Health insurance companies are on the prowl for more customers. There are still three months to go for people to enroll in health plans under the Affordable Care Act, but insurers don’t want to rely solely on state or government websites to find them. Some are finding a path to Americans’ inboxes by partnering with companies that operate health-screening kiosks – those machines in supermarkets and drug stores where people check their blood pressure or weight.
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State of Health editor Lisa Aliferis talked with KQED Newsroom’s Thuy Vu about the upcoming enrollment deadline. People who want health insurance that starts Jan. 1 need to enroll by 11:59pm Mon. Dec. 23.
Q: I am considering enrolling in one of the Covered California plans. How will my coverage work if I am traveling out of state or out of the country and need medical care?
I’m adding one other part to Suellen’s question: What happens when traveling within California?
Just like that, another year is coming to a close. And what a year it’s been on the health beat. I’m going to wager that you can guess what the top news story of the year was on this (or any) health blog. Technically, several Obamacare stories were Top 10 most-viewed posts on this site, but since one of them was from last year, I’m just giving all Affordable Care Act stories one slot.
I’ve Heard the Government Is Offering Subsidies to Buy Insurance. Tell Me More.
You may qualify for a subsidy — in the form of a tax credit — to help you pay for health insurance. Tax credits are available on a sliding scale, according to your income. More than 2 million Californians will qualify for a tax credit.
I Am in the U.S. Legally, But I Do Not Have a Green Card. I Am Here under a Different Kind of Visa. What Does the Health Law Mean to Me?
U.S. law includes a wide variety of ways in which immigrants can be lawfully present, even if they are not green card holders.
The Affordable Care Act provides benefits to immigrants lawfully present under many different kinds of immigration status. You can check this list from the federal government to see if you qualify.
Q: Our 24-year-old daughter is employed full-time and her employer offers health insurance. Does she have to enroll in one of their plans or can she stay on ours until her 26th birthday?
A: Young adults and college students will have more insurance options in the new health care landscape than just about any other group, including both the Covered California marketplace and Medi-Cal, depending on their income.
Enrollment in California’s health insurance exchange rose dramatically in early December as the deadline looms for coverage beginning January 1. An average of 15,000 people per day signed up for plans the first two days of this week, up from 7,000 per day last week — the first week of December — and 2,700 people per day in mid-November.
Q: I have been on the Covered California website and the calculator asks for family size, which I presume means the taxpayer plus number of dependents claimed on federal tax forms. If a consumer claims non-child family members (like aging parents) do they count as part of family size?
A: What’s a family? In our shifting social landscape, it could be a single-parent household, a domestic partnership, a same-sex marriage, an unwed cohabitating couple and more.
But when it comes to Obamacare, as Rich from Santa Ana notes, it’s all about taxes.
Q: My youngest child is 21 and graduated from college in May. My other daughter is 24 and is still a college student in Stockton. What are my options with them under the Affordable Care Act?
A: The good news, Simona, is that your daughters may have several options and their coverage could fall into place easily.
Let’s cross our fingers and begin with “could fall into place easily.”