Thursday, 23 April 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.
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SRC: https://wkvi.com/2020/05/indiana-department-of-insurance-approves-unitedhealthcares-premium-relief-plan/

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Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Penn State announces 2020-21 student health insurance rates | Penn State University



UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State has released undergraduate and graduate student insurance rates for the 2020-21 coverage period for the Penn State Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), underwritten by United Healthcare Student Resources.
Penn State requires all international undergraduate and graduate students, and any accompanying dependents, to have health insurance coverage. The University also requires all full-time U.S. students to submit their current health insurance coverage information through LionPATH after registering for classes, and strongly encourages all students to be covered by some type of health insurance, as unexpected expenses can be disruptive to their academic progress.
The annual individual rate through SHIP for undergraduate students will be $2,537; the annual individual rate for graduate students will be $3,393. Students will be billed per semester. The fall rate is $984 for undergraduate students and $1,314 for graduate students. The spring/summer rate is $1,553 for undergraduates and $2,079 for graduate students. For more detailed rate information, visit the student health insurance website.

Tuesday, 21 April 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.

Monday, 20 April 2020

Critical Illness Insurance Market to See Huge Growth by 2025 : United Healthcare, Wellpoint, Metlife - InsuranceNewsNet



Critical Illness Insurance Market to See Huge Growth by 2025 : United Healthcare, Wellpoint, Metlife

Edison, NJ -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/08/2020 -- Latest published market study on Global Critical Illness Insurance Market with + data Tables, Pie Chart, high level qualitative chapters & Graphs is available now to provide complete assessment of the Market highlighting evolving trends, Measures taken up by players, current-to-future scenario analysis and growth factors validated with Viewpoints extracted via Industry experts and Consultants. The study breaks market by revenue and volume (wherever applicable) and price history to estimates size and trend analysis and identifying gaps and opportunities. Some are the players that are in coverage of the study are United Healthcare, Wellpoint Inc., DKV, BUPA, Kaiser Permanente, Aetna Inc., PICC, PINGAN, Kunlun, Aflac & Metlife.
Get ready to identify the pros and cons of regulatory framework, local reforms and its impact on the Industry. Know how Leaders in Critical Illness Insurance are keeping themselves one step forward with our latest survey analysis

Sunday, 19 April 2020

N.C. woman seeks in-network hospital services, gets surprise $1,200 bill



N.C. woman seeks in-network hospital services, gets surprise $1,200 bill

HICKORY, N.C. (WBTV) - Imagine going to the hospital for in-network services you thought would be covered by your healthcare insurance, only to be blindsided by a big bill.
Lori Parsons, for five months, has battled with her insurance provider over $1,200 in medical bills.
“Well, it was unfair. It kind of made me feel like, okay are you trying to slip something in?” said Parsons.
In January, Parsons went in for a scheduled C-section at Catawba Valley Medical Center in Hickory.
Before the procedure, she carefully selected the hospital after verifying that it was in her insurance network, so there would be no additional, out-of-network fees.
“Everything went great, but later when I was out of the hospital, I started receiving bills. I received one from the anesthesiologist and noticed the insurance was not helping with anything on that bill,” Parsons said.

Saturday, 18 April 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 Eager in the industry.

Friday, 17 April 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 assert 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.

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Insurance Associates of the Triad merges with Martinez & Associates - News - The Courier-Tribune - Asheboro, NC



Insurance Associates of the Triad merges with Martinez & Associates - News - The Courier-Tribune

ASHEBORO — Eight years ago, Reynolds Lisk and Art Martinez, two local insurance agency owners, had lunch. The topic of the conversation that day was the future of their respective companies.
Lisk, Charles Swiers and Richard Garkalns at that time were owners of Insurance Associates of the Triad. They were beginning to think about the perpetuation of their business. Throughout the years, they were approached by banks, private equity-owned agencies and agencies located in other towns. However, Lisk, Swiers and Garkalns, who were known for decades for their community involvement — personally and through their company — wanted to keep the company locally-owned and operated.
Art Martinez, owner of Martinez & Associates, was in his early 30s at the time and had established a reputation as a future leader and insurance agency owner in Asheboro. He began his insurance career representing Nationwide Insurance and hoped to one day represent other national insurance carriers — as an independent insurance agent. Nationwide was in its early stages of allowing its exclusive agents to narrate other insurance companies. Martinez was eager for this opportunity because as an exclusive agent, he was only able to offer Nationwide Insurance to his clients.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Health Care Providers Worry About Racial Injustice And Unequal Medical Treatment for Black Patients | WLRN



