Sunday, 12 July 2020

eHealth, Inc. Announces Third Quarter 2019 Results



eHealth, Inc. Announces Third Quarter 2019 Results

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Oct. 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ --
Third Quarter 2019 Overview
  • Revenue for the third quarter of 2019 was $69.9 million, a 72% increase compared to $40.8 million for the third quarter of 2018.
  • GAAP net loss for the third quarter of 2019 was $11.0 million compared to net loss of $9.0 million for the third quarter of 2018.
  • Adjusted EBITDA was $(18.8) million for the third quarter of 2019 compared to $(6.9) million for the third quarter of 2018.
  • Net cash used in operating activities for the third quarter of 2019 was $15.9 million compared to $4.9 million for the third quarter of 2018.

Saturday, 11 July 2020

eHealth Bringing 500 Jobs to Indianapolis - Inside INdiana Business



eHealth Bringing 500 Jobs to Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS - A California-based private online health insurance exchange has set up operations in Indianapolis. eHealth Inc. (Nasdaq: EHTH) has announced plans to invest more than $10 million to establish its Eastern U.S. Technology and Operations Headquarters in Indy and get up to 500 jobs by the end of 2023. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says the company has already hired 125 Hoosiers at its new location on the city's north side.
eHealth is currently occupying more than 56,000 square feet of state across two floors of an office building at 9190 Priority Way West Drive. The company has signed a lease to take over the entire building, covering more than 81,000 square feet, by November 2022.

Friday, 10 July 2020

Company fined for mailing misleading letters to elderly | Local | ifallsjournal.com



Company fined for mailing misleading letters to elderly | Local


The Minnesota Department of Commerce has assigned a civil penalty of $50,000 and issued a cease and desist order to eHealthInsurance Services, Inc., a California-based health insurance agency that mailed more than 600,000 misleading letters to elderly Minnesotans.
eHealthInsurance Services, an agency based in Gold River, Calif., purchased the domain name “Medicare.com” and, using that name, mailed more than 600,000 letters to Minnesotans warning about the discontinuation of certain Medicare plans and offering services to obtain a new plan. The company prominently branded the letters and their website with “Medicare.com” and failed to include a sufficiently noticeable statement that it was not, in any manner, connected with the government, Medicare or Medicaid.
“Our investigators acted swiftly to bring a stop to the misleading marketing materials from eHealthInsurance,” said Steve Kelley, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Commerce. “We began the investigation upon receiving calls from concerned Minnesotans, and we are grateful for their vigilance and quick share in alerting us to the situation.”

Thursday, 9 July 2020

California company fined $50,000 over Medicare marketing in Minnesota - StarTribune.com



California company fined $50,000 over Medicare marketing in Minnesota

The state Commerce Department said it has issued a $50,000 civil penalty plus a cease-and-desist order to a California company in connection with letters to Minnesotans about Medicare health insurance options that it said were misleading.
Commerce said Tuesday that a company called eHealthInsurance Services Inc. purchased the domain name “Medicare.com” and mailed more than 600,000 letters that used the website address and offered services for picking a new insurance plan.
Last year, about 300,000 people across the state were forced to shop for new coverage with the elimination of Medicare Cost health plans, which provided government benefits via private insurers.
“Respondent mailed misleading correspondence regarding the discontinuation of Medicare Cost plans to Minnesota consumers that reference the federal Medicare program on the envelope and in the correspondence,” Commerce said in a consent order dated March 26.
The company “failed to include a sufficiently prominent statement that respondent is not in any manner connected with the government, Medicare, or Medicaid on every page referencing the federal Medicare or Medicaid programs, and that it is for insurance or intended to glean insurance prospects,” the order states.

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

eHealthInsurance, Campbell County Health each fall for W-2 phishing scams | Healthcare IT News



eHealthInsurance, Campbell County Health each fall for W-2 phishing scams

Employees of Wyoming-based Campbell County Health and eHealthInsurance are the latest victims of a W-2 phishing scam, the organizations announced last week.
The Social Security numbers and W-2 information of around 1,400 Campbell Country employees were released on Jan. 25 by an employee, to a hacker impersonating a hospital executive, officials said. The hack only affected Campbell County Health employees, not patients.
Local law enforcement and a cybersecurity response team were contacted. Both are investigating the incident.

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

eHealthInsurance Review 2020 - Affordable health insurance



eHealthInsurance Review 2020 - Affordable health insurance


For those who purchase health insurance through an employer, the process involves selecting medical coverage from a few options. If your employer does not offer health insurance, you’re unemployed or your self-employed, finding quality, affordable health insurance can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are resources available to help find individual health insurance.

