The Rooftop at QT, QT Melbourne’s hotly anticipated bar, sitting on the 11th floor of Melbourne’s newest design hotel, is now open.Showcasing views of the spectacular Melbourne city skyline, The Rooftop at QT is set to be the destination for decadent soirées this summer, hosting up to 185 patrons in the split indoor/outdoor space.The bartenders will serve up a handcrafted cocktail list showcasing a twist on classic favourites, with the QT Rooftop G&T – West Winds Sabre Gin, Elderflower Quinine Syrup, Fresh Lime, Sugar, Cucumber Sparkling Water, Rosemary, Cucumber – and the Yarra Valley Sour – Four Pillars Gin, Fresh Lemon, Orange Blossom, Orgeat, Egg White, Pinot Noir, Edible Flowers – expected to be summer hits. The menu will also boast a list of local spirits, house-made tonics and share cocktails.To accompany the cocktail selection, The Rooftop at QT will also serve bar bites, including minced Thai beef on toast, with green chilli, sweet basil and sambal, Scotch Quail Eggs wrapped in Wagyu beef, mortadella, sesame and sticky black sauce and polenta crumbed onion rings with squid ink mayo.The sophisticated space designed by longstanding QT Public Areas Designer & Stylist, Nic Graham, features a selection of contemporary outdoor furniture by Australian designer and producer Tait amidst a colour palette of olive green, red and matte black. And with a curated playlist of new disco and house music by Creative Music Director Andrew Lewis, the rooftop caters for Melbourne’s late-night party scene.Open seven days a week from 4.30pm until 1am, The Rooftop at QT is also available for private events.
In rural Borden County, 12 people signed up for Obamacare this year. Livid over the government telling them they must buy something and loath to take anything that looks like a “handout,” the uninsured here are likely to stay that way. As Obamacare’s third open enrollment season began Sunday, this rock-solid conservative community of about 650 people offers a window into the challenges health law advocates face to expand coverage around the country. (Pradhan, 11/2) Montana Standard: Officials ‘Cautiously Optimistic’ Of Federal Approval Of Medicaid Expansion As the Affordable Care Act’s third open-enrollment season kicks off Sunday, health care experts around the nation will be closely watching whether Covered California gains more traction — and signups — than it did in 2015. The Golden State’s health care exchange was the country’s darling in the first year of Obamacare, getting 1.1 million uninsured people to enroll in private plans in 2014. But that total inched up to only 1.3 million this year. (Seipel, 10/31) And on the Medicaid expansion front – Politico: The Texas County Where Only 12 people Signed Up For Obamacare Los Angeles Times: Officials Push For More Californians To Sign Up For Health Insurance Customers can begin buying plans on HealthCare.gov starting on Nov. 1 and do so through Jan. 31, 2016. Rates for individual health plans went up an average of 7.5 percent nationally. Within that not-too-alarming average are outliers. Some states saw their average rate go down; others saw a big percentage leap from a reasonable starting price. For instance, Boise, Idaho, saw a 30 percent spike in premiums from about $210 to $273 a month. But Alaska is a special case. It has the highest premiums in the country, and it has seen some of the highest percentage increases over the past two years. That makes paying for insurance especially difficult for families like the Ebbessons. (Feidt, 10/30) The Connecticut Mirror: Obamacare Signups Begin With Different Outreach Strategy St. Louis Public Radio: 900,000 Uninsured St. Louisans Eligible To Shop On Healthcare.gov; Navigators Gear Up For Enrollment The San Jose Mercury News: Covered California Confronts Challenge Of Signing Up Millions Of Remaining Uninsured The Columbus Post-Dispatch: Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollment Starts Today Kaiser Health News: Alaskans Face Tough Choices Because Of High Insurance Costs Today begins the three-month open-enrollment period for marketplace coverage in 2016. An estimated 9.4 million to 11.4 million Americans are expected to sign up — and actually pay — for insurance through the marketplaces, which are entering their third year. Hundreds of thousands of uninsured and re-enrolling Ohioans have some important homework awaiting them. (Sutherly, 11/1) The San Antonio Express News: PPO Plans Drastically Reduced In HealthCare.gov’s 2016 Lineup States Implement Strategies To Reach Uninsured People During Insurance Sign-Up Season In addition to detailing state efforts to reach these consumers, news outlets also report on how local market offerings have changed this year. While still awaiting federal approval of the state’s plan to expand Medicaid to tens of thousands of Montanans, health care officials have been busy working to get everything into place under the assumption it’ll happen soon. … Montana has requested the federal government approve a pair of waivers to federal insurance requirements by Sunday to coincide with the start of open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplace, although there is no approval deadline for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “We continue to be cautiously optimistic we will receive approval on our plan to bring our tax dollars back from the federal government and extend health insurance coverage to more than 70,000 Montanans,” said Tim Crowe, Bullock’s communications director. (Benoit, 11/1) Residents will have three months during open enrollment to sign up for the exchange. Covered California has 1.3 million consumers, about 90% of whom receive subsidies to help cover their premiums. About 4 million Californians remain uninsured. Of those, officials estimate that 1.4 million would qualify for Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program for low-income residents, and 750,000 others would be eligible for subsidies toward private health insurance. (Sewell, 11/31) Los Angeles Times: Officials Launch Bus Tour To Promote California Health Insurance Exchange The Associated Press: State Officials Say Free Or Cheap Insurance Still On Table As the nation enters the third year of coverage under President Barack Obama’s health care law, officials in Washington state say there are still hundreds of thousands of people who could be getting free or low-cost insurance. But they won’t get that discount if they don’t go online and check out Washington Healthplanfinder. (Blankinship, 10/31) As the third year of Healthcare.gov gets underway, an estimated 90,000 people in the St. Louis region are still uninsured and eligible to buy health insurance on the federal marketplace, according to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. Effort for AIDS counselors like Sade Singleton have spent the past few months leading up to enrollment doing outreach and health literacy presentations throughout the region. Last year, the nonprofit helped about 700 people sign up for health insurance in St. Louis. (Bouscaren, 1/1) Fewer health plan choices are being offered on the federal exchange, while PPOs, or preferred provider organization plans, for individuals and families have been drastically reduced or even have disappeared in some Texas markets. PPOs historically have been the most popular type of health insurance in Texas because they provide some out-of-network benefits and don’t require referrals to see specialists. (O’Hare, 10/30) Officials at Access Health CT, the state’s health insurance exchange, plan to base their efforts to reach the uninsured more heavily on reaching “influencers,” community leaders who hold sway with those who still haven’t gotten coverage and can point them to a place to sign up. (Levin Becker, 11/2) The head of California’s health insurance exchange toured Los Angeles by bus Sunday, seeking to publicize the Affordable Care Act’s potential benefits among Southern Californians, many of them Latino, who officials say have failed to take advantage of the law. On the first day of this year’s open-enrollment period for federally subsidized health plans, the tour’s first stop — in East L.A. at the nonprofit care provider AltaMed Health Services — previewed what state officials say will be an overarching strategy as they seek to boost enrollment in the third year of the state-run marketplace, called Covered California. (Jamison, 11/1) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.