Health Insurance Roundup, March 3, 2016

Private health insurance premiums to jump from April as Australians raise price concerns – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Private health insurance premiums are set to increase an average of 6 per cent from April, but the Federal Government says the costs to patients could have been much higher.

Key points:

Health insurance premiums rising will rise an average of just under 6 per cent from April
500,000 Australians dropped or downgraded insurance in last financial year
Health Department ordered funds to reduce fee hikes or explain increases
Health Minister Sussan Ley asked private health insurers to provide more information to justify premium rises earlier this year.

She said 20 of the Australian funds subsequently lowered their premium increase requests. 

More Hispanic children getting health insurance NJ, study shows – Press of Atlantic City: Breaking News

Hispanic children in particular are benefiting as more children in New Jersey gain access to health-insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act, according to a recent study.
“Just the fact (of) having the access is a plus, and people know that it’s there for them to use,” said Anais Garcia, of Egg Harbor Township, who uses Medicaid and New Jersey FamilyCare to insure her two children, Anthony Calderon, 6, and Gabriel Calderon, 2.
The study, released in February by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, shows the percentage of children in New Jersey without health insurance dropped from 5.9 in 2013 to 4.8 in 2014. 

Health insurance card not needed anymore before UAE residence visa medical – Emirates 24|7

The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention has done away with the requirement of a health card to undertake a medical test for residence visa in the country.

“#UAE_MOHAP cancelled the requirement of issuing a #health_card for the #medical_test for Residents,” the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention yesterday tweeted from its official Twitter handle.

This means that those applying for a UAE residence visa need not apply for a medical insurance or health card prior to undertaking a medical test. The insurance/health card will be required only after the person clears the medical test.

According to the Dubai Health Insurance Law No. 11 of 2013, which came into effect on January 1, 2014, all Dubai residents – employees and dependents of sponsors (including domestic workers) – must be covered under at least the basic health insurance coverage by June 30, 2016. 

California lawmakers OK health insurance tax | State |

California lawmakers have approved legislation to restructure taxes on health insurance plans and boost funding for developmental disability services.

The three-bill package passed the Assembly and Senate on Monday after a handful of Republicans joined Democrats in support.

The plan prevents a $1.1 billion hole in the budget for Medi-Cal, the state’s health program for the poor.

Monday’s approval is a victory for Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown. He called a special session last year to work on health care financing and spent months negotiating a package that could win a two-thirds supermajority.

The package includes more than $300 million for services for people with developmental disabilities. Payments to care providers will increase under the plan. 

Fewer Minnesotans are without health insurance – Hutchinson Leader: Local

A new report from the Minnesota Department of Health and the University of Minnesota finds that Minnesota cut its uninsured rate nearly in half between 2013 and 2015, and the rate of Minnesotans without health insurance has now reached an all-time low.
The report cites recent health reform efforts and an improved economy as key factors that drove down the state’s uninsured rate, as more than 200,000 Minnesotans — including 35,000 children — gained health insurance coverage between 2013 and 2015. 

Health insurance a shot in the arm for rural poor – The Hindu

The rural poor will benefit health-wise beyond just shoving out chulas. The Centre has launched a health insurance scheme of Rs. 1 lakh for each family. For citizens above the age of 60, the amount will get topped-up by Rs. 30,000.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday also announced that another 3,000 Jan Aushadi shops would be set up to make available quality medicines at affordable rates. While the State already has an improved health insurance scheme in place, the generic medicines could make a large difference, price wise. 

Brown signs California plan to adjust health insurance taxes | The Merced Sun-Star

Questions and answers on the new tax on California health insurers that Gov. Jerry Brown approved Tuesday, after negotiating a compromise package with state lawmakers.


The state taxes organizations that provide care through California’s health care program for the poor. The law Gov. Jerry Brown signed Tuesday requires all health insurance plans to pay the tax, not only those that take part in Medi-Cal. It will replace health insurance companies’ gross premium and corporation taxes. Brown’s office on Tuesday called the plan a net tax cut.


California relies on federal matching dollars to help pay for Medi-Cal. President Barack Obama’s administration said it would not renew the arrangement this summer unless California applied its health tax more broadly, which would have left a $1.1 billion hole in the state budget. The state’s agreement with the Obama administration expires June 30. 

Watertown Daily Times | St. Lawrence County legislators agree to audit health insurance program

St. Lawrence County lawmakers agreed Monday night to move forward with a plan to audit the county’s health insurance plan to identify whether there are people receiving the benefit who are not eligible.
The county Legislature’s Finance Committee supported the idea after learning that an audit conducted by the firm Locey & Cahill LLC, Syracuse, would cost an estimated $7,500. The measure will have to be approved at a full board meeting before it can proceed.
County Human Resources Director Paul M. Smith said Locey & Cahill already serves as the county’s healthcare adviser and is therefore willing to provide a discounted rate for the audit.
“This is a pretty good price for this service for the size of us,” Mr. Smith said. 

Chiropractic Care Covered by Most Health Insurance Plans, Advises Foundation for Chiropractic Progress | Business Wire

With 30 million Americans seeking chiropractic care annually, it is important that the public recognizes that services provided by a doctor of chiropractic (DC) are usually covered by many health insurance plans, including major medical plans, workers’ compensation, Medicare, some Medicaid plans, Blue Cross Blue Shield plans for federal employees and more. The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the value of chiropractic care, strongly advocates for greater understanding of this issue. 


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