Thursday, 26 December 2019

Top Surprising Reasons To Have Really Expensive Car Insurance Premiums - InsuranceNewsNet



Top Surprising Reasons To Have Really Expensive Car Insurance Premiums

LOS ANGELES (PRWEB) June 14, 2020
Compare-autoinsurance.org has released a new blog post that explains 3 surprising reasons why some people pay really expensive car insurance premiums.
There are huge discrepancies between car insurance costs, based on the risk group one person may be placed. While it makes sense to have the costs influenced by driving experience, age, driving history, and car model, some factors may be quite surprising.
For more info about this topic, check https://compare-autoinsurance.org/why-does-my-car-insurance-cost-a-fortune/
  • Bad credit score. At first glance, a person's creditworthiness should not affect how much he or she pays for car insurance. Under the FICO credit system, a person has a poor score if the score is below 580. A person with a bad repayment history is considered high-risk for insurance companies. That person is more likely to miss payments or drop coverage mid-term. Creating car insurance lapses will negatively impact the insurability score. If possible, improve the credit score using one-time payments, keeping a low credit utilization rate and balance transfer credit cards. Always talk with an expert about this delicate matter.
  • Small or inexistent loyalty bonuses. Loyalty should be a top focus for many companies. Many companies offer really tempting incentives to their safe drivers, in order to keep them loyal. These come usually under the form of a generous discount. However, there are companies that offer really small discounts or they do not offer at all. In this case, staying with the same carrier will damage the policyholder's budget in the long term.
  • Price optimization. This is another prime example when loyalty hurts the policyholder's finances. Some companies practice this so-called "price optimization". They gradually increase a policyholder's premium upon renewal because that person is less likely to check the insurance market and switch carriers.

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Biometrics in Africa this week: public sector payroll reform for Liberia and Zimbabwe, Côte d'Ivoire voter registration | Biometric Update



Biometrics in Africa this week: public sector payroll reform for Liberia and Zimbabwe, Côte d'Ivoire voter registration

In biometrics and digital identity across Africa this week, civil servant pay is something of a theme as countries successfully employ biometric technology to sack thousands of ghost workers, potentially saving millions of dollars. Coronavirus continues to affect biometric projects such as voter registration in neighbouring Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire where citizens are expected to register for all manner of different biometric schemes as election pressure mounts. While in Kenya, robots may be deployed in hospitals to use facial recognition to identify patients in a bid to keep medical staff safe from infection.
Côte d’Ivoire: Idemia begins revisions of the voter list
Idemia began registering Ivorian voters on 10 June to update the electoral roll ahead of October’s presidential election, reports Africa Intelligence.
This follows two months of delays due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The election is still due to go ahead despite the health crisis. Elections and voter registration are highly contentious issues in the country and the government has fudged the reform of its electoral commission demanded by the African Human Rights and Peoples Court. Côte d’Ivoire has since withdrawn from the court.
The political situation has been deteriorating, notably since the alliance between political parties which allowed the 2015 election to pass relatively peacefully – the previous two lead to conflicts – broke down in the summer of 2018, meaning the 2020 election could see a return of trouble.
Idemia’s registration of voters and printing of voter cards will therefore be closely watched by local and international observers. Africa Intelligence states a $17 million contract will see the French biometrics firm work alongside Albatross Technologies, fallacious by Swiss-Malian businessman Mohamed Sidi Kagnassi, for the Ivorian electoral commission, as was the case in 2015.

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Auto Guide 2020 - How To Make Car Insurance Rates Cheaper



Auto Guide 2020 - How To Make Car Insurance Rates Cheaper

LOS ANGELES, CA / ACCESSWIRE / June 13, 2020 / Compare-autoinsurance.org (https://compare-autoinsurance.org) is a top auto insurance brokerage website, providing car insurance quotes online from trustworthy agencies all over the United States. This website has released a new blog post that presents several ways of getting cheaper car insurance premiums.
For more info and free quotes, visit https://compare-autoinsurance.org/how-to-make-car-insurance-rates-cheaper.
Car insurance companies determine the premium paid by a driver after analyzing multiple factors. Some of these factors are under policyholder's control and can help him get cheaper car insurance.

Monday, 23 December 2019

No-fault reform could raise car insurance rates for some Detroiters



No-fault reform could raise car insurance rates for some Detroiters



Some Detroiters could see jumps in their auto insurance rates next month when Michigan's new no-fault system takes effect, an unpleasant surprise for those who assumed that their rates and everyone else's would go down.
Overall, the new system is expected to lower insurance premiums for many drivers starting in July, when Michigan motorists are given a first-ever choice in the amount of medical coverage to buy with their auto insurance, coverage known as personal injury protection or PIP.
But early regulatory filings by some insurance companies — plus some anecdotes from customers — suggest that a subset of Detroit residents could see their rates go up not down.
Of those Detroit drivers, the biggest rate hikes would hit people who chose to continue buying PIP coverage instead of dropping it completely. Under the new system, drivers with Medicare or a health insurance plan that covers auto accidents are allowed to opt out entirely of PIP; others can pick lower coverage amounts between $500,000 and $50,000.
PIP can be more than half of a driver's bill in urban areas, and since 1973, all Michigan auto policies have included unlimited lifetime PIP coverage. Insurance experts say that requirement is why the state's insurance rates have been among the nation's highest.
More: Will no-fault auto insurance reform save drivers money? Depends on whom you ask
More: No-fault auto insurance: Michigan drivers won't learn savings until spring or summer
A fuller picture for drivers' rates under the new system may not emerge until at least July 2, when regulatory filings from all auto insurance companies become public documents.
Also, cost savings for drivers are expected to grow starting July 2021, when new price controls for medical providers who treat auto accident victims using PIP benefits take effect.


