Affordable Care Act

connectforhealthco.com

The deadline for most Coloradans to get health insurance in 2014 is less than two weeks away and, efforts to get people covered is ramping up. Connect for Health Colorado will hold events in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Rifle over the next two weeks. 

Officials with the state-run health insurance exchange says 100,000 people have already purchased plans on their website and they expect a surge of interest as the deadline gets closer.

Creative Commons/Staff Sgt. Bernardo Fuller/U.S. Army

The Affordable Care Act is helping low income residents in the Roaring Fork Valley get health insurance. That’s according to officials who oversee programs for the poor. More people are signing up for Medicaid and others are purchasing insurance plans from the state exchange. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

In Pitkin County, the number of Medicaid patients jumped 20 percent since October. So, 90 more people are seeking care from doctors who will take them.

Aspen Valley Hospital

Aspen Valley Hospital welcomed a new CEO last week. Dan Bonk started work at the small, non profit hospital on January 2nd. Before arriving in Aspen, Bonk was an executive at Wisconsin’s largest health care system, Aurora Health Care. The 30-year health care veteran talked to Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen about moving the hospital’s expansion forward and dealing with controversy.

Office of Governor John Hickenlooper

    Governor John Hickenlooper says he could get involved with bringing down health insurance prices. That could have a real impact for residents of the Roaring Fork Valley and other mountain towns. Garfield County asked the state's top official earlier this month to intervene with high premiums. The County believes Colorado officials did a sloppy job earlier this year when coming up with prices. But some experts say the state didn't make any mistakes.

Elise Thatcher

Garfield County wants Governor John Hickenlooper to intervene with the state's new health insurance rules. The county has some of the highest premiums in Colorado under new guidelines, which are part of the Affordable Care Act. The state agency in charge of the new rules recently visited communities around the state to explain why premiums are so high. But Garfield County officials remain unconvinced.

It’s been a big news week and one story with big impacts locally is the federal government shutdown. We take a look at what it means for the Roaring Fork Valley.

Obamacare hit the internet on Tuesday, turns out, health care plans coordinated by Colorado are way more expensive in mountain towns.

After massive floods walloped oil and gas operations, we hear ideas about making sure oil and gas operations are better protected down the road.

Local officials had to decide by Tuesday whether to take steps to allow retail marijuana in the Roaring Fork Valley. Many have decided to delay their verdict.

We get an update from one of the ten Aspen-area athletes hoping to compete in the upcoming Winter Olympics in Russia.

And finally, tamales are a humble Latin American dish with deep, historical roots. They’re the main fare at an upcoming Roaring Fork Valley event.

tedeytan/Flickr/Creative Commons

More than two-thirds of Colorado residents say they don’t understand President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. That’s according to a USA Today poll taken earlier this month.

codeblackmovie.com

A documentary film featured in this year’s Aspen Filmfest uses a chaotic emergency room to highlight the country's overloaded health care system. Code Black follows a group of young, idealistic E.R. residents who work in what seasoned doctor’s call “C-Booth” at Los Angeles County hospital. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen spoke with Ryan McGarry, an E.R. doctor and the director of the film.

Creative Commons/Flickr/The National Guard

The Affordable Care Act continues to roll out with the opening of something called a marketplace next week. That’s where people can shop for health insurance. Health care reform also expands Medicaid - the government-subsidized health plan for low-income people. Currently, many doctors in the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond don’t accept Medicaid patients because the plan gives providers a dismal reimbursement. As Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports, some doctors say the issue highlights a fundamental problem with the health care system.

Marci Krivonen

The bulk of federal health care reform is starting to roll out and big changes could be in store for Colorado’s rural areas. Many of these regions, including the Roaring Fork Valley, are full of people who are uninsured. A quarter of residents living in the mountain counties of Eagle, Pitkin, Garfield, Grand and Summit don’t have health insurance. With the Affordable Care Act, this group will be required to have insurance, or pay a penalty. But, it’s likely not everyone will apply. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

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