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Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a nonprofit news organization committed to in-depth coverage of health care policy and politics.

September 30, 2014

Many Rural Hospitals Don't Have to Meet ACA Quality Standards

A quarter of the nation's hospitals are exempt from penalties, quality bonuses and other payment reforms.
September 30, 2014

Obamacare Deadline Hits for Immigrants to Prove Legal Status

Thousands of people in California are facing a Sept. 30 deadline to prove they are in the country legally, as required to receive coverage through insurance exchanges. It's not easy to do.
September 25, 2014

Hospitals in Expansion States See Biggest Savings

Hospitals are projected to save $5.7 billion this year as previously uninsured patients gain coverage through the 2010 health care law, the Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday.
September 23, 2014

People in the New York Region Less Likely to Die at Home

Is it because the area simply has more hospitals than needed?
September 22, 2014

Why 1 Insurer Controls the Fate of Obamacare Fate in 2 States

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield totally dominates the insurance marketplace in two surprising states.
September 22, 2014

Medicaid Must Cover Autism Care for Kids, but What About Adults?

It’s getting easier for parents of young children with autism to get insurers to cover a pricey treatment called applied behavioral analysis. Once kids turn 21, however, it’s a different ballgame entirely.
September 17, 2014

State Health Mandates Get Murky

To discourage states from passing mandates that go beyond essential health benefits requirements, the law requires states, not insurers, to cover the cost of mandates passed after 2011 that apply to individual and small group plans sold on or off the state health insurance marketplaces. If a mandate increases a plan’s premium, states will be on the hook for the additional premium cost that’s attributable to the mandate.
September 15, 2014

Study Shows How Obamacare Has Impacted Children's Uninsured Rate

The uninsured rate for kids under age 18 hasn’t budged under the health law, according to a new study, even though they’re subject to the law’s requirement to have insurance just as their parents and older siblings are. Many of those children are likely eligible for coverage under Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
September 15, 2014

California Takes the Lead on Autism Coverage

Starting Monday, September 15,thousands of children from low-income families who are on the autism spectrum will be eligible for behavioral therapy under Medi-Cal, the state’s health plan for the poor.
September 10, 2014

Nonprofits Get Millions to Help Boost Obamacare Enrollment

Two Planned Parenthood chapters, two United Way organizations, a food bank association and a Catholic hospital system are among 90 nonprofit groups that will receive a total of $60 million to help people sign up for health insurance, the Department of Health and Human Services announced today.
September 8, 2014

Obamacare Premiums to Drop Slightly in 16 Cities

In preliminary but encouraging news for consumers and taxpayers, insurance filings show that average premiums will decline slightly next year in 16 major cities for a benchmark Obamacare plan.
September 5, 2014

For Emergency Care, Sometimes a Station Wagon Works as Well as an Ambulance

There's nothing like an ambulance when you really need one, but they're expensive, and a lot of people who call an ambulance could be better served with a different, cheaper kind of care.
September 4, 2014

Many States Are Expanding Health Coverage. Maine Is Contracting It.

Gov. Paul LePage’s decision to shrink Medicaid instead of expanding it was a radical departure from a decade-long effort to cover more people in the rural state.
September 4, 2014

U.S. Health Spending Expected to Increase Modestly

National health spending will increase modestly over the next decade, propelled in part by the gradual rebound of the U.S. economy and the growing ranks of Americans who became insured under the health law, government actuaries projected Wednesday.
September 3, 2014

Massachusetts' Victory in Health Costs May Be Short-Lived

Two years ago, Massachusetts set what was considered an ambitious goal: The state would not let that persistent monster, rising health care costs, increase faster than the economy as a whole. Today, the results of the first full year are out and there’s reason to for many to celebrate.
September 2, 2014

Why Some States Are Charging Taxpayers to Pay Health Insurance Companies

States are using taxes to help pay Obamacare's tax on insurers.
August 27, 2014

States Ordered to Cover Autism Services under Medicaid

In July, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that comprehensive autism services must be covered for children under all state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program plans, another federal-state program that provide health coverage to lower-income children.
August 18, 2014

Hospitals Reconsider Charity for Uninsured

As more Americans gain insurance under the federal health law, hospitals are rethinking their charity programs, with some scaling back help for those who could have signed up for coverage but didn’t.
August 7, 2014

Many Free Clinics Becoming Medicaid Providers

Obamacare an creates upheaval at free clinics, now that people have insurance options.
August 6, 2014

Medicaid Expansion Is Working in Cleveland

A city hospital created its own Medicaid program for residents.
August 5, 2014

Death Rate in a Region Rises If ER Departments Close

A new study indicates that emergency department closures raise death rates at nearby hospitals.
July 31, 2014

