Obamacare

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware officials have reached a tentative agreement with one insurance carrier that could allow policyholders facing cancellations because of the Affordable Care Act to keep their policies for the time being.

Officials announced the tentative agreement Wednesday but did not identify the carrier.

The Department of Insurance is continuing discussions with other carriers about allowing policyholders to renew policies that don't comply with the federal health care law.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland's insurance commissioner says individual policies that don't comply with the federal health care overhaul can be extended through the end of next year.

Insurance Commissioner Therese Goldsmith said in a memo to insurers Tuesday that they can renew such policies for 2014 as long as the renewals take effect before Jan. 1.

dhss.delaware.gov

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's health and social services secretary is updating a state panel on the federal health care reform effort in Delaware.

Secretary Rita Landgraf was scheduled to brief the Delaware Health Care Commission on Thursday about enrollment in the state's new health insurance exchange.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - More than a month after the launch of Delaware's health insurance exchange, officials report only four Delawareans enrolled for insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

As of Tuesday, Delaware's marketplace guide organizations reported four enrollments, 31 enrollment applications completed and 218 accounts created for possible enrollment.

Four community organizations were hired to provide marketplace guides, using a $4 million federal grant.

Don Rush

Maryland

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Insurance Administration says carriers have notified the state that they plan to discontinue non-grandfathered individual health benefit plans affecting more than 73,000 members in Maryland next year.

Individual health insurance policies are being canceled for millions of people nationwide who buy individual insurance policies as federal health care reform requires plans to cover certain benefits. Policies are being discontinued because they don't meet the higher benefit requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

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Congressman Andy Harris opposed last night’s bipartisan deal that reopened the federal government and extended the nation’s debt ceiling.

The Eastern Shore Republican in a statement that he could not back a measure that would continue spending levels and does not reduce the $650-billion budget deficit.

He also blasted the continuing exemption of congressional members from the Affordable Care Act as well as other “accounting gimmicks.”

Dept. of Health and Human Services (Delaware)

SELBYVILLE, Del. (AP) - Delaware officials are celebrating the state's first health insurance exchange enrollee.

Department of Health and Social Service officials have declared 59-year-old Janice Baker of Selbyville the first confirmed resident to enroll in the marketplace. It opened Oct. 1 as part of the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware officials say they're still experiencing problems with the launch of the state's new health insurance exchange.

Officials as of Thursday have yet to confirm a single enrollment in the exchange, part of the federal health care reform effort.

The state health care commission also was told that only about half of the 68 "marketplace guides" being hired to teach people about the exchange and help them enroll have been fully certified, with many still awaiting completion of federal criminal background checks.

nationalbreastcancerawareness.org

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. 

And, this year the Affordable Care Act that just saw the health exchanges get up and running, marking a major shift in women's access to for their health care needs.

Maryland News Connection reporter Allison Burns has the story.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Officials say more than 13,000 residents have created accounts on Maryland's online marketplace for health insurance.

But technical issues remain in using Maryland Health Connection, the state-based health insurance marketplace, officials said Monday.

Becca Pearce, the executive director, said in an emailed statement that the Connection's technical team has added server capacity and plans to update the system's software.

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Delaware residents and millions around the nation flooded the computers of the health insurance exchanges on Day 3 of open enrollment.

Delaware has decided to add two multi-state plans to the 19 that it already offers under the Affordable Care Act.

Delaware’s Secretary of Health and Social Services Rita Landgraf says that 4-thousand paper forms have been ordered to meet demand.

But those will only be used by higher-income buyers who earn too much to quality for a federal subsidy.

Landgraf says she hopes to have more than 70 guides and navigators in place.

Maryland Health Connection Website

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland residents are still finding delays with the state's new online marketplace for health insurance.

The Maryland Health Connection website on Wednesday informed website users that the online marketplace may be temporarily unavailable as technicians conduct maintenance and test improvements in performance.

The website had problems on Tuesday almost as soon as it opened.

The website couldn't handle the volume of people trying to create accounts all at once.

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Delaware

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware officials say they're ready for open enrollment to begin in the state's new health insurance exchange.

But officials acknowledge that glitches are likely as a key component of the federal health reform law is launched Tuesday.

Among other things, not all of the 68 marketplace guides being hired to help people learn about and enroll in the health care exchange will be in place when open enrollment begins.

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As the nation prepares to launch the Health Exchanges under the Affordable Care Act Maryland state officials expect to sign up to 5-thousand uninsured in the tri-county area of Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester by March  31st , which is the end of open enrollment. 

That’s out of 23-thousand that are not insured.

And state health officials estimate that 90 percent of those uninsured would actually quality for a federal subsidy to buy insurance.

Atlantic General Hospital website

Some hospitals may be laying off staff but not Atlantic General in Berlin.

With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, hospital CEO Michael Franklin told WBOC, that the facility has spent the last three years creating a safety net.

He said the hospital has gotten grants to offset increased costs and hired more nurses to take care of patients.

Franklin says the hospital has also been facing increasing cost of Medicare losing about a quarter of million dollars per quarter.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Officials overseeing Delaware's implementation of the federal health care reform law still don't know what residents will pay for health care coverage under a new state health insurance exchange.

Officials expect to begin enrolling some 35,000 people in the health insurance exchange starting Oct. 1, for coverage effective Jan. 1, 2014.

Heritage Foundation

Former South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint railed against the Affordable Care Act yesterday during a national stop in Brandywine Hundred calling it un-American.

The Republican left office to head up the conservative Heritage Foundation and has been active in calling for repeal of the law.

Speaking to an enthusiastic crowd he warned that the law will not allow doctors to be paid enough to provide quality care and said he had other solutions to providing increased medical coverage such as tax cuts to businesses for health care coverage.

heritage foundation website

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A conservative group that wants Congress to defund the Obama administration's health care reform law is bringing its message to Delaware.

Thursday evening's event in Wilmington marks the end of a nine-city tour in which Heritage Action for America has been rallying support for its call to defund the Affordable Care Act is planning a town hall meeting in Pittsburgh.

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Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md) says he backs tying the an increase in the debt ceiling with undoing the Affordable Card Act. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush caught up with the Eastern Shore  Republican at a town hall meeting in Fruitland. 

Executive Office of the Governor

The state of Maryland is getting ready to raise public awareness of the new health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act.

They are to be up and running by October 1st and is aimed at helping those who are uninsured to get access to health coverage and care.

Maryland News Connection reporter Allison Burns has the story.

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.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Bob McDonnell says Virginia will default to a federal health insurance exchange to meet its obligations under the federal health care overhaul.

McDonnell had been holding out in hopes that President Barack Obama would be defeated and the reforms would be repealed.

With Obama's re-election, McDonnell acknowledges that's unlikely. But he's unwilling to expand the state's Medicaid program or establish a state-based benefits program.

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