Here are all the articles I've written about California. Enjoy!

August 22nd, 2017

Truth or (do you) Dare?

Thank you for coming back!  This is our final and MOST IMPORTANT segment for our blog series, Are YOU ready for Single Payer?  The whole reason we dove into this topic was because of SB 562, the Healthy California Act.

On 6/23/17, CA Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) shelved the proposal saying it is “woefully incomplete” and has postponed any further legislative action until 1/18/18.

At the very least, this will give the CA Senate and Assembly time to address some of the serious flaws in SB 562, including the lack of a funding mechanism, zero public accountability and no way to control or manage medical care and costs.

While this bill is off the table for now, it will be sure to zombie.  If it IS resurrected next year, you might not get a chance to vote on this bill.   But YOU will pay for it.

As it was written, SB 562 estimated an annual price tag of $460 BILLION – and that’s just to start.  The current healthcare budget is $60 billion.  That’s QUITE an increase.

  • Proponents don’t really balance the books when it comes to the tax burdens which could be put on all of us. When it costs too much, employers will start the lay-offs… that means you!   And there’ll be no more $$ going into the unemployment trust fund… so you’ll be on your own.
  • SB 562 – like the ACA — doesn’t have any language addressing the cost of getting medical care (which, let’s face it, is already out of control!)

The Insurance Mom is worried about you.  She wants everyone to have easy access to medical care.  The Insurance Mom thinks SB 562 is alarming. Why?  Well, I’ll tell you!

Under this proposed bill, you will be forced to give up whatever …

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August 11th, 2017

The Truth About Single Payer

Thank you for tuning in and educating yourself about Single Payer!  This is part seven in our series, “Are YOU ready for Single Payer?”

The Insurance Mom wants you to know all sides of the insurance equation and really understand that “FREE MEDICARE FOR ALL” is very misleading and all political spin.   There’s nothing “free” about it.

“If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.”  — P.J. O’Rourke

Let’s unpack the potential pitfalls and hidden risks for moving to a Single Payer system, shall we?

  • RATIONING health care will be the new norm.   To repeat… that means you won’t get to go to any old doctor whenever you want.  You’ll likely have to wait a VERY LONG TIME to see a doctor, and even longer to see a specialist.  The CA government will be rationing your care.  You’ll get used to waiting lists before ever getting into the waiting room.  WHA!?
  • RX restricted accessibility for advanced and expensive prescriptions
  • TAXES Boy, will they increase.  For all of us.  In the proposed SB 562, personal income taxes could go up by $9200 for everyone, and increase every year. If CA continues to fight for single payer, it will need you and I to hand over at least $179 BILLION in new state taxes to pay for a health care system run by the State of California.  Remember too… no more Medi-Caid / Medicare.  So we’re counting on the Feds to give CA all that money too… and none of THAT is guaranteed.
  • LOSS OF DOCTORS Doctors who don’t get paid well by a Single Payer system, will probably leave CA… why bother staying?
  • LACK OF ASSISTANCE  And if you need help with your coverage, your only call will be
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August 7th, 2017

Public impressions vs. reality

Welcome to our sixth in the series, “Are YOU ready for Single Payer?”

 

 

Check out the above eye-opening graphic.  Words matter, don’t they?  While each of these things are different slightly (as we covered last week), the concept is the same.

CA Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) shelved SB 562 on 6/23/17 until January 2018, but that doesn’t mean the conversation is over.

The Insurance Mom wants you to understand socialized medicine for the future.  Don’t shrug… it’s inevitable that this will come to a vote one day, be it in CA or nationwide.

Here’s the skinny… similar programs in Oregon and Vermont failed, and shut down within 2 years (most recently in 2014).   Last year, Colorado voted down Single Payer by an overwhelming 85% vote.    Why?  It all comes down to money, honey.

Tune in next week where we break down the dollars when it comes to the systems proposed in the now-sleeping-but-not-dead SB 562.          

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July 28th, 2017

What the heck IS single payer?

Thanks for tuning in to The Insurance Mom’s blog on Single Payer.  Last week, we opened the convo by talking about California’s SB 562, aka Healthy California.    Two State senators are proposing a single-payer system.  But let’s unpack what that really means.

