Tag: ACA

Tax credits, rural customers increase in 2017-18 ACA enrollment

On Tuesday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its final report for the 2018 Open Enrollment Period for the Health Insurance Marketplace. Overall, national enrollment of approximately 11.8 million Americans was just three percent below last year’s total. Clearly, there is strong demand for quality and affordable health insurance and the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) ability to… Read more →

Ending Cost Sharing Reductions will drive up health care costs, increase federal deficit

In the past few weeks, the Trump Administration has announced several significant changes to the American health care system. I recently blogged about the rule changes regarding birth control coverage in employer-sponsored health plans. Here’s another. On October 12, the President announced that the administration would no longer make payments for cost sharing reductions (CSRs) that help people with low… Read more →

Rule changes may mean cuts in employers’ birth control coverage

On October 6, the Trump Administration issued new rule changes that will impact coverage of birth control in employer-sponsored health insurance plans. We’ve blogged about the birth control rules in the past, and how they’ve been a game changer for women’s health in the U.S.   This is a big change to an essential health benefit Under the ACA, plans… Read more →

The President’s move to end Cost-Sharing Reductions will raise Nebraskans’ health insurance costs

***For Immediate Release*** October 13, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Nebraska Appleseed Communications Director Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed Statement on President’s decision to end Cost-Sharing Reductions Unnecessary move will destabilize the Marketplace and endanger Nebraskans   LINCOLN — Last night, President Donald Trump announced the administration would end important payments to insurance companies that… Read more →

CBO score confirms Graham-Cassidy would harm Nebraskans’ health care

***For Immediate Release*** September 26, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Nebraska Appleseed Communications Director Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed Statement on Graham-Cassidy CBO score Analysis reveals bill would gut Medicaid, endanger coverage for millions of Americans   LINCOLN — Monday evening, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its analysis of the Graham-Cassidy Senate health… Read more →

STATEMENT: Repeal and Delay is irresponsible plan for Nebraskans

***For Immediate Release*** July 18, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Nebraska Appleseed Communications Director Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed Statement on Senate effort to repeal ACA with no replacement Move would throw insurance markets into chaos, force even more Nebraskans to lose coverage   LINCOLN — This afternoon Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said… Read more →

Take Action – Tell Legislature to advance Medicaid expansion bill LB 441

Last week, you helped do something incredible. Thanks to your phone calls, your emails, and your decision to show up at town halls and support affordable health coverage, Congress has left the Affordable Care Act in place. This means millions of Americans – and thousands of Nebraskans – will be able to keep their health insurance. But we’ve still got… Read more →

Open Enrollment 2017 Final Report: Nebraska’s Success

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its final report for the 2017 Affordable Care Act (ACA) enrollment period (including additional data) this past week. The data shows that Nebraskans continue to value and benefit from the quality insurance provided through the ACA, even amidst the national uncertainty surrounding the law. Nebraska enrolled 84,371 individuals in health coverage… Read more →

STATEMENT: House bill would strip health care from thousands of Nebraskans

***For Immediate Release*** March 14, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed Statement on House health care bill CBO score confirms ACA replacement would have devastating effects on Nebraskans’ health care   LINCOLN — Monday evening, the Congressional Budget Office released its score of the House of… Read more →

Take Action – House bill would cause millions to lose their health insurance

Now is the time to protect affordable health care for all Nebraskans. Will you take action today? A bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives that removes many of the important parts of the Affordable Care Act and would bring huge cuts to Medicaid. This would strip health insurance from millions of Americans – including thousands of people… Read more →

STATEMENT – House health care bill would strip coverage from Nebraskans who need it most

***For Immediate Release*** March 6, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed Statement on House Health Care Bill Potential cuts to care would harm tens of thousands of Nebraskans   LINCOLN — Monday, the House of Representatives introduced a bill to radically change the American health care… Read more →

RELEASE: NE health care leaders tell Congress no ‘Repeal and Delay’

***For Immediate Release*** January 18, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska leaders urge Senators not to dismantle health insurance system Over 30 health care, business, community leaders warn that hundreds of thousands of Nebraskans could lose health care protections if ACA is repealed without replacement   LINCOLN… Read more →

Take Action – Don’t let Congress tear down the health care system

This week, Congress took another step down a path that will endanger the health insurance of hundreds of thousands of Nebraskans. In the early hours of Thursday morning, the U.S. Senate cast its first vote in the process to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which has dramatically improved the quality of health insurance in America. But it’s not too late… Read more →

Action Alert – Now is the time to protect health care

Because of the Affordable Care Act, tens of thousands of Nebraskans are among the millions of Americans who can now get quality, affordable health insurance. But Congress already is taking steps to end those life-saving protections with no replacement plan in sight. Will you call our Senators today? Tell Sen. Deb Fischer and Sen. Ben Sasse they can’t vote to… Read more →

