Archive for the ‘Health Insurance’ Category

Health Insurance Quotes Reform Weekly

CALIFORNIA: The California Department of Insurance (CDI) has announced the release of e-mail notification system that will alert consumers when new individual health insurance rate filings are submitted.  CDI has previously announced that it would begin publicizing rate filings for individual health insurance policies.  Consumers are able to sign up online in the manner used for traditional e-mail updates.  CDI has also developed a consumer website with rate filing information.

NEW JERSEY: Following recent enactment of Governor Chris Christie’s budget, the Democrat-controlled legislature passed supplemental appropriations bills to restore million in funding for state’s uninsured health coverage program, known as FamilyCare, as well as .4 million in aid for women’s health and family planning programs. The FamilyCare restoration, if signed into law, would have allowed adults with income between 134 to 200 percent of the federal poverty level to remain in the program. Despite bipartisan support in the Senate, Governor Christie vetoed the legislation, saying that the state has reset spending to a level that taxpayers can afford. Legislative leadership has indicated they may try to override the governor’s veto. Overriding the governor’s veto would require a two-thirds majority in both houses.

NEW MEXICO: The Public Regulation Commission (PRC) has appointed John G. Franchini as the new Superintendent of Insurance, a position that has been vacant since the May 4 resignation of his predecessor, Morris Chavez.  Franchini was selected from among five finalists and will assume his new duties in mid-August.

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OHIO: While the Strickland Administration has advised state agencies to begin planning for the next biennium at both current levels and with a 10 percent cut in funding levels, the Budget Planning and Management Commission has been conducting hearings preparing for Ohio’s biennial budget adoption. The current budget ends on June 30, 2011 and is billions in the red. Testimony before the Commission has focused on increasing efficiencies by combining certain administrative functions of local and state governments and utilizing performance audits to determine if tax dollars are being spent efficiently. The Center for Community Solutions suggested to legislators that principal stakeholders in Medicaid (such as managed care companies and hospitals) be given budget targets and be asked to come up with ways to slow the growth of Medicaid. Conversely, the Health Policy Institute of Ohio guided legislators to the possibility of Ohio “rebalancing” its long-term care spending to shift utilization from long-term care facilities to home and community-based services.

While PPACA-related budget priorities will take place after the next biennial budget is adopted, it was previously determined that the federal expansion of Medicaid eligibility as part of health care reform will cost the state 0 million in 2014 –rising to 2 million by 2019. Absent any federal law changes, annual costs will rise substantially in 2020 and beyond, as the federal government’s match for new enrollees will drop to 90 percent of the total cost. The total state cost of Medicaid expansion from 2014 to 2019 is projected to be .45 billion.

OKLAHOMA: The Department of Insurance (DOI) announced last week that a final contract for the new temporary high-risk pool has been signed and sent back to HHS.  The DOI is in the process of drafting the application that will be used with the pool.  Oklahoma was awarded million for use over 40 months.  Several candidates are being interviewed to be the High Risk Pool Manager.  Open enrollment will begin August 1 with an effective date of September 1.  Additionally, Oklahoma was the only state to request an open enrollment period for the PPACA provision requiring coverage of children under 19 in the individual market.  HHS has decided open enrollment periods will be permitted at the discretion of insurance companies.  On a separate issue, the Oklahoma Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments to take place on August 4 in the lawsuit filed by Commissioner Kim Holland, on behalf of the DOI, challenging the constitutionality of a new 1 percent claims-paid fee passed by the legislature in late May.  The bill is scheduled to take effect August 27, absent court intervention.

 

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Health Insurance Quotes – Unbiased Review

Article by Paul Taylor King









Finding health insurance quotes can be engaging since you want a rate that complies with your budget and gives you the best health benefit plan. You can find different sites on the internet which can give you an extensive list of health insurance companies along with their rates and health benefit plans. Some of these sites are paid while there are also those that give free quotes.

The first step in finding health insurance quotes is to know what kind of health insurance plan you want. There are individual health insurances, family health insurances, group health insurances and short term health insurances. You can also find other insurances that are specifically catered to your needs such as dental health insurances, travel health insurances and student health insurances. You must know what your needs are beforehand in order to choose a few candidates among thousands of insurance companies.

The next step is to go to websites. It can be a website of a specific health insurance company or websites which provides health insurance quotes search engine. If you want to have a benefit plan from a specific insurance provider, all you have to do is apply for a quote on their website. As stated on the first step, you are going to be asked what benefit plan you would like to have. Additionally, you can also be asked how long you want to keep this benefit plan. As for websites which provide a search engine on insurance quotes, you are going to be asked to specify what type of insurance you want and the place you are in. Usually, you are going to put your zip code there. This is to generate insurance companies and agents near your home so you can immediately visit them after you know what health insurance plans they offer for your budget.

