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HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | December 27, 2013
While residents rushed to make a Friday deadline to get coverage under Obamacare starting next year, at least one consumer group warned that glitches would prevent some from buying a health plan on time. Consumers had until midnight Friday to buy private insurance offered by CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, the state's largest insurer, and United Healthcare. Those plans would be effective Jan. 1. Officials with Health Care Access Maryland, a nonprofit helping to enroll the uninsured with the aid of so-called navigators, said they were still running into obstacles getting people through the online process.
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NEWS
By Michael Dresser and Erin Cox and The Baltimore Sun | October 13, 2014
Republican Larry Hogan denounced Democrat Anthony G. Brown's handling of Maryland's health exchange Monday during their second televised debate, calling the website a "complete disaster. " Brown refused to give in, acknowledging that the launch went poorly but pointing to 400,000 Marylanders who obtained health coverage and statistics showing a drop in uncompensated care at Maryland hospitals. He said the state has become one of the most competitive markets in the country. "We rolled up our sleeves and got it done," Brown said of the state's efforts to correct the website's problems.
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HEALTH
By Matthew Hay Brown and Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | January 21, 2014
With a deadline Tuesday for uninsured Marylanders to secure health coverage retroactive to Jan. 1, would-be enrollees continued to report frustration with the state's troubled health exchange. Matthew Silverglate, a 29-year-old server and bartender from Ellicott City, said Monday he had been calling and logging on to the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange for two months, and still had not been able to price out a private health plan. Dr. Peter Beilenson, who heads an insurance cooperative that sells coverage on the exchange, said he made four separate calls last week, using four different names, to try to get an appointment with a plan navigator.
NEWS
Robert L. Ehrlich Jr | September 21, 2014
The man-made catastrophe known as the "Affordable Care Act" and "Obamacare" still lurks. And nobody should interpret the absence of daily negative headlines as a sign the law's myriad problems have been rectified, or that there is substance to Harry Reid's claim of "untrue" horror stories following the law's implementation. So, how much damage has been inflicted now that gross ineptitude in foreign policy has replaced gross ineptitude in health care policy? Let me count the ways … and lies.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker and By Andrea K. Walker | July 31, 2012
Women will have access to free health services for certain procedures under health care reform that go into affect tomorrow. The health benefits, a result of the Mikulski Women's Preventive Health Amendment, guarantee that women will receive, at no cost, an annual women's health exam to screen for the leading causes of death among women. It also requires all health plans to cover comprehensive women's preventive care and screenings with no copayments. Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski joined other Congressional Democrats Tuesday in announcing the new services.
NEWS
February 12, 2012
I would like Gov.Martin O'Malleyto explain why citizens who no longer have pension plans or retiree medical and prescription benefits through their employers are forced to continue to pay for state employee pensions and retiree health coverage. We should be able to use the tax dollars currently directed toward these generous state employee benefit programs to save for our own retirement just as state employees should be saving for their own retirement. Marilyn Lewis
NEWS
AEGIS STAFF REPORT | March 7, 2014
"HealthConnectNow!" will be at the Bel Air library, 100 E. Pennsylvania Ave., Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. to enroll uninsured Marylanders in health coverage through Maryland Health Connection. The health fair is one in a series of events being held throughout Maryland sponsored by the state's health insurance marketplace to inform individual and families about their health coverage options under the federal Affordable Care Act and help them obtain health coverage before the March 31 deadline for open enrollment.
HEALTH
By Michael Dresser and Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | January 3, 2014
The O'Malley administration will propose emergency legislation to provide retroactive health coverage to people who tried to sign up by the end of the year but were stymied by the technical problems that have plagued Maryland's online insurance exchange. At a briefing Friday by Gov. Martin O'Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, officials said they hoped to put the bill on the fast track when the General Assembly begins its annual 90-day session Wednesday. Brown, the administration's point person on implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act, said the bill would allow a few hundred to as many as 5,000 people to receive coverage retroactive to Jan. 1 through the Maryland Health Insurance Plan, a state program created to insure high-risk customers.
BUSINESS
By Carolyn Bigda and Carolyn Bigda,Chicago Tribune | June 3, 2007
If you're considering taking a job with a small employer, take a hard look at the benefits: Health insurance might not be included. A March study from the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that the number of employers offering coverage has declined, particularly among small businesses. Last year, 60 percent of employers with between three and 199 workers provided insurance, down from 68 percent five years earlier. It's not that small businesses are stingy. But because they have fewer employees to contribute premiums, the insurer takes on more risk, which drives up the cost for the business or workers (or both)
BUSINESS
By David Conn and David Conn,Sun Staff Correspondent | January 23, 1992
WASHINGTON -- Ann Fowler recently returned to her job as a receptionist at a Baltimore hair salon because it pays better than the bank job she took last year -- even though she now has no health insurance.But with a 15-month-old son, she and her husband are beginning to struggle. The child "was sick less than two weeks ago, and I had to put out $100 just in prescriptions," Ms. Fowler said."You have to cut out a lot of things. If I get sick, I don't go to the doctor because I can't afford it," she explainedA new study shows the Fowlers are members of a rapidly expanding club: the working uninsured.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | August 8, 2014
Federal regulators expressed confidence this week in Maryland's move to new technology to run its health exchange website. In a letter to Gov. Martin O'Malley dated Aug. 4, the top official from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said it had reviewed the cost and feasibility of using the same platform as used in Connecticut. CMS' approval and ongoing oversight are necessary for the state to make the change, which was needed because the current website used by the uninsured and underinsured to buy health coverage has never worked properly, causing problems for thousands.
