Journalism in the Public Interest

Obamacare and You

We want to know how you are affected by Obamacare. Have you signed up for coverage through the new health insurance exchanges? Are you getting insurance for the first time? Are your premiums going up? Tell us about your experience. More »

Lee Hammack and his wife JoEllen Brothers thought they had a great insurance plan. Now, their cost is more than doubling to $1,300 a month, with higher out-of-pocket costs. More »

Nov. 1 marked one month since the disastrous start of, and we took a look at whose winning and losing in real life because of it. More »

Forgotten amid the controversial health exchange rollout: The deep impact of last year’s Supreme Court ruling letting states opt out of expanding Medicaid. More »

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Tax Day Pop Quiz: How to Avoid Obamacare Penalties

If you didn’t have health insurance in 2014, you might have to pay the IRS a penalty — unless you’re exempt. Are you? Take our quiz.

Even After Open Enrollment, Activity Remains Unexpectedly High on Federal Health Insurance Exchange

New federal data, obtained by ProPublica under the Freedom of Information Act, shows nearly 1 million insurance transactions since mid-April.

Medicaid Programs Drowning in Backlog

With open enrollment over for private health insurance claims, states are struggling to process hundreds of thousands of Medicaid applications.

Judging Obamacare: How Do We Know If It’s a Success or Failure?

Sign-ups are supposed to formally end today, and attention is shifting from marketing to measuring whether the law is meetings its goals.

Smoking Mad: Tobacco Users Caught Up in Insurer’s Obamacare ‘Glitch’

After signing up for coverage and disclosing they were smokers, about 100 New Hampshire consumers find their new Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield policies canceled because they were charged incorrect “non-smoker” rates.

During Final Obamacare Push, Conservative Author Sees Little to Celebrate

Fellow at American Enterprise Institute faults steps by the Obama administration to delay parts of the Affordable Care Act, saying they amount to dismantling the program in ways that will make it harder to sustain.

Many Unanswered Questions in Obamacare Enrollment Report

The Obama administration reports a big jump in sign-ups under Affordable Care Act, but it didn’t break down how many enrollees paid their premiums, how many were previously uninsured and which plans they chose.

Obamacare’s Market Share Mystery: Will the Health Law Shake Up Insurance Leader Board?

A handful of states have released enrollment figures for insurance plans on their insurance exchanges. Those with the most sign-ups were market leaders in the days before the Affordable Care Act.

Epic Fail: Where Four State Health Exchanges Went Wrong

Oregon, Minnesota, Maryland and Massachusetts are still struggling to get back on track after a disastrous launch that makes look successful by comparison.

As the Media Gets Bored With Obamacare, Is the Public Starting to Get on Board?

The president of the Commonwealth Fund says the implementation of the act is going pretty well, all things considered. He said it will be a success if 5 million people enroll in private exchanges by March 31. The 2016 election will be the “ultimate and probably final judgment on the law,” he says.

Can’t Get Through to Your Health Insurer? Vent on Twitter

Consumers sometimes find that complaints on social media get a faster response than calls or emails.

Consumers With Canceled Insurance Plans Shifted to New Ones Without Their Permission

A California man says his insurer rolled him into a new plan and deducted money from his bank account without his approval. Insurers have promised refunds, but he hasn’t received one yet.

Journalists Turn to Themselves for Obamacare Stories

After months of hype and hysteria, insurance policies purchased under the Affordable Care Act went into effect on New Year’s Day, and journalists have largely pivoted from writing about the problems of to how the law is actually working for consumers.

Obamacare: A Midterm Report Card

The Obama administration has released enrollment statistics for the first three months. There’s much we now know, but even more that we don’t.

Stuck in Limbo With Breast Cancer as the Obamacare Deadline Looms

In New Jersey, people who believe they’ve qualified for Medicaid coverage under the health reform law might not actually be enrolled.

Deadline? What Deadline? The Obamacare Sign-up Dates Keep Moving

Confusion reigns as state and federal officials allow people to find and pay for new health insurance plans.

Obamacare Q&A: Fears of a Premium ‘Death Spiral’ Overstated

Kaiser Foundation expert predicts that, “What we’ll start to see in January are the real effects of the law, rather than the more hypothetical ones we’ve been talking about up until now.”

Turning the Corner? In California, At Least, Obamacare Sign-Ups Zoom

New York also sees a surge in Affordable Care Act enrollments as the deadline approaches for coverage starting Jan. 1.

The Obamacare Paper Pileup

Oregon, California and other states are clogged with backlogs of paper applications that some fear might not be approved before the Dec. 23 deadline to sign up for health insurance.

Payment Due: The Obamacare Deadline No One Is Talking About

Analysts say that excluding holidays, people enrolling in new health care plans by the Dec. 23 deadline have only a few days to pay their first premium. Missing the deadline could create a coverage gap for those converting from an old plan to a new one, or delay coverage for the uninsured.

As Rebounds, New Glitches Hit Medicaid Enrollments

Enrollees who don’t qualify for Medicaid are being told they do, and processing delays could keep some who are eligible for Medicaid out of the program in early 2014.’s Mysterious New Number: ‘834’

With the website working better on the consumer front, attention has turned to whether insurance companies are actually getting enrollment information — what tekkies call “834” data.

Test Run No. 2:’s Invisible Health Plans

Performance issues continue to dog the federal government’s updated health care marketplace. Live chat helper: “Yes, others are experiencing the same problem.”

For Uninsured Missouri Reporter, Obamacare Is a Real-Life Story

Harum Helmy fell through a crack created by last year’s Supreme Court decision allowing states to avoid expanding Medicaid. Now, she is among millions who earn less than the poverty level but can’t get subsidized private insurance.