Just 6 States Will Fund Medicaid Pay Raises for Doctors

The other 42 states will let the Medicaid pay rates revert back to their 2012 levels. The pay raise was supposed to allow low-income people enrolling in the expanding insurance program to have access to a physician.
July 31, 2014

California Might Have Bilingual Prescription Labels Soon

Many patients don’t understand the instructions on the label on their prescriptions. The California’s Board of Pharmacy will discuss new regulations that would require pharmacies in California to provide translated labels on prescription drug bottles.
July 29, 2014

Moving Poor Children to Obamacare Exchanges Would Be Very Expensive

A study indicates that moving children from CHIP to ACA Exchange plans would increase costs, sometimes 10-fold.
July 25, 2014

Will Legal Decisions About Obamacare Matter for Midterm Elections?

Political analysts say the new health law court decisions would have only a limited political impact.
July 24, 2014

Medicaid Enrollment Delays in Tennessee Cause Advocacy Groups to Sue

Three groups filed a class-action lawsuit Wednesday accusing Tennessee officials of depriving thousands of people of Medicaid coverage “to score political points.”
July 22, 2014

Are Recertification Rules for Doctors Useful?

Many specialists object to recertification rules they call a waste of time.
July 21, 2014

How Texas Lawmakers Closed Abortion Clinics

Half of Texas abortion clinics will close due to state law.
July 16, 2014

How California Plans to Cut Its Medicaid Backlog

In a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Monday, the California Department of Health Care Services said that it had reduced its application backlog to 600,000 by the start of this month.
July 15, 2014

Why Kentucky's Giving Nurse Practitioners More Authority

As more Americans get insurance, there may be shortages of primary care doctors, so states are getting creative.
July 11, 2014

Deadline Nearing for 6 States to Fix Medicaid Backlogs

Tired of waiting for states to reduce their backlogs of Medicaid applications, the Obama administration has given six states until Monday to submit plans to resolve issues that have prevented more than 1 million low-income or disabled people from getting health coverage.
July 8, 2014

How Tennessee Keeps Health Costs Low

In unhealthy eastern Tennessee, limited patient options bring some of the country’s cheapest premiums.
July 7, 2014

Florida Creates a Special Health Plan for the Mentally Ill

The state will shift its Medicaid mental health strategy to coordinate physical and mental health care for those enrolled in Medicaid.
July 2, 2014

New Hampshire's Plan to Subsidize More Employer Health Care Plans

Observers say this represents a "uniquely New Hampshire approach" to health care expansion.
July 1, 2014

Why New Health Insurance Carriers Are Entering the Market

States are seeing new insurers, attracted by the exchanges, offering their policies.
July 1, 2014

Hobby Lobby Ruling 'Doesn't Supercede State Law'

More than half the states have “contraceptive equity” laws on the books that require most employers whose health insurance covers prescription drugs to also cover FDA-approved contraceptives as part of that package.
June 30, 2014

Climate Change Will Kill People

Experts say American medical care needs to be ready for global warming.
June 25, 2014

Ohio's Measles Outbreak Prompts Amish to Get Vaccinated

The largest outbreak of measles in recent U.S. history has spread quickly among the largely unvaccinated Amish communities in the center of the state.
June 25, 2014

Connecticut Health Insurance Decision Could Reduce Coverage for Autism

Advocates worry the state's decision could chip away at hard-won coverage gains for mental health conditions.
June 17, 2014

Supreme Court: Groups Can Sue over Campaign Lies

A group challenging an Ohio election law that makes it a crime to make “false statements” about a candidate’s record during a campaign has standing to challenge the constitutionality of that law, according to today’s unanimous Supreme Court decision.
June 12, 2014

Michigan to Offer Better Medicaid to Enrollees for Getting Healthier

Michigan to offer Medicaid recipients lower premiums and cost sharing if they take "personal responsibility" and do a health risk assessment with their doctor every year and to commit to improve their health.
June 9, 2014

Despite Medicaid Expansion, 1.7 Million Still Waiting for Health-Care Decisions

Some Americans have been stuck in limbo for as long as eight months, according to officials in 15 large states.
June 5, 2014

Medicaid Enrollment Surged in April

Medicaid enrollment surged by more than 1 million people in April, bringing the total growth in the state-federal health insurance program for the poor since September to about 6 million, the Obama administration said Wednesday.
June 4, 2014

It's Very Difficult for Patients to Compare Hospital Prices

The sticker price for the 100 most common treatments and procedures for Medicare inpatients in 2011 varied dramatically among hospitals across the country, and even across towns.
June 3, 2014

Missouri Has a Declining Medicaid Caseload. Is That a Good Thing?

