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feds: 109,000 ohioans enroll in marketplace health plans


columbus, ohio (ap) — federal officials say more than 109,000 ohioans have enrolled in health plans through the federal marketplace.enrollment figures released wednesday by the u.s. department of health and human services reflect those who picked plans or renewed coverage for 2018 from nov. 1 through dec. 9. nationally, nearly 4.7 million people have signed up for health coverage at healthcare.gov this year.in ohio, sign-ups are up 12 percent from the same point last year. that’s despite republican president donald trump’s executive action cutting the advertising budget for participation under former president barack obama’s signature health care law.open enrollment ends friday. people who remain uninsured after that risk fines.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.offi






colorado’s health insurance exchange extends deadline to enroll, amid surge in s


connect for health colorado, the state’s affordable care act health insurance marketplace, is extending the deadline for people to sign up for coverage this year.if customers began the enrollment process by midnight tuesday — the previous deadline — they will now have until 6 p.m. friday to complete registration. coverage will still kick in by march 1.connect for health colorado is where people in the state buy health insurance plans and receive tax credits under the affordable care act, also known as obamacare. even if the health insurance law is repealed, the plans will remain valid for the year.the exchange has seen a surge in sign-ups so far this open-enrollment period, which began late last year. through jan. 16, more than 164,000 people had signed up for plans on the exchange. that i






trump sabotage of obamacare is cruel to poor


president trump’s decision thursday to sabotage the nation’s health care system undermines his responsibility to provide the best care possible at the lowest cost.the president announced thursday that he would slash spending on advertising and promotion for enrollment under the affordable care act by nearly $100 million, virtually assuring that fewer people will sign up for health care plans in 2018. he is also cutting grants totaling $36 million to non-profit organizations that enroll people in health plans.the end result will be higher premiums and medical costs for all americans. trump may still be confused by the complexity of the health care system, but even he has to know that the more people enroll, the more the risk and cost of care are spread, making it possible for insurance comp






anthem pulls out of health care exchanges in wisconsin, indiana


as health insurers scrambled to decide whether to stay or go by wednesday's deadline to file plans for the federal marketplace, anthem, one of the marketplace's major players, announced it would pull out of two more states, wisconsin and indiana, in 2018.the company, which offers for-profit blue cross plans in 14 states, had already said this month it would stop selling coverage in the affordable care act marketplace next year in ohio.in making the announcement, anthem said offering plans had "become increasingly difficult due to a shrinking and deteriorating individual market, as well as continual changes and uncertainty in federal operations, rules and guidance."even as senate republicans hurried to finish their plan to overhaul the law, insurers raced to meet not just the federal but al






midnight tuesday is deadline to enroll in 2017 heath plan


consumers may be worried and confused about efforts by president donald trump and congressional republicans to repeal and replace the affordable care act, but health care experts say it hasn’t happened yet, and it shouldn’t prevent consumers from enrolling or renewing their coverage for 2017.and with a midnight tuesday deadline, that means californians have less than 15 hours to sign up for a plan through covered california, the state’s health insurance exchange.“we recognize that the discussion in washington can be unsettling, but those without insurance should not hesitate to enroll in coverage if they can afford it,” peter lee, executive director of covered california, said in a recent statement. “purchasing insurance can give them access to health care almost immediately, which can be






counting on student loan forgiveness? don’t bet on it – the denver post


by shahien nasiripour, the washington postnearly half of college students surveyed earlier this year said they expected to be helped by the federal government’s various student loan forgiveness programs. but new government figures suggest that their hoped-for windfall won’t be that generous.in a first-of-its-kind public analysis, the u.s. department of the education projects that borrowers who next year enroll in loan forgiveness programs would, on average, repay every penny they borrowed, and then some. some debtors in the programs, which cap monthly payments relative to earnings and offer the possibility of debt forgiveness, are projected to pay as much as 76 percent more than they borrowed.the forgiven amount would largely be interest that accrued over what could be as long as 25 years