‘Please Wait’: New-and-Improved Has Same Old Problems

The Obama administration says the site can now handle 50,000 unique visitors at a time, but it doesn’t appear able to keep up with the load.

Six Questions About’s Future

It’s unclear whether the improvements are enough to salvage the Affordable Care Act’s central element and ensure consumers can get coverage before the Dec. 23 deadline.

Rate Hikes Hidden in California’s Glowing Obamacare Reviews

Half those whose insurance is being canceled will pay more for plans meeting the Affordable Care Act requirements.

A Cheat Sheet For The Obamacare Hearings

Over a month, 10 hearings plumb the problems with

How Low Will Health Care Enrollments Be? Here’s What to Watch For

Just a fraction of the 500,000 people expected to enroll in Obamacare via the new health exchanges have done so, according to media reports anticipating the official numbers. But there’s more to the story.

Coming in January: Obamacare Rate Shock Part Two

High co-pays and deductibles may surprise health consumers after their new policies take effect next year under the Affordable Care Act.

Obamacare Q&A: ‘I Don’t Really Think You Could Stop This Law’

Donald Berwick, the president’s former Medicare and Medicaid administrator, says problems with the health reform rollout have masked benefits that millions of people are getting.

Health Care Delays Squeeze Patients in State High-Risk Pools

Many state and federal insurance pools covering patients with pre-existing conditions are set to close Dec. 31, but it’s an open question whether patients will be able to find policies on in time.

Answered: Why Two Obama Loyalists Lost Their Health Policies

Lack of kids’ dental benefits, other coverage gaps help “tank” couple’s Kaiser Permanente insurance plan — but so did contracts with California’s health insurance exchange.

What’s Your Obamacare Story? Help ProPublica Cover the Affordable Care Act

We want to know how you are affected by Obamacare. Have you signed up for coverage through the new health insurance exchanges? Are you getting insurance for the first time? Are your premiums going up? Tell us about your experience.

Loyal Obama Supporters, Canceled by Obamacare

Lee Hammack and his wife JoEllen Brothers thought they had a great insurance plan. Now, their cost is more than doubling to $1,300 a month, with higher out-of-pocket costs.

Why Health Insurance Cancellations Shouldn’t Be a Surprise

A former federal health official says consumers in the individual health-care market deserved more of a heads-up about what was coming under Obamacare.

Can a Reprieve and a Lawsuit Reverse Health Insurance Cancellations?

While California's insurance commissioner forces a three-month delay for 115,000 cancellations, Obama administration says consumers are being “migrated” to better policies.

Podcast: What Happens to Those Losing Health Coverage Under Obamacare?

Charlie Ornstein and Steve Engelberg talk about the hundreds of thousands of Americans who are about to lose their current health plans under the Affordable Care Act, and why that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Why Broke: Two Competing Story Lines

Inside the Obama administration, political considerations slowed development of the health care exchanges. Or was it a blanket of Republican opposition around the country?

A Month in to, Real-Life Winners and Losers

Today marks one month since the disastrous start of, and we take a look at whose winning and losing in real life because of it.

Health Policy Canceled? What We Know and Don’t Know

Hundreds of thousands of individual policyholders, at minimum, will have to find new plans as insurers respond to new coverage requirements under Obamacare. But is that necessarily bad?

Health-Care Rollout: The View From Kansas

Q&A with Sandy Praeger, a Republican insurance commissioner in a state that’s refused to go along with the Affordable Care Act.

Sebelius Testifies: Four Things to Know About Today’s Obamacare Hearing

Among the proferred questions for HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius: Why has no one been fired?

Podcast: Why Is So Flawed?

ProPublica’s Charlie Ornstein and Steve Engelberg discuss what exactly went wrong with the federal government’s insurance marketplace.

The Affordable Care Act’s Most Important Date: Not What You Think

Forgotten amid the controversial health exchange rollout: The deep impact of last year’s Supreme Court ruling letting states opt out of expanding Medicaid.

Today’s Obamacare Hearing: What You Need To Know

A House committee focuses on what went wrong with the rollout and why. Here’s the backstory.

What’s Wrong With’s Price Estimator’s Users Speak Out: ‘Clean This Mess Up’

Health and Human Services asked for comments about its website. It got them by the hundreds. Consumers and insurance agents say they were stymied, and one applicant said he and his wife were wrongly listed as incarcerated — then denied.

Is the Future? We Ask a Health Futurist

“The metaphor is the Wright Brothers, not the Indianapolis 500,” says Ian Morrison. “Let’s just get this sucker up in the air before we declare that flying is a bad idea.”

How the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza Became a Mistaken Poster Boy for Obamacare

“It was the Twitter equivalent of blurbing a book using the one positive line from a review that actually trashed the book,” the Washington correspondent says.

A Tale of Two Obamacares: Which Is Right?

Critics of the Affordable Care Act rollout say its technology problems are overwhelming. Defenders point to the states, where the health insurance marketplaces seem to be working.

Is Turning the Corner? Not So Fast

Beyond problems consumers have had logging in to the new federal insurance marketplace website, insurers report major problems with the back-end system for actually enrolling people.

Here’s Why Broke Down

Federal officials have pointed to overwhelming demand to explain the site's problems. But web developers, other experts and journalists have uncovered more fundamental issues with the design and functioning of the site.

Health Care Sign-Ups: This Is What Transparency Looks Like

How many people have enrolled in health plans using the new federal exchange? Er, nobody seems to have a clue.

How the Feds Could Fix Their Glitchy Health Care Exchange

It’s simple: Make the enrollment software work like Medicare Part D.

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