Missouri is seeing a bigger decline in its Medicaid rolls than nearly any other state, a ranking that the administration of Gov. Jay Nixon attributes to people getting jobs. Critics contend the state is just making it harder for people to enroll or renew their coverage.
May 30, 2014

What Should Georgia Do with Those Closed, Rural Hospitals?

Georgia looks to reopen some former hospitals as freestanding emergency departments.
May 21, 2014

California Doctors Are Getting Rich from Medicare

Doctors in the state are among those charging Medicare the most for office visits.
May 16, 2014

Pennsylvania's Medicaid Expansion Won't Be Easy

The state's expansion plan would require 723 new workers.
May 14, 2014

The 'Defined Contribution' Part of Employer-Provided Health Insurance: This Is Where It Gets Complicated

Could employers decide to drop their health plans and just replace them with a “defined contribution” for employees?
May 13, 2014

Insurers and D.C. Council Fight over Health Exchange

Washington, D.C.'s health insurance tax plan triggers a pushback from insurance companies.
May 12, 2014

Mental Health Playing a Bigger Part in Conn. Policing

Cops are now trained in Mental Health 101.
May 12, 2014

Nonexpansion States Strain Health Centers

More than 1 million patients who use federally funded community health centers will remain uninsured because they live in one of 24 states that chose not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, according to a study released Friday by researchers at George Washington University.
May 8, 2014

What Happens When You Shift Kids Off of Children's Medicaid?

Arizona offers a sneak peak at the costs of shifting kids off of CHIP and putting them in insurance exchanges.
May 6, 2014

Study: The Higher the Insured Rate, the Lower the Mortality Rate

Fewer people died in Massachusetts after the state required people to have health insurance, according to researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health.
May 5, 2014

The Mexican Medical Care Option

Even with Obamacare, many Latinos still seek treatment In Mexico.
May 2, 2014

Obamacare Enrollment Data Released

Obama administration officials on Thursday predicted health insurance premiums would be stable next year despite concerns that not enough young and healthy people signed up through the online insurance exchanges.
April 28, 2014

How Is California Doing So Well Signing Up People for Obamacare?

From zero to 3.3 million Californians have signed up for health insurance. If every state had kept up with California's pace, then national exchange enrollment would have topped 12 million by now.
April 23, 2014

Is There Too Much Consolidation in Health Care?

An Idaho hospital battle is a microcosm of the debate over industry consolidation.
April 18, 2014

Obama Chastises States Not Expanding Medicaid

Enrollment in private health insurance on federal and state marketplaces has surged in recent weeks and now totals 8 million, a feisty President Barack Obama said Thursday.
April 15, 2014

Many More Americans Are Buying Private Health Insurance

The focus on state exchanges and healthcare.gov overlooks millions who have bought private health insurance.
April 15, 2014

Why's it so Hard to Find Out if Marketplace Plans Cover Abortion?

Abortion coverage details are very difficult to find on marketplace plans.
April 14, 2014

A Glimpse at State Health Exchange Enrollment

The enrollment experience varied according to states and Families USA brought together five state exchange directors Thursday to talk about what they’ve seen so far.
April 11, 2014

How Minnesota Could Save $966 Million on Alzheimer’s Care

The Alzheimer’s Disease Support Model could help states save millions, according to a new study.
April 11, 2014

Sebelius Steps Down as HHS Secretary

After a five-year tenure that included the flawed rollout of the health care law and stormy relations with Capitol Hill Republicans, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning, a White House official said late Thursday.
April 9, 2014

Nevada Offers All-Year Health Care Enrollment

Nevada offers a rare bet to state residents: Year-round sales of health insurance plans.
April 9, 2014

The Mentally Ill Mostly Go to Jail, Not Psych Hospitals

American jails house 10 times more mentally ill people than state hospitals.
April 2, 2014

Obama: HealthCare.gov Enrollment Exceeds 7M; ACA 'Here to Stay'

The Obama administration took a victory lap Tuesday as enrollment through the health law’s exchanges topped 7 million, a goal previously thought untouchable when the website healthcare.gov sputtered and crashed as sign-ups began last fall.
April 1, 2014

And for People Still Not Covered Under Obamacare... Community Health Centers

Community health centers may provide services for those who remain uninsured.
April 1, 2014

Primary Care Doctors Are Getting Burnt Out, Cutting Back

The greatest source of frustration for many physicians is working with electronic medical records.
March 31, 2014

Tech Startup Helps People Easily Compare Insurance Plans

One new company offers Californians quick assessments of some possible insurance plans.
March 24, 2014

