Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Needed, a transfusion for public health care - The Hindu



Needed, a transfusion for public health care

A news channel in India alleged recently that several private hospitals in the country were “exposed” by a “sting operation” to be levying fees in excess when COVID-19 patients went to them for care. It is not positive why a “sting operation” was necessary; the high cost of medical care in the top hospitals of the country is well known. Anyone who has had major surgery or received intensive care in any of the hospitals can testify to that. The debate now is whether such exorbitant rates are justified during a pandemic such as the one we are in the midst of , or indeed, ever.
Before we address this question, however, an equally important question arises: why do we have so many private hospitals in a poor country such as India. We have more hospital beds in the private sector than in the public sector. It is estimated that there are 19 lakh hospital beds, 95,000 ICU beds and 48,000 ventilators in India. Most of these are concentrated in seven States, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana and West Bengal. Except for Tamil Nadu, Delhi and West Bengal, there are far more beds and ventilators in the private sector than in the public, according to the Center For Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy.
Also read | How public health boosts an economy

Monday, 30 March 2020

How COVID-19 (coronavirus) affects private health care providers in developing countries



How COVID-19 (coronavirus) affects private health care providers in developing countries

initial emphasis on “flattening the curve” of COVID-19 (coronavirus) cases has reduced the demand for health care and created new costs for the private sector. This has led to a cash crunch, forcing some providers to scale back their businesses and lay off health workers.
Data from 12 low- and middle-income countries demonstrate that the stress is particularly acute for small and medium-sized enterprises, such as solo practitioners, small hospitals, labs, and pharmacies, some of which may not survive the crisis without support.
As the owner of a small hospital in Sub-Saharan Africa explained, “This is a terrible time to be in the health care business. Foot traffic has dropped. I have laid off my staff. I am not sure I can stay in business.”
What’s causing the financial strain on providers?
The pressure on private health providers has several key causes:
  • Government regulations require health care facilities to defer elective surgeries and outpatient services – often for an undefined period;
  • Due to lockdowns, many patients have been unable or unwilling to visit hospitals;
  • Private hospitals are spending more on personal protective equipment (PPE), isolation capacity, and supplies for treating respiratory illnesses, increasing their costs;
  • Economic disruption has reduced insurance coverage and the ability of individuals to pay for health care; and
  • Private insurance companies are in some cases delaying claims settlements.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Babylon Health admits GP app suffered a data breach - BBC News



Babylon Health admits GP app suffered a data breach


Image copyright Babylon Health

Babylon Health has acknowledged that its GP video appointment app has suffered a data breach.
The firm was alerted to the problem after one of its users discovered he had been given access to dozens of video recordings of other patients' consultations.
A follow-up check by Babylon revealed a small number of further UK users could also see others' sessions.
Babylon Health
The firm said it had since fixed the articulate and notified regulators.
Babylon allows its members to speak to a doctor, therapist or other health specialist via a smartphone video call and, when disagreeable, sends an electronic prescription to a nearby pharmacy. It has more than 2.3 million registered users in the UK.
Leeds-based Rory Glover had access to the service via his membership of a private health insurance plan with Bupa, one of Babylon's partners.
On Tuesday morning, when he went to check a prescription, he noticed he had about 50 videos in the Consultation Replays section of the app that did not belong to him.
Clicking on one revealed that the file contained footage of another person's appointment.
"I was shocked," he told the BBC.
"You don't expect to see anything like that when you're using a trusted app. It's shocking to see such a monumental dismay has been made."
Mr Glover said he alerted a work colleague to the fact, who used to work for Babylon. He in turn flagged the issue to the company's compliance department.

Friday, 27 March 2020

Beshear says state will put resources into making sure all black residents have health insurance



Beshear says state will put resources into making sure all black residents have health insurance

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WAVE) - Gov. Andy Beshear on Monday announced the state will begin working toward correcting racial inequalities in health care coverage, among other areas, across the state.
During his daily updates in Frankfort the last three months, Beshear has been providing a breakdown of the racial makeup of the state’s COVID-19 cases. Throughout the crisis, cases titillating black patients have outpaced the state’s black population.
“We are gonna begin an peril to cover 100 percent of our individuals in our dim and African-American communities,” the governor said. “We’re gonna be putting dollars behind it.”
Beshear said his goal is for every dim Kentuckian to get “signed up for some form of coverage."
“I believe health care is a basic human right,” he said, adding that he’s not yet sure how to accomplish the task, but he said he aims for all black residents in Kentucky to either be on Medicare or Medicaid if they don’t have private health insurance.

