The Sequester Will Affect Insurance

The sequester will cause a bunch of automatic funding cuts to programs that help thousands of Americans, beginning on March 1, 2013. This can only be prevented if Congress manages to come to an agreement about how to stop it from happening. At the time I am writing this blog, that agreement does not appear to be likely. Here’s how the sequester will affect the insurance that covers you and your family. Unemployment Insurance Benefits People who are laid off, who worked for companies that went bankrupt and closed, or who lost their jobs through no fault of their own … Continue reading

Medi-Cal and the Affordable Care Act

Part of the Affordable Care Act includes the ability for states to choose to expand their Medicaid program. In California, the program is called Medi-Cal. There have been problems with this program in the past. Here is a brief summary of what California is planning to do in regards to the expansion. In December of 2012, a U.S. Court of Appeals made a decision about a situation that had been going on since sometime in 2009. The state of California cut the reimbursement rate for doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers who treated patients who were covered by Medi-Cal. … Continue reading

Governor Christie Will Expand Medicaid in New Jersey

The Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, has announced that he will accept federal funding to expand the Medicaid program in his state. You can add him to the list of Republican governors who are adamantly opposed to the Affordable Care Act but who have decided to expand Medicaid anyway. Governor Christie said his decision is not a “philosophical shift”. Suddenly, a bunch of Republican governors who have clearly stated their objections to the entire Affordable Care Act are changing their minds about at least one portion of it. They are deciding to take the federal money to expand their … Continue reading

Dunkin Donuts and the Affordable Care Act

You can add Dunkin Donuts to the list of businesses that have expressed opposition to the Affordable Care Act. Their complaint is somewhat different than the others. Dunkin Donuts wants to change the rule about how many hours it takes to officially designate a worker as full-time. There has been more than one restaurant chain that has voiced disapproval about certain portions of the Affordable Care Act. Darden, parent company of Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and more might be the most well known one. In that situation, Darden declared it was implementing a pilot program that would cut the hours … Continue reading

Obesity and Health Insurance Premiums

Does your employer offer wellness programs? Sometimes, employers determine the cost of a worker’s health insurance premium based on participation in this type of incentive program. In some cases, premium cost is connected to reaching certain health goals. Is this a fair way to treat workers who are obese? It has been said, for many years, that America has an “obesity epidemic”. In 2011, a study found that 32% of American men, and 35% of American women, were obese. If those trends continue, some health experts predict that about half of all the men and women in America will be … Continue reading

Universal Orlando Will Drop Health Plans for Part-Time Workers

Universal Orlando is going to stop offering health insurance to part-time employees as of December 31, 2013. Universal is currently offering health plans that are considered to be inadequate according to the regulations in the Affordable Care Act, which goes into affect on January 1, 2014. Universal is one of the largest employers in Central Florida. It has about 17,000 employees. Although thousands of the workers are part-time, only around 500 of them are currently enrolled in the employer sponsored health insurance plan. Other part-time workers are covered under their spouse’s health plan. Still others, who are between the ages … Continue reading

Final Rules About What Health Plans Must Cover

This is exactly what many health insurance companies, and many families, have been waiting to hear. The Obama administration has issued the final rules that define the Essential Health Benefits that must be covered in all health plans, starting in 2014. Here is a quick look at what will be included. The Department of Health and Human Services has announced a final rule that defines what health insurance plans must cover. The rule applies to both individual plans and the small group markets. The purpose is to give consumers a consistent way to compare one health insurance plan with another. … Continue reading

Governor Scott Agrees to Temporarily Expand Medicaid

The Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, has decided to expand Medicaid in his state. However, this comes with some stipulations. He is only interested in the expanded program for the three years in which the federal government will pay for 100% of it. The Florida legislature also must approve of the expansion in order for it to happen. The federal government offers states funding that is to be used to expand their Medicaid programs. It is part of the Affordable Care Act. When the Supreme Court heard the case about the Affordable Care Act, it decided that states cannot be … Continue reading

Coupons From My Health Insurance Company?

Has this ever happened to you? I got a large envelope from my health insurance company in the mail today. It wasn’t a bill, and it wasn’t a “letter of doom”. Enclosed were several coupons that I can take to the grocery store. That was unexpected! I, like many others, have a love-hate relationship with my health insurance company. I love that I didn’t have to come up with the entire cost of my Epi-Pen this year out of pocket – I hate that my insurer didn’t help out with much of the cost. I love that being insured means … Continue reading

USCCB Sent Letters to Congress About Birth Control Mandate

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops sent letters to all 535 members of Congress in regards to the birth control mandate. The content of the letters urges lawmakers to allow for-profit religious businesses to be exempt from having to offer employer sponsored health plans that cover contraception. Recently, the Obama administration provided clarification about the birth control mandate. It makes it very clear which employers will be exempt from the requirement that they offer employer-sponsored health plans that cover the cost of contraception, and which employers will not be exempt from the law. In short, it works like this: … Continue reading