Archive for the ‘Health Insurance’ Category

Variations Of Illinois Health Insurance Plans

Article by Carl Bentoy









The continuous increase of health care costs is unstoppable. It has made health insurances a necessity. Health insurance is even more befitting for those with ceaseless ailments, anyone with poor health, who is into smoking and drinking alcohol, and those likely to have health problems in the future. But no one can really tell for sure when he or she gets sick. Therefore, it is imperative that everyone should have at least one health insurance plan to take care of his or her plausible health problems.

Today, there are various kinds and types of Illinois insurance plans to suit well for different people’s needs. There are those from private companies, some long-term, while others are not. There are also health insurance plans that are exclusive for children and the elderly.

Aside from the individual plans, Illinois health insurances are also available in group insurance policies. Such plans include Mediclaim as provided by employers as added benefits for their employees, and group insurance plans for small-time businesses. There are also health insurance plans that allows savings and tax deductions. Among the top Illinois insurance companies include Humana One, BlueCross/Blue Shield Illinois, UniCare, Fortis Short-Term Medical, MedPlan Access, American Medical Security, Celtic, Genesis Health System, Fortis Student Select Health Insurance, and GE Long Term Care Insurance.

Illinois Department of Insurance offers public plans for people who cannot afford a private health insurance policy. The CHIP or Illinois Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan provides insurances to the plentitude who cannot insure themselves. Deductible options for CHIP range from 0 – 00. The plan’s different programs vary. You can have a choice among Plan 2, Plan3, and Plan 5. The Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan covers medical services, hospital services, second surgical opinion, medicines, prescription drugs, prostheses or orthoses, diagnostic services, nursing care, emergency services, home healthcare, hospice care, and a lot more depending on what is stated in the policy plan.

The state of Illinois has available special programs such as FamilyCare and KidCare. It is the first state that offers health insurance program for the children within the state. FamilyCare insurance program pays for medical care, dental care, doctor’s visits, emergency care, hospital care, prescription drugs, and specialized medical services. However, there is a standard limit that the family has to meet before they will be qualified for the scheme. To qualify, they must comply with the 185% annual income of federal poverty level or an income of ,000 for a family with four members. Health insurance plans under the FamilyCare health insurance programs are FamilyCare Premium, FamilyCare Assist, FamilyCare Rebate, and FamilyCare Share. A family can only pay very affordable monthly premiums from to , depending on how many family member a certain family has. Favorably, Illinois offers some kind of “safety net.” It is a program type intended for people or individuals who are unable to get a health insurance. But for those who already has an insurance but is paying a high premium amount may also apply.

Illinois health insurance companies offer attractive, almost too irresistible packages. You may contact an insurance agent to help you avail of the proper health insurance policy. Or you may just as well browse online for obtaining quotations, and in comparing rates and premiums. Once you have carefully chosen a health insurance plan for yourself, you may now apply for it. The common procedure starts with filling up forms and then submission through e-mails, and some companies will even conduct a phone-in interview. Usually, is takes a maximum of one month and minimum of two weeks to deal with the application.



About the Author

Carl Bentoy is a writer for MajorHealthInsurance.com, where you get information on the benefits you can get from health insurances.










Why Short Term Health Insurance is required?

Article by John Elton









Millions of people are benefited with the excellent idea of health insurance schemes. In the present world of unhealthy food habits, highly polluted environments, stresses in life, the mental and physical pressure due to the insecurity and many other factors affecting very badly the health of populace, meeting the soaring expenses of medical treatments is really posing challenges. Health insurance schemes have been the major attraction in countering the sky rocketing medical expenses. There are many kinds of medical insurance schemes like individual health insurance, family health insurance, group health insurance and short-term health insurance schemes. This article concentrates on short-term health insurance schemes.

What are short-term health insurance options? Why do you require short-term heath insurance? Generally health insurance schemes are offered annually. The payment what you are paying to get a health insurance will cover the medical expenses for a year. But there are many instants in which you and your family require short-term health insurances. It can be individual health insurance or family health insurance. The health insurance companies have already floated many short-term schemes such as insurance coverage for 3 months or 6 months. I will just give two specific examples in which one has to go necessarily for a short term insurance cover.