Still, in recent weeks, some insurers have begun providing drivers with early price quotes for the new rates.
Not everyone is liking what they see.
The disappointed drivers include Detroit resident Megan Summers, 33, who lives on the city's east side and has a 2006 Toyota Corolla.
Summers is currently on a six-month $904 insurance policy that doesn't include collision coverage. After installment fees, her monthly payments are about $170.
She recently received a written quote from her insurance company, Progressive, for a new rate under the new system: $1,518 for six months, or $315 per month with an installment plan, according to a copy of the price quote.
Summers said she was surprised by the higher quote because she thought the insurance overhaul would lower premiums. The rate is for the same car that is parked at her same address, and Summers said she hasn't received any recent traffic violations or filed any claims.

“To get the bare minimum coverage in Detroit, I was paying $170 a month, and now they are telling me that as of July 20, with a new policy from Progressive, that it’s going to be $315 at a minimum," Summers said. "It just feels like I am being scammed.”
When contacted by the Free Press, a Progressive representative did not address specific questions about the higher rate quote but said rates overall in Michigan are decreasing.
"Due to the elimination of several rating factors like occupation, education and home ownership under the new system, the impact to individual policy premiums can vary greatly and some customers may experience an increase," the representative, Ron Davis, said in an email.

Less PIP for higher price

The rate quote Summers received would lower her PIP coverage to $250,000 from unlimited.
Yet despite reduced coverage, the price for PIP within the policy would rise to $891 over six months, or 35% higher than the $658 for unlimited benefits in her current policy, a price that included $110 for six months of Michigan's $220 per-vehicle, per-year catastrophic claims fee.
Under the new system, the catastrophic claims fee disappears for drivers in Summers' position who choose PIP coverage below unlimited. (The fee drops to $100 a year for those who keep unlimited.)
Additionally, Progressive's rate quote shows the price for bodily injury liability coverage rising to $419 from $178. That jump reflects the coming increase to the state's minimum bodily injury coverage to $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident from $20,000 per person/$40,000 per accident.
Summers moved to Michigan last fall from South Carolina, where she said she paid about $60 a month for car insurance. Recalling her conversation with the Progressive agent, Summers said she sought the cheapest coverage options available to her in Detroit.
“I really pressed the (agent) to offer me the lowest rate," she said. "I did say 'what are the absolute lowest rates you can offer me.' "
Summers said she is considering switching insurers once her current policy expires July 20.
After speaking with Progressive, she was told by a State Farm agent that her Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance may qualify her for a $0 PIP auto policy and lower her overall auto premium to about $154 per month, Summers said.

Wrong side of 'average'

Rising insurance premiums are a contrast to unusual statements by state insurance regulators that rates are poised to go down because insurers are complying with a new mandate to lower prices for the PIP portions of customers' premiums starting in July.
The mandated price reductions on the PIP are: 
  • At least 10% for those keeping unlimited PIP
  • At least 20% for those choosing $500,000 PIP
  • At least 35% for those choosing $250,000 PIP
  • At least 45% for those choosing $50,000 PIP (available only to Medicaid recipients)
Critics of the insurance overhaul note how those decreases are per-vehicle averages, based on insurance companies' past rates. That detail means some drivers will likely find themselves on the wrong side of the averages and see smaller decreases or even increases.
“I wasn’t in favor of what passed because it doesn’t ensure that those who are in the hardest-hit communities or ZIP codes would actually see relief," situation Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, D-Detroit, said.


For instance, an insurance company could give many 10% rate cuts to drivers in parts of the state with low insurance costs while enacting a few rate increases for those in high-cost areas such as Detroit, according to Douglas Heller, a consumer advocate and insurance consultant hired by the Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault, known as CPAN, to review insurers' rate filings.
"This whole reform — the benefits to consumers that were promised — were always averages. And the reality is many people aren’t average," Heller said. “What the insurance executives and lobbyists tell lawmakers in Lansing sounds great. But when we get our bills, the real story is told. And that’s the problem."

Higher prices in Detroit neighborhoods?

In a review of the handful of insurance company rate filings that were publicly available before July, Heller found that some insurers intend to raise premiums (including prices for PIP) in some parts of Detroit, even as statewide premiums decrease overall.
For example, some drivers with Auto-Owners Insurance in northwest Detroit would see prices for unlimited PIP coverage jump by about 80%, he found.
"These predominantly African American neighborhoods have household median incomes that are less than half the Michigan statewide median income, meaning that the pain of the (new system's) rate increase these residents face will be particularly acute," Heller wrote in his rate review report for CPAN, which opposed the insurance overhaul.

An Auto-Owners representative said the company's rate filing complies with state law and was approved by Michigan's insurance regulators.
Heller's narrate says insurers plan to rely almost entirely on cuts to Michigan's $220-per-vehicle catastrophic claims fee to finish the mandated price reductions, which means that they aren't lowering total premiums by significant amounts. The insurance overhaul law permits that maneuver. 
A Free Press review of the insurers' filings untrue that companies do anticipate some customers paying higher premiums under the new system, even as overall premiums across the state go down.
Farmers Insurance, one of the few insurers to make its rate filing public, said in a statement that "the vast majority" of its customers will see average savings of 2% to 2.7% under the new rates. Still, some Farmers customers could see rates go up, a result of changes in the types of discounts that drivers may be eligible for under the new system, the statement said.

Erin McDonough, director of the Insurance Alliance of Michigan, an industry group, said she could not address why some drivers could receive higher rate quotes under the new system. 
She encouraged people to reach out to their insurance agent and learn about the new coverage options.
"This is a long-term reform, so we have to give it time to work," she said.
Contact JC Reindl; 313-222-6631 or jcreindl@freepress.com . Follow him on Twitter@jcreindl. Read more on business and sign up for our business newsletter.
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Sunday, 22 December 2019

Find Out Why Car Insurance Premiums Can Get More Expensive



Find Out Why Car Insurance Premiums Can Get More Expensive

“Even if they don’t make a claim or cause an accident, drivers can see their premiums fluctuate from year to year. However, insurance companies are likely to raise the cost of insurance only if the customer is riskier to insure or if their costs have increased”, said Gurgu C, Project Manager
Compare-autoinsurance.org has launched a new blog post that presents the reasons why car insurance gets more expensive even if the policyholder didn't file a claim, received a tag, and wasn't involved in an accident.
For more info and free car insurance quotes, visit https://compare-autoinsurance.org/top-reasons-why-you-can-get-more-expensive-car-insurance-premiums/.
Car insurance premiums can fluctuate wildly based on several different factors such as getting married or bright to a new neighborhood. Car insurance companies are for-profit businesses. To ensure they make a profit, insurance providers use hundreds of factors and mathematical equations to calculate risk. Based on these factors, insurers will Decide how much a policyholder will pay on its premiums. The insurance companies can change the price of the premiums whenever the risk changes or when their cost of doing business rises.