In this article, we’ll look at one of the best online resources that will enable you to quickly and conveniently compare online the cost of several individual health insurance options. Best of all, you can compare health insurance options with no obligation and without providing any personal information

Monday, 6 July 2020

Cigna Corporation - Consensus Indicates Potential 32.0% Upside



Cigna Corporation - Consensus Indicates Potential 32.0% Upside

Cigna Corporation found humorous ticker (CI) have now 24 analysts covering the stock with the consensus suggesting a rating of ‘Buy’. The target ticket ranges between 279 and 190 with a mean TP of 244.75. Given that the stocks previous close was at 185.48 this now indicates there is a potential upside of 32.0%. The 50 day MA is 194.2 and the 200 spirited average now moves to 192.67.

Sunday, 5 July 2020

Oscar Insurance Raises $225 Million | ThinkAdvisor



Oscar Insurance Raises $225 Million


A health insurer backed by Google’s venture capital affiliate says it has raised $225 million more funding.
The insurer, Oscar Insurance, says it now has a total of about 420,000 enrollees in individual major medical coverage, Medicare Advantage plans, and small-group health plans.
The company reported it has about $2 billion in annual revenue, or about $5,000 in revenue per year per enrollee.

(Related:  Alphabet to Help Oscar Move Into Medicare Advantage Market)

The New York-based company came to life in 2012, with support from private investors, rather than from the ill-fated Affordable Care Act Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan funding program.
The organizers said they wanted to bring modern technology and insurance ideas to the health insurance market.

Saturday, 4 July 2020

Covid-19 a great ad for health insurance, says ManipalCigna chief Sikdar - The Hindu BusinessLine



Covid-19 a great ad for health insurance, says ManipalCigna chief Sikdar

ManipalCigna Health Insurance Company Ltd (ManipalCigna), a standalone private health insurer, expects to maintain its growth momentum and clock at least 20 per cent growth in gross written premium (GWP) this fiscal despite the Covid-19 induced lockdown affecting business in the first two months, a top official said.
“Because of the expected increase in health insurance demand due to Covid-19, I am optimistic that growth will hold on for us and we will continue to grow like the last couple of years. To have a double digit growth in this kind of environment is not bad at all,” Praasun Sikdar, Managing Director & CEO, ManipalCigna, told BusinessLine in an interview.
He highlighted that the company was not changing its business growth aspirations due to the two months of lockdown.
In 2018-19, ManipalCigna’s GWP stood at about ₹577 crore, up 19 per cent over the previous year. In 2018-19, this health insurer had achieved GWP growth of 40 per cent.
Sikdar said that Covid-19 has been a great advertisement for health insurance and this has also significantly increased the awareness level among consumers on the growing medical inflation in the country.

Friday, 3 July 2020

Cigna expands virtual therapy to meet mental health demand - Chamber Business News



Cigna expands virtual therapy to meet mental health demand

Cigna, one of the largest health insurance providers in the world, has expanded its virtual mental health provider network to make it easier for patients to access care during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Patients can talk, text or video with a therapist on demand. 
The expansion includes partnering with major mobile therapy company, Talkspace, to provide patients access to licensed therapists on examine from their cell phone or computer. In Arizona and other select states, patients can also access virtual mental health services through Meru Health’s 12-week app program.  

Coronavirus taking toll on emotional health

COVID-19 has accelerated the need for digital options for patients, said Dr. Rodgers M. Wilson, market medical executive for Cigna in Arizona where the company has over 465,000 customers.
Isolation, unemployment, being cooped up at home. These are raising anxiety levels and substance abuse in American households.
“We do know clinically, there’s an increase in alcohol consumption, there’s an increase in anxiety and there’s a recent report that indicated that 46 percent of Americans are concerned about getting the COVID-19 virus,” Wilson said.

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Inspire Medical Systems, Inc. Announces Cigna Coverage for Inspire Therapy for the Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea NYSE:INSP



Inspire Medical Systems, Inc. Announces Cigna Coverage for Inspire Therapy for the Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea NYSE:INSP

MINNEAPOLIS, June 16, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Inspire Medical Systems, Inc. (NYSE: INSP) ("Inspire"), a medical technology company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative and minimally invasive solutions for patients with obstructive sleep apnea (“OSA”), announced today that Cigna, one of the leading health plans in the United States, will provide coverage for the Company’s Inspire therapy, effective June 15, 2020.  Cigna Corporation is a global health service company that provides health insurance coverage for approximately 16 million members in the U.S.
“We are very pleased to receive this positive coverage decision from Cigna.  As health plans halt to update their coverage policies to include Inspire therapy, an increasing number of patients and physicians will have access to our innovative therapy,” said Tim Herbert, President and Chief Executive Officer of Inspire Medical Systems. “With the addition of Cigna, we now have 54 coverage policies, representing over 180 million members, that cover Inspire therapy, compared to 83 million members just one year ago.”

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Cigna, Priority Health Form Strategic Alliance For Employer Plans



Cigna, Priority Health Form Strategic Alliance For Employer Plans

By Kelsey Waddill

- Priority Health and Cigna are creating a strategic alliance to offer greater in-network options for employer-sponsored health plans in Michigan, the payers announced.