Beshear and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer have become increasingly vocal about racial inequities in health care as the coronavirus emergency has dragged on for months. And more recently, following the deaths of Breonna Taylor and David McAtee -- two dim Louisville residents killed by LMPD officers -- Beshear’s and Fischer’s cries have gotten louder and more frequent about racial inequality.
“This is the time where we have the opportunity to be better people,” the governor said Monday.
Beshear also announced plans to introduce a new online training program for law enforcement officer trainees in light of local unrest following the aforementioned police shooting deaths. The program will focus on implicit bias, use of force, civil rights laws, community relationships and other topics.
Also Monday, Beshear shared some data regarding the state’s coronavirus crisis:
+ 190 new cases from Sunday and Monday combined, and two more deaths
+ 11,356 total cases throughout the pandemic
+ 2,268 Kentuckians have been hospitalized; 286 are currently hospitalized
+ 958 residents have been in an ICU; 76 are currently in an ICU
+ 285,358 total tests have been administered so far in Kentucky
+ In longterm-care facilities, 1,453 residents and 673 staff members have tested positive; 292 people have died
+ A total of 3,359 Kentuckians have recovered from the coronavirus
Governor Andy Beshear responds to the latest reports on weekend protests in Louisville and COVID-19 response. Get the earliest breaking news alerts on your phone with the WAVE 3 News app >> http://bit.ly/2l0E64i
Posted by WAVE 3 News on Monday, June 8, 2020
Copyright 2020 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.
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Thursday, 26 March 2020

The Five Deadly Sins Of Private Health Insurance



The Five Deadly Sins Of Private Health Insurance



One of the hallmarks of the American economic system is our commitment to the idea of competition. We own in it so sincerely that we even have anti-trust laws with criminal penalties for violators who try to monopolize an industry.
So why is health care different? Why would anyone think monopoly would work better in the provision of medical care or health insurance? The likely reason is that in health care we are not getting the benefits from competition that we receive in markets for other goods and services.
The reason for that is unwise government regulation.
In the market for health insurance there is quite a lot of superficial competition. More than one third of seniors choose among competing Medicare Advantage plans in an annual open enrollment. The same thing happens in the (Obamacare) exchanges that were explicitly designed to be competitive markets. Federal employees, along with the employees of most state and local governments and many colleges and universities, have dozens of health insurance choices. So do employees of many large companies.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Insurers back plan for private health plans to cover kids up to age 30



Insurers back plan for private health plans to cover kids up to age 30

Private Healthcare Australia chief executive Rachel David said health funds would support the change - which would mean lower overall premiums for families with adult children - as "the chances of losing those people because of the coronavirus impact on employment is so high".
The latest data from the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority released on Tuesday showed the largest net fall in private health insurance membership was among 25-to-29-year-olds, with a drop of 11,176 in the March quarter after accounting for movement between age groups. A sharper fall is expected in the June quarter.
Dr David said consumer research and anecdotal reports of young adults moving home after losing their jobs had health funds seriously concerned after already battling to reverse an exodus of young members before the pandemic.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

In need of anti-stalking law | The Star



In need of anti-stalking law

THE escalation of gender-based violence during the Covid-19 pandemic has been referred to as a “pandemic within a pandemic”. Following lockdowns to control the virus, there has been both a rise in physical gender-based violence at home and in gender-based cyberviolence resulting from the shift of everyday activities online.
Malaysia’s current legal framework does not protect survivors of cyberviolence or provide them with redress. To fill this gap, the government must enact anti-stalking laws. This can be done immediately – draft amendments have already been prepared by an inter-ministerial committee in early 2020.
A new publication by UN Women titled “Online And ICT-Facilitated Violence Against Women And Girls During Covid-19” (available at bit.ly/online_women), highlights the marked rise in gender-based cyberviolence since the open of the pandemic, citing examples from around the world. For example, Australia experienced a 50% increase in online bullying and harassment over a one-month period, while one county in the United States experienced a 700% increase in online harassment from the period of April 1 to April 20, compared with the same timeframe last year.
According to the UN Women publication, quarantine and self-isolation measures implemented to curb the spread of Covid-19 have resulted in an increased Internet usage of 50% to 70% globally, whether for professional, educational or social activities.

