Posts Tagged - ‘medical insurance’

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Pro-Healthcare Reform Mailing Spawns Controversy

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Image: Nevada Tumbleweed under CC 3.0

Recently, the federal government sent out an informational pamphlet to millions of Medicare beneficiaries. What’s the problem with that?

The issue is that some people believe that the mailing crosses the line from information into propaganda. The pamphlet talks about how the positive impact the healthcare reform law is predicted to have on its recipients.

Republicans in Congress want the Government Accountability Office to investigate whether the cost of printing and sending the document was legitimate. They contend that the the information about medical insurance in it is biased and inaccurate.

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Poll: Health Insurance Reform Changes Our Nation’s Direction

Monday, March 29th, 2010

(Image: Phille Casablanca under CC 3.0)

According to a new poll by ABC News and the Washington Post, there is one thing almost all Americans can agree on about health insurance reform: it’s a significant shift.

  • 80% consider the passage of healthcare reform as a major change in the nation’s direction
  • 38% believe it is a positive change
  • 42% consider it to be a negative change

The intensity of reactions to the bill passing bears this out. Obama and other Democrats believe that access to medical insurance should be a human right, and that their success on this issue will lead to more Great Society-style domestic reforms. Meanwhile, many Republicans are worried that this is a slippery slope towards socialism. Both sides are most likely exaggerating its impact, although healthcare reform is clearly important.

The polling was done from March 23rd to the 26th.

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What the Health Bill Means for Young Adults

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

(Image: Zef Delgadillo under CC 3.0)

People between ages 19 and 29 are more likely to be uninsured than most other groups. Young adults are also more likely to visit the Emergency Room than many other groups. No one should start out their adult life under a mountain of medical bills. Even a basic individual health insurance plan will limit exposure to unexpected medical costs. Individual health insurance plans for adults ages 18-24 can be as low as $100/month, or less. A health plan can save you thousands of dollars in the event you need emergency care.

What’s more, the health bill extends specific provisions that reach out to young adults. Effective immediately, the legislation allows those through age 26 who do not have medical insurance to remain on their parents’ policies at their parents’ discretion. Currently, states regulate the age at which children are kicked off their parents’ insurance policies. Generally, it’s around 18 years old. Plans will be much more affordable for young adults under the new bill.

There is also immediate help for uninsured individuals with pre-existing conditions. This applies to young adults and all other Americans. The health bill includes a $5 billion fund to finance an immediate, temporary insurance program for those who are uninsurable because of pre-existing conditions.

If you need help finding coverage, health insurance agents will help you compare the costs of various plans at no additional charge.

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4 Reasons Not to Wait any Longer for Health Insurance

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

(Image: Zef Delgadillo under CC 3.0)

1. Pre-existing Conditions Protection If you are refused coverage because of your health, you can get medical insurance from a new high-risk pool. The pool will be established within six months and will operate until 2014, when insurance companies can no longer refuse applicants with pre-existing health problems. Annual out-of-pocket medical costs will be capped at $5,950 for individuals and $11,900 for families.

2. Healthcare is Pricey Healthcare is more expensive when you are uninsured. Medical services are double the cost when you don’t have coverage. Those without insurance are usually charged full price because they don’t qualify for discounts others receive under good health insurance plans.

3. Uninsured Risks Often times, uninsured individuals end up in financial debt due to outstanding medical cost. In fact, medical bills are a leading cause of personal bankruptcy among Americans. The reality is you never know when a medical emergency will happen to you or a loved one, but having health coverage will reduce the chances of crippling medical costs.

4. Youth offers no protection Young adults tend to go without health insurance believing that coverage is just for seniors or sick people. However, persons between the ages of 19 and 29 are more likely to visit the emergency room because they don’t have health insurance. No one should start out their adult life with a mountain of medical bills.

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Do you want a Presidential Physical?

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

(Image: Zef Delgadillo under CC 3.0)

President Obama had a pretty thorough physical back in February– some say too thorough. And with all the talk over healthcare spending many are wondering just what the President’s included.

The president received two top-of-the-line, high-tech tests, CT scans of his colon and his coronary arteries, you most likely won’t be getting when you show up at your doctor’s office this year.

Neither of these tests are part of a regular annual physical so health insurance companies probably won’t cover the costs.

Some doctors are encouraging more Americans to have the tests, saying they have caught heart disease and colon cancer at early stages. However, other doctors disagree and feel Mr.Obama’s testings fall into the American belief that more healthcare is always better. Such physicians say having the tests are costly and also expose patients to unnecessary radiation.

If you still want the President’s physical, it will cost you a pretty penny even if you have medical insurance. Facilities such as the Cooper Clinic, Scripps Health in San Diego, and the Cleveland Clinic offer “executive physicals” for $2,000 to $3,000 depending on the extent of the exam.

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New Move for Health Bill?