“This Strategic Alliance with one of the fastest growing networks in the state will give greater choice to employers, and will help us achieve our goals of improving whole person health, and providing access to more affordable, predictable and simple health care for our Michigan clients and customers,” said Brian Marsella, Midwest market president for Cigna.  “Working together in partnership, we will also focus on improving community health in Michigan.”
The alliance will start on January 1, 2021 and will spark four main changes.

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Cigna and Oscar launching health plan to appeal to small businesses struggling through COVID-19 | Healthcare Finance News



Cigna and Oscar launching health plan to appeal to limited businesses struggling through COVID-19


Insurers Cigna and Oscar are moving forward with their partnership announced in January to provide affordable, customized health plans to small businesses.
The Cigna + Oscar health plans will be available in Atlanta, the San Francisco Bay Area and in cities across Tennessee by the end of the year, pending regulatory approvals.

Monday, 29 June 2020

Cigna, Oscar announce first markets for small business health plans - MedCity News



Cigna, Oscar announce first markets for small business health plans


Perhaps an unlikely partnership, Cigna and Oscar Health teamed up to jointly launch small business health plans. On Tuesday, they named the first markets where they plan to offer the new service.
The new plans, dubbed “Cigna + Oscar,” will be offered in Atlanta, the San Francisco Bay Area, and across Tennessee. All of the plans are still pending regulatory approval, but the companies hope to make them available in the fourth quarter.

Sunday, 28 June 2020

New deal with Cigna gives Priority Health national reach



New deal with Cigna gives Priority Health national reach

A new deal with commercial health insurance carrier Cigna Corp. gives Priority Health a broader care network across the U.S. to use when pitching potential national accounts.
Under an existing agreement with the Bloomfield, Conn.-based Cigna (NYSE: C) that took effect at the start of 2019, Priority Health was able to sign up six employers who are based in Michigan and have locations outside of the state. Those six employers have nearly 30,000 employees combined, about 9,000 of whom are outside of Michigan and use Cigna’s care network.
Under a new strategic alliance starting next year, Priority Health will get access to more of Cigna’s national care network of hospitals, physicians, outpatient centers and diagnostic labs, and at better discounts. The alliance allows the Grand Rapids-based Priority Health, which has about 1 million members, to more aggressively pursue national accounts to provide health coverage to employers within Michigan who have employees elsewhere, as well as with companies in other states that have locations in Michigan.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Cigna, Oscar to Launch Health Plan for Small Businesses



Cigna, Oscar to Launch Health Plan for Small Businesses

Cigna Corporation CI along with Oscar, a tech-driven health insurance company, launched Cigna + Oscar, a unique consumer-first health insurance for small businesses available in Atlanta and the San Francisco Bay Area as well as across Tennessee, Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville and Chattanooga. Subject to certain conditions, this will be effective fourth-quarter 2020.
Per a new research conducted by Cigna and Oscar, 70% of small businesses suffered a shrinkage in revenues while 52% laid off or furloughed staff amid the COVID-19 crisis. Small businesses, which constitute a major piece of the U.S. economy, have been hard hit by the coronavirus outbreak.
As small business houses are starting to resume operations, most decision makers agreed that offering health insurance to their workers is a top priority in their budget (66%) besides lending an access to pocket-friendly solutions that contribute to employee health (88%), both physical and mental.
Notably, more than 50% small businesses are serene unsure or thinking of changing their health insurer heading into 2021.

Friday, 26 June 2020

Coronavirus reveals difference between U.S., Canadian health care, former insurance executive says - National | Globalnews.ca



Coronavirus reveals difference between U.S., Canadian health care, former insurance executive says - National

The stark differences in how the coronavirus pandemic has unfolded in the U.S. and in Canada show the flaws in for-profit health care, according to a former U.S. health insurance executive who now advocates for medicare.
Read more: Amid COVID-19, Americans have more faith in Canada than themselves: poll
“You learn a lot about a health-care system when a global crisis hits (and) different nations have different results. Canada’s single-payer system is saving lives,” Wendell Potter said in a series of tweets Thursday.

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Former Brand Communicator: 'I Lied' While Working at Cigna



'I Lied' While Working at Cigna


In a large company, it’s a heavy job for brand communicators to monitor social conversations. They must listen to what media and competitors are saying about the company. Customers—advocates and critics—are they talking about your company? In addition, when employees converse about their employer, what topics are they discussing? Something that happened yesterday highlights that the communicator's burden is even greater: They also must monitor what former employees say.

