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HEALTH EXCHANGES OPEN NOV. 15

The second year open enrollment period for private insurance plans offered through state and federal marketplaces runs for three months, Nov. 15 to Feb. 15, 2015. Both state-run and Federally-Facilitated Marketplaces have changed web designs and use simpler forms, but have a bigger challenge - serving both brand new applicants and some of the more than 7-million enrollees who want to comparison shop or calculate their premium subsidy for 2015.  NCSL's report has the 50-state history and next year's plans.

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DATABASE | NOV. 18 UPDATE

health reform2014 ACA Database Expands: NCSL has updated latest state legislative actions related to health reforms. The online database now provides one-click access to 1,194 bills and resolutions. Sort by state or topics, including Exchanges, Medicaid, Insurance Reforms, Funding or Opt-outs. So far, 235 measures have been signed into law or adopted. 

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OVERVIEW | HEALTH

Health costs account for about one-third of state budgets, ranging from financing Medicaid, to paying for state employees and other populations, such as prisoners. State legislatures make thousands of health policy decisions each year, including improving access to appropriate care, determining who should be immunized, licensing health professionals and facilities, and supporting or rejecting initiatives to keep people healthy. NCSL's web site provides health reports and updates listed by 50+ topics, on the right-hand column.

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) brings substantial changes to the health care system. The Health Insurance Exchanges or Marketplaces opened for enrollment in all 50 states on October 1, 2013; year two enrollment begins Nov. 15, 2014.  So far, 27 states opted to expand Medicaid for adults with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.  In addition, the law put in place new health insurance regulations that affect premium rates, enrollee assistance and appeals and coverage for people with preexisting conditions and young adults added to family policies, among other things. State legislatures considered more than 2,500 bills that relate to the ACA since its passage, leading to 500+ signed into law as of Dec. 2013. For 2014 there have been more state decisions and another 1,190 bills considered; more than 235 have been signed into law or adopted.

Responsibilities in a Public Health Emergency

All Hazards Symbol Clarity in leadership is crucial in a joint federal, state, and local response to any event which could cause harm to the public's health. This web page provides information regarding federal and State authorities to respond to public health emergencies. 

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