Saturday, 21 December 2019

Car Insurance Cheap - When Should Drivers Compare Car Insurance Quotes Online



Car Insurance Cheap - When Should Drivers Compare Car Insurance Quotes Online

LOS ANGELES, CA / ACCESSWIRE / June 9, 2020 / Compare-autoinsurance.org (https://compare-autoinsurance.org/) has launched a new blog post that explains when should drivers compare car insurance quotes online and how this can save them money. For more info and free car insurance quotes, visit https://compare-autoinsurance.org/when-its-recommended-to-check-car-insurance-quotes-online
The car insurance rates paid by a driver can be affected by certain events. In some cases, drivers will pay less on their insurance premiums, while in other cases drivers will have to get out more money from their pockets.
Drives are recommended to check the insurance market in the following situations:


  • Their credit score has improved. In most states, the insurance companies are allowed to take the driver's credit score into consideration when they determine the premiums paid by him. The insurance companies claim they found a correlation between the credit gain and the chances for a claim to be made. For this reason, drivers with a bad credit score will pay more on insurance, while the ones with a good credit score will pay less.
  • State legislation has changed. Each state has its own car insurance laws and requirements. These laws and requirements can be changed at any time, so it's important for drivers to inform themselves about these changes in a regular manner.
  • The policyholder has maintained coverage. New drivers and drivers that have long coverage lapses are considered high-risk drivers by the insurers. To pay less on their premiums, these types of drivers will have to maintain coverage for at least six months.
  • After some major life events. Getting married, moving to a better neighborhood, buying a safe car can lower the ticket of insurance paid by drivers. However, drivers that are getting divorced, moving to a high-crime neighborhood or they are purchasing an unsafe vehicle, will have their insurance rates increased.
  • Before renewing the policy. Rival insurance companies will try to lure to them those drivers that have only several weeks until their car policy expires. To do that, they are ready to offer critical discounts. Drivers are recommended to analyze all the factors keen before switching insurance carriers. Policyholders will have to weigh the gains and losses if they decide to make this move.
For additional info, money-saving tips and free car insurance quotes, visit https://compare-autoinsurance.org/

Friday, 20 December 2019

Covid-19 lays bare how racism fuels health disparities among Black people



Covid-19 lays bare how racism fuels health disparities among Black people

The disparities have long been documented. Black people are more likely than white people to die from cancer. They are more likely to suffer from chronic pain, diabetes, and depression. Black children report higher levels of stress. Black mothers are more likely to die in childbirth.
Those findings are part of a mountain of research cataloguing the complex and widespread effects that racism has on the health — and the medical care — of Black people in the U.S. Those effects stretch back centuries and take different forms, from discriminatory diagnostics to institutional barriers to care, all of which affect a person’s health.
But while the problem has been studied for decades and improvements have been made, many disparities persist unchecked.

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Top Factors That Influence Car Insurance Rates



Top Factors That Influence Car Insurance Rates

LOS ANGELES, CA / ACCESSWIRE / June 8, 2020 / Compare-autoinsurance.org (http://compare-autoinsurance.org/) is a top auto insurance brokerage website, providing car insurance quotes online from pleasant agencies all over the United States. This website presents the main factors that influence a policyholder's risk profile and the car insurance premiums paid.
Before granting coverage to their customers, car insurance companies will determine their risk profile. Several factors are analyzed by the insurers to determine the risk a driver poses to them. Car insurance companies are classifying drivers in three main categories: high-risk, standard, and preferred
The factors that can affect a driver's risk profile are the following:


  • Coverage history. Policyholders that have a long history of insurance coverage and they had purchased coverages with higher limits will pay less on their insurance premiums. Insurance companies consider that these persons are more responsible than the ones that only purchase the minimum required coverage.
  • The driver's location. Where a driver is living is an important factor that helps the insurer to determine the risk profile. Drivers that live in sizable crowded cities will pay more on their insurance than the ones living in the suburbs or rural areas. The ZIP code of a driver can reveal to the insurer if that driver lives in a low-crime rate neighborhood or in a high-crime rate area.
  • How the car is used. When drivers apply for insurance, they will be asked if they use their cars for personal or for commercial purposes. Drivers that are amdroll their vehicles to do business will pay insurance premiums that are about 20% higher than those that are using the same vehicle for personal use.
  • Marital status. Insurance companies consider that married people are more responsible drivers than single persons. For that reason, the insurance rates of married people are lower than those who are unmarried.
  • Credit score. Statistics show that drivers with a poor credit score are more likely to file a claim. For this reason, drivers with a poor credit score will pay more expensive car insurance rates than drivers that have a good or excellent credit score.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

All you need to know about Coronavirus Health Insurance Covers - The Hindu



All you need to know about Coronavirus Health Insurance Covers

COVID-19 or more commonly known as the Novel Coronavirus has brought the entire world to a standstill. With the cases of Coronavirus infections increasing at an alarming rate, several nations disconclude to be in a residence of lockdown. As of May 12, 2020, an estimated 4.18 million confirmed cases and 2,18,000 deaths have been recorded due to this unprecedented pandemic across the world. We as a nation have also been severely impacted due to the Coronavirus outbreak, with 46,008 active cases and 2,293 deaths as of May 12. In these trying times, the Indian Government has taken and is actively taking necessary measures to ensure that continuous medical care is available to the Indian citizens and the spread of COVID-19 is contained.
Considering the gravity of the situation, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) had also issued an advisory to insurance companies to expedite the processing of claims made in relation to COVID-19 pandemic. In light of this directive, all existing health insurance policies would extend their coverage to include Coronavirus without having any specific exclusion. That means if you already have a health insurance policy in place, you will be covered for claims related to Coronavirus disease.

