Ask Emily
Answers to consumer questions about Obamacare

About this project

Is Obamacare for me? How much does it cost? What do I have to do? Obamacare is on the way and it’s complicated. That’s why the CHCF Center for Health Reporting put award-winning journalist Emily Bazar on the case. In “Ask Emily,” a twice-a-month column, she digs for – and comes up with – answers to consumers’ questions about how this giant health overhaul will work.

Stories

More time to avoid the Obamacare tax penalty

In my last column, I warned you that March 31 was your last chance to sign up for a health plan from Covered California or the private market if you...

Ask Emily on KQED's Forum: Covered California Deadline Approaches

This segment originally appeared on KQED's Forum. Monday, March 31, is the open enrollment deadline for Covered California, the state's new...

Last chance: The Obamacare deadline is here

Here it comes, folks, the deadline that I have been harping on for months: March 31 marks the end of Obamacare’s inaugural open-enrollment...

Ask Emily on KALW's Your Call: What do you need to know about Obamacare?

This segment originally appeared on KALW'S Your Call program. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, five million people...
Obamacare's Kid Glitch Thumbnail

Obamacare’s ‘kid glitch’

This story originally appeared in The Sacramento Bee. Now that the Affordable Care Act is in full swing, many Californians are feeling...

CoveredCA's "reset" problem

Q: What was my password again?   $359 million dollars.   That’s how much the state of California awarded Accenture to...

Ask Emily on KPCC's Take Two: What happens if your income changes?

This story originally appeared on KPCC's Take Two. People who purchase health plans through Covered California, the state's health...

Managing your money under Obamacare

My inbox is brimming with your personal Obamacare stories, and most of them aren’t joyous odes to the new health law. Sure, I’ve received...

Ask Emily on KALW's Your Call: Is Covered California working for you?

This segment originally appeared on KALW's Your Call program.  Covered California has had better success than other state health...

Ask Emily on KPCC’s Take Two: What to do if you get stuck in Obamacare’s mazes

This story originally appeared on KPCC's Take Two. So you enrolled in a new health plan and are getting ready to see the doctor for the...

Ask Emily on KDVS: Obamacare and college students

This segment originally appeared on KDVS' In A Heartbeat. Emily Bazar joins Chloe Lessard to answer the question: What should college...

Getting lost in Obamacare's mazes

To the people who run Covered California, the Medi-Cal program and health insurance companies: I know what a massive, confusing...

Ask Emily on KPCC's Take Two: How big is California's Medi-Cal system?

This story originally appeared on KPCC's Take Two. Covered California, the state's health insurance exchange, is just one piece of...
Ask Emily

Obamacare's other story: Medi-Cal has its own glitches

State officials have been crowing that more than 400,000 Californians have enrolled in plans through the state’s health insurance exchange,...

Ask Emily on KALW's Your Call: What are the successes and failures of the Affordable Care Act so far?

This segement originally appeared on KALW's Your Call program. More than a million people have now signed up for policies through the...

Ask Emily on KPCC's Take Two: Obamacare officially in effect

This story originally appeared on KPCC's Take Two. Emily Bazar of the California Healthcare Foundation Center for Health Reporting joins the...

Some Covered California applicants can’t get confirmation on health insurance

Kristy Farrington, a Sacramento State student, looks at a pamphlet with information on Covered California. (Hector Amezcua/The Sacramento Bee...
Ask Emily

HSAs, COBRA: Do they mesh with Obamacare?

This is a critical moment in the evolution of Obamacare – and of this column. Tens of thousands of you already have enrolled in health plans...

Ask Emily on KPCC's Take Two: Obamacare enrollment deadline extended

This story originally appeared on KPCC's Take Two. You now have until December 23 to sign up for health insurance if you want it to kick in...
Ask Emily

Obamacare deadline looming. Are you ready?

Calling all procrastinators: There’s still time! Granted, I wagged my figurative finger at you in previous columns, warning you that Dec. 15...

Covered California Enrollment Deadline Looms

This story originally appeared on KQED’s Forum. December 23 is the deadline to enroll for health insurance coverage that starts on January...

Live chat re-cap: Breaking down the complexity of Obamacare with answers

The Sacramento Bee’s recent live chat answered readers’ questions about the Affordable Care Act. Emily Bazar, a journalist and...

Ask Emily on KPCC's Take Two: How does coverage work for immigrants?

This story originally aired on KPCC's Take Two. At least one in four Californians-- more than 10 million people-- were born in another...

