Here are all the articles I've written about Los Angeles Times. Enjoy!

May 11th, 2017

Are AHCA concerns making you sick? Pre-existing conditions and MacArthur and more….

Holy cow, folks!  What a crazy time for health insurance!

Politics aside, The Insurance Mom wants you to be really, totally clear about what’s happening in the wacky world of health insurance.

The first thing most clients ask me these days is about pre-existing conditions.  What if I have an illness before I buy health insurance?  What if my sick child loses coverage?  “What-ifs” all over the place!

All we can do right now is breathe.  We don’t know what’s going to happen with this bill (it’s not a law yet!).  But I did want to shed some light on the latest MacArthur Amendment.

The LA Times did an EXCELLENT article on just this issue here:  http://www.latimes.com/business/lazarus/la-fi-lazarus-gop-healthcare-macarthur-amendment-20170504-story.html

Here are a couple of excellent quotes… but the whole article is awesome.

“And it protects people with pre-existing conditions much as starving people may be welcome at a restaurant, but only if they order the most expensive dishes on the menu.”

“This much is clear: Republican lawmakers have provided a textbook example of how not to enact major legislation.  They’re aiming to radically overhaul the $3-trillion U.S. healthcare system yet have shunned the input of major stakeholders such as medical organizations, hospitals and patient-advocacy groups, which are uniformly against the measure.”

What do YOU think, my lovely peeps?  Do you believe everyone should help pay for the sick?  Did you like the old way of doing things before the ACA?  Do you benefit from Obamacare?  Do you hate Obamacare (aka ACA)?  Tell The Insurance Mom your every little thing!…

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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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June 24th, 2015

Have YOU planned for the OMG??!

Do YOU have enough bucks tucked under the mattress for that OMG-unexpected-high-medical-expense?  And, they’re always unexpected!  How will you pay for stuff?   Most people don’t have enough saved up for that OMG! time… or even for sushi next week.    I have some great ideas… like an automatic savings plan, like life insurance, like disability insurance, like Long Term Care Insurance.

Call The Insurance Mom… we should tawk!…

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October 20th, 2014

How Much Will it Cost to Get Covered in 2015? 

If you know anything about the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), you know that the next Open Enrollment period is coming up (Nov. 15th – Feb. 15th for a Jan. 1st and later start date.)

Everyone’s first question to me is “how much will my monthly premium be?”

We don’t have enough info yet to compare.    Not all of the rates have been approved by the CA Department of Insurance.    But we do know the word on the street from going to conferences and doing lots of reading.  The Insurance Mom is here to translate!

There were a couple of great articles by Chad Terhune in the LA Times on 10/3/14 and 9/28/14.   For plans purchased through Covered CA, weighted increases in 2015 will range from 4.2% to 8% statewide (depending on where you live, it could be lower or higher).

But… actually using the plans is a whole different story!  That prompted two blog more posts about doctor networks AND why everything is so different after the ACA.  Click the links to read all about it!…

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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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March 5th, 2012

More Cheap Drugs In Your Neighborhood

What do ex-Facebook employees do when they leave the mother of all jobs?   Of course, they start their own online service, GoodRx.com.

Want to find the best price for your prescription at a pharmacy near you?   Type in the name of your drug and zip code.  Et voila!   You’ll see all of your local pharmacies and what they’re charging.  There are even handy coupons for some drugs.

Wouldn’t it be great to pay less than your insurance co-pay for prescriptions?    Yes, of course it would!

Another handy resource from The Insurance Mom to you!…

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August 26th, 2010

Take A Hike!

Please… sit up straight and pay attention class, elbows off the desks.   If you currently have an individual (not group) California health insurance plan with either Anthem Blue Cross OR Blue Shield, prepare for rate hikes heading our way October 1, 2010.

The rate hikes range from 14% to 20% with Anthem Blue Cross, and 19% to 29% for Blue Shield customers.  Most of you will be affected by the hikes.   However, if you bought your individual policy recently, you’ll still have your 12-month rate guarantee.

Watch your mail boxes within the next 3 weeks for announcements from your health insurance company.    Be sure to read the information, it’s important for you and your budget!   Of course,  you’re welcome to be in touch with The Insurance Mom if you have any questions or kvetches.

NOW is the time to be sure that you’re in a plan you can afford to pay for every month.  Remember, the monthly premiums are mandatory.   Medical expenses (the deductible) can be paid off over time, based on what your budget can handle.   The higher the deductible, the lower the premium.   So, even if you have to downgrade your plan to one with a higher deductible, you’ll still have affordable protection against catastrophic medical expenses.

The Insurance Mom strongly urges you to have a medical plan with a high deductible… as high as you can stomach.    Don’t give all of your premium money to the insurance companies, they have enough, don’t you think?

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August 2nd, 2010

It Never Hurts To Ask!

The Insurance Mom says that everything is negotiable… including the cost of your medical care.   You wouldn’t think twice about negotiating with an car dealer or a CraigsList vendor, right?  Well, you can — and should — do the same with your doctors, labs and hospitals.  Saving money is a good thing!  The Insurance Mom wants you to fight for your money!

As the accompanying article from the Los Angeles Times suggests, “do your homework and negotiate upfront… ”  The article, authored by Lisa Zamosky, offers some great tips, including:

1.  Understand treatments.  The best way to save money is to avoid care you don’t need.   If a doctor wants to order tests you’ve already had done by a different doctor, be sure to have the results forwarded and don’t let the second doctor duplicate the tests (and the costs!).     The Insurance Mom wants you to always have a copy of your current medical chart and tests results in your own files!  Yes, of course the doctor’s office will give you a copy of your chart (but sometimes for a small fee.)

2.  Find the best price.  Ask your provider up front how much a service will cost.   Did you know that prices vary greatly from one provider to another?  Yes they do!   When you can, plan and shop around.   Did you also know that the government’s “stealth” care reform law will do absolutely nothing to reduce the cost of medical care?   And it will not force doctors, labs or hospitals to reveal their costs to you.  So ask!   And then negotiate.   And get it in writing!

3.  Cash is king.   Many providers will give huge discounts for paying cash — sometimes the discounts are even better than what your insurance company has negotiated.

4.  Location, location, location.   The …

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March 30th, 2010

Health Care Reform Q & A

From the Los Angeles Times, a short Q & A.   Can you spot the fatal flaw in the legislation?   Tell me what you see.…

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February 5th, 2010

News for Anthem Blue Cross members

If you have individual health insurance with Anthem Blue Cross of CA and are about to be hit with huge rate hikes, this news is for you.   Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner says his office is investigating… but is this a real investigation or is he politicizing the investigation to boost his run for Governor?…

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