Posts Tagged - ‘health and human services’

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In The Meantime: Sebelius Tries To Get Health Insurance Companies’ Cooperation

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Image: whoohoo120 under CC 3.0

The intention of the healthcare reform law is to increase access to insurance. It largely attempts to do so via stringent regulations. However, most of those regulations will not become effective until 2014.

The gap is a serious issue. Between now and then, health insurers will still be able to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius is asking for their cooperation to help remedy this dilemma.

Doing so will probably be quite difficult, since the Obama administration has taken a largely adversarial role against providers of health insurance plans in the past. According to Sebelius, their goal is to stabilize the private sector by promoting the elements that could increase their sales (e.g. tax credits for small businesses).

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Adult Children On Health Insurance Plans? Not So Fast

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Image: gcoldironjr2003 under CC 3.0

Although Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius has asked health insurance companies to extend coverage to adult children until the age of 26–who would otherwise age out of their parents’ plans or become ineligible upon college graduation–immediately, they aren’t legally mandated to do so until the first plan year beginning after September 23rd.

Actually, most health insurers have agreed to do so. It’s the employers who are holding out until the last minute. Most corporate health insurance plans don’t renew until January 1st. That leaves newly minted university graduates in the lurch for several months.

Even those companies who are willing to retain existing coverage won’t let young adults whose coverage previously lapsed re-enroll until next year.

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Minorities More Likely To Lack Health Insurance

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

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According to Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to go without a health insurance plan than Caucasians.

What are the statistics?

  • 1-in-5 African Americans are uninsured
  • 1-in-3 Hispanic Americans are uninsured

There are multiple reasons for the disparity, but many blame lower income levels. The subsidies included in the healthcare reform bill should help people of all races afford individual and family health insurance. However, they won’t be available to the subset of Latinos who are undocumented immigrants.

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Lobbyists Still Fight Over Health Insurance Reform

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Image: DonkeyHotey under CC 3.0

Most people believe that lobbyists for various interest groups have already had their say once legislation passes. You’d think so, but that’s not the case for affordable health insurance reform.

The main reason for the continued push for favorable enforcement is that the Department of Health and Human Services is currently formalizing regulations. Lobbyists are trying to influence the agency in order to get implementation that is more favorable to their side.

Health insurance companies, in particular, have a significant interest in how this plays out:

  • They want specific definitions of who is eligible to participate in the state health insurance exchanges. Obviously, they would appreciate eligibility to be as limited as possible.
  • In addition, insurers want clear information regarding the legal documents that must be given to consumers. They would probably prefer less paperwork, but HHS may require clearer wording.
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Sebelius: Health Insurance Reform Will Be Clear and Transparent

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

(Image: Scott Feldstein under CC 3.0)

In an attempt to reassure those worried about the recently passed health insurance reform legislation, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius claims that the reforms will be transparent and easy to understand.

Specifically, she pledged that her department would serve as a clearinghouse of information for confused consumers. The national and state regulators would be clear on the requirements, which is a tall order for a bill that is over 2,000 pages long.

Whether or not buying a health insurance plan actually becomes simpler under healthcare reform, we’re also here to help.

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HHS Secretary To Launch Consumer Health Insurance Website

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

(Image: crystaljingsr under CC 3.0)

The health insurance reform bill includes several provisions intended to increase consumer protections. One of those is an official federal government website set to launch soon. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius is tasked with its launch.

What will the new Website contain? According to the legislation, it must include:

  • a comparison of affordable health insurance premiums
  • information about co-payments
  • medical loss ratios: the percentage of premiums paid that go towards actual health care, as opposed to profit or administrative costs

The site is set to launch in July. We’ll keep you posted!

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