Affordable Care Act

Consumers seeking health policies with the most freedom in choosing doctors and hospitals are finding far fewer of those plans on the insurance marketplaces. And the premiums are rising faster than for other types of coverage.

The open enrollment window for health insurance is open. As of Sunday, people could start shopping for coverage through the state and federal marketplaces. Naturally, when the options are on the table (or screen), questions pop up about how the buying process works and how to choose the best plan. Here are some recent questions and answers.

I like the low premiums of marketplace plans with high deductibles, but even though I'm pretty healthy, I'm worried about having to pay for everything until I meet that deductible. Is there any way around that?


A large majority of Kentuckians want state leaders to make the reduction of health care costs a top priority, according to a Kentucky Health Issues Poll released this week.

Say you bought health insurance through the federal health exchange, paid the premiums and followed the rules.

And then say you start having pain in your hands. Your doctor refers you to a rheumatologist to test for arthritis.

But when you search for the specialist, there isn't one there.

When it comes to health savings accounts and the so-called Cadillac tax on expensive health plans, the questions just keep coming. And what do you do about adding grandchildren to a health plan? Let's tackle that one, too.

Last year, my wife and I opened a health savings account. Since then, my account has been moved twice, and we have no choice as to who manages it. We can't shop around for someone with lower fees. I think that is a big flaw in the system. Why can't I choose to have my HSA with the same company I have my brokerage account?

Health care costs continue to rise, and workers are shouldering more of the burden.

The big reason? Skyrocketing deductibles.

More companies are adding deductibles to the insurance plans they offer their employees. And for those who already had to pay deductibles, the out-of-pocket outlays are growing.

  State Sen. Ralph Alvarado is looking into whether Kentucky can start selling its successful health insurance exchange program — Kynect — to other states.

Federal funding for Planned Parenthood will clearly be a flashpoint when Congress returns this week from its summer break.

But the fate of many other health programs, from the National Institutes of Health to efforts to reduce teen pregnancy, hang in the balance as well, as lawmakers decide whether and how to fund the government after the current fiscal year expires Sept. 30.

Adrian Clark / Flickr (Creative Commons License)


The Kentucky Department of Insurance recently approved insurers’ requests for rate hikes. And all but one of the 13 insurers selling individual and small-group plans in the state are raising rates.


  Rural free health clinics are seeing a drop in clients as the Medicaid rolls grow in Kentucky thanks to expanded coverage. But, some people  are falling into a gap where opting out of health insurance and paying a penalty is the most affordable option.