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Wisconsin’s state health plan among richest

Posted August 12th, 2014, in Health Insurance, News, Uncategorized by Tim Keyes

Wisconsin’s state health plan among richest

By SCOTT BAUER, Associated Press
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin state employees have one of the richest health insurance plans in the country, and also pay among the highest premiums for that coverage, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

The report studying public worker plans comes as states are looking at ways to control growing public employee health insurance costs.

On average, state health plans nationwide paid 92 percent of a typical enrollee’s health care costs last year. In Wisconsin, that was 97 percent, making it richer than the average plans offered for sale under the federal health care law and better than what most private employers provide.

Only Connecticut had a higher actuarial value, at 98 percent, while four other states were the same as Wisconsin at 97 percent, according to the report.  Continue Reading Here

Court Rules Against Obamacare Exchange Subsidies

Posted July 22nd, 2014, in News by Tim Keyes

Tuesday, two federal appeals court panels issued conflicting rulings on the regulation of government subsidies.

One ruling stated the IRS authorizes the payment of premium subsidies in states relying on healthcare.gov—the other ruling however, and contradictory in manner, stated subsidies should only be available for those states establishing their own marketplace, per the ACA law.

“This is just another attempt to ‘gut’ the law,” Judge Harry T. Edwards stated Tuesday after the 2-1 ruling.

The White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, added, “You don’t need a fancy legal degree to understand that Congress intended for every eligible American to have access to tax credits that would lower their health care costs, regardless of whether it was state officials or federal officials running the marketplace.”

Tuesday’s ruling, however, will have no immediate impact on customers and the government will continue paying subsidies to insurance companies on behalf of enrollees in 36 states that use healthcare.gov. Halbig v. Burwell, and like cases, are presently at a “circuit split,” which means we are still a long way from any concrete actions—and no one is rushing to take away subsidies from the 87% of Americans who enrolled via healthcare.gov.

To read the full article, go to New York Times article

Number of PPACA Enrollees Expected to Double

Posted June 18th, 2014, in News by Tim Keyes

The end of grandfathered plans, an increase in penalties for the uninsured, and the growing number of small employers who will halt coverage for employees is expected to drive up the number of PPACA enrollees for 2015. An estimated eight million people enrolled in plans this year and that number will only go up as the 2015 enrollment period gets under way on November 15, according to an analysis by HealthCare.com.

Those who are not covered under PPACA will face rising penalties- the cost will be $325 per adult and $162.50 per child or 2% of adjusted household income, whichever is higher.

Too poor for Obamacare

Posted April 21st, 2014, in Medicare, News, Preexisting Conditions, Uncategorized by Tim Keyes

Millions of Americans fall into the ‘coverage gap’ where they do not get Medicaid, but are too poor to qualify for federal subsidies on the new insurance exchanges.

 

HEALTH INSURANCE DEDUCTIBLES HAVE INCREASED 42%

Posted February 10th, 2014, in Cancer Insurance, Dental Insurance, Diabetes, Health Insurance, Medicare, News, Obesity Insurance, Preexisting Conditions by Frank Mossucco

With the Affordable Care Act in full swing; consumers are now realizing that most of the Qualified Health Plans (QHP) found on the public exchanges are costly and have high deductibles.  A recent article in the Wall Street Journal noted that Deductibles have increased 42% since 2013.  Consumers are faced with the decision to increase their deductibles to keep the monthly health insurance premiums manageable.  SASid has developed two supplement insurance productswhich brokers can use to assist consumers which can pair with their major medical insurance plans to help manage high deductibles and out of pocket costs.

Deductible Supplement Insurance:  Consumers can save money by increasing their deductibles and supplementing their major medical insurance

  • Supplemental cash benefits for accidents and sicknesses
  • Benefits are paid regardless of other insurance
  • Simple to use and smart to have

QHP Supplement Insurance:  Helps fill the gaps in the Qualified Health Plans found on public and private exchanges

  • First dollar coverage with fixed indemnity benefits
  • Supplemental benefits for accident and sicknesses
  • Benefits for physician office visits, hospital stays, surgeries, emergency visits, x-rays and more.

Consumers can save money and/or increase benefits by getting creative with their healthcare…

more….

5 Myths About Canada’s Health Care System

Posted November 12th, 2013, in Health Insurance, Medicare, News by Frank Mossucco

Today I came across this article, although it is from 2012 I found it interesting and figured I would share it.  After reading let me know what your thoughts are.

