Here are all the articles I've written about Health Policy. 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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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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October 3rd, 2016

Open Enrollment is almost here– Are YOU Ready!?

 

Calling all insured and soon-to-be-insured!  Open Enrollment is JUST AROUND THE CORNER…. November 1 through January 31st.  Have you made an appointment to talk to your Insurance Mom?

We posted this back in August in preparation and wanted to remind you what’s new for 2017.  Please review!

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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 might be more transparency for you to be able to make informed choices.

The PHEW! news: there’s a new requirement 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 (hopefully!) 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 families.

The YUCKY news: The Beacon article anticipates that deductibles in most states will see increases , too.   No, we don’t know what the increases will be… yet.

The WORST news: hold on to something…  premium increases are on the horizon for 2017.   No, we …

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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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February 19th, 2016

Intro: The Insurance Mom’s Guide to Better Living Through (Cheaper) Chemistry!

Hi Insurance Mom Family,

 

OK, let’s talk prescriptions.  But Mom… they’re so expensive!  I know, sweetie.  The Insurance Mom hears you.

 

Yet another (un)intended consequence of the Affordable Care Act… formulary shrinkage.    The formularies are the lists of drugs your insurance company covers – generic and brand name.   Most people just pay up at the pharmacy and don’t know they can actually shop around for better prices.   Just because you have health insurance doesn’t mean you’re getting the best price!

 

To help you along the way, we’ve written a blog series we call …

“The Insurance Mom’s Guide to Better Living

Through (Cheaper) Chemistry.”

high-cost-prescription-medications-health-care-concept-money-flowing-open-pill-white-background-34658791

 

This FIVE part series walks you through money saving tips & tricks from the moment the doctor writes the script to the moment you pick it up at the pharmacy.  Keep tuning back for the next five Fridays to learn to speak Rx.

 

As an intro, click the hyperlinks for these great articles from the website, GoodRX and another one from Consumer Reports.

 

In the meanwhile, talk to me!  What are your insurance concerns for the coming year?…

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June 4th, 2015

Good news for the ladies!!

Hurray!

On 5/11/15, the Department of Health and Human Services (ObamaCare)  told insurance companies they HAVE to give ladies access to  ALL federally approved methods of birth control.  NO EXCEPTIONS!

Women’s groups have been reporting that IUD’s, Plan B, the patch, and the ring have been refused by many insurance companies.  According to the White House, this is breaking the law.

Another positive step in the enforcement of some good bits of the Affordable Care Act.

http://www.ibamag.com/news/white-house-cracks-down-on-insurers-flouting-birth-control-requirements-22455.aspx

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October 10th, 2014

Time to Vote! Pay attention to Prop 45!

As you know, I normally don’t share my political opinions with clients.   However, Proposition 45 is on this November’s ballot and it will have a direct impact on your health insurance… and not in a good way. As your agent, I feel compelled to make you aware of Proposition 45 and why I so strongly oppose this measure.

Proposition 45 will radically alter the choices available to individuals and small businesses purchasing health insurance in California.

Supporters of Proposition 45 want to give one elected politician, the Insurance Commissioner, the power to determine your health plan’s premiums, benefits, networks and even what treatment options it covers.  (The Commissioner can receive millions in campaign contributions from special interests.) They want to create a costly new bureaucracy that duplicates existing regulatory agencies – the costs of which will ultimately be paid by you through higher premiums. They want to set up new rules and regulations that conflict with the new health care reform law.

As your agent, I take my responsibility seriously when I help you navigate California’s health insurance market.  Proposition 45 will make that market more chaotic and more costly – and worst of all it will potentially limit the choices you have as a consumer.

I plan to vote NO on Proposition 45 this November because it will create more problems than it solves.

I hope you will visit www.NoOn45.org to learn more about Proposition 45. While you’re on the website, I hope that you’ll take 30-seconds and sign-up to receive updates from the No on Proposition 45 campaign and join me on protecting your access to quality health insurance and preventing the possibility of rationed health care.

Feel free to email me back if you have any questions but, in the meantime, I hope that you’ll go

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July 9th, 2014

Long-Term Care Clarity!

Does Medicare cover long-term care expenses?  The answer may surprise you!

 

There was a neat article this week in the LA Times about Long-Term Care Insurance which spelled it out very nicely.

 

If you haven’t given much thought to how you’d pay for long term care expenses, you’re not alone.    Most of us haven’t.   But, the BIG question is:   Would you be able to afford it?

 

In California, the average annual cost for long term care – today — is about $82,000 a year.  Wow, that hurts!   If you cover your ass(ets) and get long-term care insurance, you’ll significantly reduce your costs.

 

So . . . DOES Medicare cover LTC?  No!     Does your health insurance cover LTC?   No!

 

Not a happy prospect.   We are all about protecting your money over here, so it may be time for you to start thinking about it, too.  Remember: the younger you are when you plan ahead the more you save.  The ‘Mom’ only wants what’s best for her little kiddies!

 

Educate yourself on the details of the ins and outs with the article here and contact The Insurance Mom for a chat about your future.  Mind your P’s and Q’s and you’ll be taken care of . . . long-term.…

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June 20th, 2013

Aetna Bites The Dust

Did you  know?  If you are in California and have an individual health insurance policy with Aetna, you are being abandoned on January 1, 2014.   Because of certain provisions in ObamaCare (aka The Affordable Care Act aka ACA), Aetna has decided to get out of the California individual market (can anyone say “profit margin”?) and focus only on employer-sponsored plans.

You are one of approximately 50,000 who will be left to figure it out on your own.    Aren’t you relieved that The Insurance Mom is here to help you!?  What ever will you do?

Fortunately, by the end of this year there’ll be lots of options but you’ll need help to figure them all out.   This health care reform stuff is confusing!    The Insurance Mom is a phone call or an e-mail away.  Let me know your FAQs!

 

 

 …

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May 14th, 2013

Did the doctor tell you… ?

… that you’re entitled to every bit of information in your own medical records? Thanks to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), that’s one of your rights as a patient. Ask yourself: “Do I really know what’s in my medical records?”, and if you don’t, then make sure you get a copy of your chart!

It’s just fine to be picky with your doctors, and to demand clear information from them. First of all, this transparency from your doctor builds trust, and can help you both understand one another more clearly. It can be much more motivating to comply with your doctor’s orders once you know why they’re making them! Access to your records also allows you more opportunity to think critically about your needs, which in turn helps you ask better questions and ensures better care.  You can spot mistakes as they happen and get them immediately corrected (yes, doctors make chart note mistakes all the time).

Furthermore, if you decide you need a second opinion for anything, or if you see multiple specialists, needing a copy of your records can be a terribly inconvenient delay, so it’s ideal to have them around! In the worst scenarios, if you feel your doctor’s care for you just isn’t good enough, your records can be a useful tool for determining where the problem lies and whether you should look for a new doctor.

As the world of health insurance changes, it’s likely that your doctor will have less and less time to spend with you.  So make every moment count!   Before I leave every doctor’s office I get a copy of that day’s chart notes.  It’s my right — and yours — to have them.  Be bold and don’t let anyone deny you yours. It’s your …

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