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Obamacare

BUSINESS
March 23, 2014 | By Lisa Zamosky
If you don't  have health insurance and want it, now is the time to act. The deadline to sign up for coverage under Obamacare is fast approaching. Experts have many suggestions.   Some recommendations are as easy as calling the state insurance exchange, insurers, insurance brokers or one of many enrollment counselors hired to help you. But have patience. It could involve a long wait. Here are things to consider. Know the deadline.  You have until March 31 to buy a private health plan that will take effect by May 1. If you miss the deadline, you won't be eligible to buy insurance again until open enrollment returns in November, and that coverage won't take effect until 2015.
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BUSINESS
March 23, 2014 | Michael Hiltzik
If there were fairness in this world, Rita Rizzo would be a media star. Rizzo, 60, owns a management consulting firm for nonprofit groups and government offices in Akron, Ohio, with her husband, Lou Vincent, 64. Vincent, who suffers from Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, has gone without health insurance for 10 years. "We got 30 denial letters," Rizzo told me last week. Three years ago, Rizzo got a hip replacement. Her own insurance premiums were going to rise by $500 a month, to about $800, so she chose instead to triple her deductible to $6,000 to keep the increase to a mere $150 a month.
NEWS
March 23, 2014 | By Jon Healey
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law four years ago Sunday, and contrary to its sponsors' hopes, the measure better known as Obamacare has grown less popular over time, not more. Trying to put the best possible spin on the anniversary, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius offered "four big reasons to celebrate" in a blog post Friday. Unfortunately, at least three of those reasons are, if not bogus, at least misleading. And I say this as someone who thinks the Affordable Care Act is a good thing (albeit a work in progress)
BUSINESS
March 21, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
Milk, bread and Obamacare. Ahead of the March 31 enrollment deadline, the Covered California exchange said Friday that it reached a deal with pharmacy giant CVS Caremark Corp. and the Ralphs grocery chain to promote the healthcare law inside their stores. The state said it will have health insurance information displays at the front of CVS stores. At Ralphs supermarkets, shoppers can get brochures and other information, hear in-store announcements and see messages on their receipts about health coverage.
NEWS
March 20, 2014 | By David Lauter
WASHINGTON -- As the deadline approaches for enrolling in Obamacare health coverage this year, younger Americans have warmed somewhat to the president's healthcare law, but Latinos remain closely split over it. Those findings from a large-scale Pew Research Center survey provide a glimpse at two groups that are major targets of the Obama administration's push to get people to sign up before the March 31 deadline. The administration had originally hoped to get about 7 million people to sign up for coverage in the first year but lowered its expectations after the disastrous rollout last fall of the HealthCare.gov website . Enrollments now appear to be on track to end up somewhat more than 6 million.
BUSINESS
March 20, 2014 | By Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON - President Obama teased Ellen DeGeneres about the selfie she took at the Oscars and confessed to leaving his socks and shoes lying around while the first lady is out of town, but before the end of his Thursday appearance on her talk show, he got DeGeneres to put in a plug for the Affordable Care Act. That's Obama's deal with popular media these days as the president enlists help to boost healthcare sign-up numbers before the March 31...
BUSINESS
March 19, 2014 | By Soumya Karlamangla and Chad Terhune
Under fire for a shortage of Latino sign-ups for Obamacare, the state's health insurance exchange is looking for a booster shot from a well-established Southern California clinic chain. One recent weekday, Maria de Lourdes Martinez sat at a cubicle inside an AltaMed enrollment office in East Los Angeles browsing through the health plans available under the Affordable Care Act. Martinez, 49, of Rosemead, came to this strip-mall storefront across from a Starbucks because she'd brought her grandmother to an AltaMed clinic before.
OPINION
March 18, 2014 | By David H. Gans
Are secular, for-profit corporations free to violate the rights of their employees by claiming that the law violates their corporate religious conscience? That's the big question at the heart of the two blockbuster challenges to a key provision of Obamacare that will be heard by the Supreme Court next week. In its 225-year history, the Supreme Court has never held that secular, for-profit corporations are entitled to the free exercise of religion. It should not start now. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood claim in their lawsuits that the Affordable Care Act's requirement that employers' health insurance plans cover preventive care for women, including the full range of FDA-approved contraceptives, violates their right to the free exercise of religion.
OPINION
March 18, 2014 | By Michael A. Helfand
Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate - the requirement that employers provide employee health insurance that covers contraception - impermissibly infringes on the religious liberty of religiously motivated corporations. The legal battles over the mandate have been legion; more than 300 plaintiffs have filed more than 90 cases across the country, all contending that providing health coverage for contraception would require them to violate their faith.
NEWS
March 17, 2014 | By Noam Levey
WASHINGTON - More than 5 million people have now signed up for health insurance on marketplaces created by President Obama's healthcare law, thanks to a surge in enrollment over the last two weeks, the Obama administration announced Monday. The quickening pace of sign-ups confirms that many Americans are using the new marketplaces as a March 31 deadline approaches for getting coverage this year. The latest figures indicate that roughly 1 million people enrolled during the last two weeks, surpassing the total for all of February.
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