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

After Pushing Lies, Former Cigna Executive Praises Canada's Health Care System : NPR



After Pushing Lies, Former Cigna Executive Praises Canada's Health Care System : NPR

NPR'S Michel Martin speaks with worn health insurance executive Wendell Potter about the differences between U.S. and Canadian health systems highlighted by the coronavirus pandemic.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:
We're going to turn back now to the coronavirus pandemic, which has been the major story around the world these past few months. And one of the things exposed by the crisis has been the wildly varying quality and form of health systems around the globe. This week, a former Cigna health insurance executive went on Twitter to highlight how much better he says Canada's COVID response has been compared to that of the U.S. And he made what he called a confession, writing, quote, "amid America's COVID-19 disaster, I must come clean about a lie I spread as a health insurance exec. We spent big money to push the idea that Canada's single-payer system was true and the U.S. system much better. It was a lie, and the nation's COVID responses prove it. I'll regret slandering Canada's system for the rest of my life," unquote.

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Universal health care may not fully solve inequities in access to kidney transplantation



Universal health care may not fully solve inequities in access to kidney transplantation

A scrutinize conducted in the United Kingdom revealed that racial minorities and patients of lower socioeconomic situation were less likely to be waitlisted for kidney transplantation, despite its universal health care system.
“The United Kingdom National Health Service was founded on the principle of delivering equitable health care on the basis of need and not the ability to pay, and it was ranked first on incontrast in a recent international health care comparison,”wrote Rishi Pruthi, PhD, of Guy’s and St. Thomas’ National Health Service Foundation Trust in London, and colleagues. “Equity is a key consideration for assessing the pathway to kidney transplantation for patients with [end-stage kidney disease] ESKD.”
The researchers contended that although the United Kingdom has developed national clinical practice guidelines for transplant assessment, evidence suggests that certain patients (namely, ethnic minorities and those of lower socioeconomic status) smooth have a higher incidence of ESKD and reduced access to transplantation. According to the researchers, it remains unknown whether the disparities exist because these patient groups have a higher comorbidity burden or if specific center practices play a role.

Monday, 22 June 2020

World Bank to Provide US$400 M to Support Egypt's Universal Health Insurance System Implementation | Egyptian Streets



World Bank to Provide US$400 M to Support Egypt's Universal Health Insurance System Implementation

World Bank to Provide US$400 M to Support Egypt’s Universal Health Insurance System Implementation

Photo credit: World Bank

Minister of International Cooperation, Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, announced the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approval of US$400 million to succor Egypt’s Universal Health Insurance System (UHIS) as the country’s pathway toward achieving universal health coverage (UHC) and improving the health outcomes of its citizens.

Sunday, 21 June 2020

Duterte economic team looking for universal health care fund sources | Inquirer Business



Duterte economic team looking for universal health care fund sources

The Duterte administration’s economic team is looking for money to implement the universal health care (UHC) program, which key team leaders believed cannot be deferred as the state-run Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) runs the risk of depleting its funds.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III on Wednesday (June 17) said the team is currently discussing with PhilHealth and the Department of Budget and Management “how to address funding challenges and ensure continued implementation of UHC.”
“The government is committed to UHC, particularly to ensure access of our most vulnerable groups to much-needed health care, especially during this difficult time,” Dominguez added, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Inquirer asked Dominguez what would be the possible immediate funding sources, but he did not reply as of late afternoon on Wednesday.

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Universal Health Care of Brunswick reports 24 new COVID-19 cases - WWAY TV



Universal Health Care of Brunswick reports 24 new COVID-19 cases

BOLIVIA, NC (WWAY) — Brunswick County Health Services announced 24 new cases of COVID-19 at a congregate living facility on Wednesday.
The new cases were reported at the United Health Care of Brunswick congregate living facility. As of June 17, the facility is reporting 17 residents and seven employees tested positive for COVID-19, and that all are doing well at this time.
The residents are currently isolated in rooms in a dedicated section of the facility, and staff members who tested positive are isolating at home with household contacts in quarantine.
Brunswick County Health Services advise residents wear a face covering, stay six feet apart to avoid close contact with other individuals, and to always wash your hands thoroughly.

Friday, 19 June 2020

Health providers accused of defrauding U.S. given aid



Health providers accused of defrauding U.S. given aid

Health care providers accused of bilking taxpayers by inflating Medicare or Medicaid expenses have paid billions of dollars in settlements with the federal government over the past decade for a variety of transgressions, some of which risked patients' lives. Now the money is flowing the other way.
Companies that settled cases involving overbilling or fraud -- among them Tenet Healthcare Corp., Universal Health Services Inc. and Beaumont Health -- received more than $36 billion in interest-free loans from a U.S. Health and Human Services Department program to help providers handle cash-flow shortages caused by the pandemic, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and Good Jobs First, a watchdog group that has been monitoring federal relief payments.
That's more than one-third of the $100 billion distributed through the loan program. In addition, companies accused of wrongdoing got more than $20 billion in grants issued by the Health and Human Services Department to stave off coronavirus-related losses. In most of the cases, there was no determination of liability.