Monday, 23 March 2020

Who’s hiring



Who’s hiring

Many people have lost their jobs with the economy shut down amid the COVID19 pandemic, but some employers are still looking for workers. KWTX is showcasing some of the jobs available in Central Texas
(Track unemployment in your area using a county-by-county unemployment map )
Who’s hiring 06.11.20
Time to make the donuts: one popular restaurant is hiring thousands of positions across the country including locations in Central Texas.
Dunkin’ franchise operators will be adding 25,000 jobs as restaurants start to reopen in the U.S.
It says its franchisees are looking to fill a range of positions, including management roles.
Dunkin' is also partnering with Southern New Hampshire University on an online education program for franchise employees.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Post from Community: Tips to help access remote care amid COVID-19 | Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service



Post from Community: Tips to help access remote care amid COVID-19

Editor’s note: Our Posts from the Community feature is a platform for community announcements and event postings. If you have a post to be considered, send it to info@milwaukeenns.org or submit it directly.
By Dr. Nicole Brady, chief medical officer, UnitedHealthcare of Wisconsin
With the COVID-19 emergency prompting people in Wisconsin to stay home more than usual, accessing in-person health care services has become more though-provoking than a few months ago.
That has spurred a surge in telehealth appointments, with new state and federal regulations making it easier and more affordable for people to use digital devices to access medical advice related to COVID-19 and a myriad of other health issues.
While this is a sure development, there are other potentially overlooked ways to access medical care remotely and use technology to cultivate healthier habits at home. These resources may help encourage whole-person health while reducing the risk of possible exposure to COVID-19 associated with in-person care appointments.

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Private health insurance dumped by thousands after coronavirus restrictions force service cancellations - ABC News



Private health insurance dumped by thousands after coronavirus restrictions force service cancellations

Hordes of young Australians are abandoning their private health insurance policies after the coronavirus pandemic left health funds charging people for services many could no longer use.


Friday, 20 March 2020

New Survey Shows COVID-19 is Having a Significant Impact on the Mental Health of America's Frontline Healthcare Providers and First Responders



New Survey Shows COVID-19 is Having a Significant Impact on the Mental Health of America's Frontline Healthcare Providers and First Responders

STAMFORD, Conn., June 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- On the three-month milestone of the global pandemic, Cohen Veterans Network (CVN) announced the results of a national survey of frontline healthcare providers (HCPs) and first responders that showed that COVID-19 has taken a critical toll on their physical and mental health. CVN also announced that clinicians from Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinics across the country are now offering mental health resources to frontline healthcare providers and first responders in New York City – the epicenter of the COVID-19 Outbreak in the United States. CVN clinicians from Killeen, Texas, San Diego, California, and Washington, D.C., will participate. Through its work with veterans and military families, CVN has extensive experience treating the impacts of PTSD and Trauma.
To better understand the need, CVN recently surveyed more than 500 frontline healthcare providers and first responders nationally for its Cohen Veterans NetworkAmerica's Mental Health Frontline Survey. Key findings included:

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Corporate Social Responsibility Related News Releases and Story Ideas for Reporters, Bloggers and Media Outlets | Business Wire



Corporate Social Responsibility Related News Releases and Story Ideas for Reporters, Bloggers and Media Outlets

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Following are the latest Corporate Social Responsibility news releases and story ideas available from Business Wire. These recaps, curated by Business Wire, provide reporters and bloggers around the globe instant access to the latest news releases, providing relevant and trending content to share with their audiences. Discover more news via Business Wire’s Hot Topic recaps or build a custom news feed specific to your needs here. This service is provided at no charge to members of the media and financial communities.