After finding candidates who provided the right health insurance quotes for you, make sure to check about their insurance companies. What you do not want to happen is to waste your money. Read reviews and comments about the health insurance company and what they are really able to provide their customers. Do not be tricked by those health insurance companies who are just providing discount plans to their customers if you are really looking for a permanent health insurance. These insurance companies will show you they are the most affordable but what you do not know is they just provide half of what those costly health insurances offer.



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For much more information on Health Insurance Quotes, visit http://www.LookHealthInsurance.com.










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How To Apply For Health Insurance When You’re Self Employed

Article by Abel Jones









People are focused towards their health these days. This is the reason that you can find several health gyms, food chains and dieticians around you. This is fine. However, people tend to neglect an important aspect about their health and that is the possibility of getting inflicted by various diseases or facing medical emergencies. This makes them lose out on all their savings during an emergency. These days, it is really hard to pay for hospital treatment and medical bills without an insurance policy. Hence, it is important to purchase health insurance policy to ensure safety for your health.

Self employed health insurance is one of the most famous and appreciated insurance policies available for consumers on the market. People who own a business or freelance do not have a fixed income. Therefore, they cannot be benefited by a general health insurance policy. Self-employed health insurance is especially designed for people who own a business or freelance.

If you purchase a self employed insurance policy, you can easily incur costs for all your hospital treatments, serious ailments, physical injuries and medical bills. It is a great option. However, you can only get benefited if you are able to find the best self-employed cover. The policy should be affordable.

Here are some common options that can make health insurance affordable if you are self employed:

a) COBRA:

This is the best option for the beginning of your self employment. Once you leave your job to start a business of your own, your employer should give you the option of retaining membership in his health insurance plan by law for several months. You need to cover the entire monthly premium paid by your company. Here, the actual cost of this insurance is more affordable compared to those plans that you would have otherwise purchased as an individual. However, you should remember that it is only temporary. Try to look for other health insurance options while you are still covered.

b) Group health insurance for the self employed:

Most states such as Maine provide affordable group policies for groups of one via health insurance companies. All you require to do is to shop around to find a company that provides one at affordable rates. Make sure that the health insurance covers everyone in the group, irrespective of health conditions. The policy insures you and your family against possible hazards due to illness or accident.

c) Coverage under a spouse’s plan:

This is one of the most common options available to cover the family for health insurance with the help of a spouse’s employer. If a member of the couple is working for a company that has a group health insurance plan, it is usually considered as the most affordable option for insuring the whole family.

There are several factors you can benefit from when purchasing self employed health insurance plan. First and foremost, you will have the tax benefit with your self employed health insurance plan. The self employed health insurance premium is 100% tax deductible.

Another benefit is reduced costs in premium. This can be easily availed via your spouse group insurance through the spouse’s company. You can also get this benefit via employing 2 to 50 people in your company.

A self employed insurance is very important for a business owner and a freelancer.



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Health Insurance Reform Guide In 2010

Changes occurring in 2010 include:

Young Adults on Parents’ Health Insurance Plans. Young adults may stay on their parents’ health insurance until age 26, effective six months after enactment. Read more at http://www.easytoinsureme.com/

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Prohibition on Pre existing Condition Exclusions for Children. Insurers are prohibited from excluding coverage of any  pre existing condition for children in the individual health insurance market, effective six months after enactment of the bill.

Prohibition Against Plan Rescissions. Carriers providing group or individual coverage are prohibited from rescinding coverage once an enrollee is covered under the plan, except in the case of an individual who has performed an act or practice that constitutes fraud or makes an intentional misrepresentation of the material facts. Effective six months after enactment of the law.

Prohibitions Against Lifetime Maximum Benefit Caps. Carriers providing group or individual coverage are prohibited from setting lifetime maximum limits on the dollar value of benefits and from setting unreasonable annual limits on the dollar value of benefits, effective six months after enactment.

National High Risk Pool. People with pre existing conditions who are uninsurable will be eligible for subsidized coverage through a national high risk pool, beginning 90 days after enactment.

Limits on Share of Private Premiums Insurers Spend on Non Medical Costs. New limits will be set for the percent of premiums that insurers can spend on non medical claim costs.

Annual Review of Health Premium Increases. Effective immediately, the HHS secretary and states will establish a new process for annual review of unreasonable insurance premium increases.