RELEASE: Over 87,000 Nebraskans covered through ACA Marketplace in 3rd enrollment period

***For Immediate Release*** March 15, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Over 87,000 Nebraskans newly insured through Health Insurance Marketplace 88 percent of enrollees received tax credits to reduce cost of plans   LINCOLN — Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced more than 87,000… Read more →

The Affordable Care Act has been a game-changer for women’s health

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has had an enormously positive impact on reducing the number of uninsured Americans. Nearly 9 million people got health coverage in the first year of the ACA’s Health Insurance Marketplace. This is the biggest drop in uninsurance in the U.S. since before 2008, and some experts even say that we haven’t seen this big of… Read more →

Medicaid costs are growing slower than private health coverage

Medicaid is a critical program in Nebraska, providing access to health care for many people – mostly children, older adults, and people with disabilities. Despite the important role that it plays in our state, some claim that Medicaid spending is growing at unsustainable rates. However, recent data shows that Medicaid costs have been well contained in Nebraska. According to the… Read more →

STATEMENT – Supreme Court ruling ensures health coverage for 57,000 Nebraskans

***For Immediate Release*** June 25, 2015   Contact, James Goddard Health Care Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 jgoddard@neappleseed.org   Appleseed Statement on King v. Burwell Ruling Supreme Court decision upholds access to vital health coverage for Nebraskans   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Health Care Director James Goddard issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on… Read more →

RELEASE: Supreme Court ruling will affect health coverage for 57,000 Nebraskans

***For Immediate Release*** June 18, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Health coverage of 57,000 Nebraskans hinges on Supreme Court ruling Adverse Court decision could strip health coverage from Nebraskans statewide   LINCOLN — A new report released today by Families USA shows the U.S. Supreme Court decision in King… Read more →

Open Enrollment, Campaign Successes and Tax Season Enrollment

At least 74,000 Nebraskans can rest a little bit easier knowing that they are covered by health insurance following the close of the national open enrollment period February 15. The Department of Health and Human Services announced state numbers February 18 and also reported that over 11.4 million individuals signed up nationwide, surpassing the goal set by the White House in… Read more →

RELEASE – ‘500 by the 15th’ surpasses health coverage goal

***For Immediate Release*** December 19, 2014   “500 By The 15th” campaign widely surpasses health insurance enrollment goal Organizations assist nearly 900 Nebraskans in new or renewed coverage plans LINCOLN — A statewide campaign to help at least 500 Nebraskans enroll in health insurance or renew previous plans in the first half of December was a resounding success, Enroll Nebraska… Read more →

Shopping around could mean big savings on health insurance

For those who signed up for health insurance last enrollment period through Health Insurance Marketplace, plans will be automatically renewed for the upcoming year starting tomorrow. While this makes it easier for individuals to stay covered, most could save money by reviewing their plans and considering switching to a different insurer.  According to an article in The New York Times,… Read more →

‘500 by the 15th’ campaign to encourage Nebraskans to get health coverage

***For Immediate Release*** December 1, 2014 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org  “500 by the 15th” campaign aims to help Nebraskans get health coverage Statewide health care organizations available to provide free assistance Today, community and health care organizations across Nebraska announced the kickoff of a new effort to ensure Nebraskans get… Read more →

Traveling Nebraska brings new friends and new focus on health care needs

Last week, I traveled around central Nebraska, reaching out to and meeting new organizations and individuals doing outreach and enrollment work for the Affordable Care Act. I am working to expand the Enroll Nebraska coalition with the goal to make it a truly statewide network, connecting organizations to resources and to one another. As I met with people along the… Read more →

People changing individual health insurance plans is nothing new

Opponents of the Affordable Care Act have tried to cast doubt on the effectiveness of the law despite more than 8 million Americans – and 43,000 Nebraskans – signing up for private coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace during the first ACA enrollment period. One of their common complaints is that many Americans with nongroup coverage not provided by their… Read more →

DHHS announces nearly 43,000 Nebraskans covered through Marketplace

***For Immediate Release*** May 1, 2014 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nearly 43,000 Nebraskans newly insured through Health Insurance Marketplace Nebraska exceeds goal set by feds in health coverage enrollment under Affordable Care Act LINCOLN — Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported nearly 43,000 Nebraskans enrolled… Read more →

First ACA enrollment a success! So, now what?

