Rascovar column: Maryland’s Obamacare fiasco continues

March 2, 2014

How high will it go? How much more will it cost the O’Malley-Brown administration to fix or totally replace the dysfunctional online health insurance system that it bragged about until the software crashed on Day One? It already is the most costly debacle in state history. [...more]

Election 2014, General Assembly, Health, News Comments (6)

Many Marylanders still optimistic about health care reform, poll finds

November 7, 2013

Almost half of Marylanders still think the new health care law will have a positive impact on the quality of health care in Maryland, a new Goucher poll found. But only half of those surveyed said they had heard of the website MarylandHealthConnection.gov, the state's access portal for health insurance. The respondents also believed the insurance companies were the most prepared to handle the implementation of the health insurance reform and the federal government was the least prepared. [...more]

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Md. officials count undocumented immigrants as uninsured for health care, but none qualify for Obamacare

October 21, 2013

State officials have been talking a lot about the high number of uninsured Marylanders who will have access to Obamacare, but not all are eligible to sign up. Of the state's estimated 750,000 to 800,000 uninsured residents, only 480,500 -- or roughly 60% -- are eligible to enroll for health insurance plans under President Obama's signature health care law, according to the federal health care website HealthCare.gov. [...more]

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Western Md. health exchange finds paper trail around Obamacare glitches

October 11, 2013

One of Maryland’s six health care groups contracted to enroll Marylanders in Obamacare health insurance plans has found a way around computer glitches the state has been experiencing since the health insurance exchange opened Oct. 1 — they’re going back to paper. Healthy Howard, which services residents of six Western Maryland counties, has only been able to complete enrollment on the computer system for five people since the exchange opened. After being open one week, the state had enrolled only 326 people through its site. [...more]

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Rascovar Commentary: Obamacare has troubled start but strong finish is likely

October 6, 2013

Let’s agree Obamacare’s sign-up period is off to a dreadful start. On a positive note, this isn’t a dash but a long-distance race. There’s plenty of time to overcome the IT glitches. [...more]

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Cardin disappointed in Obamacare delay

July 30, 2013

Sen. Ben Cardin, a strong advocate for 2010 Affordable Care Act, said that he was disappointed in the Obama administration for delaying the penalty on large employers who don’t offer insurance. Cardin told a roundtable of health care providers in Waldorf on Monday, "I was kind of disappointed. I was hoping that we could implement it." [...more]

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Franchot promotes federal health insurance tax credits for small businesses

July 22, 2013

Comptroller Peter Franchot will nudge thousands of Howard County small businesses to take advantage of additional tax credits available through the Affordable Care Act. He joined a number of health care advocates and politicians in Columbia on Monday to announce his outreach to over 5,000 small businesses in Howard County. [...more]

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State prepares for former inmates to sign up for Medicaid

July 11, 2013

State officials are working to make sure people being released from prison will sign up for benefits during the 2014 Medicaid expansion. When the enrollment date for individual health plans rolls around in October, former inmates will also be eligible for health plans offered in state health care exchanges, another part of the “Obamacare” Affordable Care Act implementation. But health advocates say that at best it’s more likely they’ll be signing up for Medicaid, because of their low incomes. [...more]

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Aging demographics highlight need for affordable senior care

March 4, 2013

Facing a $1 million cut, the Maryland Department of Aging is focusing on providing more at-home services to keep the elderly out of costly nursing homes. Coming on the heels of last year’s $4 million budget cuts, the $1 million cut in the governor’s fiscal 2014 budget is 2% of the department’s overall budget. At the same time, the department is confronting the needs of the rapidly-aging Baby Boomer generation. [...more]

Budget, News Comments (1)

Obamacare will force state government to spend millions on health care for contract employees

February 27, 2013

State budget officials do not know how many state employees will qualify for medical coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act, or how much it will cost to comply with provisions beginning Jan. 1. That number could be as high as $88 million for Maryland government [...more]

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