Health Care

Nebraska residents who qualify for expanded Medicaid under the federal health care law can start enrolling next month. Gov. Pete Ricketts is defending the state’s nearly two-year time frame to offer coverage after voters approved it. Ricketts says Nebraska will open enrollment on Aug. 1, and coverage will begin as scheduled on Oct. 1. The roll-out begins nearly two years after Nebraska voters approved a measure to expand Medicaid coverage in the November 2018 election over the objections of Ricketts and conservative groups.

Kiewit Middle School sent a letter this morning to parents reporting that a student at the school has been diagnosed with pertussis, also known as whooping cough.  The school included information on whooping cough and the diagnosed student's schedule in the letter.  They also alerted families that if they receive a second email then their student shared a classroom with the impacted one.

Kiewit Middle School urges families of those who shared a classroom with the sick student to watch for signs of a cough or persistent cold and then take their child the doctor immediately.

If you are a parent of a student and did not receive a second email then your child did not share a classroom with this student.

The content of the letter is posted below:

Dear Kiewit Families,

I want to share that unfortunately one of our students has been diagnosed with pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough. We wish the student a speedy recovery!

As we always do, we have shared this information, along with the student's schedule, with the Douglas County Health Department. They will direct us to send a letter to families of students who may have been exposed. If those students develop a persistent cough or cold, they should be seen by a doctor.

We also want to inform the school community, so everyone is aware. I'm including information on whooping cough. Families that have a student that may have shared a classroom with this student will receive another email from IC Messenger message with signs to look for. If you do not receive a second email. your student did not share a classroom with this student.

Please reach out to our school nurse if you have any questions at 402-715-1470.

Thank you,
Marshall Smith

Health insurance costs are surging for students and staff enrolled in plans offered by the University of Nebraska.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that more than 5,000 students and faculty are facing a nearly 20% hike to their premiums next year.

Individual plan costs are rising from $2,588 to $3,067. Family plans are increasing from $7,357 to $8,958. The university's provider is United Healthcare.

(Des Moines, IA)  --  UnitedHealthcare is leaving Iowa's Medicaid program, but the reasons for that move are the subject of debate.  Bror Hultgren of UnitedHealthcare told multiple media outlets yesterday the company's decision to leave is based on the Medicaid program not being funded properly.  Department of Human Services Director Jerry Foxhoven later responded and echoed what Governor Kim Reynolds said last week about the company not wanting to pay for performance measures included.  It's estimated that around 425-thousand Iowans will have to switch their Medicaid coverage once UnitedHe

The University of Nebraska Medical Center recently released its Rural Health Care Workforce Report.

Nebraska Modifies Its Privatized Medicaid; Iowa's Called "A Disaster"

Jan 4, 2017

Effective January 1st, Nebraska has made modifications in the administration of its Medicaid program by private insurance companies.   

All Nebraska Medicaid recipients who did not pick one of the available plans by December 1st were automatically enrolled in one.  Molly McCleery, Staff Attorney for the Health Care Access Program at Nebraska Appleseed, stresses that recipients who are not happy with their plan have 90 days to change.   

A public-private partnership could be used to fund a new VA hospital in Omaha.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Omaha could get a $136 million medical facility built next to the ailing veterans hospital if a public-private initiative is carried through.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Six states have filed a new lawsuit against the Obama administration over the Affordable Care Act.

A new health clinic in Omaha focuses on the specific needs of teenagers and young adults.

The “2016 in 2016 Enrollment Campaign” is an effort to enroll or renew more than 2000 people in health care coverage this month.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad met with a top federal official in Washington to promote Iowa's Medicaid privatization effort, which has come under scrutiny over the speed of the transition.

UNMC students, faculty get up close with new medical technology

Oct 21, 2015

3D and virtual reality technology could be part of future training at UNMC.

Iowa Mission of Mercy brings free dental care to Council Bluffs

Sep 11, 2015

As many as two thousand people could receive free dental care Friday and Saturday at an event in Council Bluffs.

The dean of UNMC’s College of Public Health says the state of Nebraska has work to do to improve health and well-being.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The health insurance companies picked to manage Iowa's $4.2 billion Medicaid program are promising to create hundreds of jobs in the state in the coming months.

OneWorld to open clinic in Bellevue

Aug 17, 2015

Omaha’s OneWorld Community Health Centers will open a clinic in Bellevue this fall.

Nebraska ranked 10th in overall well-being of children

Jul 21, 2015

A new report says 18 percent of Nebraska children live in poverty, and 37,000 live in high-poverty neighborhoods.

VA hears from veterans about facility needs in Omaha

Jul 17, 2015

A decision about Omaha’s VA Medical Center is expected in late September or early October.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Federal officials will meet with Omaha veterans Friday to discuss what they want in an eventual replacement for the aging Department of Veterans Affairs hospital.

Nebraska Medicine is one of three hospitals in the U.S. that will be part of a National Ebola Training and Education Center.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A judge has ordered the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to stop excluding Medicaid coverage for some behavioral treatments for children with developmental disabilities, saying policy conflicts with federal law.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Funding has been pulled for adult day care for veterans in Omaha and western Iowa due to a $2.5 billion shortfall in the Department of Veterans Affairs health care budget.

A new report identifies five options for a new VA Medical Center in Omaha.

An Omaha mother is among those in Washington, D.C., this week, advocating for changes to medical care for kids with complex conditions.

Hospital association study calls for expansion of Medicaid

Apr 7, 2015

A study by the Nebraska Hospital Association and University of Nebraska at Kearney looks at the costs of expanding Medicaid.

Co-Opportunity Health will no longer be offered to consumers in Nebraska and Iowa.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa's top insurance official has asked a court to end a consumer-owned cooperative that was selling health insurance to residents in Iowa and Nebraska.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — One of Nebraska's biggest medical networks delivered a counteroffer to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska Monday in an attempt to end a contract stalemate.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska doctors who successfully treated two Ebola patients this fall plan to share lessons about how they protected health care workers from the deadly virus.