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Posts Tagged ‘Costs’

Ask Kim: buying health insurance in the off-season

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Chicago Tribune reports:

“I’m leaving my job in a few months and moving to New York. Can I get new health insurance even though open enrollment is over? Yes. Even though open enrollment for individual health insurance is closed until November 15, 2014, you can buy a new policy now (either on a state exchange or directly from an insurer or agent) if you move or experience certain other “life changes,” including getting married or divorced, having or adopting a baby, and losing other health insurance. You generally have 60 days from the date of the event to buy a new policy. (more…)

State delays ‘employee choice’ on Obamacare insurance exchange

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Crain’s Chicago Health Care Daily reports:

“Illinois plans to delay by at least a year a key feature of its Obamacare health insurance exchange that potentially would give employees of small businesses more choices when shopping for coverage.

“Employee choice” would allow employees to select from a range of plans from multiple carriers on the Small Business Health Options Program, also known as the Shop exchange, rather than being limited to a single plan chosen by their employer. The three dozen states on the federally administered marketplace, Illinois included, operated under the latter model, called “employer choice,” in 2014.

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Obamacare co-op Land of Lincoln loses money in first quarter

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Crains Chicago Health Care Daily reports:

“Illinois’ only co-op health insurance program lost more than $4 million and enrolled fewer than 2,500 people in its first quarter of operation as it struggled to enter a market dominated by one massive competitor.

Land of Lincoln Health Inc. Co-op had just 2,451 members by March 31, 97 percent of whom bought individual plans. The carrier was established under President Barack Obama’s health care reform law and aimed to increase competition in Illinois’ individual and group insurance markets.

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Health care expansion to cost Illinois

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Quincy Journal reports:

“Expanding Illinois’ Medicaid program under the federal health-care reform law will cost the state $1.3 billion a year in 2020 and beyond, according to an analysis.

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White House relying more on insurance carriers to help fix HealthCare.gov

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

The Washington Post reports:

“The White House is increasing its reliance on insurers by accepting their technical help in efforts to repair the problem-ridden online health insurance marketplace and prioritizing consumers’ ability to buy plans directly from the carriers.

The Obama administration’s broader cooperation with insurers is a tacit acknowledgment that the federal insurance exchange — fraught with software and hardware flaws that have frustrated many Americans trying to buy coverage — might not be working smoothly by the target date of Nov. 30, according to several health experts familiar with the administration’s thinking.

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U.S. workers can carry over $500 of health spending accounts: Treasury

Friday, November 1st, 2013

Yahoo News reports:

“Americans who use flexible spending accounts (FSAs) for healthcare costs may now be able to carry up to $500 of expiring money into the next year, the U.S. Treasury said on Thursday.

For nearly 30 years, about 14 million families with FSAs faced a “use it or lose it” deadline of December 31 when the money in the account would expire.

Accountholders flush with cash at the end of the year would often scramble to spend their fund balance frivolously.

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Affordable Care Act: Smoking sends health premiums higher

Friday, October 25th, 2013

The Chicago Sun Times reports:

“If you light up, prepare to get burned with higher premiums when buying insurance in the new health insurance marketplaces.

Under rules of the Affordable Care Act, in Illinois and most other states, insurers can charge smokers and other tobacco users as much as 50 percent more on their premiums due to the higher health risks they face compared to non-tobacco users.

In some cases, the surcharge wipes out the subsidy for which some smoking health plan enrollees would qualify in the marketplaces, said Karen Pollitz. She is senior fellow at Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit focused on health-care issues.

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Republicans unveil healthcare reform alternative amid threats of government shutdown

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Fierce Healthcare reports:

“The GOP this week unveiled an alternative plan to President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law amid a threat from a minority of Republicans to defund the law before the Oct. 1 implementation date and shutdown the government.

The bill–Republican Study Committee’s American Health Care Reform Act–which calls for a full repeal of the healthcare reform law “dramatically opens up options for families, and dramatically lowers costs” compared to Obama’s law, committee chairman Louisiana Rep. Steven Scalise told The Daily Caller.

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Long-Term Care Policies Ditch Solo Role For Supporting Act

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Insurance News Net reports:

“The stand-alone long-term care insurance market may be dormant as buyers shy away from high premiums and the relative inefficiency of long-term care coverage, but the combination insurance product market is hot.

Combination products, otherwise known as hybrid insurance, pair long-term care coverage with an annuity or life insurance. In return for one or more premium payments at retirement, a life care annuity pays fixed, periodic payments. In the event of a disability, the coverage provides additional payment to help cover the costs associated with long-term care.

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Will health reform make you change doctors?

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Market Watch reports:

“Some experts have said that the experience of shopping for health insurance on the new online marketplaces that will open for enrollment this October under the Affordable Care Act will be like booking a vacation on Travelocity. But for those who make the wrong insurance purchase, the stakes could be much higher than an inconvenient layover or a hotel room without a view, and consumers who base their decision on price alone may be in for some unwelcome surprises.

(more…)

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