Just a few blocks from the intersection of Napolean and Magazine Streets is an unassuming yellow shotgun house. From the street there is no way to know this is a school — a very special school.
Inside and down the hall is the elementary school of the Chartwell Center, a nonprofit dedicated to serving children with autism spectrum disorders. In one of the two classrooms, Hayden and Matt — ages 8 and 9 — go over a recipe for a drink called Sunset Juice with their two teachers.
Hundreds of thousands of Louisiana residents don’t have health insurance. The number ranges from about 600,000 to 900,000.
The federal health insurance exchanges opened for enrollment on Oct. 1. The idea is to get uncovered people into an insurance plan, with a mix of government subsidies and a co-pay from the recipient. However, many people below the poverty line will still need to rely on Louisiana’s safety net hospitals.
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 10:02 am
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.
The health insurance marketplaces are now open for enrollment but there's still a lot of confusion about how the exchanges work, what insurance plans are offered and who qualifies for tax credits and subsidies.
Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 10:28 am
Handshakes, hugs and thank yous marked the Oct. 1 handover of LSU Hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe to the Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana or BRF. Under a privatization deal pushed by the Jindal administration, BRF now manages the hospitals with 3,200 employees. BRF president Dr. John George told an overflow crowd in the Biomedical Research Institute Atrium Tuesday that it’s a new day for these north Louisiana hospitals to control their own destiny.
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.
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.