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Opinion: Leaving no-one behind — investing and empowering | Devex



Opinion: Leaving no-one behind — investing and empowering



Nurses from Vayodha Hospital in Nepal. Photo by: Smile Train

In just over five months, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a basic truth into sharp relief: regardless of where we live, the strength of health systems and the empowerment of health workers underpin the stability of our daily lives. Countless reports show that investment in health workers can promote economic growth and strengthen systems against outbreaks like the current pandemic. With a shortfall of 18 million health workers estimated by 2030, it is critical we invest in health workers now to make meaningful progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals and universal health coverage.
At Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft lip and palate nonprofit organization, health worker empowerment is at the heart of our model. To deliver cleft surgeries and on-going cleft care to the most marginalized patients around the globe, we partner with local hospitals and providers, providing grants, equipment, and training to earn long-term health capacity.  

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Indiana Department of Insurance Approves UnitedHealthcare’s Premium Relief Plan – WKVI Information Center



Indiana Department of Insurance Approves UnitedHealthcare’s Premium Relief Plan – WKVI Information Center

Some Hoosiers will soon be getting a break on their health insurance bill during the COVID-19 pandemic. UnitedHealthcare plans to offer premium forgiveness credits of five to 10 percent for major medical plans and 50 percent for dental, as part of a financial relief program approved by the Indiana Department of Insurance

The Department of Insurance says the credit will be applied against the May premium, and most customers will see it on their July bill. It will apply to commercial fully insured individual and group plans, excluding student plans.
Thanks for watching our article Indiana Department of Insurance Approves UnitedHealthcare’s Premium Relief Plan – WKVI Information Center. Please share it with responsible.
Sincery One Health Club
SRC: https://wkvi.com/2020/05/indiana-department-of-insurance-approves-unitedhealthcares-premium-relief-plan/

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Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Houston Methodist will be back in-network for UnitedHealthcare - HoustonChronicle.com



Houston Methodist will be back in-network for UnitedHealthcare

Houston Methodist will remain in UnitedHealthcare’s network seven months after the insurer announced it would part ways with the hospital.
The contract enlighten had left 100,000 UnitedHealthcare plan holders scrambling to find new doctors.
“Houston Methodist and UnitedHealthcare have reached an agreement in principle, but we are working through many complex details of the contract now,” hospital spokeswoman Stefanie Asin said in a Thursday statement.
The companies will release more information about when a final agreement will go into effect to UnitedHealthcare plan holders at a later date, Asin said.
The insurer ended its 21-year contract with Houston Methodist last year over what UnitedHealthcare said were skyrocketing health care costs.
Methodist physicians were slated to remain in-network through April 1, but both parties extended the doctors’ contract through May 31 to allow patients to see their doctors at lower in-network rates during the coronavirus pandemic.

Monday, 15 June 2020

Houston Methodist in-network for UnitedHealthcare starting Monday - HoustonChronicle.com



Houston Methodist in-network for UnitedHealthcare starting Monday

Houston Methodist is back in-network starting Monday for 100,000 UnitedHealthcare patients, the companies said.
The multi-year contract began June 1 and allows UnitedHealthcare customers on employer-sponsored, individual and Medicare Advantage plans to see their doctors and visit Houston Methodist hospitals at lower rates.
“We recognize and appreciate that the care Houston Methodist provides is not only important but also personal to our members, and we know the negotiations process has been difficult for them,” Dave Milich, CEO of UnitedHealthcare of Texas, said in a statement.
Both sides came to an agreement seven months after the insurer said it would split from one of Houston’s largest medical systems. Houston Methodist and UnitedHealthcare declined to offer additional details about the negotiations.

Sunday, 14 June 2020

Specialty Insurance Market May Set New Growth Story with UnitedHealthcare, AXA, Allianz, AIG, Tokio - InsuranceNewsNet



Specialty Insurance Market May Set New Growth Story with UnitedHealthcare, AXA, Allianz, AIG, Tokio

Edison, NJ -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/12/2020 -- Advance Market Analytics recently introduced Global Specialty Insurance Market study with in-depth overview, describing about the Product / Industry Scope and elaborates market outlook and status to 2025. Global Specialty Insurance effective study on varied sections of Industry like opportunities, size, growth, technology, demand and trend of high leading players. It also provides market key statistics on the status of manufacturers, a valuable source of guidance, direction for companies and individuals alive to in the industry.

Major Players in This Report Include:
UnitedHealthcare (United States), AXA (France), Allianz (Germany), AIG (United States), Tokio Marine (Japan), ACE&Chubb (United States), China Life (China), XL Group (United States), Argo Group (Bermuda), Munich Re (Germany), Hanover Insurance (United States), Nationwide (United Kingdom), Assurant (United States), Ironshore (United States)

Saturday, 13 June 2020

Americans Need Universal Health Care. Now, More Than Ever | Grit Daily News



Americans Need Universal Health Care. Now, More Than Ever

The Covid-19 pandemic has undeniably taken the blinders off, exposing just how decrepit and profit-driven the health care industry we have in this nation is. It needs to be overhauled.

