz.

Healthcare Depot Opens Up Shop at Valley Fair Mall

Jan 1, 2016
Andrea Smardon / KUER

There’s a new storefront at Valley Fair Mall in West Valley City, but they’re not selling shoes or clothes. They’re in the business of healthcare.

During this open enrollment period for health insurance, the White House has issued a challenge to 20 communities across the country, including greater Salt Lake City.

Courtesy photo

Thousands of Utahns are looking for new insurance now that the state’s nonprofit cooperative Arches Health Plan is closing its doors. Those living in rural areas don’t have a lot of options.

KUER

Governor Gary Herbert shifted much of the blame for Utah’s Medicaid expansion stalemate on inherent flaws in the Affordable Care Act.

Mark Fischer via Creative Commons

Eighty-six thousand poor and middle-class Utahns can keep the tax subsidies they receive from the federal government to help them afford health insurance. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 on Thursday to uphold federal subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.

State health officials released a report this week concluding that public health in Utah has benefited from the Affordable Care Act – otherwise known as Obamacare. The status update focuses on access to preventive services like cancer screenings and immunizations.

This tax season, Utahns who didn’t have health insurance last year may discover for the first time that they have to pay a penalty to the federal government. But they have an opportunity to sign up for insurance and avoid future fines.

Utahns “Lined Up Out the Door” for Health Insurance

Feb 13, 2015

This weekend is the deadline to buy health insurance through the federal marketplace. Utah's second open enrollment period for insurance through the Affordable Care Act closes on February 15th.

More Utahns Signing Up for Obamacare

Jan 1, 2015

New Obamacare enrollment numbers are in. When Matthew Slonaker of Utah Health Policy Project looks at how many people in the state signed up for insurance in the first month of this enrollment period, he sees good news.

Governor Herbert Unveils Health Plan Details

Dec 4, 2014
Andrea Smardon / KUER

Governor Gary Herbert officially unveiled his plan Thursday to close the coverage gap and help low income Utahns get health insurance under the federal Affordable Care Act.

A regional director for US Department of Health and Human Services is in Utah to raise awareness about the second open enrollment period for health insurance.

Kim Gillan is the HHS Regional Director for six states in the Rocky Mountain region, but for the moment, her role in Utah is to be a health insurance cheerleader. Gillan says healthcare.gov is much more user friendly than it was in the first rollout and it’s operating smoothly.

Utah Gets Ready for Open Enrollment Season

Nov 13, 2014

Some people might think of November as the beginning of the holiday season, but for those involved in the health insurance field – it’s the beginning of another open enrollment season. Jason Stevenson of Utah Health Policy Project joins us to answer questions about health insurance this enrollment season, which begins Saturday, November 15th.

More information about open enrollment is available at Take Care Utah.

With More Power, Hatch Targets Obamacare and Taxes

Nov 5, 2014
Office of Senator Orrin Hatch

Now that Republicans have a majority in the US Senate, Utah’s senior Senator Orrin Hatch will have more power and influence. He says he wants to try again to repeal Obamacare and roll back a tax on medical devices.

As Republicans celebrated election night, Senator Orrin Hatch was thinking about what could be accomplished with Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell as majority leader. For one thing, he wants to try again to get rid of a 2.3 percent medical device tax passed as part of the Affordable Care Act.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Governor Gary Herbert has concluded negotiations with the Obama administration on his Healthy Utah Plan, but that doesn’t mean it will necessarily take effect in Utah. The state legislature still has to weigh in, and lawmakers might be hatching a different plan.

A new poll shows that Utahns don’t know very much about Governor Gary Herbert’s plan to deliver health insurance to low-income citizens. But when they learn more, they tend to support it. KUER’s Andrea Smardon took to the streets to see for herself what Utahns know and don’t know about healthcare decisions facing state lawmakers. 

Herbert Closing in on Healthcare Deal

Sep 9, 2014
Brian Grimmett

Governor Gary Herbert says he is very close to an agreement with the federal government on his proposal to provide health insurance for those under the poverty line.

Coming out of his meeting with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell in Washington, Governor Herbert says he’s gotten about 95 percent of what he’s asked for, and he’s optimistic that a final agreement should be reached shortly.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

A national poll shows Utah’s uninsured rate has not changed since the federal Affordable Care Act required all Americans to have health insurance.  This reflects trends across the country, where states that fully embraced the law's coverage expansion are experiencing a significant drop in the number of uninsured residents. But Utah and other states whose leaders still object to Obamacare are seeing much less change.

Utahns Keep Health Insurance Subsidies for Now

Jul 23, 2014

A federal court in Washington DC ruled Tuesday that Obamacare subsidies are illegal. Utah is among 36 states that would potentially be affected by this ruling, but for now, Utahns will continue to receive those subsidies.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

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 results from a new report on the Medicaid eligibility expansion population to a state health committee.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

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.

The US Supreme Court ruled Monday that two private companies 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.

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