A big congratulations is in order for all of the organizations and individuals who worked tirelessly throughout our state to make the first Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment period a success! As of Monday, March 31st,  7.1 million people across the country have successfully enrolled in private coverage through the federally run Health Insurance Marketplace or their state equivalent. This… Read more →

ACA In Nebraska: Woman able to take deep breath with affordable insurance

Rebecca Cech from Bellwood, Neb., found herself in a dangerous coverage gap that left her unable to afford health insurance.  She is self-employed, made an income too high to qualify for Medicaid and too low to afford private insurance…or so she thought. Rebecca knew she could not go uninsured. She has severe asthma and regularly uses two different medications plus… Read more →

Health Care Supporters Vow To Keep Fighting

Last week, a group of state senators left 54,000 uninsured Nebraskans without a path to health care coverage when they filibustered LB 887 – the Wellness In Nebraska Act that would have helped Nebraskan with low incomes get affordable health insurance. But Wednesday, state senators who have shown leadership on health care access joined advocates at the State Capitol for… Read more →

ACA In Nebraska – No more choosing between food or medicine

Twenty-four-year-old Selene Cruz of Gering, NE recently lost access to Medicaid coverage because her income rose when she began working two jobs to better provide for her children. At the time, she had a prescription refill coming up. Selene has severe fibromyalgia, and her medication would cost her more than $800 each month without insurance. On top of that, she… Read more →

ACA In Nebraska – Marketplace provides new, less-expensive coverage plans

Sharlette Schwenninger is self employed and had been purchasing her own health insurance for five years. Every year, her premiums had been rising, but due to her own health concerns, she had always felt she needed a higher-premium plan. The insurance plan she had at the time had become very expensive outside of the Health Insurance Marketplace, so she decided… Read more →

Please thank the senators who fought for hard-working, uninsured Nebraskans

As you may have seen this morning, LB 887, the Wellness in Nebraska Act, that would have provided a path to affordable health insurance for at least 54,000 uninsured Nebraskans, was filibustered this morning. The vote to end debate was 27-21, with 33 votes necessary to end debate. While this is a disappointing outcome, we will continue to work with… Read more →

Legislature denies health care access to 54,000 Nebraskans

Today’s failure to pass the Wellness in Nebraska Act hurts 54,000 of our hard-working families, neighbors, and friends, who now must continue to live and suffer without proper access to health care by having no options for affordable insurance,” Gould said.  “This decision also hurts our state, by missing the opportunity to make real and positive improvements in our broader… Read more →

ACA In Nebraska: Young professional finds complete coverage

26-year-old Sara Tangdall teaches part-time as an adjunct English composition professor in the Omaha-metro area. Because she does not have a full-time position, she was unable to get insurance through her job, so she decided to check out the Health Insurance Marketplace. Having insurance for Sara is critical because she has severe asthma and allergies and requires prescriptions that, without… Read more →

ACA In Nebraska: Omaha man dissatisfied with old insurance finds new coverage in Marketplace

Adam Witte, 31, of Omaha had been purchasing private insurance on the individual market for the last several years, but he admits he was not exactly in love with the customer service experience of his old insurance company. “First the number would disconnect me after being on hold for 45 minutes,” Adam said.  “So I tried a different number and… Read more →

ACA In Nebraska – Navigators find it rewarding to help people Get Covered

Katie Nungesser saw daily the relief – and sometimes tears – on people’s faces when she informed them they will be able to afford health insurance, in many cases for the first time ever. Until recently Katie, 28, worked as a certified Navigator with the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska in Lincoln, helping people discover their health insurance options in the… Read more →

ACA In Nebraska – Navigators find it rewarding to help people Get Covered

Katie Nungesser saw daily the relief – and sometimes tears – on people’s faces when she informed them they will be able to afford health insurance, in many cases for the first time ever. Until recently Katie, 28, worked as a certified Navigator with the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska in Lincoln, helping people discover their health insurance options in the… Read more →

Appleseed statement on LB887 advancing to floor of the Legislature

Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould issued the following statement on LB887, the Wellness In Nebraska Act, being advanced to the floor of the Legislature by the HHS Committee. “We strongly support today’s decision by the HHS Committee to advance LB 887 to the floor of the Legislature.  WIN will provide essential and affordable health insurance coverage for 54,000 of our… Read more →

ACA In Nebraska: Marketplace saves money for Omaha business owner

As October 16th neared, Omaha resident Mike Nellis knew he would not only be celebrating his 26th birthday—he would also lose access to his parents’ health insurance. As a small business owner, Mike couldn’t afford to provide insurance for himself through his company. He knew he would have to seek out options on his own. Because of the initial difficulties… Read more →