Connecticut Opens Actual Stores to Sell Obamacare

Connecticut customers rush to retail stores to buy health insurance.
March 19, 2014

How Will Obamacare Succeed or Fail? Only 10 States Matter

Enrollment numbers in 10 states are critical to the administration's efforts to enroll 6 million Americans in new health plans.
March 17, 2014

The Big Information Gap Immigrants Have About Obamacare

Thousands of young California immigrants are eligible for coverage -- though often they don’t know it.
March 6, 2014

States Get Extra Time to Decide on Health Exchanges

The Obama administration on Wednesday released a broad set of regulatory changes to the health law that would give some consumers additional time to stay in plans that do not comply with all its coverage requirements and all consumers more time to enroll in coverage come 2015.
March 5, 2014

Why Did Los Angeles County Stop its Nursing Home Investigations?

Facing a backlog of hundreds of health and safety complaints, it appears county officials told inspectors to cut short nursing home probes.
February 28, 2014

When the Health Exchange Works, States Show Others How It's Done

Connecticut tries to sell its Obamacare success to other states.
February 21, 2014

But How Much Does the Health Care Service Cost?

Colorado's works to create a complete, useful health care price list. It's not an easy task.
February 21, 2014

How the 'Private Option' Medicaid Could Hurt Local Health Centers

It's not just if a state is expanding Medicaid that matters, but how.
February 14, 2014

Libraries Serving as Obamacare Information Hubs

Libraries are serving as Obamacare information hubs.
February 13, 2014

Where Health Care Is Most Expensive in America

The 10 most expensive health insurance markets in the U.S. are marked by a limited number of hospitals and specialists and large numbers of poor and unhealthy people.
February 13, 2014

Florida Will Create a Special Medicaid Plan for Foster Children

Finding roadblocks trying to get foster kids health care, Florida moves to manage a special program for the population.
February 13, 2014

Where Health Care Is Cheap in America

The 10 least expensive health insurance markets in the U.S. are marked by robust competition, salaried doctors and health systems that organize care.
February 13, 2014

How Did Obamacare Enrollment Fare in January?

Nearly 3.3 million Americans have signed up for private health insurance plans since October through the online marketplaces created by the health law, with enrollment continuing to surge through January, an Obama administration report said Wednesday.
February 11, 2014

How the Insurance Marketplace Doesn't Work for Many Gay Couples

Some same-sex couples are being denied family policies on the insurance marketplaces.
February 10, 2014

Arkansas’ Private Medicaid Experiment Could End June 30

The state's unique Medicaid experiment, which is key to Obamacare expansion, could end if it doesn't get GOP support.
February 7, 2014

Chinatown: Where Obamacare Works

Despite problems, the Affordable Care Act thrives in San Francisco's Chinatown.
January 31, 2014

Meet HealthCare.gov’s Fix-It Guy

Ex-Microsoft executive Kurt DelBene’s brings lists and a whiteboard to the overhaul of the Obamacare website.
January 28, 2014

In Western North Carolina, Getting Health Care Is a Lot More Complicated Than Navigating a Website

Sometimes getting health coverage means getting creative.
November 7, 2013

Some States Also Having Problems with Health Care Exchanges

Oregon's state exchange may be worse than Healthcare.gov
October 10, 2013

Obamacare Health Exchanges Open with Technical Glitches in Some States

Online marketplaces at the heart of the health law opened for business Tuesday, often haltingly, as Web-based insurance portals were swamped with consumers who were frequently unable to sign up.
October 7, 2013

Price of Obamacare Insurance Marketplace Plans Varies Widely Across the Country

Consumers shopping in the new health insurance marketplaces find the pricing very complicated, while people in some areas of the country have to pay much more for the identical level of coverage than consumers elsewhere.
July 10, 2013

States Use Sports Teams to Inform Public About Health Exchanges

In an effort to get the word out about their new health exchanges, Massachusetts and Colorado are making use of local sports teams.
March 1, 2013

Some States Getting a Head Start on Health Plan Ratings

A handful of states, including Oregon, Maryland, Minnesota and California, are opting to start rating health plans based on quality well before they're required to in 2016 under federal health reform.
February 13, 2013

Illegal Immigrants Most Helped by Emergency Medicaid Program

Federal law generally bars illegal immigrants from being covered by Medicaid, but a little-known part of the state-federal health insurance program for the poor pays about $2 billion a year for emergency treatment for a group of patients comprised mostly of illegal immigrants.
August 28, 2012

Feds Urge Maryland to Think Big on Health Care Cost Control

Federal officials are urging Maryland and its powerful health industry to build on the state's unique hospital rate-setting system to develop sweeping cost controls that could be used as a model for other states.