NEWS
July 31, 2014
It's a measure of how bitter the partisan divide in Washington has become that yesterday House Republicans voted overwhelmingly to authorize Speaker John Boenher to bring a lawsuit against President Barack Obama for failing to enforce a provision of the health care law that those same lawmakers have voted to repeal scores of times. Dislike of Mr. Obama runs so deep in the House Republican caucus that members are even willing to vote against their own interests if they think it will hurt the president.
FEATURES
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | July 22, 2014
In a reversal of state healthcare policy, transgender state employees in Maryland can now access gender reassignment surgery, hormone therapy and other transition-related care under their state-provided health insurance plans. The change quietly went into effect at the start of this month as the result of legal negotiations in a discrimination case brought against the state by Sailor Holobaugh, a 31-year-old clinical research assistant in neurology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.
NEWS
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | May 31, 2014
Frustrated with her inability to get health insurance, Bonnita Spikes entered the political fray when she was featured in gubernatorial candidate Douglas F. Gansler's April radio ad lambasting Maryland's problem-fraught health exchange. But as irritated as she was with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Maryland, she's been much happier with the treatment she's received after she finally enrolled. Now Spikes has lent her voice to a publicity campaign praising the health reform effort.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | May 2, 2014
Maryland's health exchange officials say they have contacted all 18,000 people who reported having trouble signing up for insurance through the state's online marketplace before the end of open enrollment in April and added 7,500 people to the rolls. Others enrolled on their own and still more were duplicates, said Alison Walker, a spokeswoman for the exchange. She couldn't say if there were others left who had technical trouble with the glitch-prone site, but she said they'd still be able to enroll.
BUSINESS
By Laura Barnhardt Cech, For The Baltimore Sun | April 19, 2014
Donna Schramek is looking forward to retirement on the Eastern Shore. She loves the smell of the ocean, walking on the beach, and spending time with her grandchildren. That's why the 64-year-old Brooklyn Park administrative coordinator at Medstar Health didn't hesitate to have arthroscopic knee surgery last month. The pain "was making me feel old," says Schramek, who plans to retire in the next two years. "It was limiting me. " Health is an important consideration as workers near retirement.
BUSINESS
By M. William Salganik and M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF | June 27, 2002
House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr. unveiled yesterday the outlines of a reform package to bring health insurance to the more than 500,000 Marylanders who don't have coverage. The package calls for expanding income limits for the Medicaid program for the poor, currently about $4,000 a year for an individual, to $13,200; subsidizing coverage on a sliding scale for those making between $13,200 and $22,150; regulating and standardizing individual insurance to make buying policies easier for those who can afford them; and dangling tax incentives to employers for offering affordable health coverage to their workers.
NEWS
By Peter Honey C and Peter Honey C,Washington Bureau Staff Writer Kim Clark contributed to this article | November 11, 1992
WASHINGTON -- At least 34 million Americans -- and probably many more -- who work for companies with self-insured health plans could be deprived of their coverage for costly illnesses like AIDS or cancer, health care specialists warned yesterday.They were speaking in light of the Supreme Court's decision Monday to let stand a federal appeals court ruling that allows companies with self-funding health care schemes to slash coverage for expensive treatments after their workers develop catastrophic illnesses.
NEWS
By Colin Campbell, The Baltimore Sun | April 5, 2014
Thousands of Marylanders who had trouble signing up for health coverage on the state's glitch-riddled exchange last year have vented their frustrations in the site's online feedback forms. Of more than 4,000 comments that accrued from the site's launch on Oct. 1 through Dec. 12, only 15 were positive, according to an analysis by the Capital News Service at the University of Maryland, College Park. The Philip Merrill College of Journalism's newswire obtained the feedback forms through a Public Information Act request.
HEALTH
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | April 4, 2014
A surge of nearly 50,000 Marylanders obtained health coverage through the state's insurance exchange during the final two weeks of enrollment despite continued technical difficulties. The website, which allowed users to sign up for private plans and Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, had seen hundreds or a few thousand sign up each week before the final surge. More than 18,000 enrolled in private plans in the second half of March, officials announced Friday. "I would say we finished very strong," state Health Secretary Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein said, crediting volunteers and community health organizations for a final push.
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