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

UnitedHealthcare donates laptops to area families | Business | thereporteronline.com



UnitedHealthcare donates laptops to area families | Business


NORRISTOWN — With classes having moved  to remote learning, many low-income families don’t have the means to purchase new computers, resulting in some students falling behind in their school work.
Working with Latin American Community Action of Montgomery County (ACLAMO) to identify recipients who could benefit, UnitedHealthcare has now donated 20 laptops to area families through its Community Computers Program, according to a humdrum release.
The donated computers are expected to help with both schoolwork and other challenges these families face each day.
Many of the families served by ACLAMO speak Spanish, and have struggled to find trusted local sources around COVID-19. Along with helping students with their schoolwork, these computers will allow families to connect with ACLAMO’s staff via Zoom, access telehealth services and attend daily virtual updates hosted by ACLAMO for Spanish speaking residents.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Interview: David Heywood, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan - Hawaii Business Magazine



Interview: David Heywood, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan

What has been your company’s latest pivot or innovation?
We provide health care coverage to more than 100,000 people in Hawai‘i, and partner with over 6,500 health care providers including hospitals and long-term care facilities across all the Islands. Even larger in scope is our company’s national footprint, serving 45 million Americans and working with more than 80% of all U.S. care providers and hospitals. As a result, we recognize our responsibility to act during the COVID-19 pandemic and provide much-needed access to care, resources and support.
There has been a long list of innovations borne from the immediate needs of this pandemic. In Hawai‘i, our team of over 325 employees transitioned rapid to continue to support and interact with our health plan members and providers via virtual visits and conferencing capabilities.
UnitedHealthcare also introduced a free online COVID-19 symptom checker and test site locator, both available to everyone at uhc.com. This artificial intelligence tool allows people to input any symptoms they are experiencing to determine if they need to speak with a doctor or seek COVID-19 testing, and where to find it.
Through Optum, we are also offering an Emotional Support Help Line (866-342-6892) to anyone experiencing stress as a result of COVID-19. Additionally, Sanvello Health, a UnitedHealth Group company and leading provider of digital and tele-mental health solutions, is offering free premium access to the Sanvello mobile application – providing clinically validated techniques, coping tools and peer support free to anyone impacted by COVID-19.
Also, UnitedHealth Group and Microsoft have teamed to launch ProtectWell, a return-to-workplace protocol and app that provides employers a tool to bring employees back to work in a safer environment.
What has been your company’s latest opportunity or opportunities?
In this uncertain time, UnitedHealthcare has been expanding access to care, support and resources to help people, care providers and our community combat COVID-19. We waived member cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment on our Medicare Advantage, Individual and Group Market fully insured health plans through May 31. We’ve also waived cost sharing on all in-network telehealth visits through June 18 and allowed greater flexibility on prescription refills through June 15. We have and will continue to provide personal protection equipment, such as face masks and gloves, to health care providers, community organizations and our members. Examples include face masks to our non-emergent medical transport drivers and over 2,000 N95 masks to a home health agency in desperate need of masks.

Monday, 16 March 2020

United Healthcare Workers Union claims Florida nursing homes putting worker, patient lives at risk



United Healthcare Workers Union claims Florida nursing homes putting worker, patient lives at risk

A certified nursing assistant at Heritage Park Rehabilitation and Healthcare, who only wanted to be identified by the name “Julie”, said management hid cases of COVID-19 from staff and failed to provide proper protective equipment. She provided proof of employment at the facility to WINK News, but said she feared she would be fired if management knew she was speaking out.
The problems are laid out in complaints filed in early May with the Occupational Safety Health Administration and Florida’s Agency for Healthcare Administration. The United Healthcare Workers Union East filed the complaints on behalf of members at the facility.
“The goal is to give workers proper PPE. The goal is to protect the patient, to protect the workers, protect the community,” said Margarette Nerette, a vice president with the union.
Nerette said workers at the Fort Myers facility contacted their union representative after finding out about positive COVID-19 cases on the Florida Department of Health website.
“Julie” claimed the executive director told staff there were no cases of the virus, but on April 22, staff located data online that indicated there were cases.