Ask Emily live chat transcript

//  Emily Bazar, author of the popular Obamacare Q & A column "Ask Emily" for USC Annenberg’s CHCF Center for Health Reporting, joins...
Ask Emily

Obamacare affects immigrants, too

California has more immigrants than any other state. At least one in four Californians – more than 10 million people – were...

Ask Emily on KPCC's Take Two: What happens if you move out of your state's insurance coverage area?

This story originally aired on KPCC's Take Two. Your health plan options – and prices – vary by geography, and the Golden State...

Obamacare and You: a town hall on the Affordable Care Act

Ask Emily columnist Emily Bazar addressed questions on Obamacare for about 90 people at the Crawford Family Forum with KPCC...
Ask Emily

Planes, trains, and Obamacare

About 130,000 Americans pick up and move somewhere else every single day, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates. And guess who are among the most...

Riverside: 'Ask Emily' columnist to speak on Obamacare

This article originally appeared in the Riverisde Press-Enterprise. If you can't attend in person, join us for the live webcast of "Ask...

Got questions on Obamacare? She’s got answers

This story originally appeared in Sacramento Magazine. When it comes to making sense of Obamacare, there are no easy answers. Just...

Columnist to answer Obamacare questions in person at Southern California events

  “Ask Emily” columnist Emily Bazar takes her act on the road later this month with two appearances in Southern...

Ask Emily on KALW’s Your Call: How the Affordable Care Act affects your health coverage

This segment originally aired on KALW's Your Call program. President Obama clearly pledged that Americans who were happy with their...

Ask Emily on Take Two: The lesser-known cost-sharing subsidies

This segment originally aired on KPCC's Take Two program. You’re probably familiar with Obamacare’s tax credits that will...
Ask Emily

Good Obamacare news for veterans and low-income Californians

  Q: Will deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses, which are quite steep, be subsidized too?  Or will the policy holder be responsible...

Obamacare and your taxes: Ask Emily tells KPCC listeners how they mix

This piece originally aired on KPCC's Take Two. Like it or not, the Affordable Care Act and our tax system are inextricably linked. In her...
Ask Emily

Death, taxes and … Obamacare?

  Q: I have been on the Covered California website and the calculator asks for family size, which I presume means the taxpayer plus number of...

Ask Emily on KPCC’s Take Two: How do you calculate your income for Obamacare?

This piece originally aired on KPCC's Take Two. Now that Obamacare open enrollment is here, many of you have urgent questions about how to...
Ask Emily

What you need to know NOW as Obamacare debuts

Over the past six months, your Obamacare questions have steadily piled up in my inbox. Now, “steadily” is a description I can only think...

Ask Emily explains tax credits, provider networks and other Obamacare terms on KPCC

This story originally aired on KPCC's Take Two. Obamacare is full of Byzantine terms such as tax credits and provider networks. Ask Emily...
Ask Emily

Tax credits? Subsidies? Provider networks? What these Obamacare terms mean to you

Q: Will doctors and hospitals who accept health insurance from companies like Blue Shield accept insurance sold by the health insurance exchange? I...

Ask Emily on KPCC's Take Two: Navigating the new Medi-Cal expansion

This story originally appeared on KPCC's Take Two. On Oct. 1, the new health insurance exchange - Covered California - will open for...
Ask Emily

Will you qualify for Medi-Cal under Obamacare?

Regular readers of Ask Emily know that on Oct. 1, Obamacare will experience a key rite of passage. That’s when Californians can begin...

Ask Emily: Top 10 things to know about the Affordable Care Act

This article originally appeared in The Sacramento Bee. Love it or hate it (or don’t know anything about it), Obamacare is here. And...

Ask Emily Live: What health plan choices does Covered California offer?

Ask Emily columnist Emily Bazar explains Obamacare at a public forum in Modesto. This is a short video clip from that event. 

Ask Emily Live: Can't I just wait and buy insurance when I get sick?

Ask Emily columnist Emily Bazar explains Obamacare at a public forum in Modesto. This is a short video clip from that event. 

Ask Emily Live: How the "kid glitch" in employer-based health insurance can hurt you

Ask Emily columnist Emily Bazar explains Obamacare at a public forum in Modesto. This is a short video clip from that event.

Ask Emily on KPCC's Take Two: Will new insurance plans meet your needs?

The state’s new health insurance exchange, Covered California, promises to bring affordable health insurance to millions of residents. But...

Questions about ‘Obamacare’ answered in Modesto forum

This story originally appeared in the Modesto Bee.   MODESTO — It’s just about decision time for a ton of people affected by...
Ask Emily

Will insurance plans sold by Obamacare’s new marketplace meet your needs?

