Julie Rovner

Julie Rovner is a health policy correspondent for NPR specializing in the politics of health care.

Reporting on all aspects of health policy and politics, Rovner covers the White House, Capitol Hill, the Department of Health and Human Services in addition to issues around the country. She served as NPR's lead correspondent covering the passage and implementation of the 2010 health overhaul bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

A noted expert on health policy issues, Rovner is the author of a critically-praised reference book Health Care Politics and Policy A-Z. Rovner is also co-author of the book Managed Care Strategies 1997, and has contributed to several other books, including two chapters in Intensive Care: How Congress Shapes Health Policy, edited by political scientists Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann.

In 2005, Rovner was awarded the Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for distinguished reporting of Congress for her coverage of the passage of the Medicare prescription drug law and its aftermath.

Rovner has appeared on television on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, CNN, C-Span, MSNBC, and NOW with Bill Moyers. Her articles have appeared in dozens of national newspapers and magazines, including The Washington Post, USA Today, Modern Maturity, and The Saturday Evening Post.

Prior to NPR, Rovner covered health and human services for the Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, specializing in health care financing, abortion, welfare, and disability issues. Later she covered health reform for the Medical News Network, an interactive daily television news service for physicians, and provided analysis and commentary on the health reform debates in Congress for NPR. She has been a regular contributor to the British medical journal The Lancet. Her columns on patients' rights for the magazine Business and Health won her a share of the 1999 Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Award.

An honors graduate, Rovner has a degree in political science from University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

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3:40am

Wed April 16, 2014
Shots - Health News

Is Obamacare A Success? We Might Not Know For A While

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 4:33 pm

Hundreds in California rushed to get health insurance just before the deadline.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

After months of focusing on how many people have or haven't signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, we now have a rough total (7.5 million), and everyone's keen to get to the bigger questions: How well is the law working? How many of those who signed up have paid their premiums and are actually getting coverage? How many were uninsured before they signed up? And just how big has the drop been in the number of uninsured people?

Unfortunately, the answers to some of these questions simply aren't knowable — or, at least, not knowable yet.

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3:33am

Wed April 9, 2014
Shots - Health News

Lessons Learned For 2015 From This Year's Obamacare Sign-Ups

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 11:32 am

Maritza Martinez worked with an insurance agent at a kiosk in a Miami mall to find the right health insurance plan for 2014.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

President Obama was thrilled last week when he was able to announce that more than 7 million people have signed up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

"This law is doing what it's supposed to do," the president said in the Rose Garden. "It's working."

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2:47pm

Mon March 31, 2014
Shots - Health News

Glitches Return To HealthCare.Gov As Enrollment Clock Expires

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 3:29 pm

HealthCare.gov has more last-minute shoppers than it can handle.
HealthCare.gov

The last day of sign-ups for health insurance on the HealthCare.gov website is turning out to have a lot in common with the first: lots of computer problems.

But there are some big differences, too. Back in October the not-ready-for-prime-time website was only able to enroll six people on its first day.

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3:27am

Fri March 28, 2014
Shots - Health News

Obamacare's National Enrollment Looks OK, But States Matter More

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 12:23 am

Maygan Rollins, a field organizer with Enroll America, talked health insurance options with Jerry Correa during a recent campaign in Miami.
Lynne Sladky AP

With this year's deadline to register for individual health insurance just a weekend away, much attention is being lavished on two numbers — the 6 million Americans who have signed up so far, and the percentage of those folks who are (or aren't) young.

But experts say the national numbers actually don't mean very much.

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4:25pm

Wed March 26, 2014
Shots - Health News

That Health Insurance Deadline Now Comes With Wiggle Room

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 8:24 pm

Christine Moyer checks out options at a health insurance enrollment fair on March 18 in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

We're just five days away from the March 31 deadline to sign up for individual health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. For weeks, administration officials, including the president, have insisted that there would be no extensions to the scheduled end of the six-month open enrollment period.

But now there's some wiggle room. Let's review, shall we?

Start with the key question: Is Monday still the deadline?

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6:03am

Wed March 26, 2014
Shots - Health News

Most People Don't Know The Health Insurance Deadline Looms

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 1:51 pm

Yudelmy Cataneda, Javier Suarez and Claudia Suarez talk with insurance agent Yosmay Valdivian at a session to sign up for health insurance in a Miami mall March 20.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Next week is the last chance for most people without insurance to sign up for individual health coverage for the remainder of 2014.