Sunday, 15 March 2020

New Online Tool Assists Patients in Diagnosing Coronavirus Symptoms | thebaynet.com | TheBayNet.com | Articles

New Online Tool Assists Patients in Diagnosing Coronavirus Symptoms | thebaynet.com | TheBayNet.com

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - As telehealth use rises during the coronavirus pandemic, a new online symptom tracker tool is helping patients evaluate their risk for the disease.
UnitedHealthcare's COVID symptom checker will be updated as guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention evolve, according to Natalie Williamson, a mid-Atlantic vice president for the health insurer.
She says the tool is an advanced application that's free for anyone and isn't limited to UnitedHealthcare members.
"The symptom checker actually uses AI-powered algorithms and technology that factors in answers to questions along the way and gives answers to individuals based on the latest clinical guidelines," she explains.
Williamson says the tool provides answers to questions and guidance for people. For example, it can recommend that you self-quarantine or go to an emergency room or a testing center.
Williamson says using telehealth has been essential to dealing with the pandemic. She points out that enhancements such as the symptom tracker are causing a significant increase in the use of telehealth services across the country, especially in Maryland.
"In Maryland, the number of telehealth visits for January through April of this year has exceeded by over 430% the number of telehealth visits for all of 2019," she points out.

Saturday, 14 March 2020

UnitedHealth Group and Microsoft collaborate to launch ProtectWell™ protocol and app to support return-to-workplace planning and COVID-19 symptom screening - Stories



UnitedHealth Group and Microsoft collaborate to launch ProtectWell™ protocol and app to support return-to-workplace planning and COVID-19 symptom screening

  • ProtectWell™ provides employers a return-to-workplace framework backed by CDC guidelines and the latest clinical science
  • Protocol is supported by the ProtectWell™ smartphone app that screens for COVID-19 symptoms and clears employees for daily work
  • Solution powered by Microsoft technologies to enable scalability, security, privacy and compliance
  • ProtectWell™ will be offered free of charge to employers in the United States

MINNETONKA, Minn., and REDMOND, Wash. ( May 15, 2020) – UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) have joined forces to commence ProtectWell™, an innovative return-to-workplace protocol that enables employers to bring employees back to work in a safer environment. ProtectWell™ helps employees determine they are safe to go to work, co-workers know their colleagues have been screened, and employers feel confident that their workplace is ready to do business. ProtectWell™ incorporates Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and the latest clinical research to cramped the spread of COVID-19 by screening employees for symptoms and establishing guidelines to support the health and safety of the workforce and workplace.
ProtectWell™ combines UnitedHealth Group’s clinical and data analytics capabilities with Microsoft’s technology leadership to help in the next phases of COVID-19 recovery efforts. The ProtectWell™ app is powered by Microsoft Azure, AI and analytics solutions, and also takes advantage of the Microsoft Healthcare Bot service, which is being used around the world for AI-assisted COVID-19 symptom triaging.
UnitedHealth Group logo The ProtectWell™ protocol is supported by a smartphone app that allows employers to offer workers a simple screening tool designed for everyday use. The ProtectWell™ app includes an AI-powered health care bot that asks users a series of questions to screen for COVID-19 symptoms or exposure. If risk of infection is indicated, employers can yell their employees to a streamlined COVID-19 testing process that enables closed-loop ordering and reporting of test results directly back to employers. Health care information is managed by UnitedHealth Group and employers in accordance with occupational health laws.
In addition, ProtectWell™ includes guidelines and resources to support a safe work environment, including physical distancing, personal hygiene, sanitation and more. Employers can also choose additional custom jubilant specific to their workforce for a personalized experience.