Assume that you are just leaving you employer and trying to catch up with another employer. Usually there is a period in between the relieving and joining back. This short period you require a health insurance scheme to cover the unexpected medical expenses. You just cannot go ahead without the medical coverage taking the risk of any emergency situations. It can be from 3 months to six months in general. Here the requirement of short-term health insurance arises. Generally in the case of you quitting an employer, you can ask for short-term health insurance coverage from the employer. They will mostly offer you the facility for you and your family for 90 days. That must be sufficient enough to join another firm.

Consider another situation of moving from your place to another region, especially to a foreign country. The health insurance policy operating here is not valid in another country. Your trip may be only for a short duration; you may be in a vacation tour or an official tour. Again you are facing a situation of short-term health insurance requirement. The short term health insurance schemes in this case offer you coverage for the actual number of days in tour, from the day one of your take off to the day on which you return.

In the above situations you are compelled to take necessary health insurance packages to cover up the short period. There are many companies online offering you the services for short-term health insurance. They offer you the maximum discount, as they know you are probably out of job. It is better for you to get premium quotes from many and select the beneficial short-term health insurance policy. You need to do an extensive online search to find out the best short-term health insurance offer.



About the Author

Jon Elton owns and operates a Car Home Life Insurance Quotes website to help while making decision about insurance. He also operates a Cheap Car Auto Insurance site to help taking decision about auto Insurance.










latimesblogs.latimes.com New TYT Network channels: www.youtube.com www.youtube.com New TYT Facebook Page(!): www.facebook.com Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com www.theyoungturks.com DISCOUNTS: www.theyoungturks.com FREE Movies(!): www.netflix.com Note: The above two links are for TYT sponsors. Read Ana’s blog and subscribe at: www.examiner.com TYT Network (new WTF?! channel): www.youtube.com Check Out TYT Interviews www.youtube.com Another one of California’s largest health insurers has stunned individual policyholders with news of huge rate increases — this time it’s Blue Shield of California seeking hikes of as much as 59% for tens of thousands of customers March 1. Blue Shield’s plan comes less than a year after Anthem Blue Cross tried and failed to raise rates as much as 39% for about 700000 California customers. San Francisco-based Blue Shield said the increases were the result of fast-rising healthcare costs and other expenses resulting from the new healthcare laws passed last year. “We raise rates only when absolutely necessary to pay the accelerating cost of medical care for our members,” the company told its customers last month. In all, the insurer said that 193000 policyholders would see increases averaging 30% to 35%, the result of three separate rate hikes since October that have been rolled into one for about 7000 members. Nearly one-quarter of the affected customers — 44000 — will see cumulative increases of more than 50% over five months. Blue Shield
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Why do we need health insurance? Choosing health insurance

Article by David Mayer









Medical insurance is more than just safeguard of your health – it also prevents you from extra expenses. Bills from medical institutions even for situations not threatening your life can lead to the fail of your finances. According the data of National Coalition on Health Care one person in the U.S. reaches a financial crash after serious problems with health every 30 seconds.Health insurance also aids to maintain healthy people. American College of Physicians states that uninsured people who are likely to have deadly or serious diseases like pancreatic or breast cancer can be diagnosed by regular inspections. Thus, uninsured persons have fewer chances to get disease-prevention service than insured ones, their risk of death raises to 50 percent.

Health insurance can significantly reduce your expenses as most part of medical compensations is divided between an insured person and a medical care provider. So-called “network discounts” are set by medical organizations and insurance companies, nevertheless the price for insured persons is always lower than prices paid by uninsured persons.

Who Risks to Be Uninsured

Do you think you can risk and live with no health insurance? Learn the statistics in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Women’s Health and the report of MSNBC.com: the number of uninsured Americans has increased to over 44 million people – the majority of them being from working families.Youth aged from 19 to 29 are the largest group with no medical insurance. Insurers call them “young invincibles” as they think their youth can protect them someway. Nonetheless, life is rather sever and doesn’t protect from illnesses or incidents, and without having affordable health insurance young people can suddenly appear with large medical expenses.

Women without medical insurance represent another huge group of Americans – more than 16 million. They suffer from diseases and damages more often as they use to spend much time trying to use their own methods of treatment. Majority of health insurance institutions use prophylactic measures like gynecological and breast inspection that could prevent many serious female diseases.

The absence of affordable health insurance can even lead to death as persons without medical insurance usually die earlier than those with insurance, often because they don’t pass preventive medical care.

Medical debts can quickly cause financial crisis. In compliance with the latest research of Harvard University, nearly 50 percent of all bankruptcies were partly caused by medical debts. Other research showed that over 25 percent of those who took part in the survey had different financial problems because of extra medical expenses.