you could be paying too much for your college kid’s health insurance – the denve


if you have a kid in college, you may be double-paying for their health care coverage. most four-year universities offer a student health insurance plan, and many automatically enroll students in the plan. when he was attorney general of new york, andrew m. cuomo warned 300 colleges that they needed to “clearly and conspicuously disclose” this mandatory coverage and itemize the cost. student health insurance plan prices vary drastically, from $1,750 a year at american university, for example, to $4,103 a year at george washington university.either way, that’s a sizable chunk of money to pay if your child is already covered by your own plan. and more offspring than ever are, because of a provision in the affordable care act that allows children to stay on their parents’ plan until their 26t






your.md raises $10m to grow ai-driven health information service and marketplace


your.md, an ai-driven health information service delivered via a bot, has raised $10 million in new funding. the round was led by orkla ventures, the venture arm of orkla, a leading supplier of branded consumer goods to the health, pharmacy, and grocery sectors in the nordics, baltics and parts of central europe. existing investor smedvig capital and other unnamed existing shareholders also participated.billed as a ai-based “pre-primary care service,” your.md is available for web, ios, android, facebook messenger, skype, slack and telegram. it is part chatbot, helping users figure out what might be wrong with them via a conversational interface that drills down into your symptoms, and part next-generation search engine to surface detailed and verified information on various medical conditi






colorado health insurers quiet about 2018 participation in state exchange – the


facing a monday deadline to file proposed 2018 plans with the state, major colorado health insurers won’t say whether they expect to raise premiums next year or even if they will participate in the state’s health insurance exchange.the answers — which might not be known publicly until july, when colorado insurance regulators release the plans for public review — have major significance for the roughly 120,000 people who shop for health insurance in the individual market. and they will also add to the contentious debate over the stability of the affordable care act and the impacts of its proposed republican-backed successor plan.in response to questions from the denver post, only one of the largest insurers — kaiser permanente — definitively said it expects to sell plans in 2018 through con






house plans vote on bill to end health care exchange


st. paul, minn. — the house plans to take up a $14.3 billion social services bill that would end the state's health care exchange and send minnesota residents to the federal marketplace instead.the bill to be heard friday increases spending by nearly $2 billion compared to the last two years. but that increase wouldn't keep pace with rising costs, and the bill would cut spending by $600 million.republicans say that the growing cost of health care in the state is unsustainable and their bill attempts to rein in some of those costs.but democrats fear the cuts will be too painful. they say that child care, home visits by health professionals and services for the elderly are already stretched too thin to weather cuts.






munson healthcare offers insurance advice in nw michigan


traverse city, mich. (ap) — financial counselors are available at several munson healthcare facilities to help people in northwestern michigan seek health insurance through the affordable care act.the 2018 enrollment period under the federal health care program runs through dec. 15. about 18,000 northern michigan residents are covered by health insurance plans provided through the federal marketplace.munson healthcare provides sign-up assistance in cadillac, frankfort, gaylord, grayling, kalkaska, manistee and traverse city. coordinator royleen martin says the counselors help people review available plans and decide which one best meets their needs.failure to have health coverage can result in a penalty.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.






mnsure courts last-minute health plan shoppers


the state’s health insurance exchange is reminding a subset of individual market shoppers that they still have a week to buy 2017 coverage.it’s a message that has added urgency since health insurers say the state’s individual market is shrinking.“thousands of minnesotans not insured for 2017 still qualify for a special enrollment period (sep) if they or someone in their household lost ‘qualifying health insurance’ in the past 60 days,” mnsure said in a wednesday statement. “this includes blue cross and blue shield customers and healthpartners customers living in greater minnesota.”mnsure is an option for people who buy individual health plans, which cover those who are self-employed or don’t get benefits from an employer or government program.last year, about 100,000 people in the individu






videoblocks goes beyond moving pictures and announces its stock photo marketplac


videoblocks made a name for itself a few years ago when it launched its subscription-based stock video service and — later on — a members-only marketplace for buying one-off clips, too. now, the company is following a very similar model for its expansion into the stock photo space as well. that new service is now open for photographers who want to contribute their images and will open for users later this year.as with its video offering, videoblocks plans to return all the money it makes from selling images in its marketplace directly to the photographer. it can offer this 100 percent commission because its business model relies more on selling subscriptions than one-off photos. this has worked out well for videos and the company’s ceo tj leonard tells me that videoblocks now has 200,000 s






