health insurance

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma is one of 14 states that has not expanded the government health insurance program to include more low-income adults.

new report about the effect of Medicaid expansion shows 476 Oklahomans nearing retirement age died prematurely between 2014 and 2017.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

At the beginning of November, hundreds of new laws took effect in Oklahoma, including a big change to short-term health policies. 

It's the season to roll up your sleeves, gather your documents, and pick a health insurance plan for 2020. For those shopping for their own plans, HealthCare.gov and the other state exchanges are open for enrollment as of November 1.

Everything old is new again. As open enrollment gets underway for next year's job-based health insurance coverage, some employees are seeing traditional plans offered alongside or instead of the plans with sky-high deductibles that may have been their only choice in the past.

Some employers say that in a tight labor market, offering a more generous plan with a deductible that's less than four figures can be an attractive recruitment tool. Plus, a more traditional plan may appeal to workers who want more predictable out-of-pocket costs, even if the premium is a bit higher.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

In between studying for medical school tests, Ashton Gores walks around the Gathering Place Park in Tulsa, asking people to sign a petition to put Medicaid expansion on the 2020 ballot.

“When I first came out here I was like ‘nobody’s going to want to sign this, I’ll just be sunburning for an hour’ but it was actually really receptive, and people are very nice,” she said.

Patricia Powers went a few years without health insurance and was unable to afford regular doctor visits. So the Missouri resident, who lives near St. Louis, had no idea that cancerous tumors were silently growing in both of her breasts.

With Anthony Brooks

High-deductible health plans were supposed to encourage patients to shop around for the best deals. Instead, many face financial ruin. What went wrong?

Guests

Noam Levey, writes about national health care policy out of Washington, D.C., for the Los Angeles Times. (@NoamLevey)

The politics of health care are changing. And one of the most controversial parts of the Affordable Care Act — the so-called "Cadillac tax" — may be about to change with it.

The Cadillac tax is a 40% tax on the most generous employer-provided health insurance plans — those that cost more than $11,200 per year for an individual policy or $30,150 for family coverage. It was a tax on employers and was supposed to take effect in 2018, but Congress has delayed implementation twice.

Updated 4:03 p.m.

President Trump signed an executive order Monday on price transparency in health care that aims to lower rising health care costs by showing prices to patients. The idea is that if people can shop around, market forces may drive down costs.

"Hospitals will be required to publish prices that reflect what people pay for services," said President Trump at a White House event. "You will get great pricing. Prices will come down by numbers that you wouldn't believe. The cost of healthcare will go way, way down."

Texas is now among more than a dozen states that have cracked down on the practice of surprise medical billing.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, signed legislation Friday shielding patients from getting a huge bill when their insurance company and medical provider can't agree on payment.

Pages