Single Payer = “Rationed” Medical Care

ICYMI, the CA Senate advanced a bill to the Senate.   SB 562 – The Health California Act, aka Single Payer (SP).  And then… On Friday, 6/23/17, CA Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) shelved the proposal saying it is “woefully incomplete” and has postponed any further legislative action until January 2018.

What does single payer mean?    The government will run your health care AND impose higher taxes on all of us.

It will be illegal for a doctor to perform services not included in the state’s Single Payer Plan.

It will be illegal for an insurance company to sell policies which duplicate any services covered under the state’s proposed Single Payer plan.

Single-payer advocates believe, on principle, that health care is best when it is “free to the patient at the point of care.” On the back end, of course, you still pay for it in higher taxes, and in between, the government decides whether or not you should be allowed to have that knee replacement or that mammogram. This is what we call rationing.

“Socialism is fine until you run out of other people’s money.”   — Margaret Thatcher…

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July 7th, 2017

Is Health Care A Right or a Privilege? (more brilliant comments from the amazing Michael Lujan)

Inspired by the great Michael Lujan and his post on LinkedIn.

At the center of the debate is this simple but loaded question. Every other developed nation has answered the question and enacted some form of universal health coverage (UHC). Proponents of the bill often make comparisons to the Canadian or the UK health systems. These comparisons are inaccurate, deliberately misleading, or possibly uninformed. The term “single-payer” refers to the financial arrangement; meaning one entity (the government) collects the funds (usually in the form of taxes) and this “single payer” also pays the providers. In a single-payer model, the providers can be private or government-owned. The government replaces the insurance company role and instead of paying premiums, Californians would pay for health care through higher taxes.

“When you look at all the different health care systems around the world… They are not all single-payer… and most are less socialized than America’s.” – T.R. Reid

Visit us next week when The Insurance Mom shares a comparison of four health care models around the world.…

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June 23rd, 2017

What’s going on with healthcare today!?

Are YOU confused?  We all are!  There are some VERY big things being discussed right now regarding health insurance.   But we read all the articles and boil it down into an easily digestible stew.  Here’s the inside scoop from The Insurance Mom!

While a lot is happening in Washington, there’s even more urgent things happening here at home in CA.

SB 562 — The Healthy California Act — is working its way through Sacramento right now.   You probably won’t get to vote on it.

State Senators Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and Sen. Toni Atkins ((D-San Diego) say they know what’s best for their constituents.   They say… “all Californians will have one plan, more choice.”  Huh?  What does that mean??

Welcome to Our Blog Series

The Insurance Mom wants her insurance family to be informed, insured, and inspired to engage in the future of health care.  That’s why I’ve written a blog series about Single Payer Health Care.  Tune in next week for some truly EYE-OPENING info on our insights of these concepts.…

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April 18th, 2017

Have You Heard? BIG changes coming to health insurance in 2018! BEWARE – BE AWARE!!

In 2018, if you’re buying individual health insurance for you and the fam (not through an employer),  PAY ATTENTION!
Open enrollment is scheduled to start NOVEMBER 1, 2017 (for new coverage starting January 1, 2018)
NEW RULE:  
Open enrollment will ONLY be for FORTY-FIVE days, ending December 15th.  That’s half of what it’s been in prior years.  YES!!!  No kidding.  PAY ATTENTION!!  
Health insurance will be harder to buy – or change —  in 2018. So The Insurance Mom wants you to really PAY ATTENTION!!  Outside of Open Enrollment (after 12/15/17) you’ll have to seriously PROVE that you’re eligible to buy health insurance or make changes to your plan.  It’s called a Qualifying Life Event.
 
MORE CHANGES:
  • The new rule could reduce the amount of federal subsidies that currently make premiums more affordable for low- and middle-income people
  • The new rule could allow insurance companies to offer even skinnier networks
  • The new rule could make coverage skinnier, too
PAY ATTENTION!   New regulations do NOT require Congressional approval… just the signature of a President.  If you’re not happy with the way things are going and are worried that you could lose the coverage you have, The Insurance Mom encourages you to contact your Members of Congress.
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August 6th, 2016

Health Insurance Forecast for 2017– Are YOU Prepared?

