healthcare

U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Alabama consumers will see more competition when the health insurance marketplace opens Nov. 15 for its second year.

United Healthcare has signed up to offer individual policies in all 67 counties. UHC did not participate the first year. Regulators say Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama will be back in all counties. Humana will again offer policies in Jefferson, Shelby and Madison counties.

Alabama Arise spokesman Jim Carnes says increased competition should be good for consumers.

The enrollment period is Nov. 15 through Feb. 15.

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Tuscaloosa, AL – It's been one week since cuts to the state's Medicaid budget took effect. A dire budget shortfall prompted state lawmakers to make spending cuts. Dr. Don Williamson is Alabama's public health officer and is also chair of the Medicaid Transition task force. Alabama Public Radio's Ryan Vasquez talked to Wiliamson about the short term and long term impact of the cuts as well as how to fix Medicaid going forward.

This week NPR offers extensive coverage of the upcoming Supreme Court arguments challenging President Obama's health care overhaul law. Find brief descriptions of the scheduled arguments here