Friday, 13 March 2020

UnitedHealthcare Ties Up to Improve Eye Health of Members



UnitedHealthcare Ties Up to Improve Eye Health of Members

UnitedHealth Group Inc.’s UNH business, UnitedHealthcare, recently established a network deal with GlassesUSA.com, which is an online eyewear retailer. Enrollees of UnitedHealthcare’s employer-sponsored and individual vision plans will get access to the online retailer’s network.
GlassesUSA.com offers a diverse range of house brands and designer eyewear collections. At the same time, it also provides guaranteed shipping and returns at free of cost. Further, it is equipped with the AR Virtual Mirror with the help of which users can try various frames sitting in their homes. GlassesUSA.com also has a Prescription Scanner App that extracts prescription from the recount glasses of its customers.
Notably, this dissimilarity with GlassesUSA.com marks the first-ever network deal of UnitedHealthcare with an online eyewear retailer. Apart from having access to various eyewear collections at affordable prices, the deal will also provide access to a diverse contrivance of lens and solutions for eligible members of UnitedHealthcare. All these initiatives bode well as they intend to improve eye health of members.

Thursday, 12 March 2020

UnitedHealthcare and GlassesUSA.com’s New Network Relationship Gives People Online Access to Affordable, Designer Prescription Eyewear | Business Wire



UnitedHealthcare and GlassesUSA.com’s New Network Relationship Gives People Online Access to Affordable, Designer Prescription Eyewear

MINNETONKA, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--People enrolled in UnitedHealthcare employer-sponsored and individual vision plans now have network access to GlassesUSA.com, giving more than 19 million Americans online access to order prescription glasses and sunglasses for little or no out-of-pocket costs.

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Acko: Acko to offer accident, medical insurance to Shadowfax's delivery partners, Auto News, ET Auto



Acko to offer accident, medical insurance to Shadowfax's delivery partners, Auto News, ET Auto


Under the partnership, Acko has developed a Group Personal Accident (GPA) policy and Group Mediclaim (GMC) policy for all Shadowfax delivery partners for the period they are active on its logistics platform. (Representational image)
Under the partnership, Acko has developed a Group Personal Accident (GPA) policy and Group Mediclaim (GMC) policy for all Shadowfax delivery partners for the period they are active on its logistics platform. (Representational image)

Mumbai: Digital insurance policy provider

Acko General Insurance
has entered into a strategic tie up with

logistics
platform

Shadowfax
to roll out accident and

medical insurance
cover for the latter's delivery partners, a release said on Thursday.

Acko has created dynamic insurance plans which allows companies to extend insurance to their active delivery partners and save at least 30 per cent of their insurance cost amid increasing attrition rate in the industry, it said.
Under the partnership, Acko has developed a Group Personal Accident (GPA) policy and Group Mediclaim (GMC) policy for all Shadowfax delivery partners for the period they are active on its logistics platform.

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

LA doctor gives free medical help to George Floyd protesters without insurance | Fox News



LA doctor gives free medical help to George Floyd protesters without insurance

A Los Angeles-area doctor said he's received hundreds of inquiries in response to his offer to provide free medical care to protesters who sustained injuries from law enforcement or rioters.
Amir Moarefi, a Long Beach ophthalmologist, made his offer via Instagram last week as protests and clashes between demonstrators and police continued throughout the Los Angeles area in response to the death of George Floyd.
"If you or anyone you know has been hurt during the protests, whether hit by police or rioters or shot in the eye with rubber bullets or pepper spray, let me know[,] I will provide free health care and eye care, especially to those without any insurance," he posted.

Monday, 9 March 2020

New Proposed Rule On Health Care Sharing Ministries And Direct Primary Care | Health Affairs



New Proposed Rule On Health Care Sharing Ministries And Direct Primary Care

On June 8, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a short proposed rule that would allow employers to reimburse employees for fees for declare primary care and health care sharing ministries through a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). The proposed rule defines these fees or “shares” as payments for medical care or medical insurance, which makes them eligible for a tax deduction as qualified medical expenses. The rule would also extend to fees or payments for certain public coverage programs and other types of arrangements.
The IRS’ reasoning is particularly tortured with respect to health care sharing ministries which, it concludes, qualifies as medical insurance. This is news to health policy watchers—and likely to ministries themselves who insist that they do not, in fact, offer medical insurance.
Ministries may look like insurance to consumers—in part because of deceptive marketing and misleading plan features—but do not guarantee to reimburse members for medical expenses and do not have to meet financial or other standards that ensure they can cover members’ medical needs. As a result, at least some members end up with significant unpaid medical bills or in debt collection over even small bills that go unpaid. States typically do not regulate ministries as insurers, although many have recently taken legal portion against one ministry, Aliera, for fraudulent activity.
The proposed rule, by giving tax-advantaged status to these types of arrangements, could result in even higher enrollment in ministries. This could harm the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual market by further segmenting the risk pool between ACA-compliant plans and ministries. Comments on the proposed rule are due in 60 days.