What type of monthly payments is the most suitable for me?

Making changes in your everyday expenses can help you regulate monthly payments and make them suitable for your pocket. If you can evaluate the sum of money you’re going to spend every month you can choose deductibles and define monthly payments most affordable to you. Different insurance plans provide various conditions of repayment that depend on clients’ possibilities. Choosing a special insurance plan covering the particular set of diseases and accidents you can save your money and time as general health insurance plans include many different medial supervisions and drug programs.

For what period do I need insurance coverage?

The term of your coverage can define the kind of this coverage. Somebody who appears out of work for some period may need coverage for this particular period. For self-employed persons or those who work in a company without health insurance programs more general insurance programs may be required.Are there any additional possibilities I may use?

One of the most useful opportunities is access to the doctor. You may choose an affordable health insurance plan including supervision of a medical specialist – in this case referral from your doctor is needed. If you’ve chosen the plan without the control of primary healthcare specialist – you can address your doctor directly.

Another important thing refers to the doctor and medical equipment you prefer. If you’ve chosen a network insurance plan, then you may check whether it includes proper quality of service. If you’ve selected the other plan get ready for additional expenses on visits to your doctor.

The method of payment for medical care can also be chosen. If you prefer spending more money during the service, an affordable health insurance plan with maximal deductible and minimal insurance appears the most suitable for you. On the other hand, if you’d like to pay less for visiting specialists of using services the plan including minimal deductible and maximal insurance is the best choice.

How can pre-existing situation

Where to look for cheap health insurance

Article by michpeeter









Nowadays, health insurance cover premium is going to increase day by day and so many types of health insurance has been introduced that if you try to cover all those in your selected plan of health insurance then probably you would be unable to pay your premium amount regularly. So you should be very careful while selecting your insurance plan and you should have to cover those things in your health insurance which you think are very compulsory for you.

Availing a health insurance is just similar to the act like if we take an umbrella in the rain. Every state should have its own health insurance plans so you should have to select your health insurance plan according to your state policies. If you are living in Texas, then you have to select your health insurance according to the Texas health insurance policies and if you want to search out cheap health insurance in Texas then you have to simply search it out through the internet. For searching through internet, only you have to do is to put the keyword

California individual health insurance and health insurance in CA: Guide to getting an individual health insurance in California

Article by jhoana cooper









As in many other states, health insurance in CA provides limited guarantees to individual policy holders in exchange for premiums. However, note that a private individual insurance follows entirely different rules. Your capacity to get a California individual health insurance will depend on your current state of health and other related factors. There are certain cases when insurance companies will be more than happy to insure you, while certain circumstances compel them to decline your application.

Individual health insurance in CA is simply getting a private coverage through a legitimate insurance company. Although they are probably one of the most expensive of health policies, approximately 5% of the American population has individual coverage. Individual plans are usually the least expensive health insurance you can get access to. However, its main disadvantage is that they don’t accept those that currently suffer from any form of health conditions or whose lifestyle they might consider high risk. California individual health insurance companies vary in terms of their acceptance, and decisions are usually subjective.

As mentioned earlier, California individual health insurance policies follow a different set of rules. You can be denied of individual health insurance in CA if you have a serious medical condition such as HIV or cancer. However, you will be an exception if you are eligible with HIPAA. Citizens of CA that have HIPAA eligibility can not be turned down by companies for individual insurance. They also enjoy the advantages of being free from pre-existing condition exclusion periods and certain premium limitations.

The California Department of Insurance mandates that if you have been covered by either an individual or a group policy, and assuming that you have had no missed payments or breaks in coverage not longer than 62 days, the new insurance company should be compelled to give you creditable health coverage for the previous insurance. Moreover, if you already have purchased a California individual health insurance, the coverage will not be cancelled if you are struck by any illness.

California individual health insurance companies have been granted the right to ask questions regarding your medical history. They usually impose stringent requirements to make sure they know almost every aspect of your health and lifestyle. For those with pre-existing conditions or those with rather unhealthy lifestyle, most insurance companies have developed a way to insure “uninsurable” people through individual coverage high-risk pools. In most cases the insurance company will agree to cover you, but will either increase your premium to cover certain conditions, or exclude specific conditions from your coverage as they deem necessary.

Getting an individual health insurance in CA does not necessarily mean that the policy only covers you, the policy holder. This type of health insurance is also available for your dependents and families. There are a wide variety of California individual health insurance plans that provide various types of coverage. The state of California requires health insurance companies a list of mandatory benefits that get updated every now and then. This list should be made available for you.