trump tries to kill obamacare without actually pulling the trigger


health insurance giant anthem inc. didn’t cite president trump when it announced tuesday that it was withdrawing from the obamacare marketplace in ohio, leaving the marketplace with no insurer in at least 18 counties. but anthem pointed the finger right at him — and at the republicans in congress who are trying to “repeal and replace” the 2010 healthcare law.the insurer’s move isn’t as bad for ohio as it sounds, given that only about 13,000 people shop for policies on the marketplace in those counties. but it tells the administration and congress to stop sabotaging the health insurance market before other insurers follow suit. yes, there were problems in the exchanges before 2017, but trump and congressional republicans have made them much, much worse.at issue is the individual insurance m






mnsure courts last-minute health plan shoppers


the state's health insurance exchange is reminding a subset of individual market shoppers that they still have a week to buy 2017 coverage.it's a message that has added urgency since health insurers say the state's individual market is shrinking."thousands of minnesotans not insured for 2017 still qualify for a special enrollment period (sep) if they or someone in their household lost 'qualifying health insurance' in the past 60 days," mnsure said in a wednesday statement. "this includes blue cross and blue shield customers and healthpartners customers living in greater minnesota."mnsure is an option for people who buy individual health plans, which cover those who are self-employed or don't get benefits from an employer or government program.last year, about 100,000 people in the market w






iowa's last major obamacare insurer says continued participation 'is in question


iowa's last major affordable care act insurer threatened on wednesday to pull out from the state's marketplace next year, the latest step in a sudden collapse of the state's insurance marketplace that holds ominous signs for health care customers in states across the country.if minnesota-based medica through on its threat not to sell plans in 2018, iowa could be the first state to lack any insurers on its exchanges in all but a handful of counties. at the start of 2017, iowa outwardly appeared to be an affordable care act success story, with three insurance companies selling competing plans on its exchanges statewide. but last month, two of medica's competitors said they would exit the state's marketplace next year, citing financial losses. and on wednesday, medica released a statement say






after bitter feud, kasich and trump try to mend fences


ohio gov. john kasich responds to questions from members of the media outside the white house following his meeting with president trump on feb. 24, 2017. (photo: michael reynolds, european pressphoto agency)ohio gov. john kasich and president trump did not exactly have a kumbaya moment at the white house on friday.but the two men did manage a thaw in their otherwise frosty relationship during a substantive meeting in the oval office, where they discussed everything from obamacare to america's commitment to its european allies.their private tête-à-tête comes after months of bitter public feuds and sharp political clashes, throughout the presidential campaign and into trump's tenure at the white house.asked whether his opinion of trump has changed, kasich compared it to being on an airplane






after bitter feud, kasich and trump try to mend fences


ohio gov. john kasich responds to questions from members of the media outside the white house following his meeting with president trump on feb. 24, 2017. (photo: michael reynolds, european pressphoto agency)ohio gov. john kasich and president trump did not exactly have a kumbaya moment at the white house on friday.but the two men did manage a thaw in their otherwise frosty relationship during a substantive meeting in the oval office, where they discussed everything from obamacare to america's commitment to its european allies.their private tête-à-tête comes after months of bitter public feuds and sharp political clashes, throughout the presidential campaign and into trump's tenure at the white house.asked whether his opinion of trump has changed, kasich compared it to being on an airplane






after bitter feud, kasich and trump try to mend fences


ohio gov. john kasich responds to questions from members of the media outside the white house following his meeting with president trump on feb. 24, 2017. (photo: michael reynolds, european pressphoto agency)ohio gov. john kasich and president trump did not exactly have a kumbaya moment at the white house on friday.but the two men did manage a thaw in their otherwise frosty relationship during a substantive meeting in the oval office, where they discussed everything from obamacare to america's commitment to its european allies.their private tête-à-tête comes after months of bitter public feuds and sharp political clashes, throughout the presidential campaign and into trump's tenure at the white house.asked whether his opinion of trump has changed, kasich compared it to being on an airplane






