Health Insurance Roundup, April 13, 2016


With Health Insurance, the Deck Is Always Stacked

We buy health insurance for the promise that the insurance companies will protect us from enormous medical bills. But what happens when they don’t keep that promise? We all know that medical costs are a nightmare for the uninsured. Hospitals and other health care providers mark up medical bills to many times what they expect to get paid, then give insurance companies enormous “discounts” on those bills. 


Holders of new health insurance policies warned to review cover – Independent.ie

People who took out health cover for the first time last year to avoid penalties are warned to review their cover before renewing in the coming weeks.

An extra 100,000 people took out health insurance for the first time last year, with most of them doing so in order to avoid loadings.

Half of them took out basic cover, but will still have to queue for medical treatment, according to independent broker Dermot Goode.

Health insurers introduced low-cost plans to attract those taking out cover for the first time, with many of these policies priced between €400 and €500. 


Irish Life seeks to rebrand health insurance subsidiary

Irish Life has engaged research group Red C to help it determine a brand for its new health insurance subsidiary, which is set to be formed from the amalgamation of GloHealth and Aviva Ireland’s health insurance business.

Speaking to The Irish Times on Monday, Irish Life chief executive Bill Kyle said focus groups with a small number customers had indicated that its own brand should be incorporated into the identity for the merged health business.

“Early indications were that Irish Life being promoted in the name tested very well [with the focus groups] but that needs to be verified with a bigger group,” Mr Kyle said.The company hopes to have settled on a brand name by the end of this month, he said. 


Call for equal health insurance for all citizens | GulfNews.com

Members of the Federal National Council yesterday (Tuesday) pressed for providing equal medical services and health insurance coverage for citizens across the country and an increase in the federal health care budget.

Members of the House also demanded more government and private medical colleges with various medical specialities be set up to meet shortages in psychiatrics, public health and social nursing.

Members of the House have voiced concern over the high prevalence of diabetes and obesity as well as cancer among Emiratis, as they debated health policies in the presence of the Minister of Health and Prevention, Dr Abdul Rahman Mohammad Al Owais, who pledged to work closely with local health authorities to improve the situation for Emiratis who grow up to become overweight adults if they don’t make a lifestyle change in time. 


What are we paying Health Insurance for? – ARAB TIMES

Every employer is paying KD 50 per year as insurance for each employee whenever the residence of the employees is renewed.

What is this for?

Is it medical insurance?

If so, what are the benefits for the employees. It is understood that the insurance company will pay compensation to the employee or his family in case of serious accident or death of the employee during working hours.

Kindly enlighten us. 


Why Health Insurance Premiums Rose 2016 | Healthy Magazine

As people looked through bank records this year to do their taxes they probably saw health insurance premiums jump up from 2015 to 2016. But it’s a chaotic national realization, as some people saw their premiums rise by more than 40 percent, while others saw their rates actually decrease.

The averages pieced together by industry experts vary, but it looks like premiums rose by about 12-13 percent on average in 2016. A little context: from 1999-2009, health insurance premiums rose by 131%, according to data collected by the Kaiser Family Foundation. So 12-13% is actually comparable to years before the Affordable Care Act. But averages don’t do any favors for these states with rate hikes above 20%. 


Farmers get health insurance coverage

Minister for Higher Education Surjit Singh Rakhra introduced Bhagat Puran Singh Health Insurance Scheme for farmers during a ceremony organized at Bahawalpur Palace, Patiala, as per reports.

The scheme will offer health insurance cover of Rs.50,000 per annum per family besides Rs.5-lakh cover against accidental death and complete disability of the head of the family. The scheme will benefit 28.90 lakh blue card-holder families of Punjab, 11 lakh marginal J-form-holder farmers, 2.33 lakh small traders and 2.32 lakh construction workers. 


Stop The Needless Politicization Of Health Insurance Scheme – Tafohene | Health | Peacefmonline.com

Osabarima Edusei Peasah, Chief of Akyem-Tafo in the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional area, has advised the public to eschew needless cynicism and politicization of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and appreciate its useful benefits.

He has thus demanded quality customer service devoid of discrimination on partisan lines from NHIS staff to dismiss perceptions that the staff belong to a particular political party.

Osabarima Peasah was speaking at the launching of an event to enroll 14,000 underprivileged persons onto the NHIS free of charge at Addo-Nkwanta in the East Akyem -District.  


Two insurance policies will not reimburse for the same expense – Livemint

Can I take a health insurance plan for my parents who are senior citizens? Are there any tax benefits that I can avail of if I pay the premiums for the insurance policy? 


More than 95,000 UAE nationals covered under Saada health insurance | GulfNews.com

Sada is a smart health insurance programme launched in June 2015 with the aim of providing mandatory health insurance cover for Emiratis who were not part of any other government or private health programme. The programme, which covers 20 private hospital and 500 clinics in Dubai, provides mandatory preventive health screening and comprehensive health coverage that includes diabetes, hypertension and oncology screening, among others.

Dr Al Yousuf said: “So far, 95,481 Emiratis from Dubai have registered with Saada, with an average of 353 registrations a day. We have managed to reach more than 90 per cent of the targeted audience, who are Emiratis with no other medical care in any government or private health programme in Dubai,” he said 


KP government launches micro health insurance scheme | Business Recorder

The provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with the financial assistance of KFW Development Bank has launched micro-health insurance scheme for people of the province. The objective of Rs 1399.156 million ‘Sehat Sahulat Program’ is to improve health status of targeted population through increasing access to quality health services and to reduce poverty through reduction of out of pocket payments for health expenditures.

Out of the total cost KFW share is Rs 1233.256 million while the provincial government share is Rs 165.90 million. The micro insurance scheme will be administered by the State Life Insurance Corporation Pakistan (SLICP). The program is essentially a health insurance scheme which offers hospitalisation coverage of Rs 25,000 per family per annum.  


Efforts to retain Kynect fail | Lexington Herald-Leader

Long-shot efforts to keep the state’s health insurance exchange and Medicaid expansion intact had an anticlimactic ending Monday, when a legislative committee couldn’t muster enough votes to send the politically charged issue to the full Senate for debate.

The Republican-led panel took up Democratic-backed bills aimed at preserving the state exchange, kynect, and Medicaid expansion, both created under the federal Affordable Care Act.

The measures stalled in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee after efforts to advance them to the Senate floor to allow a fuller debate failed to muster enough support. 


Study Finds Consumers Who Make Good Health Care Decisions Can Save Enough to Pay Majority of

Americans who make wise decisions on their health insurance purchases and health care expenses can save enough money over a ten year period to fund college education for their children, reports a new study.

HealthValues, the first-of-its-kind online resource for supplemental insurance and health care products, today released a free consumer guide that outlines how one typical family can save tens-of-thousands of dollars on medical expenses. Using eight different scenarios, Dr. April Seifert, author of Your Consumer Mindset is Your Biggest Weapon in the War on Rising Health Care Costs, walks readers through the various stages of health care decision making, and how much a typical family can save on expenses throughout the year. 


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