Health Insurance

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A group of teachers, public employees and retirees in West Virginia is objecting to proposed health insurance benefits cuts.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the group expressed its concerns Wednesday evening to the Public Employees Insurance Agency Finance Board at the last of five public hearings on the latest proposed cuts.

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Open enrollment for insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces started last week. Things are a little bit different this year and recent announcements from the Trump administration have resulted in a fair bit of consumer confusion. So there are a few major changes to be aware of. First, this is a very shortened enrollment period.

 


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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says Medicare has halted payments to a West Virginia psychiatric hospital because it is not in compliance with the program's requirements for a psychiatric hospital.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports Medicare will not make payments for beneficiaries who are admitted to William R. Sharpe, Jr. Hospital effective Wednesday. Officials say it will continue to make payments for up to 30 days for beneficiaries admitted before Wednesday.

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Data released Tuesday by the United States Census Bureau shows the Affordable Care Act continues to reduce the number of West Virginians without health insurance.

In 2016, 96,000 West Virginians lacked health insurance coverage – that’s down 12,000 from the previous year, according to a news release from the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy – which studied the U.S. Census Bureau’s data.

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West Virginia's Republican U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito says she'll review the new Senate Republican leadership proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act but still has "serious concerns" about the Medicaid provisions.

An insurance company has filed a complaint against the family of a West Virginia woman who was shot and killed by her father.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports Erie Insurance Property and Casualty Company filed the complaint Thursday in United States District Court against the estate of Sandra Nichols, who was fatally shot in October 2016 by 92-year-old William Stuck in his Mink Shoals home.

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If you have a Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield plan that you bought through the Affordable Care Act Marketplaces, you should know there is a change this year that might save you some money.

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A health insurer plans to offer coverage across more West Virginia counties next year, giving some people new options on the state's health insurance marketplace.

CareSource said it will expand to 22 more West Virginia counties next year, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported. The Dayton, Ohio-based insurer originally offered plans in 10 counties.

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At the Turner Medical Spa in Cross Lanes, you can get vein treatments, chemical peels and Botox injections among a number of other aesthetic services. But the key word here is aesthetic – these are all optional cosmetic procedures and none of them are covered by insurance. In fact, the Turner Medical Spa doesn’t take insurance at all – it is a cash only practice.

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Federal data shows West Virginia had the greatest percentage drop among the states over a two-year period for adults without health insurance.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued the findings this week.

Mineral County
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City of Piedmont officials have voted to terminate health benefits for city employees.

The Mineral Daily News-Tribune reports that the decision was made at the latest city council meeting and will be effective July 1. The topic of health insurance had been on the agenda for several months.

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The West Virginia Bureau for Public Health announced legislation today that, if passed, could modernize the state’s public health system and increase revenue.

The proposed legislation would make it easier for local health department to bill insurance companies at the maximum allowable rates. 

Currently, the state subsidizes many local programs and services. In a Tuesday press conference, Commissioner for the Bureau for Public Health Rahul Gupta said that this model is unsustainable - especially considering that more WV residents than ever before are insured.

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Federal officials are extending the amount of time West Virginians have to sign up for health insurance through the HealthCare.gov website. 

HealthCare.gov CEO Kevin Counihan made the announcement in a press release Wednesday.

Members of West Virginia's Public Employees Insurance Agency Finance Board have voted to approve $120 million in cuts to workers' health plans.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the cuts are slated to affect more than 200,000 public employees and retirees. Board members voted on the cuts Thursday because they say there has been no additional state funding to offset rising health care costs. PEIA says it has exhausted its reserve fund in recent years.

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A nonprofit health insurance company has announced it will uproot about 325 workers from the company's current location in St. Clairsville, Ohio to Wheeling, West Virginia.

Media outlets report officials of The Health Plan made the announcement Wednesday at the Stone Center near the soon-to-be construction site of the new headquarters.

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A new report says 97 percent of children in West Virginia are covered by health insurance.

The report by Georgetown University Health Policy Institute's Center for Children and Families says West Virginia's 3 percent rate of uninsured children is among the lowest in the country.

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West Virginia public workers could face another round of health insurance benefit cuts.

U.S. Census Bureau

  Both West Virginia and Virginia saw modest decreases in the number of uninsured residents last year.

The U.S. Census Bureau report released Tuesday shows the number of uninsured people in West Virginia dropped from 264,000 in 2012 to 255,000 last year - about 3.5 percent. Virginia's dropped from 1 million in 2012 to 991,000 last year - about 1 percent.

A Kentucky-based cooperative is preparing to enter West Virginia's health insurance marketplace.
 
Kentucky Health Cooperative, Inc. says iit has received approval from the West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner to offer health insurance in West Virginia.
 

The Obama administration confirmed early Friday afternoon that starting next year, it plans to push back the start of enrollment for coverage under the new health care law by one month.

NPR's Julie Rovner tells us via Twitter that White House spokesman Jay Carney says the Department of Health and Human Services "has indicated its intent to shift the 2015 marketplace schedule by one month."

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