Appleseed statement on Wellness In Nebraska bill, LB 887

***For Immediate Release*** January 29, 2014 PRESS RELEASE: Statement on Wellness In Nebraska bill, LB 887. WIN would extend health insurance access to at least 54,000 working Nebraskans. LINCOLN — Today, the Nebraska Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee held a hearing on LB 887, which would provide health insurance coverage to 54,000 working Nebraskans that will otherwise remain uninsured.… Read more →

ACA In Nebraska: New policies help Nebraskans receive mental health care

One of the most beneficial pieces of the Affordable Care Act that is often overlooked is the importance the ACA gives to mental health.  Mental health coverage is one of the 10 essential health benefits that new insurance policies must cover according to the ACA. That provision already is helping Nebraskans.  Last weekend, Cathryn Reed of St. Edward, Neb., wrote… Read more →

More than 14,000 Nebraskans covered through Marketplace to start 2014

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported this week Nebraska is in the top 20 of states in enrolling people in health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace. According to DHHS figures, 14,464 Nebraskans have purchased private plans through the Marketplace.  That number is 77 percent of the goal set for the state by the Centers… Read more →

Nebraska Appleseed statement on Wellness In Nebraska bill LB 887

Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould released the following statement on LB 887, which would help more working Nebraskans get access to affordable health care coverage. “A strong economy, a productive workforce, and a thriving future for our state all depend on having a health care system that works for all Nebraskans.  LB 887 would provide health insurance to… Read more →

ACA in Nebraska: Marketplace helped young entrepreneur get covered

A couple years ago, Phil Jarrett, a young professional in Omaha, found out that his medical costs didn’t stop once he got done paying for surgery. That was the year Phil spent nearly half of his annual income on medical bills – even with health insurance provided by his employer. “My old plans wouldn’t cover items relating to pre-existing conditions… Read more →

New survey shows U.S. falls short of other countries in health care affordability for adults

A recent study by the Commonwealth Fund looked at the access and affordability of health care for adults in 11 countries, including the United States. The results don’t speak well for us here in the USA when stacked up against other developed nations.  The survey found that adults in the U.S. were more likely than peers in other countries to… Read more →

Safety Net Hospitals Face Crippling Cuts without Medicaid Expansion

One of the cost-saving measures in the Affordable Care Act was the reduction in disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments to the states. DSH payments are federal money that goes to hospitals serving a large (or disproportionate) number of uninsured or underinsured patients, to offset those costs. The ACA was constructed so DSH payments wouldn’t be needed anymore because nearly everyone… Read more →

Affordable Care Act provides health care coverage opportunities for youth with foster care experience

There has been a lot of talk and excitement recently about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which will be fully implemented starting January 1, 2014.  While the ACA goes a long way in providing Nebraskans with access to affordable and comprehensive coverage, there are a few lesser-known provisions.  In particular, youth who age out of foster care will be eligible… Read more →

The End of the Comprehensive Health Insurance Pool

Beginning October 1, those who have been denied health insurance coverage because of a pre-existing condition will be able to sign up for coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s new health insurance Marketplace. That coverage will begin January 1, 2014. Until now, the Comprehensive Health Insurance Pool in Nebraska (or CHIP) has been the only option for Nebraskans who couldn’t… Read more →

Resources ready to help as we countdown to Health Insurance Open Enrollment

Open enrollment is just around the corner. Beginning October 1, many of those who are uninsured and don’t have access to health care coverage through their employer can purchase coverage in the new health insurance marketplace. And, in fact, a new study suggests almost half of those eligible for coverage in the new marketplace will pay less than $100 per… Read more →

Health insurance marketplace provide more options for seniors

As a New York Times article points out, the new health insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act offer those who are nearing retirement age more options. Currently, someone who might be contemplating retirement might choose to delay until they are eligible for Medicare at age 65. Those who retire prior to age 65 may have a difficult time… Read more →

The ACA has good news for young people and rural residents

Two new reports released this week promise relief from high premiums and the anxiety that comes from being uninsured once all provisions of the Affordable Care Act take effect January 1, 2014. The Center For Rural Affairs points out that rural Nebraskans will especially benefit from the premium tax credits and cost sharing subsidies that will be available in the… Read more →

Crowd rallies at Capitol to urge senators to bring Medicaid bill to a vote

There are days when we at Nebraska Appleseed are especially proud of the work we do and the wonderful friends, partners, and supporters who we stand with. Yesterday was one of those days when 300 supporters gathered at the State Capitol to show their support for LB 577, the bill that would extend Medicaid to 54,000 uninsured Nebraskans, bring more… Read more →

Free public presentation on the Affordable Care Act in Omaha – May 10

Join us in Omaha on Friday, May 10 for a free presentation on the Affordable Care Act and the new Medicaid program being debated in the Legislature.  This program is hosted by First United Methodist Church – Omaha. Nebraska Appleseed attorney Jerusha Hancock will answer your questions, tell you how the new health care reform law will work for you,… Read more →

Make your voice heard on Facebook and Twitter to help bring Medicaid bill to a vote

Today, we’re asking all our supporters to take a moment to help bring LB 577 to a vote and help 54,000 uninsured, working Nebraskans to get health care coverage while returning $2.3 billion to our state’s economy. A small group of state senators are preventing this bill from coming up for a vote.  That is not how important decisions should… Read more →

Take Action – Help Medicaid bill get a vote!