Health Care Providers Worry About Racial Injustice And Unequal Medical Treatment for Black Patients

Health care workers in South Florida took part in vigils and demonstrations last week and over the weekend to express anxiety over deaths of Black Americans, in particular, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Some providers told WLRN that they also anxiety about the unequal health care provided to Black patients.
At the Memorial Hospital in Miramar, Dr. Tondra Anderson-Rhodes pointed out that to health care workers, all lives have equal importance — and that includes Black lives. She's the hospital's chief medical officer.
You turn to WLRN for reporting you can trust and stories that move our South Florida community forward. Your support makes it possible. Please donate now. Thank you.
"As a Black female, a Black woman, as a Black mother, [we] have to be able to say and can not be silenced that Black lives do matter," she said. Anderson-Rhodes joined hospital colleagues who kneeled to bid the treatment of Black people by police. 
"For those who can spare another 8 minutes and 46 seconds, we want to take this time to kneel as health care workers in remembrance of George Floyd," Dr. Minaba Wariboko said at the event. 
Marthany Jean-Baptiste kneeled too, but at St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach. She's a registered nurse there, and a member of the 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East Union. 
Jean-Baptiste says Black people don't get equal treatment at hospitals, either.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

UnitedHealthcare reimbursement cuts have pathology groups on edge



UnitedHealthcare reimbursement cuts have pathology groups on edge

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SRC: https://www.modernhealthcare.com/payment/unitedhealthcare-reimbursement-cuts-have-pathology-groups-edge

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Monday, 13 April 2020

Home Insurance Costs are Rising - DSNews



Home Insurance Costs are Rising

The cost of homeowners insurance has increased by 59% in the past decade, but COVID-19 may mitigate future increases, according to analysis from ValuePenguin.com, by LendingTree.
"The large number of Americans staying home right now has significantly lowered the risk of unattended fires or leaks as well as burglary," said Chris Moon, Insurance Product Manager at ValuePenguin.com. "While homeowners may file more claims in the short term as they perceive things that they might not have had time for previously, once that “backlog” is dealt with, the long-term effect of staying at home is less risk of damage.”

Sunday, 12 April 2020

Home insurance premiums rise during lockdown | Moneywise



Home insurance premiums rise during lockdown

UK households are paying more to protect their homes, as the cost of insurance rose 0.5% during the last three months, according to analysis from Consumer Intelligence.
The average buildings and contents insurance premium now stands at £151, the data insight specialist found.
Over the last six years, home insurance premiums have risen 2.3%.
Some 14% of homeowners are now considering cancelling their contents insurance, as they are now mainly based at home due to the coronavirus pandemic and therefore at low risk of burglary.
Around 11% who are suffering financially as a result of the pandemic are looking to reduce or murder their policy altogether.

Why is home insurance more expensive?

The cost of home insurance is rising due to more people spending time at home because of lockdown. 
While the risk of burglary is lower, the chances of making a claim for accidental damage has increased. 
An estimated 49.2% of adults in employment are currently working from home, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
In addition to that, around six million British workers have been furloughed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic as well.
This is in direct contrast to the car insurance market in which the coronavirus crisis drove down the price of premiums, due to less people being on the road during lockdown.
Experts say that although prices have increased, it is too early to predict whether they will continue to rise.
John Blevins, pricing expert at Consumer Intelligence says: “This potential change in claims activity and a possible reduction in volumes due to policy reductions and cancellations force insurers to amend their pricing strategies.
However, it is too early to say which way we will see pricing go; we continue to watch carefully with interest.”

Cheapest areas for home insurance

Saturday, 11 April 2020

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 uncommon 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.

