Posts Tagged - ‘health insurers’

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Miss USA Rima Fakih Thinks Health Insurers Should Subsidize Birth Control

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Image: StyleLine Magazine

Beauty pageants and health insurance coverage don’t seem to have much to do with each other. However, the two intersected during Donald Trump’s Miss USA pageant this weekend.

Rima Fakih is the first Arab-American Muslim to win the pageant. Miss Michigan is also a supporter of affordable health insurance coverage for contraception. She believes that birth control pills should be treated like any other medication. In fact, they are so expensive to many (partly due to the gynecologist or other doctor visit required to get a prescription) that they should largely be subsidized.

The majority of health insurance plans with prescription drug coverage require the same co-payment for birth control that they do for any other medication. It remains to be seen if the pill will be included in the minimum standards for coverage to be outlined in regulations requested by the healthcare reform bill.

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Sen. Rockefeller Accuses Health Insurance Companies of Weakening Reform

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Image: West Virginia Blue under CC 3.0

Health insurance reform is already starting to make many changes to how insurers do business. Obviously, they were opposed to the legislation, but since it passed they have been attempting to ensure that it’s enforced in the most favorable way.

Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller thinks they may be going too far in trying to weaken healthcare reform provisions. He accuses them of hiring lobbyists to water down the spending rules that will force them to spend higher percentages of the health insurance plan premiums collected on providing medical services (as opposed to shareholder dividends or administrative costs). The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and Secretary of Health Insurance Kathleen Sebelius must make their recommendations on the issue by June 1st.

Specifically, he is warning the Obama administration of accounting and statistical tricks that mask the fact that while many insurers already meet the new standards (a medical loss ratio of 85% in large group policies and 80% for individual and small group policies) in many products and areas, they are not yet universally compliant–although they may aggregate their information together in a way that claims to be. In addition, they may be trying–in advance of the 2014 deadline–to classify as many costs as possible as medical expenses.

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