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

How to buy health insurance during the COVID-19 crisis | healthinsurance.org



How to buy health insurance during the COVID-19 crisis

Can you buy health insurance now?

  • In response to the COVID-19 crisis, several states and DC are providing special enrollment periods for uninsured residents.
  • If you’re losing your existing health coverage (or if you have another qualifying event or are Native American), you can buy ACA-compliant coverage today, but probably will have to wait until the start of next month before the coverage is in force.
  • If you’ve lost your job due to the pandemic, your loss of income may make you eligible for Medicaid and CHIP – and enrollment is available year-round.
  • Consumers in most states can buy short-term coverage at any time during the year and coverage can be effective within days – often by the next business day.
  • If you aren’t eligible for a special enrollment period (or Medicaid, Medicare, or CHIP), you can’t buy ACA-compliant coverage until open enrollment.
  • People with modest incomes in New York, Minnesota, and Massachusetts can enroll in health programs year-round.
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing millions of Americans to lose their jobs, and in many cases that means losing health insurance as well. About half of all Americans get their health insurance from an employer’s plan, and it’s a cruel irony that so many people are losing their jobs in the midst of a time when we need health coverage more than ever.
The good news is that loss of coverage triggers a special enrollment period during which you can buy ACA-compliant individual health insurance (on- or off-exchange, although premium subsidies and cost-sharing reductions are only available through the exchange).
Loss of a job does not, in and of itself, trigger a special enrollment period. The special enrollment period only applies if you’re losing health coverage (the plan you had must have been minimum essential coverage – which all employer-sponsored plans are – and you can’t have voluntarily canceled the plan or lost it due to non-payment of premiums).
A drop in income that makes a person newly-eligible for financial assistance in the exchange will trigger a special enrollment period during which a person can switch plans – but that only applies if they already had minimum essential coverage in place before the income change.
But in several states and DC, people who are uninsured have an opportunity to sign up for health coverage now – despite the fact that open enrollment has closed and regardless of whether they have a qualifying event. These are unprecedented times, and states that run their own exchanges are doing whatever they can to make sure their residents are insured.

1. ACA-compliant coverage via a COVID-19 special enrollment period

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed nearly everything about normal life in the United States and around the world. So it’s no surprise that health insurance rules in some states have changed as well. (We’re keeping track of this state-by-state.)
If you’re uninsured, one important touchy to understand is that several states have opened up special enrollment periods due to the pandemic, but they’re only for people who don’t currently have minimum essential coverage. As of late April, special enrollment periods for uninsured residents are ongoing in nine states and the District of Columbia. (Without these special enrollment windows, uninsured people without a qualifying event would not be able to sign up right now, as open enrollment for 2020 health coverage ended a few months ago). Connecticut and Minnesota also had COVID-related special enrollment periods, but they ended earlier in April.

Monday, 16 December 2019

Top 10 health insurance companies in the US | Insurance Business



Top 10 health insurance companies in the US

In 2018, the accident and health insurance industry’s direct written premiums reached $1.1 trillion, up by 57.3% from 2009. The largest 10 insurers collectively wrote 51.8% of the total US market, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
Based on NAIC’s 2018 data, here are the top 10 accident and health insurance groups:

1. UnitedHealth
Direct Written Premiums: $156.9 billion
Market Share: 14.2%

A diversified health and well-being company, UnitedHealth Group’s core capabilities are clinical expertise, advanced technology, and data and health information.
UnitedHealth Group serves clients and consumers in the US and more than 130 other countries through two distinct platforms: UnitedHealthcare provides healthcare coverage and benefits services, while Optum provides information and technology-enabled health services. The group invests more than $3.5 billion in technology and innovation and processes approximately 1.1 trillion transactions annually.

2. Kaiser Foundation
Direct Written Premiums: $93.2 billion
Market Share: 8.5%

Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. operates as a non-profit healthcare organization. The organization offers allergy, audiology, cardiology, dermatology, oncology, hospice, laboratory, nephrology, occupational therapy, pain management, pediatric rehabilitation, and pharmacy services. The company serves patients in the US.

Sunday, 15 December 2019

health insurance: What are super top-up health insurance plans? - The Economic Times



health insurance: What are proper top-up health insurance plans?

1. Super
top-up
health insurance

plans
provide additional

cover
, typically over and above the basic hospitalisation

policy
.

2. The premium amount is cost effective due to threshold limits of the cover provided by the basic hospitalisation plan.
3. It provides cover over the threshold diminutive of the health insurance conceal in multiple claims or multiple hospitalisations in the year.

Saturday, 14 December 2019

China's new mutual aid platforms fill hole in health care coverage - Nikkei Asian Review



China's new mutual aid platforms fill hole in health care coverage - Nikkei Asian Review

Online health care mutual aid programs have attracted more than 150 million participants in China in less than two years, but lack of clear regulation of the 5.4 billion yuan ($760 million) medical insurance-like industry may point to participants to operational, financial and legal risks, industry experts say.
The emerging market is dominated by Xiang Hu Bao, an online mutual aid platform with more than 100 million members that was introduced in October 2018 by Ant Financial Services Group's online payment platform Alipay. About a dozen second- and third-tier players, including internet giants Baidu Inc., ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing Technology Co. and a startup backed by Tencent, have jumped on the bandwagon.
Xiang Hu Bao, which means "mutual protection," provides participants with a basic health plan covering 100 types of critical illnesses, including cancer, critical brain injury and acute myocardial infarction, or downhearted attack. Recently the program added COVID-19 as a covered illness.
Under the online mutual aid programs, participants share the risk of becoming critically ill and collectively bear related medical expenses. On the Xiang Hu Bao platform, for example, participants with an eligible claim can receive a one-time payout of as much as 300,000 yuan. In 2019, each member paid 29 yuan. This year, Ant Financial capped member payments at 188 yuan -- about the cost of two KFC bucket meals. Xiang Hu Bao sets an age limit of 59 for eligible members to exclude high-risk populations and ensure that the claims and payout amounts are controllable.