Friday, 10 April 2020

An ‘Unprecedented’ Number Of Coloradans Are Enrolling in Medicaid Due To The Coronavirus Pandemic | Colorado Public Radio



An ‘Unprecedented’ Number Of Coloradans Are Enrolling in Medicaid Due To The Coronavirus Pandemic

Colorado is preparing for a breathtaking spike in people enrolling in Medicaid, about half of a million people.
The state agency that manages the program said Wednesday it anticipates that number will enroll in Colorado’s public insurance programs, Health First Colorado (the state’s Medicaid program) and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) in the coming months by the end of the year.
The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing said the wave represents a spike of about 40 percent from the 1.3 million Coloradans enrolled in the two programs in March 2020.
The number of new enrollees is expected to eclipse the number of people who signed up for Medicaid when the program expanded Idea the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare. During that two-year period, enrollment shot up by roughly 400,000.
Two things are driving the trend, according to the agency. The first is due to people losing their jobs in the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people get their health insurance through employer-sponsored health coverage and lose it if they get laid off. The state’s unemployment rate has ballooned to 11.3 percent from 2.5 percent in February. That’s the highest since the state started tracking unemployment in 1976, according to the agency.
The second superior is a projected increase in enrollment due to the federal public health emergency, which was implemented after the pandemic hit. It requires the state’s Medicaid program to hold back from disenrolling members from Medicaid during the emergency period. The department estimates, once the emergency ends, more than 300,000 members of the program would be disenrolled because they don’t meet eligibility criteria.

Thursday, 9 April 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 perilous 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.
The Supreme Court is set to hear the case this fall. It was brought by Republican-led states and backed by the Trump administration. The result could be striking down most or all of the health reform law, which would have disastrous consequences for Iowans.

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

New York insurers seek 11.7% increase in premiums for Affordable Care Act marketplace plans



Insurers request nearly 12% increase in premiums

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SRC: https://www.crainsnewyork.com/health-care/insurers-request-nearly-12-increase-premiums

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Tuesday, 7 April 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.

Monday, 6 April 2020

Study finds Medicaid pays for almost half of preterm births – The GW Hatchet



Study finds Medicaid pays for almost half of preterm births – The GW Hatchet

Two public health researchers found that Medicaid serene pays for nearly half of all premature births in the United States.
The study spurious that the proportion of preterm births private insurance companies pay for increased slightly after the Affordable Care Act insurance expansions took effect in January 2014 while Medicaid continued to cloak about 48.9 percent, according to a Milken Institute School of Public Health release Thursday. The authors, health policy and management department chair Anne Markus and former graduate student Rose Meltzer, said in the release that Medicaid continues to act as a “safety net” for women’s health care in light of ACA expansion.
“Our results confirm the significant size and relative stability of Medicaid as an insurance source for the most vulnerable women in American society, fulfilling its role as a financial safety net that provides access to necessary maternity care,” the researchers said.
The contemplate was published June 4 in Women’s Health Issues, the “official publication” of the Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health – a research hub based in the public health school, according to the release.
The researchers used National Vital Statistics birth data to examine the proportion of which source is responsible for paying for all births and preterm births between 2011 and 2016, according to the release. The time period includes three years before and after ACA insurance coverage expansions went into effect, the release states.

Sunday, 5 April 2020

Dr. Timothy Harrington: The Affordable Care Act in the COVID-19 era | Column | madison.com



Dr. Timothy Harrington: The Affordable Care Act in the COVID-19 era | Column


FILE - In this April 20, 2020 photo, Catherine Hopkins, Director of Community Outreach and School Health at St. Joseph's Hospital, handles test samples at her desk in a COVID-19 triage and testing tent at St. Joseph's Hospital in Yonkers, N.Y. COVID-19 could have stamped someone “uninsurable”  if not for the Affordable Care Act. The ban on insurers using preexisting conditions to deny coverage is a key part of the Obama-era law that the Trump administration still seeks to overturn. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened citizens’ concerns about our access to and the affordability of our health care, and even the solvency of our hospitals and caregivers that we depend on. The immorality and public health consequences of poor health among less advantaged Americans are also clearer now, if they were ignored before.
The 2010 Affordable Care Act began addressing these concerns. It provided access to health insurance for many more Americans through insurance exchanges, government subsidies and Medicaid expansion. It also blocked existing predatory insurance company practices, such as denying coverage for preexisting conditions and excluding preventive health services. It provided public subsidies for many who couldn’t afford insurance, and expanded Medicaid coverage for the poor. Strong majorities now imperfect maintaining the ACA’s provisions, and protecting the ACA was the number one reason that many Americans voted for Democrats in the 2018 midterms. At the same time, several other key health policy improvements were left for another day.