A crucial piece of legislation is being obstructed in the Legislature.  We need your help! LB 577, the bill that would extend Medicaid coverage, would help 54,000 uninsured, working Nebraskans get access to health care.  It would provide security to our rural hospitals, our working families, and our veterans.  It is beneficial to our economy, returning $2.3 billion to our… Read more →

Debunking the ACA Rate Shock Myth

One of the myths that has been circulating about the impact of the Affordable Care Act is that it will force insurance rates to go up sharply. A new fact sheet from Community Catalyst dispels those myths. Some things to remember when considering the impact that the ACA will have on private insurance premiums: Because insurers will not be allowed… Read more →

CBPP paper shows Medicaid saves lives and dollars

A new policy paper from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities offers an excellent overview of Medicaid, the state-federal partnership program that provides health care coverage to millions of low-income children and adults. The data is clear – Medicaid is a cost-effective program that saves lives and money. Some of the highlights from the report include: Expansions of Medicaid… Read more →

Understanding how the new Medicaid program is a firm commitment

There was much hand-wringing earlier this week from opponents of LB 577, the bill that would implement the new, extended Medicaid program in Nebraska, when it was announced the federal government would be reducing its funding for our state’s existing Medicaid program by $8 million next year. Opponents would love to use this reduction as a sign of the instability… Read more →

Medicaid Covers People in a Cost-Efficient Way

The new Medicaid program offers Nebraska a way to provide health care to tens of thousands of people in our state who need it most.  Next week, lawmakers will debate LB 577, which would implement the new Medicaid program in Nebraska. But why Medicaid? Basically, because Medicaid is the most cost-effective means of insuring low-income individuals and families. We know… Read more →

Join Appleseed for free webinar on the ACA and Youth Formerly in Foster Care

On January 1, 2014 several important provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will start being enforced. Some of these provisions directly benefit former foster care youth so it is important for advocates and professionals working with youth in foster care to understand the pertinent eligibility criteria so they can successfully help youth access health care as they transition out… Read more →

AARP survey shows majority of Nebraskans support new Medicaid program

A new survey released today conducted by AARP Nebraska shows the majority of Nebraskans support the new Medicaid program, implemented by LB 577, which would provide health care access to at least 54,000 uninsured people in our state. AARP Nebraska released the results of the survey at a press conference today at the State Capitol.  The survey, which polled 600… Read more →

Appleseed proud to support LB 577 for greater health care access for Nebraskans

If you’ve been a follower of Appleseed for very long at all, you will have gathered one of our biggest priorities is making sure every Nebraskan has the ability to see a doctor when they or their families become sick or injured. Yesterday, Appleseed was proud to testify in support of LB 577, Senator Kathy Campbell’s bill that would implement… Read more →

New Video: Medicaid program a win-win for Nebraska

We know Medicaid already works in Nebraska, helping children and low-income working families to see a doctor when they get sick.  It works for our state’s economy too, with studies estimating every dollar spent on Medicaid eventually produces at least seven dollars for our local economy. Now, we have a great opportunity to embrace a real solution to provide health… Read more →

Legislative Update

Appleseed testified on a number of bills in committee last week Foster Care Reimbursement Rates LB 530 – A bill that increases reimbursements for foster families to better meet the needs of children in foster care, establishes a pilot project for a new method of determining rates, and extends the Children’s Commission and its subcommittees until 2016. Appleseed testified in… Read more →

LB 577 is a great opportunity & real solution to improve the health of all Nebraskans & our state economy

Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould made the following statement on LB 577, the legislative bill that would implement the Affordable Care Act’s new Medicaid program in Nebraska. “LB 577 is a tremendous step toward ensuring the future health of Nebraskans.  The bill ensures that we take advantage of the opportunity to provide access to health care to at least 54,000… Read more →

New Medicaid program gaining momentum as states recognize benefits

As state Legislatures come back into session this month and budget discussions begin, the new Medicaid option under the Affordable Care Act is gaining momentum. In the past week alone, the governors of Arizona and North Dakota, who both had previously spoken out against the ACA, included the new Medicaid plan in their budgets because of the economic benefits that… Read more →