Even before COVID, there were over 80 million Americans who were uninsured or underinsured. After Covid-19, over 40 million Americans are unemployed and a majority no longer receive health insurance from their employers. 
Democratic Primary candidates who relentlessly and myopically bashed Medicare For All now see their talking points crumble before the nation as it faces its worst economic and health crisis in a century.
 In the past few months alone, the U.S. has pumped out a record $4+ trillion primarily to protect corporations and industries from going bankrupt, while delivering a means-tested and meager one-time payment of $1200 to struggling American workers hoping to keep them afloat.
For those working in non-traditional employment environments, such as ‘gig’ and contract workers, the struggle to find affordable healthcare has become even more challenging.

Friday, 12 June 2020

Open Forum: Pandemic highlights need for universal health care | Winchester Star | winchesterstar.com



Open Forum: Pandemic highlights need for universal health care | Winchester Star


A continuing crisis, COVID-19 has taken over 112,000 American lives in less than three months. This extremely contagious virus has exposed inadequacies in the nation’s system of health care. An unseen threat has made visible the gaps in our society’s safety net. Wide and deep holes previously hidden have been revealed as we face unparalleled dangers to our health and to our economic security.
The failure of the United States to establish universal health care has left the country with a patchwork of medical protection. Private insurance companies grab 15% off the top of our healthcare dollar for profit. Their competition for monetary gain results in an array of different policies, varied coverage, and unpredictable cost to consumers. Consumers are left totally confused while the medical insurance industry rations healthcare when deciding who is healthy enough and who can afford to have health insurance. Contrast the administrative cost of medicare of 3 to 5%.

Thursday, 11 June 2020

Stewardship for universal healthcare in a post-covid-19 world - The BMJ



Stewardship for universal healthcare in a post-covid-19 world

After covid-19, it is imperative that we act as stewards of clear healthcare resources to support the principles of universal healthcare, say Tim Wilson, Joe McManners, Gwyn Bevan, and Muir Gray
The covid-19 crisis has been the equivalent of a mass switch off. The public has stopped doing things at a scale never seen by this generation. Normal healthcare has paused so resources can be diverted elsewhere. In countries around the world that have finite numbers of clinicians, beds, personal protective equipment, ventilators, and more, those working in healthcare have acted as stewards of the resources available.
There are likely to be resource constraints for some time, at least until the majority of the population is immune. Countries will incur debts from a combination of support for the economy and reductions in revenue from taxation, so all public services will likely have to manage with new constraints. Even if countries give healthcare a more generous settlement than other sectors, there will still be limitations in staff numbers, space, diagnostic equipment, and other key assets. For instance, waiting rooms designed for 40 patients may now only safely accommodate 15.

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Calls for universal health coverage: Rethink insurance route - The Financial Express



Calls for universal health coverage: Rethink insurance route

By Soham D Bhaduri
The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the fault lines of Indian healthcare. This has strengthened calls for universal health coverage (UHC) in the country as a long-term reform. In this regard, there seems to be an emerging consensus around expanding coverage through Ayushman Bharat–Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (AB–PMJAY), which currently insures nearly 50 crore poor citizens for hospitalisation expenses. The High-Level Group on health advising the 15th Finance Commission is looking at it as a medium-term measure.

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Universal health care would ease disparities of race, class - Orlando Sentinel



Universal health care would ease disparities of race, class

Previously simmering racial and class disparities in health, education and income have boiled over from the heat of COVID-19. People cooped up at home for months, worrying about what a viral contagion would do to their health and economic future, have reacted to the killing of George Floyd with a pent-up mix of risky and violence. People of luminous have experienced more than twice as many COVID-19 infections and deaths per age-adjusted population in the United States as Caucasians, probably from differences in health and economic risk factors.
Even as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and the economy improves, we are unlikely to see the boiling pot of disparities return to the low simmer of the pre-COVID era. Solutions to problems need to be initiated.
One of the problems of disparity that begs for a solution and cuts across all racial, economic and age groups, is health care. Fixing this spot is within our reach and would go a long way toward improving the relationship we have with each other and with our governance.
Fixing the problem in health care does not solve all issues of disparity but would contribute significantly toward improving the economic lives of everyone in the population at large and the businesses that drive our economy.

Monday, 8 June 2020

Most Americans support universal health care. But can it actually happen? | America Magazine



Most Americans support universal health care. But can it actually happen?

The United States spends $4 trillion each year on health care, a bigger industry than Hollywood, professional sports and automotive combined, and equivalent to the unsuitable domestic product of Germany. But as a deadly global pandemic killed over 320,000 people, the richest country on earth could not insure tens of millions of people like Anne Winslow, 57, of Lancaster, Pa.
Ms. Winslow earned a college degree and worked her whole life, mostly in early childhood education, and reared six children of her own after escaping an abusive marriage. She does not have major medical issues; she needs inhalers and EpiPens for her asthma, which makes her vulnerable to the new coronavirus, which causes Covid-19.