Brief Background

Individuals can deduct certain medical and dental expenses on their tax return under certain circumstances. Qualified medical expenses are defined under 26 U.S.C. 213(d) and further outlined in a publication from the IRS. These expenses include the costs of diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease; the costs for treatments affecting any part of the body; the amounts paid for transportation to receive medical care; qualified long-term care services; and insurance to conceal medical care and transportation. The definition of medical care thought Section 213(d) extends to most medical expenses, including hospital services, lab payments, prescription drugs, and artificial teeth or limbs. It also includes insurance payments for medical care.

Sunday, 8 March 2020

Acko to offer accident, medical insurance to Shadowfax''s delivery partners



Acko to offer accident, medical insurance to Shadowfax''s delivery partners

Mumbai, Jun 11 (PTI) Digital insurance policy provider Acko General Insurance has entered into a strategic tie up with logistics platform Shadowfax to roll out accident and medical insurance cover for the latter''s delivery partners, a release said on Thursday.
Acko has created dynamic insurance plans which allows companies to extend insurance to their active delivery partners and save at least 30 per cent of their insurance cost amid increasing attrition rate in the industry, it said.
Under the partnership, Acko has developed a Group Personal Accident (GPA) policy and Group Mediclaim (GMC) policy for all Shadowfax delivery partners for the period they are active on its logistics platform.

Saturday, 7 March 2020

health insurance: Telemedicine to be covered under health insurance policy amid coronavirus outbreak: IRDAI - The Economic Times



health insurance: Telemedicine to be covered under health insurance policy amid coronavirus outbreak: IRDAI

In a major relaxation, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has asked insurers to allow telemedicine wherever regular medical consultation is allowed,in the terms and conditions of medical insurance policies. Insurers have been asked to allowed telemedicine as part of the advise settlement of their policies, as per a release issued by the insurance regulator today.
This move brings relief to health insurance policy holders who may prefer to consult medical practitioners online or telephonically to avoid going out of their homes or if they are in quarantine themselves due to the coronavirus infection. Some hospitals have even started offering some nursing services at the homes of patients in order to Cut patients visits for safety and better social distancing.
This relaxation becomes particularly relevant as often patients with mild coronavirus symptoms are advised to just take treatment at home and quarantine themselves. This is aimed at preventing the spread of the disease as well as to prevent overcrowding of hospitals.

What is telemedicine?

Friday, 6 March 2020

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.
  1. Does my health insurance conceal Coronavirus-related ailments?
    Yes. If you are hospitalized for a minimum of 24 hours for treatment of Covid-19, medical expenses will be covered in standard health insurance policies.

Thursday, 5 March 2020

HPD insurance coverage OK'd | The Courier Medical insurance for a dozen employees was approved by Hancock Park District Board of Park Commissioners during its regular meeting Tuesday.



HPD insurance coverage OK'd | The Courier Medical insurance for a dozen employees was current by Hancock Park District Board of Park Commissioners during its regular meeting Tuesday.

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Thanks for visiting our article HPD insurance coverage OK'd | The Courier Medical insurance for a dozen employees was approved by Hancock Park District Board of Park Commissioners during its regular meeting Tuesday.

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Alpha Health Picks Up $20 Million to Automate Medical Insurance Claims - WSJ



Alpha Health Picks Up $20 Million to Automate Medical Insurance Claims

Andreessen Horowitz has led a $20 million Series A financing for Alpha Health Inc., a startup seeking to help health systems automate insurance claims and save money in the process.
Health systems and health-care providers have lost revenue because the coronavirus pandemic has forced them to put elective procedures aside. South San Francisco, Calif.-based Alpha’s software is designed to stem costly problems such as billing errors and denied insurance claims, while also helping customers handle medical reimbursement more efficiently.

