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Stories by Michelle Andrews

Need health insurance? Obamacare deadline is Saturday, Dec. 15

The open enrollment deadline for plans from the Affordable Care Act Marketplace is Saturday. ... Read more»0

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Experts say 'don't procrastinate' on Obamacare open enrollment

The Dec. 15 deadline is approaching for Obamacare plan shoppers in the individual market, as prices are stabilizing and subsidies are available for those who know where to look.... Read more»0

For Obamacare customers who delay, auto-enrollment could be nasty wake-up

Shopping to update your coverage on the health insurance marketplace may be annoying — didn’t you just do this last year? But letting the exchange automatically renew your coverage instead could be a big mistake. If you don’t like the plan you’re auto-enrolled in this year you may be stuck with it in 2018, unlike previous years when people could generally switch.... Read more»0

Obamacare sign-up deadline is Friday, but some might get extra chance

Open enrollment on the federal health law’s marketplace ends Friday, and most people who want a plan for next year need to meet the deadline. But some consumers who miss the cutoff could be surprised to learn they have the opportunity to enroll later.... Read more»0

Obamacare repeal FAQ

President-elect Donald Trump has promised he’ll ask Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act on day one of his administration. Should you even bother signing up? Here are answers to questions you may have.... Read more»0

ER docs: Federal rules could raise patients’ out-of-network bills

Emergency doctors are warning that a new federal rule could lead to higher out-of-pocket costs for consumers when they need emergency care outside their health plan’s network of providers.... Read more»0

To boost health, rehab sometimes starts before cancer treatment

Cancer patients who do rehabilitation before they begin treatment may recover more quickly from surgery, chemotherapy or radiation, some cancer specialists say. But insurance coverage for cancer “prehabilitation,” as it’s called, can be spotty, especially if the aim is to prevent problems rather than treat existing ones.... Read more»0

Lack of understanding about insurance can lead to poor choices

They know less than they think they know. That’s the finding of a recent study that evaluated people’s confidence about choosing and using health insurance compared with their actual knowledge and skills. As people shop for health coverage this fall, the gap between perception and reality could lead them to choose plans that don’t meet their needs... Read more»0

Premature births fall as health law provisions take effect

The percentage of babies born prematurely fell to 11.4 percent in 2013, its lowest level in 17 years, according to an annual March of Dimes report released this week. Officials say the health law’s expansion of Medicaid to adults with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level has played a role.... Read more»0

Forget Ebola and get a flu shot

Take a break from worrying about Ebola and get a flu shot this fall. While the Ebola virus has so far affected just four people in the United States, tens of millions are expected to get influenza this season. More than 200,000 of them will be hospitalized and up to 49,000 will likely die from it, according to the CDC.... Read more»0

Obamacare: Q&A about taxes and insurance subsidies

Questions from readers about health insurance premium tax credits and what the penalty is for not having insurance.... Read more»0

DEA: Vicodin, some other pain meds will be harder to get

The DEA is reclassifying “hydrocodone combination products” under the Controlled Substances Act, which will more tightly restrict access. The regulation, which took effect Oct.6, is a response to the widespread misuse of prescription pain killers.... Read more»0

Health law calls for automatic enrollment of some workers

A provision of the Affordable Care Act that could be implemented as early as next year requires employers with more than 200 workers to sign up employees in one of the company’s plans. Workers may opt out, however.... Read more»0

Concerns raised over adding skimpier 'copper' health plans to marketplace

If you offer it, will they come? Insurers and some U.S. senators have proposed offering cheaper, skimpier "copper" plans on the health insurance marketplaces to encourage uninsured stragglers to buy. But consumer advocates and some policy experts say that focusing on reducing costs on the front end exposes consumers to unacceptably high out-of-pocket costs if they get sick. The trade-off, they say, may not be worth it.... Read more»0

School nurses' role expands with access to student online health records

In a few districts, doctors and hospitals are making their records available to school health officials to help provide better care for children with chronic conditions.... Read more»0

Where can I find insurance options between open enrollments?

Kaiser Health Network’s consumer columnist answers a question about shopping for marketplace plans when it’s not open enrollment season. ... Read more»0

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