Elimination of Cost Sharing for Preventive Care in Medicare and Private Plans. In 2010, cost sharing for proven preventive care services is eliminated in both Medicare and private plans.

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health insurance what to do graduates from college students

Every year, more than one million Americans earn a college degree. Graduation is exciting, but flipping your tassel also means taking on new challenges. One of them is deciding what to do about health insurance.

Traditionally, young adults could only remain on their parents’ policy until they turned 23 or finished college. Fortunately, new laws have extended the coverage period all the way to age 26. This gives you ample time to find a job that offers benefits.

But what if you don’t have coverage through your parents to begin with? This is a predicament millions of recent grads are still facing. Yet going without insurance is risky, even when you’re young and healthy. And in most cases, it really isn’t necessary. In fact, there are lots of ways to find coverage while chasing that dream.

Find a part-time job with benefits

Some places offer health insurance to employees who work 20 or 30 hours a week. Waiting tables a few nights a week may be all you need to do to get coverage. If that’s not your bag, try working at a gym, coffee shop or hotel. If you scout around, some larger companies may also offer health insurance benefits to part-time employees.

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Take out a short-term policy

A number of insurers offer temporary coverage to recent grads. These policies last about three to six months and have a variety of features:

* They can be tailored to your needs.
* They are fairly inexpensive.
* They’re easy to cancel.
* Some can be renewed.
* You have to apply before graduation.
* Pre-existing conditions usually aren’t covered.

Even with those disadvantages, though, a short-term policy can still be helpful. If you’re within a few months of finding a job, it might just be all the coverage you need.

Get a policy with a high deductible

A high deductible health plan (HDHP) is often a good option. Premiums are much lower than for standard policies. You have to pay the first few thousand dollars in health costs yourself. But in a real emergency, it can come in handy. Once you’ve met your deductible, the insurance coverage will kick in. If you get really sick your medical expenses may run high, but you won’t have to declare bankruptcy over an illness. Young people are usually healthy and preventive care is almost always included in a HDHP at no additional cost.

Consider COBRA

Federal law also allows parents to keep children on their employer plan if they’re no longer eligible for group coverage. You can use COBRA for up to 36 months, but it’s expensive. For starters, you pay all of the coverage costs plus a 2 percent administrative fee. The employer does not contribute to the plan, which means it could cost you as much as several hundred dollars a month. There’s a time limit, too. You only have 60 days after dependent coverage ends to re-enroll.

COBRA does offer a major advantage, though. You get the full range of benefits and coverage. That means access to all network doctors and facilities. And when you take that into account, COBRA might not be a bad deal. Besides, there’s one option that’s can be costlier than paying for COBRA.

That’s having no insurance at all.

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A Health Insurance Quote

Insurance is an important part of financial security for all people. When medical problems occur, you need to make sure you have enough money to cover the health care you will need. You never know when you might have an accident or get sick with cancer. That is why you need to find a health insurance quote that is right for you. Easy To Insure ME

You have thousands of insurance companies to choose from, but you can begin by requesting quotes from a few of the more prestigious companies. As you evaluate the quotes you receive, you will start to figure out which company has the best options for you. Don’t rely on cost charts or estimates. Instead, request a personalized quote.

In order to acquire the quotes, there are several things you have to do. Almost every insurance company is going to ask you to fill out an extensive questionnaire. You will need to answer questions about your medical history and any previous procedures you have had done. You will need to give information on any alcohol or tobacco use as well.

On the questionnaire, you will be asked to give your medical history. This will undoubtedly be verified by the insurance company so be honest about all past surgeries and sicknesses. When you receive quotes back from the insurance companies, you can see which ones have clauses excluding pre-existing conditions. This might change your decision on who to purchase coverage from.

You will also need to find out the details of your coverage options. Policies will differ depending on whether you are taking out a company policy or a personal policy. Either way, you need to make sure that you will get coverage from local health care providers. Check with your current doctor and hospital to make sure that they would accept the prospective policy.

You should also ask the insurance company for any additional policy options that could be added. Some companies provide bundled insurance packages where you can purchase dental insurance, life insurance, and even vision insurance all at once.

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Vote On Health Insurance Mandate

Voters in Arizona, Colorado and Oklahoma will have the chance Tuesday to repudiate the new health care law’s keystone provision, one that requires almost everyone to have health insurance or face a tax penalty beginning in 2014. Easy To Insure ME has the answers

Ballots in the three states include proposed amendments to the states’ constitutions that would prohibit the enforcement of the individual mandate and other provisions of the law. They echo a measure that Missouri voters approved by more than 70 percent in August. Legislatures in several other states, including Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana and Virginia, have also passed state laws with similar language.