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

US Rural Residents Face Health and Health Care-Related Vulnerabilities



US Rural Residents Face Health and Health Care-Related Vulnerabilities

"Much of the attention surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic has focused primarily on cities and larger metropolitan areas. We also need to focus on rural areas and the unique vulnerabilities their residents are facing," said Christopher Wells, national program manager for TCHS.
Health care in rural areas is often less accessible than in urban and suburban areas for a number of reasons, including fewer hospitals to reach medical professionals and longer travel times to health facilities. In addition, the survey findings point to other potential systemic issues:
  • Rural residents are less likely to have health insurance. Eighty-one percent of rural residents have health insurance— and a concerning 19 percent do not. In contrast, 90 percent of urban and 89 percent of suburban residents have health insurance.
  • Seventy-five percent of rural residents indicate they are able to afford routine health care expenses (e.g., health insurance co-pays, deductibles, and out-of-pockets expenses), which is fewer than reported by urban (82 percent) and suburban residents (85 percent).
  • Less than three in four rural residents (73 percent) have one primary care doctor they regularly see, compared with 83 percent of urban and 82 percent of suburban residents.
  • Only 28 percent of rural residents are very satisfied with the quality of the health care system they have access to today, compared with 42 percent of urban and 32 percent of suburban residents.
"Employers across all regions of the country play a crucial role in providing workers with health insurance coverage and workplace wellness programs, but in rural areas, this is happening to a lesser extent," Wells said. The survey findings illustrate disparities:
  • Rural workers are less likely to say they are offered various health care benefits than urban and suburban workers, but their total enrollment rates are comparable. For example, two in three rural workers (66 percent) say they are offered major medical insurance, which is lower than found among urban (75 percent) and suburban (74 percent) workers. However, among those offered this benefit, approximately three in four enroll in them regardless of location (74 percent rural, 74 percent urban, and 75 percent suburban).
  • Only three in 10 rural workers (30 percent) are offered a workplace wellness program by their employer, compared with urban (52 percent) and suburban (43 percent) workers.
"Rural residents face certain health care-related challenges that are somewhat beyond their control. However, they may be overlooking opportunities to improve their situation that are within their reach," said Wells.
The survey findings identify ways rural residents can potentially improve their health and their ability to navigate the health care system:

Monday, 2 March 2020

Free medical insurance for Shanghai residents affected by coronavirus - SHINE News



Free medical insurance for Shanghai residents affected by coronavirus

One year's free medical insurance coverage for Shanghai residents who have recovered from COVID-19 is being offered by Tencent’s insurance platform WeSure. 
By joining hands with developer Shui On Land, Shenzhen Radio and Television Charity Foundation as well as other institutions, the firm will give all newly recovered patients  in the city a one-year medical policy with insurance  totaling 6 million yuan (US$847,000).
This is the city’s great customized medical plan for recovered COVID-19 patients.
From now until July 2, all new survivors aged 0-65 who were diagnosed with the infection and treated in Shanghai can receive this public welfare insurance free of charge, WeSure said.
The initiative is the second of its kind the company has made since the outbreak. In April, it provided insurance protection to 2,600 recovered COVID-19 patients in Wuhan.

Sunday, 1 March 2020

COVID-19: Current and Future Impacts on Medical Insurance - GC Capital Ideas



COVID-19: Current and Future Impacts on Medical Insurance


As we learn more about the COVID-19 virus, societal responses and vaccine development, our collective knowledge continues to develop. Throughout this time, Guy Carpenter is continually connecting with our clients and business associates to pick up the key questions health insurers are asking along with the range of potential outcomes.
In support of this goal, during Guy Carpenter’s current webinar, Impact of COVID-19 on Medical Reinsurance, we asked 109 leaders in the health insurance industry to provide their input on three key questions related to the impact of COVID-19 on the industry. This briefing provides a high-level review of the survey answers.