Hello, Friends!

 

Are you ready for health insurance news for NEXT year??   Sit, get cawfee, or a cocktail and let’s tawk!

 

This interesting article from the NY Times and this one from the Free Beacon each have loads of important info, but here’s the gist….

 

The SAME news: the NEXT open enrollment period will be 11/1/16 through 1/31/17.

 

The HAPPY news: Obamacare will be rating health insurance plans based on how many doctors and hospitals are in their networks.  BUT (as I am your interpreter of bulls*#$) this doesn’t necessarily mean that doctor networks are going to improve for individual plans.  It just means there’s more transparency for you to make informed choices.

 

The PHEW! news: there’s a new thing next year called “continuity of care.”   What do you do if your doc leaves your network?  Often they leave or get dropped from the network without any heads up to YOU.  BUT in 2017, if you’re in an “active course of treatment,” you’ll be able to continue seeing the doctor if they leave the network.

 

The BAD news: out-of-pocket maximums are going up.  WAY UP!  In some states, they’ll increase from $6500 to $7150 for individuals, and from $13,000 to $14,300 for a family.

 

The YUCKY news: The Beacon article anticipates that deductibles in most states will see increases , too.

 

The WORST news: hold on to something…  premium increases are on the horizon for 2017.

 

The more you know, the more prepared you’ll be for 2017.…

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July 27th, 2016

“What’s Up, Doc?” Blog Series Part 8: A Cure For What Ails You

Hello again, my avid readers.  Hugs for reading the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh of our series, “What’s Up, Doc?”

 

Last time, we left you sitting on the slab as the doctor came into the room.   And now a segment we call “A Cure for What Ails You” and is a continuation of advice from last week on what to do once you have their ear.

 

First and foremost, I like the concept that the doctor works FOR YOU!   Not the other way ‘round.   You are paying that person… she works for you!   You deserve her time and FULL attention.   Remember, you get a vote.   And not just any vote.. you get THE vote on how things proceed!!

 

  1. If you need tests, remind the doctor to use ONLY an in-network lab.
  2. If you need meds, ask if the generic is available.   YOU control how you spend your money!  The docs generally don’t think twice about prescribing expensive brand name drugs.
  3. Did the doctor advise seeing a specialist?  Ask for their IN-network referrals for a trusted doc before you leave.   But it’s still up to YOU to verify that the new doc is IN-network!
  4. If you need a follow-up visit, make the appointment before you leave!
  5. Remember to request a copy of the chart notes from today’s visit.
  6. ASK if the doctor will communicate by e-mail.   Often e-mails become a valuable part of your chart.

 

Who is your fave doc?  What have they done that makes them your fave?  Always love the shares from friends of The Insurance Mom.…

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June 22nd, 2016

“What’s Up, Doc?” Blog Series Part 3: Let’s Make an Appointment!

Hello, my lovely readers!  Welcome back to our on-going series, “What’s Up, Doc?” I’m your host, The Insurance Mom.

 

You can read about finding a good doc HERE and about what to do before scheduling your appointment HERE.   Now, “Let’s Make an Appointment!”

 

  1. Doctor’s offices are busier than ever.   Schedule an appointment as soon as you know you’ll need a follow-up visit or as soon you’re feeling icky.
  2. Or skip the doctor and go right to an IN-network urgent care center.
  3. If it’s a simple medical issue, you can also try LiveHealthOnline.com.  You can video chat 24/7 with a board-certified doctor (even a therapist!).  Sometimes they can even diagnose and prescribe meds!  Use code HEALTHYWOMEN for a free first visit.  Men, I wasn’t able to find one for you so use the code at your karmic risk. 🙂
  4. If you read our first posts, you already know if the doctor is in- or out-of-network.  If the doctor is OUT-of-network (and this the only doc you want to see), ask what the cash price is.  If you don’t faint when they tell you, say you’d love to keep doing business with them but the doctor is out-of-network for your plan.  Suggest that they give you a cash   See what they say!  Never hurts to ask, right?

 

Be a good negotiator, be your own best advocate.   It’s YOUR money, you have the control, not the receptionist!

 

Let me know, audience… how do YOU fare at the doctor’s office?  Share with me!…

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