Affordable Care Act

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U.S. Sen. Rand Paul warns Kentuckians that the rapid expansion of Medicaid recipients in the Commonwealth through the Affordable Care Act may result in the closure of some hospitals.

The Republican made his comments at a press conference in Owensboro Wednesday.

Today on Sounds Good we meet Kellie Oliver, the new State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) Coordinator. SHIP provides information, counseling and assistance to seniors and disabled individuals, their family members and caregivers. The program seeks to educate the public and Medicare beneficiaries so they are better able to make informed decisions on healthcare.

Despite unanswered questions about the impact of federal health care reforms, Kentucky's lawmakers are taking steps to pass a state budget.  House members have begun the process of evaluating and modifying the spending plan proposed by Gov. Steve Beshear.

Steve Beshear couldn't help but chuckle during the State of the Union speech when President Obama said, "Kentucky's not the most liberal part of the country."

Obama was singling out his fellow Democrat for being the rare Southern governor who has fully implemented the Affordable Care Act, expanding Medicaid and running a state health insurance exchange that launched far more smoothly than the federal model.

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A crush of health insurance shoppers in Illinois have been calling a telephone help line set up to answer their questions, as an important deadline looms for the nation's health law.  More than 1,600 people called the Get Covered Illinois Help Desk over the weekend. That's more than double the call volume from the previous weekend. The state's health insurance website saw more than 26,000 visitors over the weekend, an increase of 4,000 from the weekend before. 

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Kentucky has seen a surge in sign-ups for Medicaid and medical insurance as Monday’s deadline approached for those who want coverage to begin next week.  Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange spokeswoman Gwenda Bond says about 100,000 people have signed up, most of them on Medicaid.  Bond says enrollment has gone from about 1,000 to 3,000 people a day in the past week. 

Medi-Share (http://blog.medi-share.org)

Under the Affordable Care Act, Kentucky chose to expand Medicaid eligibility, which means an additional 308,000 Kentuckians will qualify for health care coverage Jan. 1.

But with more patients able to visit primary care physicians comes a problem. There aren’t enough doctors.

Medi-Share (http://blog.medi-share.org)

While Kentucky’s online marketplace for health insurance is running well, some questions remain about its long term impact. 

Louisville Republican Julie Denton, who chairs the Senate’s Health and Welfare Committee, still worries too many newly-insured Kentuckians will have costly health care needs.

Tambra Momi has been eagerly awaiting the promise of guaranteed health insurance.

Since 2011, she has battled Dercum's disease, a rare and painful condition in which noncancerous tumors sprout throughout her body, pressing against nerves.

Jobless and in a wheelchair, Momi needs nine different drugs, including one costing $380 a month, to control the pain and side effects. No insurer has been willing to cover her, she says, except a few that have taken her money and then refused to pay for her medications.

Medi-Share (http://blog.medi-share.org)

Some of the 280,000 Kentuckians whose insurance policies don't comply with the Affordable Care Act will be able to keep their plans, at least for another year.

Kentucky Insurance Commissioner Sharon Clark told lawmakers today she doesn't know the exact number. About 130,000 Kentuckians have individual policies that don't comply with the federal health care reform. 

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