after bitter feud, kasich and trump try to mend fences


ohio gov. john kasich responds to questions from members of the media outside the white house following his meeting with president trump on feb. 24, 2017. (photo: michael reynolds, european pressphoto agency)ohio gov. john kasich and president trump did not exactly have a kumbaya moment at the white house on friday.but the two men did manage a thaw in their otherwise frosty relationship during a substantive meeting in the oval office, where they discussed everything from obamacare to america's commitment to its european allies.their private tête-à-tête comes after months of bitter public feuds and sharp political clashes, throughout the presidential campaign and into trump's tenure at the white house.asked whether his opinion of trump has changed, kasich compared it to being on an airplane






after bitter feud, kasich and trump try to mend fences


ohio gov. john kasich responds to questions from members of the media outside the white house following his meeting with president trump on feb. 24, 2017. (photo: michael reynolds, european pressphoto agency)ohio gov. john kasich and president trump did not exactly have a kumbaya moment at the white house on friday.but the two men did manage a thaw in their otherwise frosty relationship during a substantive meeting in the oval office, where they discussed everything from obamacare to america's commitment to its european allies.their private tête-à-tête comes after months of bitter public feuds and sharp political clashes, throughout the presidential campaign and into trump's tenure at the white house.asked whether his opinion of trump has changed, kasich compared it to being on an airplane






after bitter feud, kasich and trump try to mend fences


ohio gov. john kasich responds to questions from members of the media outside the white house following his meeting with president trump on feb. 24, 2017. (photo: michael reynolds, european pressphoto agency)ohio gov. john kasich and president trump did not exactly have a kumbaya moment at the white house on friday.but the two men did manage a thaw in their otherwise frosty relationship during a substantive meeting in the oval office, where they discussed everything from obamacare to america's commitment to its european allies.their private tête-à-tête comes after months of bitter public feuds and sharp political clashes, throughout the presidential campaign and into trump's tenure at the white house.asked whether his opinion of trump has changed, kasich compared it to being on an airplane






after bitter feud, kasich and trump try to mend fences


ohio gov. john kasich responds to questions from members of the media outside the white house following his meeting with president trump on feb. 24, 2017. (photo: michael reynolds, european pressphoto agency)ohio gov. john kasich met with president trump at the white house on friday, where the two men discussed everything from obamacare to america's commitment to its european allies.their private tête-à-tête — which lasted more than 30 minutes and took place in the oval office — comes after months of bitter public feuds and sharp political clashes, throughout the presidential campaign and into trump's tenure at the white house.asked whether his opinion of trump has changed, kasich compared it to being on an airplane with trump as the pilot."you want to root for the pilot if you’re on the a






no insurers leaving colorado health exchange in 2018, commissioner says – the de


after months of worry, colorado insurance commissioner marguerite salazar said wednesday that no insurers are backing out of the state’s health care exchange for 2018, but consumers in the individual insurance market should expect to pay more.salazar said nine companies filed plans with the state this week to offer individual insurance plans in 2018. that includes all seven insurers currently offering plans on connect for health colorado, the state’s health insurance marketplace where all the plans sold meet affordable care act requirements and are eligible for federal tax credits to help pay the premiums.insurer exits from exchanges in other states — most notably in missouri and ohio — could leave consumers in some counties there without any options to choose from next year. salazar said






insurance commissioner to deny additional rate increases


bismarck, n.d. (ap) — north dakota insurance commissioner jon godfread says he will deny any additional rate increases to individual health insurance premiums under the obama health care law.godfread said last week that president donald trump’s plan to halt payments to insurers under the law could potentially raise health insurance costs as much as an additional 10 percent for up to 42,000 north dakotans.he said tuesday he won’t allow that. he said the issue is between insurance carriers and the federal government, and it’s his duty to look out for consumers.godfread said 2018 health insurance rates previously approved will increase anywhere from roughly 8-22 percent for the 42,000 north dakotans enrolled in affordable care act-compliant individual plans.most read storiesunlimited digital






how would the american health care act impact medicaid in colorado? a q&a – the


the congressional budget office this week estimated that 24 million more people nationwide would be uninsured by 2026 under the republican’s health care bill, the american health care act, than if the current law remained in placemany of those losses come from medicaid enrollment, but what does that mean for colorado? we have answers.question: medicaid? give me a one-sentence explanation.answer: it’s a joint state-federal program to provide health care for the poor and low-income. get up to speed on all the intricate details about medicaid in colorado in this q&a.q: how does the gop’s health plan affect it?a: two massively consequential ways.first, it phases out the medicaid expansion in 2020 while grandfathering in those already covered by it. (medicaid expansion was put into place under