But the ballot initiatives have set off a fierce debate: If they succeed, will they have any effect?

Critics of the referenda say they’re nothing more than a political gesture, misleading voters to believe that amending their state constitutions would allow them to opt out of the health care law. Given that the Supreme Court will likely have the final say on the constitutionality of the law before 2014, the public’s vote wouldn’t impact the national law, they say.

Some policy analysts agree.

“To me it’s more of a polling statement,” said Elizabeth McGlynn, an associate director at the RAND Corp., a nonprofit research organization based in California that has no position on the amendments. “It’s not clear to me in this case that the federal law wouldn’t override state mandate … that will be something the courts decide. … It’s not really clear to me what that does at the state levels.”

Proponents argue that the amendments have a strategic function beyond the scope of individual states.

“As more and more states pass these kinds of amendments … it’s going to embolden legislative action to repeal or defund legislative provisions” of the federal health law, said Robert Alt, deputy director of the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington.

‘New Avenues Of Litigation’

Having the new amendments in place would give states greater standing in the current litigation brought by 20 states against the federal law, says Christie Herrera, a director at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which has provided model legislation used by several states.

If the Supreme Court were to uphold the individual mandate in that case, a state constitutional amendment would “open new avenues of litigation,” she said. States could also file suit to argue that the health law violates their 10th Amendment rights to keep powers not otherwise delegated to the federal government by the U.S. Constitution.

Opponents of the ballot amendments say the measures could complicate health care issues within the states.

Dr. Michael Pramenko, president of the Colorado Medical Society, which opposes the ballot initiative, said the amendment could affect any state efforts to set up a program to expand insurance coverage. “It would tie our hands at the state level,” he said, adding that the amendment would prevent the state from setting up its own version of the individual mandate, independent of the federal government, in the future.

The proposed amendments in Arizona, and Oklahoma are nearly identical, while the Colorado amendment differs in subtle but significant ways. The measures are centered on a few key provisions: that no individual can be forced to participate in a public or private health plan; that a person’s ability to make or receive direct payments for medical services cannot be restricted; and that no one should be forced to pay a penalty for failing to enroll in a health plan.

Colorado Controversy

The Colorado amendment makes clear that it applies only to state efforts to impose such requirements.

The amendments do not deal with some of the other preparations for the health law that are falling to states, such as the health insurance exchanges and the expansion of Medicaid that will begin in 2014.

“They’re operating on two bandwidths,” trying to oppose the federal law while also trying to implement it, said McGlynn. “Most of what states are going to have to do, they don’t get to avoid through these amendments.”

Colorado’s situation is unique because its amendment was brought to the ballot through citizen initiative, and doesn’t follow ALEC model legislation as closely. Its language allows for a much broader interpretation of the measure than other states have allowed for, argued Alec Harris, a policy analyst at the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, which opposes the amendment.

“It’s getting billed as — and people seem to view it as — a referendum on federal health reform,” Harris said. “This has no ability to do anything about federal health reform.”