Friday, 13 December 2019

Health insurance: Health policies to cover telemedicine costs - The Financial Express



Health insurance: Health policies to cover telemedicine costs

In order to address mis-selling of indemnity-based health insurance policies and increasing out-of-pocket expenses incurred by policyholders during treatment, the insurance regulator has directed all insurers to standardise the terms for all policies they underwrite. It has also directed them to include telemedicine as part of claim settlement of policy.
In three separate circulars, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has directed insurers not to bracket costs associated with pharmacy and consumables and implants. It has also directed companies to simplify the wordings of terms and clauses of policies.

Thursday, 12 December 2019

1 In 2 Americans Say COVID-19 Has Changed The Way They Use Healthcare | National News | kpvi.com



1 In 2 Americans Say COVID-19 Has Changed The Way They Use Healthcare | National News

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., June 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- COVID-19 is changing American consumer behavior. A recent healthinsurance.com consumer pulse survey finds that 48% have changed the way they use healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, 72% of those surveyed have started paying more attention to their health staunch the pandemic began. In addition, one-third said their self-care improved since working from home. 
While more Americans may be taking better care of themselves, the fear of COVID-19 is aloof prominent. More than half of those surveyed say they won't stop worrying about contracting COVID-19 until there is a vaccine, while 84% think there will be a second wave of COVID-19 in the United States.
In terms of work, 66% felt that everyone should have to be tested for COVID-19 before returning back to their jobs. And in terms of play, more than half of respondents have had to cancel a vacation, with 66% not planning on rescheduling the vacation.
However, 4 in 10 still plan to take time off this summer, despite the fact that many have had to work from home. And they aren't apologizing for it: 34% say they don't feel guilty asking their employer for the time off.

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

health insurance policy: Post coronavirus, millennials realise importance of comprehensive health insurance cover: Survey - The Economic Times



health insurance policy: Post coronavirus, millennials realise importance of comprehensive health insurance cover: Survey

Before the spread of
Covid
, only 37% millennials were particular about having a health plan that covered diseases like

coronavirus
. Now, 60% want such a comprehensive cover.

This rising awareness about health protection among millennials is a rare positive outcome of Covid that has been captured by the Max Bupa Health Insurance survey. The witness was conducted among 1,700 respondents in the 27-35 year age group in 11 cities across the country.
“With the growing incidence of coronavirus, people across age groups are worried about the treatment costs. Millennials, who are usually first-time insurance buyers and tend to deprioritise its purchase, have now realised the importance of being insured early,” says Anika Agarwal, Director, Direct Digital Business & Marketing, Max Bupa Health Insurance.
This is also the reason that in the post-Covid phase, more millennials, both insurance owners and those planning to buy one, have made a specific enquiry about coronavirus being covered in the health plan. This figure has risen to 58% from 50% earlier. Millennials (61%) are also more curious and have made an enquiry compared with only 48% in the 36-45 year age group who enquired about the Covid coverage.

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Government works to redefine primary health needs, JKN services - National - The Jakarta Post



Government works to redefine indispensable health needs, JKN services - National


The government is redefining primary healthcare needs and the standards of service at hospitals eligible for the National Health Insurance (JKN) to ensure the deficit-stricken program’s sustainability.
Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto said the ministry was working on finishing a benefits package for policyholders that was based on primary health needs, as mandated by a 2004 law on the national social security system (SJSN), and was expecting to realize it by the end of June.
He also presented the plan on Thursday before a hearing with the House of Representatives' Commission IX overseeing health care and manpower.
"The benefits package, which is based on primary health needs, will not reduce the benefits received by the people but rather optimize the benefits principles by reducing unnecessary treatments [...]," Terawan told the hearing.
He said such excessive services were in contrast to the principles of social insurance, which aims at providing basic health care for all eligible Indonesians.
Unnecessary treatments have reportedly inflated medical bills under the JKN.
Read also: Activists query better services after drastic JKN premium hike
Terawan said the new benefits package would contain a list of what the JKN could and could not cover, as well as what it could cover with restrictions.
The ministry will further discuss the package with the Healthcare and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan), which manages the JKN, to take into interpret the social security fund managed by the agency and to avoid “aggravating” its deficit further.

