Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange is praising a federal appeals court ruling against an important provision in President Barack Obama's health care law.
Strange says he is proud to have joined other Republican attorneys general who opposed the law before an appeals court in Washington.
The divided court ruled Tuesday that federal subsidies to help millions of low and middle-income people pay insurance premiums apply only in states that set up their own insurance markets under the law. A federal court in Virginia unanimously ruled the opposite way.
Alabamians looking for health insurance will likely have more choices in the second year of the insurance marketplace.
A spokesman for the state insurance department said Monday that United Healthcare has filed plans with state and federal regulators to offer coverage in all 67 counties during the second year of the program. United Healthcare did not offer individual plans in any county during the first year.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that nearly 98,000 people in Alabama selected a plan in the federally operated health insurance marketplace.
The report released Thursday says about 58 percent were women. The biggest age group was those 18 to 34, who made up 31 percent of the people who selected a plan. The next biggest age group was 55 to 64, with 25 percent of the plan selections.
More women and people between ages 18 to 34 enrolled in Alabama plans than the national average.
Hundreds of Alabamians are rushing to meet the Monday night deadline to sign up for health insurance under the federal health care law.
The student-led group Bama Covered had a large crowd turn out Sunday for an event in Birmingham. Co-founder Josh Carpenter says they helped about 100 enroll. He says many others wanted to sign up, but they were in the gap where they make too much to get Medicaid coverage but they don't make enough to qualify for the tax breaks in the health insurance program.
Nearly 44,000 Alabamians have used the federal health care law to sign up for insurance through Alabama's federally operated insurance exchange.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that 18,024 Alabamians signed up in January. The sign-ups began in October with 624, grew to 2,824 by the end of November and increased to 25,839 in December. They grew to 43,863 by the end of January.
A new report says about 198,000 uninsured Alabamians are eligible for federal subsidies to purchase health insurance under the new federal health care law.
The report by the Kaiser Family Foundation says that number represents 30 percent of Alabama's 660,000 residents without insurance. The report also says about 191,000 people, or 29 percent of Alabama's uninsured, fall into a coverage gap because Alabama is not expanding its Medicaid program under the federal law.
Alabama's largest health insurance company and the state Insurance Department had more questions than answers after the president said consumers should be allowed to renew individual plans slated to end under the federal health care law.
At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, spokeswoman Koko Mackin said the company is reviewing the president's statement and evaluating its impact on the requirements for implementing the federal law.
Blue Cross had 97,000 individual customers whose policies didn't meet the requirement of the new law and were being moved to new policies.
Alabamians and others around the country are experiencing delays trying to get into the federal government's health insurance marketplace website on its first day.
Visitors are getting messages that the site has lots of visitors or that it is unavailable. At Alabama Arise in Montgomery, executive director Kimble Forrister said he tried to help a woman Tuesday morning and couldn't get through. But he said he expected the website to be busy on the first day to review the insurance plans.
Alabama's Republican governor says opponents of the Affordable Care Act need to let it crumble from its own design flaws rather than risk shutting down the federal government to stop funding the law.
Gov. Robert Bentley said Friday the Affordable Care Act is unworkable, and that's been proven by the delay of some provisions and the difficulty in getting some health insurance marketplaces ready for their debut Tuesday.