Health Insurance Roundup, February 22, 2016

Sara DeGregoria: Health insurance: An unfortunately epic tale | Opinion |

As a child, I never thought twice about going to the doctor. My parents never talked about it, but I assume their jobs provided insurance. If there were co-pays or premiums, my parents never talked about that either. For all I knew, going to the doctor was free.

The only time I was made aware of the hassle of insurance was when I was 14 and accidentally shoved a wad of tissue deep into my ear. We had just taken a road trip from Wisconsin to Seattle that required my whole family to share a hotel room each night. My whole family included my dad, whose snoring was momentous. The wadded up toilet paper served as ear plugs. 

How to choose a health insurance plan

Most individuals especially the employees believe that their corporate insurance cover is sufficient. In many cases, it could be so due to the added additional advantages of covering for maternity expenses, pre-existing diseases and parents (even for an extra cost). Moreover, with the top-up options available to add on over the corporate cover, the benefits outstrip most of the otherwise available options for the public. These are good but if one were to change jobs or even quit job and start on their own, in these cases it wouldn’t fit the bill. So, how would one approach to this? 

Donald Trump in Triage Mode After Shocking Conservatives With Health Care Comments – The New York Times

He has broken with many Republicans on taxing the rich, threatening trade wars and keeping Planned Parenthood alive. On Friday, Donald J. Trump faced criticism for an even bolder act of conservative heresy: embracing the core tenet of the Affordable Care Act.

Mr. Trump has to date offered only bits and pieces of his health agenda, generally presenting a vow to repeal “Obamacare” and replace it with “something great.”

In a town-hall meeting hosted by CNN on Thursday night, he shared some more expansive views on the subject, and unlike most Republicans he did not call for removing the individual mandate that requires Americans to have health insurance

Only those with life-changing event can still sign up for 2016 health insurance – Story

The open enrollment period to sign up for health insurance coverage for 2016 has come and gone.

The Gem state’s health exchange called Your Health Idaho experienced record enrollment. In fact, YHI leaders are proud to report the second largest enrollment, per capita, in the entire U.S. The final tally for Idahoans who enrolled for 2016 came in at 102,353.

Those who do not have health insurance whatsoever should expect higher penalties at tax time.

There is a special enrollment period still available through YHI. Those who are eligible must have a life-changing event to have occurred like moving or getting married. 

Health insurer fined for discriminating against HIV positive clients – Gay News Network

A Florida health insurer has been fined half a million dollars for discriminatory action against HIV positive clients.

Health insurance company Humana was fined for failing to cooperate with investigators related to claims that the company discriminated against people living with HIV/AIDS.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FOIR) announced the fine following an investigation into allegations that Humana’s business practices discriminated against people living with HIV and AIDS.

That investigation resulted in a consent order in which Humana agreed to “maintain procedures to ensure that it does not by effect or design treat those living with HIV/AIDS less favorably than any other condition.”

The insurance company placed all HIV medications, including generics, on the highest cost-sharing tier, according to the complaint. 

Govt health burden too high, says QEH chief | Barbados Today

Chief Executive Office of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) Dr Dexter James yesterday called for “urgent and decisive” action to close a financing gap in the country’s health care system.

Dr James said at the opening of the hospital’s third annual Health Financing Summit at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, that Government’s contribution of 55 per cent of the total health expenditure was far too high.

And he recommended that any national health insurance (NHI) plan implemented here must lead to a reduction in the level of Government’s contribution. 

Health exchange disputes federal report | Las Vegas Review-Journal

Nevada’s health insurance exchange disputes a federal report claiming it misallocated funds for creating its program and recommending it consider refunding $893,000 to the Centers Medicare and Medicaid Services.

A refund is not needed, the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange stated in a written response to the report from the Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“We believe that this conclusion is based upon an erroneous interpretation of federal guidance regarding cost allocation accounting principles and the timing of cost allocation adjustments,” the state agency stated.

It also pointed to comments from CMS that not only back up the state agency’s take on the matter but are also included in the OIG’s own report. 

Military Health System Allows Telemedicine at Home

By allowing telemedicine at home, the military services have just leaped several steps ahead of Medicare in their endorsement of virtual visits. But if a pending Congressional bill becomes law, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will start to catch up to the Department of Defense (DoD) in this respect.

In a February 3 memorandum, Jonathan Woodson, MD, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, said that, effective immediately, he was authorizing Military Health System (MHS) providers to offer telemedicine consults to patients at home or in other locations outside of military treatment facilities (MTFs). These patients may include servicemen/women and their family members. 


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