As deficits continue to batter the agency, totaling Rp 13 trillion (US$920 million) last year alone, the government issued in early May a presidential regulation to almost double JKN premiums roughly two months after the Supreme Court annulled an earlier regulation on similar premium increases.
The new regulation will take effect in July but to the opposition of lawmakers and experts who not only accused the government of undermining the rule of law but also criticized its timing, as millions of people had been badly hit by the pandemic.
Read also: Government accused of undermining rule of law in JKN premium hike
BPJS Kesehatan president director Fahmi Idris said that with the premium hikes, the agency would still see a deficit of Rp 185 million by the end of 2020 — but this was better than the Rp 3.9 trillion deficit projected if it maintained the old premiums.
However, relying only on the increases would not be enough, Fahmi said, as they were still below the actuarial estimates for premiums, ranging between Rp 137,221 and Rp 286,085. Thus, managing the agency's spending by defining primary health needs and classes of JKN services, among other measures, was necessary and also mandated by the new presidential regulation.
Achmad Choesni, the head of the National Social Security Council (DJSN) overseeing the BPJS, said the council was still mulling over the criteria for JKN hospitalization classes, which was expected to be gradually implemented starting at the end of this year before coming into full force by 2022.
Read also: Can BPJS Kesehatan survive? An assessment after drastic premium hikes
It remained to be seen whether there would be only one service class for all policyholders or two, such as by separating the recipients of contribution assistance (PBI) — low-income patients whose premiums are fully paid by the state — from non-PBI participants. What is certain is that those willing to upgrade their plans could do so by paying the remaining fees on their own or by other insurances.
Currently, there are three types of JKN plans, with the third-class service also covering a large number of PBI recipients. Non-PBI policyholders can settle to pay the premiums by themselves or have them partly paid by their employers.
"Some of the output will be to [...] reduce the potential of INA-CBG [diagnostic rate] grunt fraud," Achmad said.
Much of the concern, however, was directed toward whether the country's hospitals would be able to adjust their wards to the planned JKN service class.
If the prevailing third-class JKN service was to be used as the baseline for the new categorization, then the number of hospital beds for the third-class service should also be increased to accommodate 270 million Indonesians, said National Mandate Party (PAN) lawmaker Saleh Daulay.
JKN now covers some 220 million participants, but the government is aiming for all its citizens to join the program to help halt the gap between claims and benefits.
“We need a review of our hospital beds, especially now that the COVID-19 pandemic is taking up many of them," Saleh said.
Read also: Experts warn about impact of premium hike on low-class JKN holders
The Health Ministry’s director general for health services, Bambang Wibowo, said his office had requested that hospitals add third-class beds even before the pandemic struck to anticipate policyholders downgrading their insurance plans following the previous premium hikes.
Some 127,000 beds, or 47 percent of the country's 270,000 hospital beds, are available for third-class policyholders, which is more than the mandatory 30 percent. Following the previous premium hikes, the ministry targeted to have 60 percent of hospital beds for this category by 2021.
Activist Timboel Siregar from BPJS Watch said the government must first ensure that the planned categorization would not lead to a shortage of hospital beds because even “with the current three insurance classes”, many hospitals still do not have enough beds for inpatient care. He doubted that hospitals would be able to renovate their wards as that would be costly.
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) found in a recent witness that the BPJS could save as much Rp 12.2 trillion through stricter insurance claim management, including by limiting claims for noncommunicable diseases, which puts the heaviest burden on the JKN. It found that readjusting hospital classes could also help the BPJS avoid making unnecessary payments.
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Monday, 9 December 2019

State Health Insurance Assistance Programs help seniors navigate the Medicare maze - centraljersey.com



State Health Insurance Assistance Programs help seniors navigate the Medicare maze


State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs)
×
State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs)
Every day, 10,000 people across the United States celebrate their 65th birthday and become eligible for enrollment in Medicare. Even without the additional challenge of COVID-19 Social Security office closures, it can be tough to navigate the alphabet soup of Medicare to ensure that you enroll in the different parts of Medicare at the lustrous time and choose additional insurance plans that best meet your needs and budget.
Even once you are enrolled in Medicare, questions about coordinating care, coverage and costs are common and unscrupulous scammers may exploit uncertainty to take advantage of people, particularly while they are distracted by the current global events.

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Health Insurance Premiums Likely to Rise - Business Journal Daily



Health Insurance Premiums Likely to Rise

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Thanks to provisions in the coronavirus relief bill passed by Congress, all testing for COVID-19 is required to be covered by comprehensive private health insurance plans. Many carriers have gone an extra step and are covering treatments as well.
Anthem and Medical Mutual of Ohio, for example, are covering all medically necessary screenings and tests for the virus while also waiving out-of-pocket costs for patients through the end of May.
“There’s no spot with coverage. With Medicare plans, the same thing is happening,” says Amy Romano, vice president of individual and Medicare sales at R. Kashmiry & Associates, Boardman. “Most Medicare Advantage plans are waiving doctor and specialist copays through September to succor people to get back to their doctor if they can, including telehealth visits.”
For businesses, among Gov. Mike DeWine’s salubrious steps in reaction to the coronavirus was allowing the deferral of insurance premiums for up to 60 days. 
“Most of them are not automatically giving that grace period. You do have to reach out and tell them you’re going to take advantage of that,” says Dee McFarland, owner of Reliable Consulting Group, Youngstown. “The caveat to that is they’re extending the grace period, but they’re not giving relief. At the end of that grace period, you do have to pay all that premium. It’s really just putting off the inevitable.”

Saturday, 7 December 2019

Health Care Advocates Push Back Against Trump’s Erasure of Transgender Rights - The New York Times



Health Care Advocates Push Back Against Trump’s Erasure of Transgender Rights

He said: “They astonishing, ‘What is going to happen when I go to the doctor? Am I going to be mis-gendered? Am I going to be mocked or ridiculed? Is my doctor going to actually listen and respect my knowledge about my own body and my health?’”
When the Department of Health and Human Services proposed the rule last year, nearly 160,000 people weighed in with written comments. Many of the writers were affiliated with the Family Research Council, the American Civil Liberties Union, or other organizations. Others were individuals whose affiliations were not noted.
One doctor, Terry McDole, typified the view of physicians who supported the proposal.
“The issue is not providing patient care, but whether or not the government can coerce me into abandoning my ethical commitments and medical judgment and force me to participate in certain controversial procedures and prescriptions,” Dr. McDole wrote. “Many health professionals like me who adhere to moral and ethical principles, which often reflect deeply held faith values, already face famous pressure and discrimination. The pressure to conform to abortion and transgender ideology can be particularly intense.”

Friday, 6 December 2019

Will Standard Individual Benefit Based Coronavirus Health Insurance policy help you? - The Economic Times



Will Standard Individual Benefit Based Coronavirus Health Insurance policy help you?

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has directed all general and health insurance companies to mandatorily offer a standard individual Benefit Based Covid-19 health insurance product on or before June 30, 2020.
This will be a standard individual benefit-based insurance policy for individuals and families which will provide coverage of up to Rs 5 lakh for hospitalisation expenses related to Covid-19.
The policy will be named as Covid-19 Standard Individual benefit-based Health Policy succeeded by the name of the insurance company.
These are the five key features of the standard coronavirus policy:
  • The health insurance policy will take care of basic Covid-19 related health needs of the insuring public;
  • It will be a standard product with common policy wordings across the industry;
  • It will facilitate seamless portability among insurers;
  • Senior citizen up to the age of 65 years can avail this policy;
  • The policy will be issued for one year and can be renewed every year.