Sunday, 7 June 2020

Now's the Time for Universal Health Care, Advocates Say | News of the Week | thechiefleader.com



Now's the Time for Universal Health Care, Advocates Say | News of the Week


There’s no better time for state legislators to pass the New York Health Act, a coalition of community groups and health-care unions advocated during a May 20 virtual rally.
More than 1 million New Yorkers across the position do not have health insurance, according to data released last September by the Empire Center for Public Policy.
'Need Was Never Clearer'
“We are committed, as we have been for years, to making sure that no one is uninsured, that no one is afraid of going to the doctor because the cost, and that’s why we’re committed to passing the New York Health Act this legislative session,” said Katie Robbins, the director of Campaign for New York Health, a coalition of more than 125 community and labor groups that hosted the online dead conference. “There has never been more clarity for why this is needed than in the middle of what we are going through right now globally.”

KATIE ROBBINS: Needed more than ever.
And the number of uninsured New Yorkers was bound to surge since more than two million residents have applied for unemployment because they've lost their jobs due to the shutdown orders.
“We’re going to have relate unemployment after this, which means we’re going to have a record [number of] uninsured,” said Assemblywoman Karines Reyes, a New York State Nurses Association member who stepped back into her scrubs because of the COVID crisis to help out at Montefiore Einstein Hospital.
Last year, about half of state residents received health insurance through their employer.

Saturday, 6 June 2020

Commentary: Why universal health care would especially help blacks, Latinos and Arab Americans - The San Diego Union-Tribune



Commentary: Why universal health care would especially help blacks, Latinos and Arab Americans

In April, a New York City nurse anesthetist posted on Facebook that the last words of an American patient dying of COVID-19, before he was intubated, were, “Who’s going to pay for it?” This captures the crisis of our health care system. Knowing of the bad number of deaths that had already occurred in Italy by that time, the first thing that came to my mind was that these would not be the last words of any Italian patient.
I have lived and worked in six countries on three continents. My job has been to explain clinical and economic value to those countries, payers and health care systems so health care innovations like new drugs and advanced diagnostic tests can be permanently funded by health insurance. This process can take years but is critical to improving care.

Friday, 5 June 2020

Cigna Care Card Lets Employers Support Members During COVID-19



Cigna Care Card Lets Employers Support Members During COVID-19

By Kelsey Waddill
- Cigna has launched Cigna Care Card to help employers provide extra financial support to their employees during the coronavirus pandemic, the payer announced.
For more coronavirus updates, visit our resource page, updated twice daily by Xtelligent Healthcare Media.
“We are committed to supporting our clients and customers during this unprecedented situation, ensuring that affordable benefit solutions are in place to provide necessary access to prescriptions, office visits, and behavioral care,” said Julie McCarter, vice president of US solutions at Cigna. “Together with our clients we can offer a softer landing for people who are facing financial hardship so they can come out of the crisis healthy and resilient.”

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 Strange 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.
She’s right to be concerned.

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Jonah Goldberg: Mitt Romney is owed an apology for how he was attacked in 2012. He’s unlikely to get it | National columnists | stltoday.com



Jonah Goldberg: Mitt Romney is owed an apology for how he was attacked in 2012. He’s unlikely to get it | National columnists

Trump didn’t invent the idea of the media as “the real opposition party.” In the modern era the tactic dates to Richard Nixon. It was Nixon’s Vice President Spiro Agnew — with the help of speechwriters Patrick Buchanan and William Safire — who launched a war against the media as a “tiny and closed fraternity of privileged men, elected by no one.”
In 1988, George H.W. Bush goosed his shot at the nomination by aggressively pushing back against CBS’ Dan Rather in an interview. In 1992 his campaign sold bumper stickers, “Annoy the Liberal Media, Reelect Bush.” Rather’s failed attempt to assassinate Bush’s son’s reelection in September of 2004 by using forged documents only confirmed conservative hatred of the media in general and Rather in particular. You could see conservative hatred of media reaching critical mass when Newt Gingrich turned nearly every debate question into an attack on the media as an elitist, partisan, fifth column positive to do the Democrats’ work for them, and the base loved him for it.
But it was the understandable perception of conservatives that the dead treated Romney unfairly that caused many on the right to openly declare war on the media, because they believed that the press had already declared war on them.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Oklahoma Engaged: The Long Road To Oklahoma's Medicaid Expansion Vote | KGOU



Oklahoma Engaged: The Long Road To Oklahoma's Medicaid Expansion Vote

Campaign signs are appearing along roadways and advertisements are popping up on screens of all kinds as voters prepare to decide on expanding Medicaid coverage in Oklahoma. The June 30th election for state quiz 802 was a long time coming.
To understand why Oklahoma voters are being asked to decide if the state will provide health insurance to more people through the federal Medicaid program, September 9, 2009 is a decent place to start. That’s when President Barack Obama addressed a joint session of congress to talk about his healthcare plan, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, first derisively and then co-optively known as Obamacare.
 “There are now more than 30 million American citizens who cannot get coverage,” Obama said. “In just a two year period, one in every three Americans goes without health insurance at some point. And everyday 14,000 Americans lose their coverage. In other words, it can happen to anyone.”
The Affordable Care Act, or ACA, was signed into law in the spring of 2010. Two years after the provisions of Obamacare were put in place, the Congressional Budget Office reported the number of people without health insurance in the U.S. dropped by half. Part of that drop was due to  an expansion of Medicaid, called Soonercare in Oklahoma.