The Rural Implications of Health Insurance Coverage in Nebraska

The Center for Rural Affairs recently released a new report on health insurance coverage in Nebraska. The report highlights the need for full implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Nebraska, including the new Medicaid program. Our rural counties have higher rates of uninsured, as well as poorer health outcomes, than our cities. The new Medicaid program could cut the… Read more →

The Cost and Coverage Implications of the New Medicaid Program

Linda Manns from Bellevue had health insurance all her life, until she recently lost her job as a certified nurse assistant.  Linda has diabetes, which kept her from working mandatory overtime her employer required, which she said resulted in her being let go. Recently, Linda got an infection in her toe.  Without health insurance, she couldn’t afford to go to the… Read more →

How the new Medicaid program would fuel the Nebraska economy

Last week, we talked about the coverage gap that about 78,000 Nebraskans would fall into if the Legislature chooses not to implement the new Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act. These are Nebraskans that don’t qualify for the current Medicaid program, but don’t make enough to be able to get tax credits to buy health insurance through the Exchange.… Read more →

Nebraska Appleseed Statement on Nebraska’s health insurance exchange plan

Today, Governor Heineman announced that the state would default to a federally facilitated exchange in Nebraska.  Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca L. Gould issued the following statement in response: “Now that Nebraska has decided the federal government will facilitate our exchange, Nebraska Appleseed looks forward to working with federal and state officials to ensure the system is focused on the… Read more →

New study says only half of small-business employees get health benefits

A new study from the Commonwealth Fund, an independent health care policy foundation, confirms an alarming, decade-long decline in the number of employees working in small businesses who receive health insurance from their employers. The report found that in 2010 only 49 percent of workers in small businesses with fewer than 50 employees were offered and eligible for health insurance… Read more →

How the Affordable Care Act helps Nebraskans in a nutshell

The Affordable Care Act is already helping thousands of Nebraskans, and will help even more with full implementation of the law in 2014. Nebraska Appleseed has created a new fact sheet that explains the basics of the law, including the current consumer protections in effect, how you’ll be protected in the future, and the ways that the ACA makes health care… Read more →

Upcoming Community Forums explain Health Care Reform in Nebraska

Nebraska Appleseed is out and about in the community this week to participate in a pair of community events about the Affordable Care Act. On Wednesday night, join us for either a presentation in Lincoln or a panel discussion in Omaha. OMAHA Wednesday, October 17 from 7-9pm “Myth & Reality: Explaining the Affordable Care Act (ACA)” Jewish Community Center Social… Read more →

Center For Rural Affairs Report says new program under the Affordable Care Act is critical for rural Nebraskans

The Center For Rural Affairs released a new report Monday that examines the effect a new Medicaid program would have on Nebraska’s rural communities.  The Affordable Care Act (ACA) gives states the opportunity to provide coverage to low-income residents under age 65 through a new Medicaid program with significant federal assistance. The report, New Medicaid Initiative in Nebraska: The Rural… Read more →

September News from Nebraska Appleseed

In this September edition of “Appleseed in Action”: New data on poverty in America UNMC report reveals Medicaid expansion would cover 90,000 uninsured Deferred Action Forum: a new opportunity for DREAMers Appleseed files petition for hearing on meatpacking worker health & safety Join us at the Good Apple Awards on October 4 New data on poverty in America On Wednesday,… Read more →

Consumer Advocates Weigh in on Nebraska State Health Exchange

This morning, Governor Heineman invited a broad range of consumer advocates to give testimony on the creation of a state-based health insurance exchange in Nebraska.  Nebraska Appleseed was one of the organizations that offered testimony – expressing our hopes that a state exchange will be focused on the consumer and increase access and affordability of coverage. The Affordable Care Act… Read more →

Journal Star Editorial Reveals “Silent Tax,” a Huge Cost to Health Care Consumers

In the discussions about how to fix our broken health care system, much has been made on how much it would cost the state to take up the Affordable Care Act’s new Medicaid guidelines. But an editorial in today’s Lincoln Journal Star shines a light on the huge cost of uncompensated care that hospitals and insurance companies pass on to… Read more →

Public Hearings on Health Care

As Nebraska moves forward in implementing the Affordable Care Act, a crucial part is in the creation of an Exchange, and it is imperative that your voice is heard! The Exchange will serve thousands of Nebraskans, and will be the place many access health insurance and get premium tax credits. As a result, it is critical that the exchange focus… Read more →

UNMC Report Reveals Medicaid Opportunity We Can’t Miss

Today, the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Center for Health Policy released a report examining the potential economic impact the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) new Medicaid program would have on Nebraska. The results paint a clear picture that the state would receive significant returns on an investment made in the good health and well-being of its citizens through this new… Read more →

Preventive Care for Women Now Available Without Cost-Sharing

The Affordable Care Act requires certain women’s preventive health services to be made available without cost-sharing for plan years beginning on or after August 1. There has been a lot of media coverage on this provision, but the National Health Law Program has a great Q&A to answer all your questions on what services are covered, and whether your insurance… Read more →

Health Care, Immigration, Fair Pay & You’re Welcome!