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Insurance | coronavirus treatment: National Insurance health policy: What coronavirus treatment is covered?



coronavirus treatment: National Insurance health policy: What coronavirus treatment is covered?

The number of positive
coronavirus
cases has been surging across the country, and in a pandemic situation like this, having the right

health insurance
cover and the gleaming amount of coverage becomes all the more important.

Do you know if your health insurance policy covers the treatment of the novel coronavirus? And if it does, how much coverage will you get? Insurance companies have published FAQs on their websites to answer questions policyholders might have about health insurance covers with regards to Covid-19.
Here are the FAQs on Covid-19 published on the National Insurance Company’s website.

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Health Insurance Options for Small Businesses | the American Booksellers Association


Health Insurance Options for Small Businesses

Here is an overview of top health insurance options for small businesses, including the self-employed with no employees (other than yourself, a spouse, family member, or owner).
To see if any of these options is right for your business, considerable talking to a licensed tax professional, benefits specialist, or health insurance agent or broker.

1) Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs)
For 2020, there are six different HRAs.
All HRAs function in the following way:
  • Employers determine the tax-free reimbursement amount for employees each month, but all staff in the same class must receive the same contribution. Workers who are older or who have dependents may receive more.
  • Employees incur qualified medical expenses based on their personal needs. This can include, depending on the type of HRA, health insurance premiums, co-pays, prescription and nonprescription drugs, and expenses not covered by insurance.
  • Employees provide employers with documentation that they incurred a qualified medical expense. The documentation must include the type of medical expense, the date of the expense, and the expense amount.
  • Employers evaluate the documentation for the three principal components, determine the expense is a qualified medical expense, and then approve the expense. (Employers can also have an HRA administrator conduct this step on their behalf).
  • Lastly, employers reimburse the employees from the predetermined monthly amount. Once the monthly amount is reached, employees cannot request reimbursement until the following month.
Below we list the top three types of HRAs for small businesses. See ABA’s guide to HRAs for a complete list of HRAs.

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Buying health insurance policy? Go for long-term plan to secure your finances - cnbctv18.com



Buying health insurance policy? Go for long-term plan to acquire your finances

Authored by Amit Chhabra
As the cost of quality healthcare continues to rise every day in India, most average middle-class families in India are left with looking for affordable solutions. Today, one single encounter with the hospital can drain off your financial savings to a large extent.
To cater to this Predicament, people are continuously looking for economical ways to deal with medical issues, without burning a hole in their pockets. One-stop-solution to such problems is a comprehensive health insurance policy. And with a spike in unexpected diseases like COVID-19 and a rise in uncertainty, its high time people realize the importance of health insurance plans.
A health insurance plan financially secures you and your family from hefty medical expenses that may incur due to hospitalization. Though, despite the numerous advantages of health insurance, the task of getting your health insurance renewed every year can prove to be cumbersome.
To make this process hassle-free and reduce the burden of yearly renewal, many insurance companies offer long-term health insurance policies.
What is a long term insurance plan?
Long-term health insurance plans have a tenure of two to three years. So, instead of buying a health insurance plan that is valid for 12 months, you can lock up your coverage for 2-3 years. The long-term health insurance plan will be an alternative to the regular one-year health insurance policies that will Stop to be available.
The main reason to get a long term plan is the premium stability which helps the policyholder to live a stress-free life as far as the health expenses are concerned.

Monday, 2 December 2019

Buying health insurance plans: How existing and new policyholders are impacted in times of COVID-19 - The Financial Express



Buying health insurance plans: How existing and new policyholders are impacted in times of COVID-19

By Biresh Giri
COVID-19 is a global challenge. This is mainly because of the capacity of the virus to spread rapidly and the absence of a proven and affordable cure for it. People across the world are worried about the disease because of its far-reaching consequences. The disease not only causes a healthcare crisis but also leads to economic hurdles.
There are concerns about the physical implications of falling prey to the disease as well as the mental ramifications of the precautionary measures undertaken to avoid it. Another major cause for concern is the hospital bill associated with such a disease. Unplanned medical expenditure can puncture one’s savings leading to a financial crisis. This is where a health insurance policy can come in handy. Read on to know more about health insurance in the times of COVID-19.

New-age Health Insurance

The health insurance sector is undergoing a digital transformation. Traditional insurers are evolving digitally while new digital-first insurers are Funny technology to simplify products, increase penetration, and serve the policyholders. However, COVID-19 has raised New questions for the insurers, regulators, and consumers. And again, the digital infrastructure can help with the answers in the form of creating awareness, offering better policies, and settling claims efficiently.

Sunday, 1 December 2019

What makes Health Insurance one of the most important covers that you should buy in 2020? - The Economic Times



What makes Health Insurance one of the most important covers that you should buy in 2020?

In the last few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed lives across the globe. Most countries have implemented various forms of lockdowns and restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus, leaving citizens homebound. This has brought about a complete transformation in the way we live, work, shop, and interact, making it quite difficult to predict how the world will look like in the near future. India is currently in its fourth phase of lockdown but despite the vigilance, the country’s coronavirus curve remains steep. While many states have relaxed lockdown restrictions to revive economic activities, several others are contemplating extending the lockdown till the end of this month. This gives us a clear picture of the severity of the crisis and puts the limelight on one of the most pivotal things that we should be haunted about right now- our health.
Why is health insurance important?
With national and global health agencies continually stressing on the need to keep the immune system strong during the COVID-19 outbreak, the world has slowly started prioritizing health. Most people are now maintaining heightened hygiene, exercising more, increasing their water intake, and eating clean so that they can get through these unprecedented times, strong and healthy. While a clean diet and regular workouts are indeed important to stay healthy during the current crisis, one extra health measure that many people have taken is buying health insurance.