5 Myths About Canada’s Health Care System

The truth may surprise you about international health care

 by: Aaron E. Carroll, M.D., M.S., from: AARP,

5 myths about Canadas' healthcare systemHealth care systems differ, and there can be many myths about their pros and cons. — Photo by RK Studio/Kevin Lanthier/Getty Images

En Español| How does the U.S. health care system stack up against Canada’s? You’ve probably heard allegedly true horror stories about the Canadian system — like 340-day waits for knee replacement surgery, for example.

To separate fact from fiction, Aaron E. Carroll, M.D., the director of the Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research in Indianapolis, identified the top myths about the two health care systems.

 Myth #1: Canadians are flocking to the United States to get medical care.

How many times have you heard that Canadians, frustrated by long wait times and rationing where they live, come to the United States for medical care?

I don’t deny that some well-off people might come to the United States for medical care. If I needed a heart or lung transplant, there’s no place I’d rather have it done. But for the vast, vast majority of people, that’s not happening.

The most comprehensive study I’ve seen on this topic — it employed three different methodologies, all with solid rationales behind them — was published in the peer-reviewed journal Health Affairs.

Source: “Phantoms in the Snow: Canadians’ Use of Health Care Services in the United States,” Health Affairs, May 2002.

 The authors of the study started by surveying 136 ambulatory care facilities near the U.S.-Canada border in Michigan, New York and Washington. It makes sense that Canadians crossing the border for care would favor places close by, right? It turns out, however, that about 80 percent of such facilities saw, on average, fewer than one Canadian per month; about 40 percent had seen none in the preceding year.

Then, the researchers looked at how many Canadians were discharged over a five-year period from acute-care hospitals in the same three states. They found that more than 80 percent of these hospital visits were for emergency or urgent care (that is, tourists who had to go to the emergency room). Only about 20 percent of the visits were for elective procedures or care.

Next, the authors of the study surveyed America’s 20 “best” hospitals — as identified by U.S. News & World Report — on the assumption that if Canadians were going to travel for health care, they would be more likely to go to the best-known and highest-quality facilities. Only one of the 11 hospitals that responded saw more than 60 Canadians in a year. And, again, that included both emergencies and elective care.

Finally, the study’s authors examined data from the 18,000 Canadians who participated in the National Population Health Survey. In the previous year, 90 of those 18,000 Canadians had received care in the United States; only 20 of them, however, reported going to the United States expressively for the purpose of obtaining care.

Continue Reading 

American Diabetes Month

Posted November 2nd, 2013, in Diabetes, Eating Healthy, News, Obesity Insurance by Frank Mossucco

November being  Diabetes month so please check out the great work that American Diabetes Association does.

American Diabetes Month® 2013 Overview

One of the American Diabetes Association’s primary objectives is to raise awareness and understanding of
diabetes, its consequences, management and prevention of type 2 diabetes. American Diabetes Month is an
important element in this effort, with programs designed to focus the nation’s attention on the issues
surrounding diabetes and the people impacted by the disease. In 2012, the Association launched a socially
focused initiative for American Diabetes Month called A Day in the Life of Diabetes, to demonstrate the impact
diabetes has on our families and communities across the country.

In 2013, the American Diabetes Association will continue to grow the campaign with a host of online and
offline program elements. The movement to Stop Diabetes® is not over and we will continue to call for
individuals to take a public stand via the Association’s social media channels and other online properties, to
support us in this movement. Using imagery, the power of social engagement and our celebrity outreach
channels, we will continue to shine a light on the issue of diabetes and those who live with it each and every
day, as well as the Association and corporations focused on stopping this insidious disease.

Read More

Obama Reportedly Knew Millions Wouldn’t Get To Keep Their Health Insurance But Promised It Anyway

Posted October 29th, 2013, in Medicare, News, Preexisting Conditions by Frank Mossucco

An article by JASON HOWERTON, at  THE BLAZE OCT. 28, 2013, 7:52 PM That I found and thought to share with everyone.

The Obama administration has known for at least three years that millions of Americans would not be able to keep their current health care plans, despite repeated promises to the contrary made by President Barack Obama, NBC News reports, citing sources “deeply involved” in Obamacare. Americans across the country have begun receiving cancellation letters from their health insurance providers informing them that their current plans do not meet requirements of Obamacare. NBC News’ “expert” sources say 50 to 75 percent of consumers who have individual health care plans can expect to receive such a letter — and they can also expect some “sticker shock” due to more expensive policies.

More from NBC News:

None of this should come as a shock to the Obama administration. The law states that policies in effect as of March 23, 2010 will be “grandfathered,” meaning consumers can keep those policies even though they don’t meet requirements of the new health care law. But the Department of Health and Human Services then wrote regulations that narrowed that provision, by saying that if any part of a policy was significantly changed since that date — the deductible, co-pay, or benefits, for example — the policy would not be grandfathered.

