Health Insurance Roundup, April 25, 2016

Health insurance: Pain in the knee, pain in the wallet |

The surgeon’s sharpening his scalpel for me. The bit that’s going under the knife is my dodgy left knee. I don’t tell you this because I think you are interested in my creaking joints. It’s because it has got me thinking about health insurance “bill shock” again.

Bill shock is the emotion felt when you realise just how much of the treatment bill you will end up paying. 

Soaring cost of health insurance a threat to job creation in UAE | The National

The soaring cost of health insurance is crippling employers and threatening job creation and salary levels, a new study suggests.

The overall cost of premiums rose from Dh9.9 billion in 2013 to Dh11.1bn in 2014, an increase of more than 12 per cent, according to the Insurance Authority.

Pacific Prime, the health-insurance broker, says premiums increased by 9.5 per cent last year and have risen by an average of 10 per cent a year for the past five years. In contrast, annual inflation is about 2.5 per cent. 

Washington County health insurance costs inch up | Local |

The county will pay just 6 percent more for health insurance next year, according to its new agreement with Blue Shield.

The price is a “worst-case” scenario. The county pays claims rather than a premium, with an agreement for a maximum amount per month and per year. Blue Shield covers the rest.

If the county hits its maximums, it would pay $8.9 million next year, about $547,000 more than this year.

The price increase is well above the rate of inflation, but far below increases at nearby municipalities. South Glens Falls, for example, is expecting a 13 to 18 percent increase to insure its handful of employees next year. 

Laid off Space Center workers lose promised health insurance – The Daily Journal: Local

When 46 union workers were laid off from Space Center Distribution Chicago Inc.’s warehouse facility in Kankakee, they believed their health insurance would be extended for three months. That was in March. When they tried to use their benefits for items such as prescriptions and glasses this month, some of them discovered their coverage had expired. 

Let the patient pay the piper, and the price of health care will fall – The Boston Globe

SHE WENT TO the doctor, the one at the downtown hospital she’s been going to for years, for her annual physical in January. She showed her insurance card when she checked in and confirmed that the details hadn’t changed. The doctor gave her a clean bill of health, renewed her prescriptions, and updated her medical record. It was a routine visit, and she gave it little further thought. 

Oxxy launches affordable health plan for entire family – Times of India

Aiming to make insurance accessible and affordable to all, Oxxy, one of the largest healthcare networks in India recently launched an ‘affordable health plan’ for entire family members at the cost of Rs 4,000 annually.

“We have come up with an ‘affordable health plan’ for just Rs 4,000 annually which caters to the entire family. Oxxy is present in more than 1,500 cities of India. Our set up is far bigger than any insurance company with more than 1,50,000 health center tie ups,” said Sheetal Kapoor, Co-founder, Oxxy Health. 

‘Affordable’ Health Care’s pricey pitfalls | TribLIVE

I would like to thank everyone who worked so hard to pass the Affordable Care Act. Recently my wife had a hysterectomy and the hospital charges were $7,550, of which our fabulous ACA-required health insurance plan covered a whopping $1,414 — yes, less than 20 percent the cost. 

Margaret Beck: New fiduciary rules to extend to group health plans and their brokers

The Department of Labor introduced its final version last week of what is commonly called the “fiduciary rule.” This is another well-intentioned action.

It sounds good on the surface to hold advisers to the highest standards when working with their clients. Unfortunately, the devil is in the details. 

Health system facing crisis as doctors’ incomes surge by 30pc

Rampant over-servicing and a lack of competition and transparency has seen the average ­incomes of surgeons, anaesthetists and specialist physicians surge almost 30 per cent in five years, putting extra strain on a health system near breaking point.

The nation’s $150 billion a year health bill is on track to rise more than 6 per cent a year without major reforms to the medical system and supply chain. 

Grants offered for insurance gaps – The Daily Nonpareil – Council Bluffs, Iowa: Local News

The UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation is accepting grant applications from Iowa families in need of financial assistance to help pay for their child’s health care treatments, services or equipment not covered, or not fully covered, by their commercial health insurance plans.

Qualifying families can receive up to $5,000 per grant with a lifetime maximum of $10,000 per child to help pay for medical services and equipment such as physical, occupational and speech therapy; counseling services; surgeries; prescriptions; wheelchairs; orthotics; eyeglasses and hearing aids. 

Report: Kentucky Health Care Expansion Among Most Successful

A recent report by Kaiser Family Foundation says Kentucky has one of the most successful implementations of the Affordable Care Act in the U.S.

The report cites the “single, integrated eligibility system [Kentucky] built for Kynect and Medicaid” as one of the most pivotal components to its success. 


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