About the Author

Getting health insurance in CA is easier and more affordable than you think! We at EXHealthInsuranceCA can help you get the right health insurance in CA that you and your family need.










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When is the Best Time to Buy Low Price Health Insurance

Article by articles









Low price health insurance – it seems, specifically now, those terms merely don’t feel right as one in the same sentence. Health insurance monthly payments have turn out to be the largest single cost in our lives – surpassing even house payments. In reality, if you bear any lasting wellbeing problems, such as diabetes, or have had malignancy at one period in your family unit history, your monthly expense could simply be more than the home and auto payment combined.

Shopping for low price health insurance can certainly be an eye-opener. If you have continually had a health insurance benefit wherever you operate – specifically a state or federal worker – and currently have to obtain your own, you may well not be able to purchase the type of health insurance coverage you have become accustomed to.

Health insurance with low cost, however, is beyond doubt obtainable -if you know how and wherever to look.

Whilst you are searching for health insurance with low cost, you like the smallest expense per year that will fit your financial plan, of course. But, even more important, you wish for a company that has a high-quality history for paying with no fighting with you on each detail. Just as nearby is a automobile for nearly every financial plan, at hand is in addition reasonably priced health insurance. You possibly will not be able to afford a “BMW” plan – but at that time you likely don’t need all the extras anyway.

Shopping for health insurance on the web is the easiest and most excellent way to discover reasonably priced health insurance. Here are five reasons why.

1. You don’t need a resident agent to help you file the claims for health insurance. The health supplier does it for you. You save cash since the health insurance company saves cash by not paying the agent commission. This may possibly amount to an 8% to 12% savings to you.

2. All the best health insurance companies are immediately accessible on the World Wide Web. Largely community agents can simply quote you from the small amount of companies that they speak for. They may perhaps not offer you what is most excellent for you financially or health-wise but simply what they turn out to have accessible.

3. Health insurance companies have to be exceptionally competitive since it is so fast and straightforward to put them side by side with their competitors on the World Wide Web now. In the past you would have had to go to physically eight to ten agents to do a like comparison. Generally people truly didn’t have the schedule or want for that.

4. You can exchange your coverage, deductibles, and payment options with solely a few clicks rather than going through the paperwork delay with a local agent (and then finding out he/she made a faux pas- extra delay).

5. Charging to a credit card means you aren’t open to not remember a payment and be with no insurance. Also, it gives you a further 30 days before you in fact have to pay. Also, most companies now confer a further money off for “auto-pay”.

The answer, however, to finding low price health insurance is realizing that the function of any health insurance is to shield you from a main fiscal loss – not to shield you from spending little money on clinic visits and sliver abstraction. These little expenses may well be annoying but they commonly will not hurt you. It’s the 0,000 heart surgical treatment that will break you. That’s the economic catastrophe health insurance was originally designed to stop.

Furthermore, bare this in mind. Health insurance, as with every insurance, is a chance. You are betting that you will pull out extra than you put in. Your health insurance company is betting they will put out a smaller amount. Things are in their favor for two reasons. They hold all the specifics for millions of families to average out, so they understand the danger in advance. Furthermore, they make the rules and the pricing. The more you set your deductible, the extra chance you take. This is not a bad matter at all. You will generally likely be the one who wins in the end.

Yes, finding low price health insurance is much easier than nearly all citizens think.

Taking more of the danger with elevated deductibles, taking a slight time on the world wide web comparing eight to ten diverse companies, and changing coverage that you will not usually want (such as parenthood for most folks) will make it very workable to discover your own low price health insurance.



About the Author

Before you spend your hard earned money click here to get the facts first for low cost health insurance.










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Health insurance losing its popularity

Article by Addi









Analysis presented by different market experts says that life and health insurance industry cannot see a lower side as these are very much needed between 100 crore population where expenses for medication and hospitalization are touching peak.

However, according to the recent study health insurance industry is actually going down in the country as a result of global economic slowdown. At the time of recession when not many are interested in investing money any where, the health insurance products are also not seeing many takers.

Besides, general insurance companies in government sector like New India Assurance, many companies in health insurance segment are facing trouble from past some. So, the analysis says that Indians are brave enough to take risk on their lives rather than investing a sufficient amount to secure their lives. Therefore, the well named companies like ICICI Lombard, Reliance General Insurance and Bajaj Allianz Health Insurance are witnessing loss. Some of these companies are ready to take IPO route to arrange cash for them.

