healthcare

The Affordable Care Act's requirement that people have health insurance or pay a fine is one of the least popular provisions of the law, and one that Republicans have pledged to eliminate when they repeal and replace Obamacare.

But take a look at some of the replacement proposals that are floating around and it becomes clear that the "individual mandate," as it's called, could still exist, but in another guise.

Natalia Merzlyakova, 123rf Stock Photo

President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, including the part that mandates people buy insurance or else pay a penalty. However, experts say people without coverage still need to buy it because it may be a while before that penalty goes away.

Kynect Logo

Kentuckians who’ve purchased health insurance via Kynect will have to re-enroll on the federal exchange starting Nov. 1.

About half a million Americans need dialysis, which cleans toxins from the body when the kidneys can't anymore. It can cost more than $50,000 a year, and takes hours each week at a dialysis center.

Natalia Merzlyakova, 123rf Stock Photo

Approximately 7,000 Kentuckians on Baptist Health Plan will have to find a new insurance provider next year. The state’s fourth-largest insurer said in a letter to state officials they will no longer sell individual policies in the commonwealth. 

As the number of people covered by high-deductible health plans soars, some insurers and employers are easing the strain on consumers' wallets by covering certain benefits like doctor visits or generic drugs before people have reached their plan's deductible.

But there's a hitch: Under Internal Revenue Service rules, high-deductible plans that can link to health savings accounts can only cover preventive services, such as vaccinations and mammograms, until patients buy enough services on their own to pay down their deductible.

Universities and drug companies that use human volunteers for research face tough new rules designed to make sure that valuable information from these volunteers is widely available, not only to the volunteers themselves but to scientists trying to advance medical science.

The rules currently on the books are confusing and often ignored.

Privately insured people with cancer were diagnosed earlier and lived longer than those who were uninsured or were covered by Medicaid, according to two recent studies.

High deductible health plans are the new normal.

Just over half of employees this year have a health insurance policy with a deductible of at least $1,000, according to a survey of employers from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

It's the continuation of a multiyear trend of companies passing more of the costs of employee health care back onto workers.

Southwings and Vivian Stockman

The prestigious National Academy of Sciences recently announced a comprehensive study on the health effects of the controversial coal mining practice known as mountaintop removal. For coalfield residents who have long questioned what impact the dust, blasting, chemicals and water contamination was having, the announcement comes as welcome news, if somewhat overdue.  

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