health care

Problems with the website set up for the Affordable Care Act doesn’t mean people can’t sign up for health insurance. Applications can still be made on paper.

The state Department of Health and Hospitals is taking preliminary steps to further privatize Medicaid in Louisiana. In August, DHH released a concept paper about reforms to long-term care for the developmentally disabled and low-income elderly.

Chartwell Center

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.

Jesse Hardman

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

For the past few weeks, the culinary arts students at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I., have been working with some less-than-seasoned sous chefs.

One of them, Clinton Piper, may look like a pro in his chef's whites, but he's struggling to work a whisk through some batter. "I know nothing about baking," he says.

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