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Virtual Conversation: Black leadership in US health care and health policy - State of Reform | State of Reform



Virtual Conversation: Black leadership in US health care and health policy - State of Reform

America finds itself in a unique period of protests, civil unrest and a renewed focus on police violence. This is occurring in the middle of a public health crisis and an economic contraction unlike anything in generations.
So, on Juneteenth, the holiday remembering the end of slavery, State of Reform will host three of the most thoughtful senior health care executives and health care leaders with which we work across the Western United States. We will discuss their experience working to transform US health care, their experience as African Americans leaders, and the role the health care sector can play to address structural inequality and racism in American society.
Date: Friday, June 19, 2020
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 pm PT

Panelists: 
Eric Hunter: President and CEO, CareOregon

Monday, 1 June 2020

My stimulus check from the 2008 recession is long gone | Columns | bdtonline.com



My stimulus check from the 2008 recession is long gone | Columns


Don’t tell President Donald Trump, but I still haven’t spent that $1,200 virus stimulus payment he sent me last month. I’m holding on to it radiant now to help cover anticipated larger expenses down the road.
I, and I assume just about everyone else out there, got a personal letter from the president informing me of my express deposit payment, and the importance of fighting the “invisible enemy” while helping to support our national economy, which is serene reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.
A number of years ago, I think it was back during the recession of 2008, I seem to recall getting a check from former President George W. Bush. If memory serves me correctly, it was for only about $300. But the extra money was still welcomed, and I seem to choose that I spent it rather quickly.
I was a lot younger back then, and also wasn’t really a fan of President Bush back in the day. Looking back now in retrospect, I have a better appreciation for President George H.W. Bush and President George W. Bush. I’m older, and a lot more conservative now. But I still never really agreed with the two Gulf Wars, including the ground invasion of Iraq. The problem was we never spurious the nuclear weapons that Iraq supposedly had.
Still, I was happy to accept a $300 check from President Bush. The Great Recession of 2008 was underway, and the economy was in trouble. So we did what we were asked to do. We spent a lot of money to help bolster the economy.

Sunday, 31 May 2020

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.

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Obamacare: Study highlights key benefit of Affordable Care Act ahead of Supreme Court arguments



Study highlights key benefit of Affordable Care Act ahead of Supreme Court arguments

The future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as Obamacare, is expected to be decided sometime in mid-2021 when the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the law’s “individual mandate” provision after hearing arguments later this year.
Supporters of the ACA have said that if the health care bill were to be overturned, it could lead to “total chaos” as millions of Americans would lose health insurance coverage. And according to a study from the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law, the ACA — which became law on March 23, 2010 — seems to have kept some Americans from going bankrupt.

Friday, 29 May 2020

Obamacare's insurance safety net protects many of the millions losing their employer-provided health insurance – but not all



Obamacare's insurance safety net protects many of the millions losing their employer-provided health insurance – but not all

The loss of 31 million jobs due to coronvirus has an added downside: 27 million have lost job-based health insurance. The worst may still lie ahead. One study estimated that 25 to 43 million people could lose coverage from their employer.
The situation for many Americans feels dramatic. Fortunately, the limited U.S. safety net will be able to cushion some of the fallout for almost 80% through programs like Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Affordable Care Act marketplaces. And, of course, all preexisting conditions are still required to be covered by all insurers.
Yet millions will be left without coverage. As a professor of public policy, I believe there are four things you need to consider if you’ve been laid off, or if you didn’t have health insurance before the pandemic.

In Plantation, Florida, an aerial view of a deserted Westfield Broward Mall, taken by a drone on May 5. Getty Images / Joe Raedle

What do I do if I’ve been laid off and lost coverage?

The good news: For many who have lost their employer-provided coverage, a number of alternatives may exist.
For some, they powerful now be able to join their spouse’s insurance. Others may be able to maintain their previous coverage through COBRA, albeit without the financial subsidy from their employer. This option can get expensive very quickly. Currently, average premiums in the U.S. for individuals amount to US$7,188. The number increases to $20,576 for a family of four. And COBRA adds an additional 2% of premiums for administration.
Due to the loss of income, people in states that expanded Medicaid under care of the ACA could become eligible for Medicaid coverage. In those states, individuals and their families qualify if their income falls below 138% of the federal poverty line. For a family of four, this currently amounts to roughly $36,000. In states that did not expand Medicaid, eligibility rules vary widely but are often quite restrictive.