republicans, stoking insurer panic, cite uncertainty as a reason to pass health


after senaterepublicans wrapped up their health-care meeting with vice president mike pence, sen. john barrasso, r-wyo., one of the body's few physicians, told reporters that the party got a new sense of urgency after anthem, an insurer in ohio's affordable care act exchange, announced that it was pulling out. thousands of ohioans, most in rural areas, could be left uninsured."we need to stabilize the markets right now," barrasso said. "while we were in there, another company pulled out, which shows the continued collapse of the obamacare market. i mean, it happened during the policy meeting."quickly, a reporter pointed out the rest of the story - the reason for anthem's turnabout. in a statement, the insurer had blamed uncertainty over whether subsidies would continue to be paid out to pe






anthem blue cross blue shield exits health care exchange


madison, wis. — anthem blue cross blue shield said wednesday it is pulling out of the federal health care exchange in wisconsin.anthem, which is a major health insurer in wisconsin, blamed a volatile market for its decision. it said it will not offer individual plans in the state next year except for one plan in menominee county that won't be sold through the health care exchange that states had to set up as part of the affordable care act championed by president barack obama. those who currently have individual or family plans will have coverage through dec. 31, 2017.a shrinking and deteriorating individual market has made it increasingly difficult to price health insurance plans, anthem spokesman jeff blunt said in a statement.anthem also cited "continual changes and uncertainty in feder






anthem blue cross blue shield exits health care exchange


madison, wis. — anthem blue cross blue shield is pulling out of the federal health care exchange in wisconsin.anthem blames a volatile market for its exit from the affordable care act marketplace. anthem spokesman jeff blunt says making pricing plans is increasingly difficult because of a shrinking and deteriorating individual market.wisc-tv (http://bit.ly/2sqqim5 ) says anthem also cites "continual changes and uncertainty in federal operations, rules and guidance." the insurance carrier offered plans mainly in northern and eastern wisconsin.those who currently have individual or family plans will have coverage through december 31. blunt says anthem will offer only one off-exchange medical plan in menominee county next year.






more health care debate looms at the capitol


health care was the biggest topic in the early days of this legislative session, and it isn't going away anytime soon.the republican-led legislature and dfl gov. mark dayton found room for compromise on the issue they found most pressing: premium relief for minnesotans on the individual market.and while it didn't make it into the premium-relief bill, both sides agreed to work on approving a "reinsurance" plan, essentially a pot of money to help insure the insurance companies against catastrophic losses from patients with enormous claims.a house reinsurance bill with both gop and dfl authors has made its way through several committees, and reinsurance plans have also been introduced in the senate.there's likely to be less room for compromise on bills involving the future of minnesotacare, t






blue cross ceo keeps close eye on market


the ceo at one of minnesota’s biggest health insurers says big questions remain for the state’s troubled market where individuals buy coverage, but he says he’s “cautiously optimistic.”michael guyette, the chief executive at eagan-based blue cross and blue shield of minnesota, said in an interview last week that health care in the state is at a crossroads where insurers must partner with doctors and hospitals in new ways to control costs.for 2016, blue cross posted a net loss of $175.2 million as investment income compensated only to a degree for operating losses in the individual market and state public health insurance programs. it was the second consecutive annual loss at blue cross, which is the state’s largest health plan in terms of in-state enrollment.“we are worried about the susta






feds providing more than $700k for maine health center


portland, maine (ap) — the federal government is giving more than $700,000 to a community health center in maine’s largest city.maine republican sen. susan collins and independent sen. angus king say the money is coming in the form of two grants from the u.s. department of health and human services. the grants will go to greater portland health, a designated federally qualified health center.the senators say the grants will help improve health care access for people in the portland area. the larger of the two grants is from the health resources and services administration.






obamacare 101: are health insurance marketplaces in a death spiral?