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Frosh files brief defending Affordable Care Act



Frosh files brief defending Affordable Care Act

BALTIMORE, MD—Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh this week filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, supporting a coalition of states defending the Affordable Care Act against efforts by the Trump administration and a group of states led by Texas to repeal the entire ACA.
In California, et al., v. Texas, et al., the Supreme Court agreed to review a unusual Fifth Circuit decision that held the ACA’s individual mandate unconstitutional and called into question whether the rest of the ACA should be held invalid.
“In the midst of a global pandemic, when Americans need it the most, the Trump administration continues its attempt to strip millions of American of their healthcare coverage,” said Attorney General Frosh. “Hundreds of thousands of Marylanders would not have any coverage without the ACA. And nearly 3 million Marylanders with preexisting conditions who would have previously been denied coverage, now have guaranteed healthcare protections. We will continue our fight to defend the ACA and to protect the health and lives of our people who real upon it.”

Friday, 3 April 2020

COVID-19 shows recklessness of lawsuit to repeal Affordable Care Act — Contributors — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine



COVID-19 shows recklessness of lawsuit to repeal Affordable Care Act — Contributors — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine



Susan Walsh | AP

Susan Walsh | AP
This March 15, 2019 file photo shows a view of the Supreme Court in Washington. The court on Tuesday denied a request by 20 mainly Democratic states and the Democratic-led House of Representatives to decide Fast on a lower-court ruling that declared part of the statute unconstitutional and cast a cloud over the rest. Defenders of the Affordable Care Act argued that litigation should not drag on for months or years in lower courts.

Click here for the latest coronavirus news, which the BDN has made free for the public. You can support our critical reporting on the coronavirus by purchasing a digital subscription or donating directly to the newsroom .
As the COVID-19 crisis continues in Maine and across the country, the Trump administration and Republican lawmakers are continuing their efforts to take accessible health care coverage from over 20 million Americans, including 83,000 Mainers.
Democratic attorneys general and the U.S. House of Representatives have filed their opening briefs to the Supreme Court in Texas v. United States, the lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act. As the case is heard by the highest court, the Trump administration will argue in support of stripping away health care from some of the most vulnerable Americans in the middle of a devastating public health crisis.
This week’s activities mark the beginning of a Important phase in the fight to protect Americans as the nation grapples with an unprecedented public health disaster that the Trump administration continues to make worse. Trump and his allies will make absurd arguments to Explain ripping health care from 20 million people throughout these proceedings while the death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic surges, and untold effects of the illness rage on.

Thursday, 2 April 2020

Maybe the Affordable Care Act Can Live Without the Individual Mandate | ThinkAdvisor



Maybe the Affordable Care Act Can Live Without the Individual Mandate


U.S. Supreme Court (Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

One of the debates over Texas v. California — the big  Affordable Care Act (ACA) constitutionality case — concerns what should happen if the U.S. Supreme Court declares the individual mandate provision to be unconstitutional.
Many individuals and groups have sent in their own thoughts, in “friend of the court briefs,” to explain why they think the Supreme Court can cut out the mandate without killing the whole law.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Opinion: Thank Goodness for Affordable Care Act and Medicaid | NJ Spotlight



Opinion: Thank Goodness for Affordable Care Act and Medicaid


Richard F. Keevey

Medicaid provides health benefits to 72 million Americans who cannot afford health care. The NJ Family Care Program includes Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and provides health care to 1.7 million lower-income adults and children — among them senior citizens in nursing homes and others who receive both Medicare and Medicaid benefits (and are known as dual-eligible).
Considering turnover among clients, almost 2.3 million people receive benefits at some time in a given year. Some are unemployed; others have jobs but are eligible because the programs cover individuals, families and children below a defined poverty level.
The passage of the Affordable Care Act dramatically impacted health care, allowing New Jersey to expand Medicaid eligibility to encompass more working people. For example, a family of four is eligible without premium or copays if their income is below $36,156 (138% of the poverty level). Further, children are eligible if the income of their families is below $93,012 (355% of the federal poverty level), with modest premium and copay requirements. Approximately 490,000 residents were added to the Medicaid roles via the ACA — many of whom had no health coverage.