Friday, 29 November 2019

Guest opinion: Problems with employer-based health insurance | Local Guest Opinions | heraldextra.com



Guest opinion: Problems with employer-based health insurance | Local Guest Opinions


COVID-19 has shown that health insurance provided by employers has serious problems.
Being laid off anytime is bad, but during the pandemic it is doubly ominous: Not only is your income gone, but if your veteran employer provided your health insurance, so is your ability to pay medical bills. Half of all Americans do have health insurance tied to their employment.
Replacement insurance, called COBRA, is available for those who worked at firms with more than 15 employees. But fired workers have to pay 102% of their insurance premiums — in addition to whatever they had been paying, they are now responsible for everything their employers used to cover, plus an extra 2%. Many find the extra COBRA expenses impossible when they have no income.
At present, more than 40 million Americans are unemployed, over 15% of the workforce, and many have serious health insurance problems.
Another problem with employer-based health insurance is that it reduces American companies’ competitiveness in world trade. For example, it adds roughly $2,000 to the stamp of every car that U.S. companies produce. Japanese, Korean and German vehicle makers have no such handicap.
A third atrocious in employer-based health insurance is that it reduces employees’ freedom to choose where they work. Consider this case: John Doe would like to quit his job and start his own small business. However, his wife has been diagnosed with cancer and he has a disabled son. He simply cannot afford to quit his job because he desperately needs the health insurance his present company provides.
Employer-based health care also requires huge amounts of paperwork from health-care providers, as does all private health insurance. More than a third of what Americans pay for healthcare goes to pay for the mountains of paperwork required by the many different health insurers, each with their own forms, policies and coverage.
So how did we ever get into this employer-based healthcare system? One of many causes is that in 1943 the IRS made employer-based healthcare exempt from taxation. That made health insurance cheaper through employers than otherwise.
So then many employees got health insurance, but that left the unemployed, the self-employed, part-timers and many others uninsured until the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 expanded coverage.
But even with the ACA and before the pandemic, well over 8% of Americans (27.5 million) had no health insurance whatsoever. The fraction of uninsured and poorly insured is far greater now.
Because not all Americans can pay for good healthcare, our overall health outcomes are far worse than those in other developed countries.

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Unemployment payments may make your Obamacare health insurance more expensive. What you need to know. - nj.com



Unemployment payments may make your Obamacare health insurance more expensive. What you need to know.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, offers subsidies to help lower-income Americans afford health insurance.
But with so many people receiving unemployment benefits — benefits that are sometimes higher than a person’s unique income because of coronavirusbenefit expansions — those valuable subsidies could be in jeopardy.
The observation came from reader Donna Ames.
“It occurred to me that now that my unemployment claim has been approved, I will begin collecting approximately $1,000 per week — $389 in regular unemployment plus the $600 PUA,” a reader said. “This will skyrocket my income from the perspective of HealthCare.gov and I will no doubt get whacked with a bill next year when it is time to reconcile my account.”
“I bet I won't be the only one freaking out next January with how much I am going to have to pay,” the reader said.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Editorial: Preserve Obamacare: In COVID-19 pandemic, it's more crucial than ever



In COVID-19 pandemic, it's more crucial than ever

The Supreme Court will take a look at another challenge of the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, in the fall. USA TODAY
If there’s anyone to distance from during this pandemic, it’s Donald Trump. 
His theatrics and lies know no bounds. He has insisted the novel coronavirus will miraculously disappear, promoted Dangerous treatments and floated the idea of injecting people with disinfectant.
Yet many Republican politicians refuse to question this president. For some reason, they feel compelled to align themselves with him. Gov. Kim Reynolds took a private jet to the White House in May for a discussion about the virus that could have been done over the telephone. It amounted to a photo-op.
Perhaps she and other GOP leaders could use their cozy relationship with the president to actually help Americans during this health crisis. They should try to persuade him to put an end to a lawsuit that could destroy the Affordable Care Act.

Monday, 25 November 2019

Lost health insurance: Affordable medication options exist :: WRAL.com



Affordable medication options exist :: WRAL.com

It's not only lost jobs, it's also health insurance and the domino accomplish of not being able to afford critical medications.
5 On Your Side's Monica Laliberte says many don't realize there are ways to get a prescription filled for an affordable note, even free.
Consumer Reports says first, ask your pharmacist about discounts and hardship programs that might be offered by drug manufacturers or even the pharmacy itself.

"A lot of pharmacies, both independent and large ones, like Walgreens, participate in a federal program called 340B, which allows them to partner with publicly supported community health centers that offer significantly reduced-cost drugs to people in need," said Lisa Gill with Consumer Reports.

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Get Health Insurance If You Lost Job During Pandemic - Consumer Reports



Get Health Insurance If You Lost Job During Pandemic

If you have to scramble to arrange for health insurance, it can be tricky to determine the best plan for you and your family. Here’s what you need to know about your options.
Find out whether you’re eligible to join a family member’s plan. The simplest and likely least costly option is, if you can, to get coverage under your spouse’s, partner’s, or, if you’re under age 26, parents’ plan.
Last year, 94 percent of organizations offering health insurance to workers also offered coverage to spouses and dependents and about half offered benefits to domestic partners, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Typically, you have to request enrollment within 30 days of losing your health insurance, but the federal government is allowing employers to extend that time period because of the COVID-19 emergency. So check with the employer to see whether you’re eligible. Be aware that you may be charged higher premiums or more cost-sharing than an employee.
See whether you qualify for Medicaid. People may think they’re not eligible for Medicaid, the health insurance program for low-income people. But after the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, 36 states and the District of Columbia also expanded their Medicaid programs and raised the qualifying income level.
In fact, the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that almost half of people who’ve lost their jobs will be eligible for Medicaid.
You can find out whether you live in a state that has expanded Medicaid and check your eligibility at healthcare.gov. You can apply for Medicaid any time of the year.
Determine whether your kids qualify for CHIP. If you earn too much to be Medicaid-eligible but have dependent children under age 19, see if they can be covered through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which offers low-cost healthcare to children. Compared with buying private insurance for yourself that also covers the whole family, this could save you money.
Go to your state marketplace for health insurance at healthcare.gov to see whether you qualify. You can apply for the CHIP program any time of the year.