it’s been a rocky few months for the health insurance marketplaces created by the affordable care act.even if you’re not one of the roughly 11 million americans who rely on these online exchanges to get your health insurance, you’ve probably seen the headlines about rising premiums and insurance companies pulling out of the system.obamacare 101 is a periodic primer on the debate over repealing and replacing the affordable care actlast week, national insurance giant humana announced it would stop selling plans on the marketplace. aetna’s chief executive officer claimed the marketplaces are in a “death spiral.” republicans say the marketplaces are exhibit a that obamacare is collapsing.so what’s the real story? are these things really kaput or can they be fixed? here’s a rundown of where thi






obamacare 101: are health insurance marketplaces in a death spiral?


it’s been a rocky few months for the health insurance marketplaces created by the affordable care act.even if you’re not one of the roughly 11 million americans who rely on these online exchanges to get your health insurance, you’ve probably seen the headlines about rising premiums and insurance companies pulling out of the system.obamacare 101 is a periodic primer on the debate over repealing and replacing the affordable care actlast week, national insurance giant humana announced it would stop selling plans on the marketplace. aetna’s chief executive officer claimed the marketplaces are in a “death spiral.” republicans say the marketplaces are exhibit a that obamacare is collapsing.so what’s the real story? are these things really kaput or can they be fixed? here’s a rundown of where thi






pressboard raises $2m for its native ad marketplace


pressboard is a native ad marketplace that brings together brands and publishers on a single, streamlined platform that allows them to go from commissioning content and getting it edited to tracking if it’s catching on with readers after it has been published. no matter whether you love or hate native content (and most writers and publishers i know have a complicated relationship with it), revenues from traditional display advertising continue to decline for most publishers, and native ads are one of the few new revenue opportunities for them.pressboard, which launched in 2014, today announced that it has raised a $2 million funding round led by vancouver founder fund, with participation from all of its existing investors, to help it expand its marketplace. the company’s ceo and co-founder






studying 1 million people to end cookie-cutter health care


washington — u.s. researchers are getting ready to recruit more than 1 million people for an unprecedented study to learn how our genes, environments and lifestyles interact.today, health care is based on averages, what worked best in short studies of a few hundred or thousand patients. the massive "all of us" project instead will push what's called precision medicine, using traits that make us unique to forecast health and treat disease.the goal is to end cookie-cutter health care.a pilot is underway now. if all goes well, the national institutes of health plans to open enrollment early next year.participants will get dna tests, and report on their diet, sleep, exercise and numerous other health-affecting factors. it's a commitment: the study aims to run for at least 10 years.___the pilot






can trump be stopped from making obamacare 'explode'?


the judge’s order has been stayed pending the outcome of a lawsuit filed by house republicans. the obama administration was fighting the lawsuit, but trump could drop the defense. that would allow insurers to exit the individual market immediately—which really would explode the market. so far, trump hasn’t signaled which direction he plans to take on the issue. why a work requirement for medicaid would be useless: most recipients already work, and those who don't have good reasons.why a work requirement for medicaid would be useless: most recipients already work, and those who don't have good reasons.to be fair, price’s hhs took some steps in mid-february to give insurers some confidence that the individual marketplace will be stable next year. the agency proposed shortening the open-enrol






more illinoisans buying insurance on exchange this year


chicago (ap) — new federal data show that illinois consumers are purchasing health insurance plans from the public affordable care act exchange faster this year than they did last year. the chicago tribune reports that numbers from the centers for medicare and medicaid services released wednesday found that more than 95,000 illinois residents selected plans during the first four weeks of open enrollment this year. that’s compared with about 68,000 at about the same time last year.the open enrollment period this year is half as long as last year’s time frame. consumers have until dec. 15 to sign up for coverage this year.the illinois department of insurance added more information to its state health insurance marketplace website this year. consumers can purchase plans on the website and spe






blackberry and nokia phones are coming back — with a twist


the 2017 smartphone cycle is about to kick off in earnest, and there are some familiar names fighting to come back into the fold.blackberry mobile announced this week that a new phone — complete with a physical keyboard and dubbed the "mercury" — will debut feb. 25 at the annual mobile world congress trade show. that follows hard on the heels of an announcement from nokia, which teased the chinese launch of its new nokia 6 phone ahead of a larger feb. 26 launch event.nokia? blackberry? what's next, the return of baby-g watches? it may all feel a bit 2002 seeing these phone brands come back into the spotlight, but here's the thing: these are not the phone brands that you think they are. both of the new smartphones are made by different companies as a result of complicated licensing agreemen