Affordable Care Act

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The national health care reform law is expected to bring new challenges to Delaware's substance abuse treatment system.

Federal officials estimate that some 5,300 addicts in Delaware would be newly eligible for insurance in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act. That number grows to about 8,500 if Delaware also expands its Medicaid program, as Gov. Jack Markell has proposed.

The Sussex County Government could be hit with a $245-thousand federal excise tax on its family health insurance plans beginning in 2018 unless it cuts its insurance costs.

The County Council said it learned about the issue when briefed on the impact of the Affordable Care Act.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that   county accounting director Gina Jennings said because the total premiums paid for their plan are expected to go above $27,500 per family by 2018 the federal government will impose an additional tax on those plans.

Graphic Policy

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - By a single Senate vote, the General Assembly accepted Gov. Bob McDonnell's amendment denying abortion coverage to people who buy policies through Virginia's federally funded health insurance exchange.

McDonnell's amendment to House Bill 1900 had passed the House 55-37 with seven delegates not voting earlier Wednesday. It eked through the Senate after opponents in both parties argued it abridges not only the right of women to buy their own policies, but what businesses can and can't sell.


ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A study estimates medical claims costs in Maryland could jump 67 percent for residents' individual policies by 2017 under the federal health care overhaul, but a state official says the study is flawed because it doesn't consider unique steps taken to ease pressure on rates.

The increase cited in a report released Tuesday by the Society of Actuaries says much of the reason for the higher claims costs is that sicker people are expected to join the pool.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown will be outlining the latest steps in Maryland to implement federal health care reform.

Brown is scheduled to testify Wednesday on legislation before a House panel and a Senate committee.

The measure includes an expansion of Medicaid. It also creates a dedicated funding stream for the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange from the existing premium tax on health insurers.

Demand is up in Delaware at the state’s urgent care centers.

These have been around for more than 30 years but these days they are getting a lot of patronage from patients, who cannot get care for less serious problems or who just don’t want to wait.

Laurie Cox, office manager for Go-Care Medical Aid Unit at Abby Medical Center in Stanton, told the Wilmington News Journal that it is a convenience that people want.

It comes at a time when emergency rooms across the country are seeing record numbers of patients.

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware officials continue to make progress in implementing a state health care exchange under the national health care reform law.

The Delaware Health Care Commission received a status update Thursday on the state's effort to implement provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

jack markell, biopic

Governor Jack Markell met with President Obama at the White House yesterday telling him that if a deal is not reached to avert the fiscal cliff the cuts in Medicaid would force states to rethink expansion of health care for the poor under Obamacare.

Markell is chair of the National Governors Association and led a six member delegation to meet with the nation’s chief executive.


     ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown wants to increase the number of applications to a federally funded health insurance program run by the state.

     Brown will kick off the second anniversary of the federal Affordable Care Act on Monday with a marketing campaign designed to enhance participation in the Maryland Health Insurance Plan.

     MHIP is a state and federally funded plan for people who cannot qualify for health insurance because they have a pre-existing condition.