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010


The White House is working hard to pass the health bill in its final crucial stage. President Obama has said Congress will give an up-or-down vote on the bill for medical insurance this week. However, Democrats are said to be about 11 votes shy of what is needed to pass the bill, and it’s unclear whether they will gain the votes from several apprehensive Democrats.

Another approach is taking form among lead Democrats that would allow the bill to take form without a vote. House Democrats would approve a package of changes to the Senate bill in a budget reconciliation bill. The Senate bill would be “deemed passed” if and when the House adopts rules for debate on the reconciliation bill — or perhaps when the House passes that reconciliation bill.

Republicans are speaking out against the move. GOP leaders believe it is a sneaky tactic to push the bill through without a vote. Representative Ted Poe said Democrats should stop avoiding a fair up-or-down vote.

White House officials believe Republicans are opposing the process to try and stop the bill that would make health insurance more affordable for Americans. Democrat leaders say they still expect to take full vote on the healthcare bill by this weekend.

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Small County Helps Workers Get Healthcare

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010


One small restaurant is not waiting for the White House to solve the healthcare dilemma. In downtown Pueblo, Colo., a restaurant called Gold Dust Saloon is helping its employees buy affordable health insurance.

The company is one of 30 participating in a county program to provide low-cost coverage to employees of small businesses. The program is called the “three share”. The cost of insurance is split three ways; cooks and waitresses from the restaurant pay a portion, and the worker and the community cover the remaining balance. In Pueblo, two local hospitals pay the community portion.

The program is the only way such employees can afford medical coverage. Many small businesses have stopped offering workers group health insurance due to skyrocketing premiums. The three share program is helpful but only reaches out to a small group. Millions of others still have no one to help cover their insurance costs.

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Health Bill is Not in the Bag

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010


President Obama is working on a final push for the health bill, and it seems he still has quite a bit of work to do.

The President says he is confident they will get the votes needed to pass the health bill this week. However, a new CNN analysis shows that opposition in the House of Representatives to the Senate health care plan has reached 200 members. That figure is 16 votes shy of the 216 needed to prevent President Obama from scoring a major victory on his top domestic priority.

Some Democrats oppose the bill saying it is to costly, does not adequately address rising medical costs and skyrocketing insurance premiums, Other Liberal Democrats aren’t backing Obama’s plan because it does not include a government run health insurance option.

Mr. Obama doesn’t seem discouraged by such responses. He is making stops campaign style working to convince Americans of his health plan. The President expressed the urgency of the bill in a speech centered around a woman forced to drop her health insurance due to rising premiums. Shortly after, she was diagnosed with Leukemia and stuck with no medical insurance. Health insurance companies will likely deny her affordable coverage with the pre-existing condition. President Obama said she was a prime example of the problem with the current healthcare system, and is pushing Democrats to pass the bill while there is still a chance.

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Obama’s Future in the Hands of Health Bill

Monday, March 15th, 2010

President Obama is on his final push for the health bill. If Obama’s plan does pass, healthcare in America will never be the same again. Millions left without medical insurance will receive financial help to get coverage, others will be offered lower and more stable premiums, and insurance companies will be forced to follow tighter regulations.

Mr. Obama, himself, has much to gain from passage of the health bill. The President’s reputation will be strengthened. He has struggled for more than a year of his term to overhaul the healthcare system. During that time, some Americans have lost faith in the president’s leadership, and others believe the political system is broken. The President has poured his all into this bill. It would certainly damage his credibility as a leader for months if Democrats do not support and pass his legislation.

If President Obama and the Democrats succeed, the challenge over the next eight months will be to convince the public that the program is better than polls suggest they think it is. Health bill supporters will need to prove to Americans that health insurance for all is best for everyone. And while parts of Obama’s plan would take effect right away other provisions would take time.

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Millions Spent on Healthcare Bill

Monday, March 15th, 2010

The health care bill is coming to its final days and millions of dollars are being spent on the issue. Groups who are opposing the health bill have already spent $11 million on advertising against Obama’s plan. They are expected to spend more in the coming days. The business coalition, Employers for a Healthy Economy, is targeting Democratic lawmakers, carrying the message that the bill would cause job losses. The ads are being funded by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other trade associations that represent a broad swath of industry, from health insurers and manufacturers to construction, retail and distribution companies.

Those who are backing the healthcare plan are matching that spending with the help of pharmaceutical companies who made a $12 million investment for a final advertising push.

There is quite a bit riding on the health bill. If passed, people without health insurance will get help by way of government subsidies to purchase coverage. Others who are underinsured due to cost will have the opportunity to purchase more affordable health plans. President Obama plans to stop unpopular insurance industry practices such as denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions or charging women more.

It’s unclear which way the swing Democrat votes will go. A few Democrats have been offered dispensations, including Representative Artur Davis of Alabama, who is no longer being pushed to vote for the bill because he is running for governor and the medical insurance measure is not popular in Alabama. Other Democrats voting against the bill also have been taken off the target list, party officials said, to save money for lawmakers who are more apt to be won over.

The health bill vote is expected to take place this week.

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