Buried in Obamacare regulations from July 2010 is an estimate that because of normal turnover in the individual insurance market, “40 to 67 percent” of customers will not be able to keep their policy. And because many policies will have been changed since the key date, “the percentage of individual market policies losing grandfather status in a given year exceeds the 40 to 67 percent range.”

That means the administration knew that more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them.

Yet President Obama, who had promised in 2009, “if you like your health plan, you will be able to keep your health plan,” was still saying in 2012, “If [you] already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance.”

Robert Laszewski, a consultant with Health Policy and Strategy Associates, told NBC News that the administration repeatedly made a promise that officials knew couldn’t be honored.

“This says that when they made the promise, they knew half the people in this market outright couldn’t keep what they had and then they wrote the rules so that others couldn’t make it either,” he explained.

On Monday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney admitted that some people would not be able to keep their health insurance plans, but argued the replacement plans will offer better coverage. He also argued that there are subsidies available to help with any increased costs.

This story was originally published by The Blaze.

This post originally appeared at The Blaze. Copyright 2013.

Read more

Obama: Health Care Reform Not About Website

Posted October 28th, 2013, in Cancer Insurance, Dental Insurance, Diabetes, Eating Healthy, Health Insurance, Medicare, News, Obesity Insurance, Preexisting Conditions, Uncategorized by Frank Mossucco

VOA News  original article found here: 

October 26, 2013

U.S. President Barack Obama says the glitches of the Healthcare.gov website are “frustrating,” but people are working around the clock to to fix the problems.

The president said in his weekly address Saturday the fight for health care reform is not about a website, but was instead about establishing the “principle that in this country, the security of health care is not a privilege for a fortunate few, but a right for everyone.”

Obama said the site has been visited more than 20 million times and nearly 700,000 people have applied for coverage.

The president accused Republicans in Congress of spending the last few years obsessed with denying people access to health insurance.

Watch President Obama’s weekly address:

In the Republican address, Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Fred Upton said his committee will hear directly from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to find out why the so-called Obamacare website does not work, despite the investment of hundreds of millions of taxpayers dollars.

The expert the White House has hired to fix the massive problems with the website says he expects it to be running smoothly by the end of November.

Thousands of people trying to buy government mandated health insurance using the website have run into numerous problems.  Some users complain of extremely long wait times while others have had their passwords rejected.  Other users said they were given conflicting prices for the same health plan.

Executives of the companies who built the website told Congress Wednesday the system was not fully tested and that last-minute changes to the website contributed to the problems.

Republicans opposed to the Afrodable Care Act – commonly known as Obamacare – said the computer problems illustrated their argument the health care law is not ready.

Under the Affordable Care Act, people without private health insurance can sign up for government subsidized plans through the website.  Those who fail to carry any health insurance would pay a penalty.

 

Thousands get health insurance cancellation notices

Posted October 21st, 2013, in Health Insurance, Medicare, News by Frank Mossucco

Article by Anna Gorman and Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News Oct. 18, 2013

Health plans are sending hundreds of thousands of cancellation letters to people who buy their own coverage, frustrating some consumers who want to keep what they have and forcing others to buy more costly policies.

The main reason insurers offer is that the policies fall short of what the Affordable Care Act requires starting Jan. 1. Most are ending policies sold after the law passed in March 2010. At least a few are canceling plans sold to people with pre-existing medical conditions.

By all accounts, the new policies will offer consumers better coverage, in some cases, for comparable cost — especially after the inclusion of federal subsidies for those who qualify. The law requires policies sold in the individual market to cover 10 “essential” benefits, such as prescription drugs, mental health treatment and maternity care. In addition, insurers cannot reject people with medical problems or charge them higher prices. The policies must also cap consumers’ annual expenses at levels lower than many plans sold before the new rules.

But the cancellation notices, which began arriving in August, have shocked many consumers in light of President Barack Obama’s promise that people could keep their plans if they liked them.

“I don’t feel like I need to change, but I have to,” said Jeff Learned, a television editor in Los Angeles, who must find a new plan for his teenage daughter, who has a health condition that has required multiple surgeries.

An estimated 14 million people purchase their own coverage because they don’t get it through their jobs. Calls to insurers in several states showed that many have sent notices.

Florida Blue, for example, is terminating about 300,000 policies, about 80 percent of its individual policies in the state. Kaiser Permanente in California has sent notices to 160,000 people – about half of its individual business in the state. Insurer Highmark in Pittsburgh is dropping about 20 percent of its individual market customers, while Independence Blue Cross, the major insurer in Philadelphia, is dropping about 45 percent. Read More..

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