In this edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Health Reform: Quality, affordable and constitutional health care for all; Arizona’s SB1070: Socially toxic and unconstitutional; Lilly Ledbetter in Omaha: One Woman’s Battle for Justice; You’re Welcome in Omaha!; Take Action: Opportunity for DREAMers Read more →

A Great Day for Nebraskans: Nebraska Appleseed Applauds Supreme Court Ruling on the Affordable Care Act

Nebraska Appleseed applauds the U.S. Supreme Court ruling today finding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act legal and constitutional. “Today is a great day for Nebraskans and the future health of our country, our families, and our friends and neighbors,”  said Rebecca Gould, Executive Director at Nebraska Appleseed.  “This is the right legal result and means the benefits that… Read more →

The High Stakes of the ACA

A recent article in The New York Times features several Lincoln residents, among others, who have a lot to lose if the Affordable Care Act is struck down by the Supreme Court on Thursday. Many insurance companies refuse to sell to those who have pre-existing conditions.  Pre-existing conditions can be anything from a chronic illness to an allergy you had years… Read more →

More Benefits to Nebraskans From the Affordable Care Act

Yesterday, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that 12.8 million Americans will benefit from $1.1 billion in rebates from insurance companies this summer, because of the Affordable Care Act’s 80/20 rule.  Nebraskans are expected to receive $4.8 million in rebates.  More than 46,000 people will get a rebate, with an average of $215 per family. These rebates… Read more →

Ground Shift Implications

A recent Health Affairs blog post discusses possible implications for the Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.  Each of the Court’s possible rulings was given a Richter Scale rating based on how great a “ground shift” it would cause. Read the full post at Health Affairs The Richter Scale is a great shorthand for understanding… Read more →

Anticipating the Supreme Court’s Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to release its decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act later this month, which means that now is a good time to review the questions and possible outcomes. Kaiser Health News has an excellent chart, released last November, describing the questions, how they’re related, and potential outcomes. Like many others, Nebraska Appleseed… Read more →

Free CLE Credit – Affordable Care Act Webinar

Nebraska Appleseed is offering a free webinar on June 13th, from 12 to 1 pm, on the Affordable Care Act and the Supreme Court. The webinar is approved for 1 CLE credit through the Nebraska Bar Association, and will address the basic provisions of the Affordable Care Act, including the consumer protection provisions, the Medicaid expansion, the health insurance exchanges,… Read more →

The ACA – Putting Money Back in Our Pockets

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, millions of people are expected to receive checks from their insurance companies this year. Kaiser Health News estimates that insurance companies will be sending $1.3 billion back to consumers under a provision in the Affordable Care Act that requires insurance carriers to spend 80-85% of premium dollars on actual health care costs rather than administrative… Read more →

Access to Health Care Is Becoming More Problematic

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently released a report that measured state-level changes in access to health care between 2000 and 2010. The report looks at the likelihood of having unmet medical needs due to cost, the likelihood of receiving a routine checkup, and receiving a dental visit, and it found that there had been a deterioration in access to care… Read more →

Remaining Uninsured

A new study released on April 19, by the Commonwealth Fund underscores the necessity of having insurance, and the difficulties of navigating the individual market: Approximately one-quarter of adults between the ages of 19 and 64 experienced a significant gap in their health insurance coverage in 2011, and compared to those who had continuous coverage, they were less likely to have… Read more →

Day 3 (Wednesday): Can the Court Uphold or Strike Down Only Part of the ACA and Is Medicaid Expansion Unconstitutional?

Wednesday was the third and final day of arguments at the Supreme Court on the Affordable Care Act.  There were two main questions: If the Court were to find the individual responsibility provision (which was the focus of Tuesday’s arguments) unconstitutional, does that mean the entire ACA law must be struck down or does it mean only the individual responsibility… Read more →

Day 2 (Tuesday): Is the Individual Responsibility Provision Unconstitutional?

Our apologies for not getting this post up sooner, but as you can see, it’s been busy around here! As you’ll recall, challengers of the Affordable Care Act are claiming that the federal government does not have the power to require people to purchase health insurance. Today, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on this question. (You can hear the… Read more →

Day 1 (Monday): Should This Case Be Considered Later?