Q: I’m currently on Medicare but pay out of pocket for a Blue Cross supplement policy. Will insurance companies offer Medicare supplement...

Health journalist will explain basics of Affordable Care Act in Modesto

Emily Bazar (Anne Chadwick Williams, The Sacramento Bee) This story originally appeared in the Modesto Bee. MODESTO — A...

Chat Transcript: Obamacare Q&A with Emily Bazar

This story originally appeared in the Modesto Bee.Confused about Obamacare? Want to know what it means for you?Journalist Emily Bazar, author of the...

Chat Transcript: Ask Emily about Obamacare

Columnist Emily Bazar answered your questions about the Affordable Care Act during a live chat on The Modesto Bee's website on Thursday,...

KPCC’s Take Two radio show Asks Emily when to sign up for health reform

This story originally aired on KPCC's Take Two. Ask Emily columnist Emily Bazar discusses the new rules that will control when you can buy...
Ask Emily

Changes coming: When can you buy or switch your insurance under Obamacare?

Q: Our 24-year-old daughter is employed full-time and her employer offers health insurance. Does she have to enroll in one of their plans or can...

SoCal's KPCC Asks Emily about young people and the new health law

Center Columnist Emily Bazar appeared on KPCC’s “Take Two” morning show to discuss how the Affordable Care Act will affect young...
Ask Emily

How will young adults and college students fare under Obamacare?

Q: My youngest child is 21 and graduated from college in May. My other daughter is 24 and is still a college student in Stockton. What are my options...

Valley Public Radio asks Emily: What does Obamacare mean for you?

Senior Writer Emily Bazar spoke with Valley Public Radio's Joe Moore in a wide-ranging discussion about Obamacare. They discussed the new health...
Ask Emily

Help! What can Obamacare do for me now?

  Q: I am a married, 62-year-old female unable to obtain health insurance. I am retired and financially comfortable and in general good health....
Ask Emily

Medi-Cal and Obamacare: More confusing twists

Q: If my family of six qualifies for Medi-Cal under the Affordable Care Act, do we have to sign up for that? Or can we still buy subsidized health...
Ask Emily

The “kid glitch”: Could your family fall into Obamacare’s affordability gap?

In my last column, I tackled your questions about choice. Specifically, I wrote about your options under Obamacare if your employer-sponsored health...
Ask Emily

Obamacare, insurance and your choices: Options for Californians who don’t like their work-based coverage

Q: If my husband’s employer offers health care insurance but it is unaffordable, where does that leave us? Will we qualify for help under...
Ask Emily

Medicare and the new health law: How it affects you

Q: I’m a Medicare recipient. How are people like me affected by Obamacare? This is no small question. We’re talking more than 50 million...

Rates released for new health insurance marketplace

This interview aired on KCRW's All Things Considered.  Details of California’s new health insurance exchange were announced...
Ask Emily

Game changer: Obamacare’s new coverage rules and costs

  Q: I had colon cancer and have had trouble buying health insurance ever since. Under Obamacare, will insurance companies still be allowed to...
Ask Emily

Obamacare’s insurance requirement: Where do you fit?

Q: I’ve heard that some people won’t be required to have health insurance under Obamacare. Is this true? A: You’re right....
Ask Emily

Searching for the right insurance under Obamacare

Q: I work at a family-owned restaurant and my boss has cut back my insurance coverage. I have to pay a lot more out of pocket on top of my monthly...

Ask Emily: A new column answering questions about Obamacare

What is this Obamacare-related state health insurance thing called Covered California? How do I find out if it works for me? And if I’m healthy...
Ask Emily

How new exchange may help Californians buy health care

Q: I keep hearing about something called the health insurance exchange. What is it and how is it supposed to work? A: Think of it as a new mall for...

Authors

Emily Bazar

Senior writer Emily Bazar is based in our Sacramento office, where she covers stories about the federal health care overhaul, Medi-Cal budget cuts, children's dental care and variation in the use of medical treatments.  Prior to joining the Center for Health Reporting, Bazar was a national reporter for USA Today, where she covered immigration, the effects of the current economic recession and other topics. Her first journalism job was at The Sacramento Bee. Over nine years, her beats included transportation, higher education, California politics, the energy crisis and immigration. In 2003, she was one of two reporters who produced an award-winning special project, “Liberty in the Balance,” which explored civil liberties after Sept. 11, 2001. She appears regularly on KQED’s Forum,Capital Public Radio’s Insight and other radio shows to discuss health policy. Bazar graduated from Stanford University.

Project Partners

© 2014 California Healthcare Foundation Center for Health Reporting

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