Instead, Harris

Health Insurance Rate Hikes – Top 3 Reasons

Article by Phil Rubis









With the passage of the affordable health care act of 2010 in the US, the promise and hope of folks who supported the plan was that the plan would ultimately reduce the costs of healthcare for everyone in the USA. The new health care law of 2010 is designed to gradually get into effect by 2014. Step by step, insurance companies will be required to cover more and more people with pre-existing conditions, and by 2014, the promise is that everyone in the US, regardless of their health condition, would be able to receive affordable health care.Have you noticed a <em>health insurance rate increase</em> recently? Many have noticed their health insurance premiums go up. So why have insurance companies just months after the initial stages of the law have come into effect increased the health insurance prices, by as much as 20%-30%? Is this just a transitory effect? We know that the law required wealthy Americans to pay more into the healthcare fund. So why is everyone, including the corporations, compelled to pay more for their health care costs?In this article we will offer three possible reasons why the health insurance prices are rising. By reading them, you may get a hint of how you may be able to optimize your healthcare coverage during this interim period between 2010 and 2014, and get prepared for 2014 and onwards. The three reasons for rising healthcare prices that we can see are: normal health care cost increases due to improvements in technology and access to new drugs and technologies, insurance companies compelled to insure some people with pre-existing conditions, and both the individuals, and insurance companies hedging against further cost increases over the next few years.<strong>Health care cost increases due to introduction of new technologies and drugs</strong>In free economies like the US, companies are free to perform research into new health care technologies, and drugs. This research does not come cheap. The companies can and do pay for this research by setting the price of their products, either medical devices, or drugs, appropriately. This is one of the reasons why health care costs have been going up much faster than the inflation over the past 20 years. As the costs of health services and drugs increases, so does the cost of health insurance that covers these costs. This component of the price increase is nothing new.<strong>Insurance companies compelled to insure pre-existing conditions</strong>In 2010 as the first part of the new health care law first got into effect, and insurance companies were not allowed to reject the health insurance application of children under 19 years old even if they had pre-existing conditions. Most insurance companies reacted to that restriction by discontinuing to offer health insurance to children only for all children under 19 years old. Some insurance companies allowed individual applications of a parent and a dependent child. These actions of insurance companies are understandable as they want to protect their profits. However, some of these actions were against the age non-discrimination laws in certain states. So insurance companies today are accepting applications of children under 19 years of age, but it is not clear how they handle applications indicating pre-existing conditions.One of the possibilities is to increase the premiums of children with pre-existing conditions, and the other is to increase premiums of all applicants, to cover for payments to the high risk applicants.<strong>Individuals and insurance companies hedging against further cost increases</strong>As more and more individuals get the sense of what is happening with the prices, and as the health insurance companies see their earnings erode, there can be two different consequences. First, the individuals may feel like this is the good time to go see doctors while it is still not as expensive as it might get over the next few years. Likewise, the insurance companies feel that, as bad as it is, it might still be easier to generate profits today versus what it will be like in a few years when they will be mandated to cover <em>everyone</em> with or without the pre-existing condition. So they raise the prices now to hedge against the uncertain future.



About the Author

It is not all bad when it comes to the new health care law of 2010. To find the plans that are available today because the plan got into effect, check out site http://highdeductiblehealthplan.org, especially the section on small business health insurance costs.










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Private Health Insurance

Article by Johan Dirano









Health insurance offered by different companies may vary slightly at certain levels but first it is important to make the choice as to what kind fits your requirements.When we decide to buy a private health insurance the first few issues we have to confront are,

Premium tax would hike health-insurance costs

Why? Because Congress wants to levy a .7 billion premium tax on all private health plans each year for the next decade to pay for reform.

That’s a billion tax.

Health plans will have no choice but to pass these costs on to the consumer. This tax will make it tougher for families to afford coverage, increase the difficulty for small-business owners trying hard to insure workers, and stifle job creation.

In Florida, small businesses are the bedrock of our economy. This tax will hit our economy especially hard. It’s just not what families and small businesses need as they dig their way out of a severe recession.

The Congressional Budget Office evaluated this tax and found it will lead to “higher premiums for private coverage.” The nonpartisan CBO estimated that premiums for individual coverage could rise by as much as 13 percent.

This tax also might be disruptive to policyholders, because it could damage the ability of health plans to deliver all the benefits that members expect.

That’s because Congress is ready to impose this health-insurance tax in 2010. That’s after families have already signed up for coverage for next year, and after small businesses have already negotiated coverage contracts.

The result? Health plans may not receive enough premium to cover the costs of the massive tax, and benefits might suffer.

Unfortunately, health plans have been demonized in the pursuit of reform. But in reality, it’s not true to claim that health plans make a lot of money; their profit margins are actually pretty small.

In 2008, private health plans made .61 billion in total profits nationally, according to Forbes magazine. The industry’s profit margin was just 2.2 percent, ranking health plans 35th out of 53 industries in terms of profitability.

As the president and CEO of SantaFe HealthCare — the parent company of AvMed Health Plans — I am truly concerned by this proposed tax. As one of Florida’s oldest and largest nonprofit health plans, AvMed reinvests its earnings each year to continually improve on the benefits and services it offers to members in Orlando and elsewhere.

Obviously, a health-insurance tax that wipes out most of our annual earnings is counterproductive to our mission. Surely, congressional leaders must grasp that this tax doesn’t make sense.

There are better ways to pay for the systemic health-care reform that AvMed and other health plans support.

Instead of taxing health insurance, Congress should focus on the underlying costs of medical care. We can achieve huge cost savings by ending unnecessary treatments and services, rooting out rampant fraud and ending frivolous medical lawsuits filed by trial lawyers.

Health reform shouldn’t hurt Florida’s families and small businesses. It shouldn’t hamper the ability of health plans to provide benefits.

Time’s running out.

Please contact your congressional representative and Florida’s two senators today. Ask them to vote against this harmful health-insurance tax. We can achieve true, lasting reform in better ways.

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