According to entire study, private sector insurers are not going through a happy phase with customers not trusting these companies and some are not ready put their money on insurance.

Today health insurers in private sector are in a mess and one reason for this mess is that people are questioning the stability of these companies. One can easily trust a public sector insurer as that comes under the government umbrella but a private sector insurance company which has still not completed its first 10 years in the industry face tough tasks in a way to make good impression on one’s mind.

There are insurers like ICICI Lombard and Reliance General Insurance which are operating in market under a big brand for a long time now, but what about a company like Apollo DKV Health Insurance which is still to make a big mark for itself and is still not eligible to get listed in capital market with its initial public offerings.

Speaking of reasons for lower subscription of health insurance policies, second in line could be the type of policies a company offers to an individual.

Bajaj Allianz Health Insurance offers its customers with a range of policies like Health Guard, Critical Illness, Hospital Cash, Silver Health, Health Ensure, Personal Guard, Insta Insure and Family Floater HG. With so many plans to offer, privately held insurance company is not getting good feedback and the reason being some costlier policies, all in one is not present or expensive or some policies are not available for the people who are about or above the age of 60.

There are many other things which makes a health insurance policy unattractive for customers like a health check up based on which the total cost of that policy is decided.

Besides all these reasons for downfall of health insurance industry, one reason is still to come. Many major general insurance companies in India are looking to select the hospitals where they want to provide claims to their customers and if a person gets treated in a hospital out of that network, the company would not be paying full claim.

With customers losing interest in health insurance and companies going through a lower growth period, it seems like insurance regulator would soon be getting ready with some new norms.



About the Author

The author is a business writer specializing in finance and credit products. To Know more on his projects like health insurance visit http://www.paisawaisa.com/










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COBRA Subsidy Expires: Less Affordable Health Insurance for Unemployed

Article by Yamileth Medina









Finding affordable health insurance is one of the primary concerns for people who have recently become unemployed. If your job offered health insurance benefits, the premiums were heavily subsidized by the company. Moreover, the cost of underwriting policies is spread among the entire workforce. This makes employer-sponsored health insurance relatively inexpensive. Since the risk is also distributed evenly among employees, you are virtually guaranteed to recieve health insurance, regardless of any pre-existing conditions you may have. However, the situation changes when you lose your job; your former employer will no longer pay part of your health insurance premium, so you will be responsible for the entire amount yourself. COBRA, also known as the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, lets former employees retain the health insurance coverage from their last job. It won’t necessarily be affordable health insurance, but it’s there nonetheless. Keeping your health insurance policy (whether it is an individual health insurance policy or through COBRA) current is very important, since uninterrupted insurance will help protect you from future coverage exclusions.Unemployment obviously makes covering the cost of a COBRA health insurance premium difficult. This recession has resulted in millions of Americans becoming out of work and in danger of losing their health insurance. As part of last spring’s stimulus package, President Obama and Congress enacted a 65% subsidy of COBRA health insurance premiums. Qualified ex-employees–those who were let go as a result of a layoff or downsizing between September 2008 and December 2009–were able to take advantage of affordable health insurance made possible by the government’s subsidization. This type of health insurance is still more expensive than insurance provided by an employer, but paying only 35% of the cost of health insurance frees up money for other consumer spending able to stimulate the economy.Unfortunately, the subsidies only last for nine months. After that, health insurance rates will triple for many people, as they are again forced to shoulder the full cost of a policy. Without an extension of this provision in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, affordable health insurance options for the unemployed will decrease. Congress doesn’t seem to have any plans to address the issue in overarching jobs legislation or separate legislation any time soon. Economic recovery is occuring at a slow pace, which means that a significant percentage of the unemployed remain so after that length of time. Health insurance costs eat up a large portion of state unemployment benefits. COBRA enrollment has doubled since the subsidy was enacted, meaning that quite a few people feel an unwelcome shock at the cost of next month’s premiums.There are multiple steps a person can take if they are worried about the cost of purchasing a health insurance plan. Affordable health insurance is available for both individuals and families on the open market. In many cases, these policies cost less than retaining a unsubsidized COBRA policy (when paying 102% of the premium’s cost). It is important, however, that a person doesn’t drop their COBRA coverage until another health insurance plan has approved him or her. When a person has pre-existing conditions, buying affordable health insurance becomes more difficult. However, most states have high-risk health insurance pools as supplements. There are also Children’s Health Insurance Programs run by each state that kids may qualify for if their family is earning below a certain income level. No matter what, there are solutions to the affordable health insurance crisis available.