Yesterday was the first day of arguments at the Supreme Court on the challenge to the Affordable Care Act.  (The transcript and audio recording are available.) Monday’s argument involved the question of whether the Supreme Court could even rule on the case at this point.  There is a federal law called the Anti-Injunction Act which says you can’t challenge a “tax” until… Read more →

And So It Begins…

On Monday, March 26, the United States Supreme Court will begin to hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. This case is one of the most important to be heard in recent memory, and the Supreme Court has set aside an unprecedented amount of time over three days for arguments on… Read more →

Happy Birthday, ACA!

Two years ago today, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law, representing a significant step toward health care reform. The purpose of the ACA was to make healthcare accessible and affordable for the millions of Americans without health insurance, and many Nebraskans are already benefitting from the reform measures that have gone into effect… Read more →

Two Years Later: The Benefits of Health Reform

March 23, 2012, marks the second anniversary of the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In response, Rebecca L. Gould, Executive Director of Nebraska Appleseed issued this statement: “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was an historic step forward in addressing the inequalities and inefficiencies in our health care system. Over the last two years, tens… Read more →

5 Ways Health Reform Helps Address Disparities

This list comes from our friends at The National Health Law Program – securing health rights for those in need. 1. ALREADY IN PLACE: Prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, and disability The ACA extended the nondiscrimination protections of Title VI, Title IX, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Age Discrimination Act… Read more →

Hearing on Health Insurance Exchanges Show Need to Push Forward

Yesterday, the message from consumer advocates, providers, and insurance carriers/producers was clear: we should move forward next legislative session and consider legislation to create a state-based exchange.  Several groups, including Nebraska Appleseed, testified in front of the Nebraska Legislature’s Banking, Commerce, and Insurance Committee, along with some members of the Health and Human Services Committee, during a public hearing on… Read more →

Health Reform Victory Reinforces Need to Continue Implementation

On Thursday, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is the comprehensive health reform law signed into law by President Obama in March 2010.  The 2-1 Court of Appeals decision joins dozens of other lawsuits challenging the ACA that have been dismissed because either they found… Read more →

Health Insurance Exchange Legislation Must Go Forward

Reports indicate that Governor Heineman has decided that the state should wait to fully implement a state-based exchange until the United States Supreme Court has ruled on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It is critical that the state pass enabling legislation during the next legislative session to allow the state to create a state-based health… Read more →

Yet Another Health Care Challenge Rejected

On Thursday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed two constitutional challenges to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), finding that both plaintiffs lacked the requisite standing to challenge the law.  Out of the other four other circuits have that have ruled on ACA challenges, only one other (the 11th Circuit) has decided (in a 2-1 opinion) that the individual responsibility… Read more →

A Little Perspective on Challenges to Health Care Reform

Our friends at Families USA have been fighting for quality, affordable health care for consumers for a long time.  They understand how long the road was to the Affordable Care Act.  More importantly, they have years of experience and the perspective to understand that court rulings like the one from the 11th Circuit on August 12th finding the individual responsibility… Read more →

Advocates Advance Principles for Governance & Oversight within a Nebraska Health Insurance Exchange

 As a follow-up to a report released in early June, eight Nebraska advocacy organizations representing consumer interests put forward a set of principles concerning governance and oversight within a Nebraska health insurance exchange.  These principles are designed to help guide the conversation that will take place among legislators and state officials in the coming months.The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires… Read more →

Report Examines How Health Reform is Helping Young, Rural Nebraskans

Our good friends at the Center for Rural Affairs released a report this week that examines how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will revive and sustain small towns, farms and ranches. As Nebraska gears up for implementing the final crucial pieces of the ACA, this report provides valuable information concerning Nebraska’s unique urban-rural makeup. The issues discussed in this report… Read more →

Advocates Advance Principles for an Effective, High Quality Health Insurance Exchange in Nebraska

As Nebraska gears up for planning and creating a health insurance exchange as required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), nine Nebraska advocacy organizations representing consumer interests put forward a set of principles designed to help guide the conversation that will take place among legislators and state officials in the coming months.  The Affordable Care Act requires… Read more →

Good News for Nebraska Women

Lately it has seemed that we have gone down a surprising road in Nebraska where pregnant women and babies are fair game in the political arena.  The heartbreaking decision by the state to terminate prenatal care for unborn children is having devastating consequences across the state.  Doctors, nurses, and health clinics have repeatedly testified since last fall about the number… Read more →

Helping Small Businesses

There was more proof last week that the health reform law is helping just as it was intended. One of the goals of the health care law was to provide tax credits to small businesses to help ease the burden of health care costs. It’s working. According to a new survey, the number of small businesses with 10 employees or… Read more →