Affordable Care Act

This is one of several explainers to help consumers navigate their health insurance choices under the Affordable Care Act, or as some call it, Obamacare. Click here for answers to other common questions. Have a question we missed? Send it to health@npr.org. We may use it in a future on-air or online segment.

So I have to carry health insurance?

This is one of several explainers to help consumers navigate their health insurance choices under the Affordable Care Act, or as some call it, Obamacare. Click here for answers to other common questions. Have a question we missed? Send it to health@npr.org. We may use it in a future on-air or online segment.



About The Exchanges

This is one of several explainers to help consumers navigate their health insurance choices under the Affordable Care Act, or as some call it, Obamacare. Click here for answers to other common questions. Have a question we missed? Send it to health@npr.org. We may use it in a future on-air or online segment.

So I have to carry health insurance?

Transcript

JEFFREY HESS, BYLINE: I'm Jeffrey Hess in Jackson, Mississippi which is one of the 34 states letting the federal government take the lead in establishing a health insurance exchange. Heavy web traffic and software problems have made it nearly impossible to use the new web site since it opened last week.

MEREDITH STARK: Why I keep trying is because this is something we need.

Creative Commons

Starting October 1 people without health insurance, and those who buy their own insurance, can sign up to get coverage through the new federal health care exchanges.

The new programs have been covered extensively on NPR, but WWNO’s Eve Troeh sat down to get a few more details straight with Doug Wilkinson, the  field coordinator for the Louisiana Healthcare Education Coalition, a non-partisan group. He started the conversation summarizing who’s eligible, and who’s not.

In every state on Oct. 1, health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act will begin enrolling customers for plans that take effect January 1, 2014.

Two nonprofits based in Lafayette, La., and Lufkin, Texas, are among more than 120 to receive a one-year federal grant to help people shop for health insurance premiums and understand their subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. That grant is to train and hire full-time "navigators" who provide in-person education and enrollment assistance for the healthcare marketplace that opens Oct. 1. Brian Burton is directing the $1.3 million navigator grant for the consortium of Area Health Education Centers across Louisiana.

Families USA, the Washington-based health care consumer advocacy group, says more than 353,000 Louisianans will be eligible for financial assistance to purchase premiums through the new health insurance marketplace under the Affordable Care Act. What’s more, according to executive director Ron Pollack, nearly 2 million Louisianans with pre-existing conditions won’t be denied coverage or charged higher premiums due to their health ailments.

Caroline Lewis / WWNO

Louisiana politicians, including Governor Bobby Jindal, continue to resist all programs associated with the Affordable Care Act, which is scheduled to go into full effect in 2014.

Shreveport Lawmaker Draws Attention to Health Care Bill

Mar 19, 2013

Flanked by supporters, Louisiana District 3 Rep. Barbara Norton of Shreveport explained her motivations yesterday for filing a bill that would require the state to sign on to an expansion of the Medicaid program and participate in the Affordable Care Act. Estimates are that up to 400,000 more Louisianans could be eligible for Medicaid next year and thereafter if the state chose to expand the program, with the federal government picking up most of the tab. Gov. Bobby Jindal has criticized such a move, calling Medicaid an inefficient and poorly managed program.

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