Yet according to the latest monthly tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than 60 percent of those without coverage still don't know that.

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3:24am

Mon March 24, 2014
Shots - Health News

Final Call For Questions On Health Insurance As Deadline Looms

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 2:48 pm

Katherine Streeter for NPR

There's just one week left for most people to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act. And as people race to meet the deadline, they still have questions about the law, and the sign-up process.

"Is there a deadline to enroll in a health plan?" asks Josephine Ilog of Manteca, Calif. "And what happens if a person misses that deadline?"

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6:27pm

Fri March 21, 2014
Shots - Health News

Insurance Chief Suggests Adding A New, Lower Level Of Health Plan

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 7:26 pm

America's Health Insurance Plans President and CEO Karen Ignagni says she would loosen regulations on which insurance plans comply with the Affordable Care Act by adding a "lower tier" option that could entice healthier people.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Rather than letting people keep their old health plans that don't comply with the new requirements of the Affordable Care Act, the head of the group that represents the nation's health insurance companies is floating an alternative: weakening the requirements.

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6:03am

Sat March 15, 2014
Shots - Health News

House Passes Payment Fix For Medicare Docs, But At What Cost?

Medicare's payments to doctors will likely be slashed April 1, unless the U.S. Senate can quickly get a derailed compromise back on track.
iStockphoto

Bipartisan support dissolved this week for compromise legislation that would have fixed a longstanding problem with the way Medicare pays physicians. Though the bill passed the House of Representatives Friday, it now contains a provision almost certain to invite veto unless a Senate version can quickly nudge the ultimate bill back toward compromise.

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3:41am

Wed March 12, 2014
Shots - Health News

You Might Pay A Lot More Than $95 For Skipping Health Insurance

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 4:08 pm

The tax penalty is designed to encourage people to sign up for health insurance.
iStockphoto

2014 is the first year most Americans will have to either have health insurance or face a tax penalty.

But most people who are aware of the penalty think it's pretty small, at least for this first year. And that could turn into an expensive mistake.

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5:00pm

Tue March 11, 2014
Shots - Health News

Young People Lag Behind In Health Insurance Enrollment

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 6:58 pm

The proportion of sign-ups for health insurance by age group on the federal and state exchanges.
HHS

With 20 days left for people to sign up for private health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, the number of people who have completed that task rose to 4.2 million through the end of February, the Obama administration reports.

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5:34pm

Mon March 10, 2014
Shots - Health News

As Health Law Takes Hold, Rate Of Uninsured Falls

A survey taken in early 2014 finds that the uninsured rate has declined. But differences by age remain.
Gallup

Since the Affordable Care Act kicked in fully, the percentage of Americans without health coverage has fallen to its lowest point in five years.

In the last quarter of 2013, just before the federal health law took full effect, 17.1 percent of Americans reported they lacked health insurance, according to a Gallup survey.

When the survey was taken (between Jan. 2 and Feb. 28), the rate had dropped to 1.2 percentage points to 15.9 percent.

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7:33am

Sun March 2, 2014
Shots - Health News

FDA To Increase Access To Generic Morning-After Pills

Women's health groups campaigned hard to make a generic — and often cheaper — emergency contraceptive pill more widely available.
Elise Amendola AP

The Food and Drug Administration has decided to allow generic versions of the most popular form of emergency contraceptive pills to be sold over the counter, without age restrictions, after all.

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3:35am

Fri February 21, 2014
Shots - Health News

As Deadline Nears, State Insurance Exchanges Still A Mixed Bag

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 5:53 pm

Oregon's road to health coverage continues to be bumpy; the website for the state's health insurance marketplace still isn't fully open to consumers.
ilbusca iStockphoto

With a bit more than a month left for people to sign up for health insurance plans set up under the Affordable Care Act, the federal website known as HealthCare.gov finally seems to be working smoothly — in 36 states.

But what's happening in the 14 states that are running their own exchanges?

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3:39am

Mon February 17, 2014
Shots - Health News

Finessing Health Coverage: When To Buy Insurance For A New Baby

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 9:59 am

Daniel Horowitz for NPR

We're heading into the home stretch to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act this year. The open enrollment period ends March 31 for most people.

But there are exceptions. And they are the subject of many of our questions this month.

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