About the Author

Yamileth Medina is an up and coming expert on Health Insurance and Healthcare Reform. She aims to help people realize that they can find affordable health insurance right now while waiting for a public option, if it ever gets passed. Yamileth lives in Miami, FL.










How To Get Affordable Health Insurance In Indiana

Most people don’t give serious consideration to health insurance until they realize how much medical care actually does cost. Many young individuals, in particular, feel they can slide by without health insurance because presently they feel great. The problem with this line of thinking is that an illness can strike with little warning, and even though the likelihood of developing a serious disease increases as a person ages, there is still a chance that you can become ill while young. For this reason it’s important to start looking for affordable health insurance while you are still in your twenties or thirties.

In Indiana, if you are single and make under ,149 a month, you will qualify for state assistance with your health care premiums. If you make more than that you’ll need to find affordable health insurance on your own. The best place to start this search is with your employer. Ask about any group plans that you may be eligible for now or in the future. Quite often these types of plans offer very extensive benefits at a cost that is fractional to what you’d pay in a private plan. Even if you feel that you don’t need all the coverage, with the low cost it comes at, you can certainly afford to have it.

When you are shopping for health insurance from a private company it may seem a bit overwhelming. There are many choices in health care plans and it’s important to pick one that offers the benefits you feel you need now. You can always adjust your coverage in the future if your health care needs change. This typically occurs after you marry or have children. Until then, pick a plan that offers the basics. This will ensure you have coverage when you need it at a price you can afford.

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This Week in Health Care Reform : EasyToInsureME Health Insurance

This Week in Health Reform

Republican Scott Brown’s victory over Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) in the January 19 special election to fill the seat of the late Senator Edward Kennedy (D) might prove to be a game-changer for the health care reform debate. The loss of the 60th Democratic vote now robs Senate Democrats of a filibuster-proof majority. Last week, Democrats were rushing to wrap up a House/Senate agreement on the bill, likely due to reports that Coakley’s lead had diminished.

Congressional leaders are still aiming to have the controversial points in the health care reform bill settled as soon as possible, so they can send the compromised bill to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) for scoring. The CBO will then need 12 days to analyze the legislation.

In addition to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), lawmakers participating in the White House meetings include: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-NY), House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller (D-CA), Assistant Senate Majority Leader Richard Durbin (D-IL), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), Senate HELP Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA), and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-CT).

A main point of contention between the two houses of Congress pertained to the
40 percent excise tax on high-cost health insurance plans passed by the Senate. Since many labor union members would be affected by the tax on high-cost health insurance plans, the House of Representatives was not supportive of this provision in the Senate bill. Union leaders have also been included in key negotiations on this provision, and on January 14, signaled that they are ready to support the merged legislation with the compromised provision.

The main revenue source for the Senate’s health care reform bill (H.R. 3590) would be from an excise tax – beginning in 2013 – on employer-provided, high-cost health insurance plans costing more than ,500 for individuals and ,000 for a family. The reported compromise on the legislation now makes the tax kick-in on policies costing ,900 for individuals and ,000 for families. The tax threshold would still rise at inflation plus one percentage point, as is currently written in the Senate bill. Additionally, dental and vision benefits would be removed from the calculation of threshold costs, and plans offered by state and local governments, as well as plans covered by collective bargaining agreements, would be exempted from the excise tax until 2018. This would allow current agreements to expire and allow for negotiation of new contracts.

In an effort to make up the lack of revenue from the modification of the excise tax provision, leadership will have to come up with new funding to finance the merged bill. Some reports have mentioned that the pharmaceutical industry has agreed to provide more money than the billion they have already negotiated with the White House. Medical device companies could also face additional fees. Portions of the main revenue source in the House bill – a Medicare payroll tax on wealthy U.S. residents – could be added as well.

On January 14, Richard Trumpka, president of the AFL-CIO, said, “Union leaders approached negotiations with the White House and congressional leaders with one overriding goal in mind – getting a bill signed into law.” Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), said, “We do like the way it’s shaping up, but it’s still not finished. We’ve got to see a final product.”

There also has been significant discussion – but no resolution so far – about the question of whether to establish a single national health insurance exchange or allow each state to operate its own exchange. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas continues to support a state-based approach to exchanges.

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