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

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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April 29th, 2015

The Insurance Mom is on KPCC!

Check out this great article by Stephanie O’Neill at KPCC about brokers and the Affordable Care Act.  So pleased she did this article and flattered she asked me to participate.

http://www.scpr.org/news/2015/04/29/51313/some-brokers-encounter-hard-times-under-the-afford/

Give it a listen or a read and let me know your thoughts below.…

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August 18th, 2014

Are you OK with one person taking control of what happens to your medical bills?

I don’t think I’ve ever politicized a blog post.  This could be a first.   So you’ve gotta know how important it must be.

Proposition 45 will be on the ballot in November.  Prop 45 is a flawed, deceptive measure that will increase costs for consumers and (maybe) harm the quality of our health care.

A special interest group (of course!) is sponsoring Proposition 45, an initiative on the November 2014 ballot that gives ONE POLITICIAN (the Insurance Commissioner) new power over your health care – including your premiums, co-pays, deductibles and even the treatment options your health insurance covers.

This is bad.  This is very, very bad.

We all want to control health care costs – that’s why California has a new independent commission with the authority to negotiate rates with health plans and reject them if they’re too expensive. We should give this commission a chance to work, NOT give more power to a single politician who can take campaign contributions from special interests.

There are many reasons why Prop 45 is NOT a good idea.   And they all might cost YOU a lot of money.

1.            Prop 45 gives one politician just too much power.

2.            Prop 45 creates a more costly bureaucracy.

3.            Prop 45 is sponsored by special interest (lawyers, lawyers, lawyers!) who could make a LOT of money under this measure.

Be wary of what’s on your ballots, kiddies.  The Insurance Mom doesn’t want you and the whole state of California to get caught in a terrible mess caused by Prop 45.

Ask yourself this:   Do you trust one politician to dictate what will happen to your health and finances?

With one elected official in charge, you won’t have any input – nor will doctors or hospitals – on the best decisions for your …

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October 18th, 2011

What does it cost to…

… die?   It’s expensive!  Cedars Sinai Medical Center billed Medicare $132,000 (yes!) for ONE week of care.    I don’t want this to be morose but I do want to use my father’s death a couple of months ago as a life lesson about how to be pro-active in your own medical care.

The doctors wanted to run every diagnostic test they could think of, often more than once.   They suggested all sorts of treatments and medications.  And they knew he was terminal.

Although we kept the procedures to a minimum, the costs mounted and Medicare wound up with that outrageous bill.  What’s important here in addition to the insane cost of medical care (which the health care “reform” doesn’t even begin to address), is that Medicare reduced the hospital’s bill to $14,000 and Cedars Sinai had to write off the rest.   Really.

All PPO plans work this way!  It’s why I tell my clients to avoid paying a provider in full for medical expenses before the insurance company processes your claim.  Otherwise, it’s more than likely that you’ll overpay for your medical services and getting a refund from a provider is painful!

Fight for your money!  S/he who writes the checks has the power… not the receptionist behind the front desk or the provider’s billing service.

Talk to me about other exciting discussions you should be having with your providers… it’ll open your eyes and maybe even save you some money.

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September 23rd, 2010

Today’s The Day in Health Care Reform

“They” say that today, September 23, 2010, is a milestone in health care reform, or as I’ve affectionately been calling it, Stealth Care Reform.   Some of the new federal mandates go into effect today, but will affect only some of you:

1.   Removal of pre-existing condition exclusions for minors up to age 19.  But, the law does NOT state that insurance companies must issue a policy to a child.  It only says that IF a policy is approved, all pre-existing conditions must be covered.  The insurance companies said early on that they will abide by the intent of the law, which was to provide insurance to any child, regardless of the child’s health condition or history.   The unintended consequence: now most of the major players in the country have said they won’t issue “child-only” policies, meaning that at least one adult must be on an application with a child in order for the child to get health insurance.

2.  Coverage for dependents up to age 26. If an adult child wants to stay on Mom & Dad’s policy they can.  Isn’t it time to grow up?

3.  Preventive care with no co-pays and no maximum benefit. All new policies that you buy after today must include this provision.

4.  Removal of lifetime dollar limits. This one is going to be a pricey mandate for you.  Watch how the insurance companies raise their rates to offset this unlimited financial exposure.    The Insurance Mom has said it before and I’ll say it again… mandates are expensive!   Must I repeat myself?!

5.  Removal of annual coverage limits. Fortunately, in California, our policies have not had annual limits on benefits (except for the state’s High Risk Pool, which has an annual limit of $75,000 in benefits, and is not subject to …

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September 9th, 2010

The Other Side Of The Story

The Insurance Mom loves her colleagues around the country… they are a very smart bunch!  Especially Ric Joyner, a benefits specialist in Madison, WI, who writes an excellent benefits blog.      If you value your hard-earned money, I really want you to take a few moments to read how health care reform will impact your life and your money.

The Wall Street Journal is saying that insurers are adding costs to health insurance premiums to pay for health care reform measures.    The insurers are adding 5-9% MORE to your premiums due to health care reform.   But why?

1. No underwriting starting in 2014. That means no one can be rejected. Thus, we move from “insurance” to a utility organization which the government can dictate, including fees too.   If the insurance company can’t underwrite the policy then they can’t prevent bad risk.   Thus everyone who is healthy will pay for those who are unhealthy.   Is this bad?   Perhaps.   It depends on your politics.   If you believe that everyone should pay for everyone else then it works great.   But think about it.   Our founding fathers wanted true freedom to succeed or fail. We are taking the ability to succeed or fail away and promoting mediocrity.

2. If you read the article closely you will find the Obama Administration is saying that this concept is out of line, however it actually makes perfect sense.   If you cover everyone, where you weren’t before…there are more costs. Thus insurance companies will pass on the costs to you!

3. So the Obama Administration knew that this was going to happen.  When you extend coverage to everyone you also increase cost.   Economists agree that when the health care bill was conceived and passed the costs of coverage for everyone would go up as well.   This bill

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July 26th, 2010

Unintended Consequences

So you thought the new Health Care Reform law was on your side, didn’t you?  Ha.  Not so much.   There is nothing in the new law that will stop these unintended (but predictable) consequences.

A provision of the new “stealth” care reform law says that insurance companies must issue health insurance to children, regardless of their health status or history.  In other words, guaranteed health insurance for children up to age 19, no matter what.

Fooled you!!  Guess what?   The new rules are leading health plans in some states to stop issuing new child-only coverage.   Which means that families are going to have to include their high-risk child on a pricey family plan.   In the past they could have saved money by buying separate policies for themselves and their children.

Florida and Oklahoma, come to the front of the class to get your wrists slapped!   Go sit in the corner.

Some families may wind up paying higher premiums because of the requirement in the new law that plans cover sick children.   The rule barring insurance plans from turning away sick children or denying coverage for specific illnesses for children who are already covered was one of the most popular parts of the new law.

The Insurance Mom recommends that if you have a high-risk child, get that health insurance in place fast before the insurance companies in your state play follow-the-leader with Florida and Oklahoma.

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April 21st, 2010

Albert Einstein was SO smart!

I love this quote:

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

Hmmm… somehow I just know I can find a way to apply this to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka HR 3950, aka health care reform, aka stealth care reform).

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April 20th, 2010

Hey Kids, This One’s for YOU (and parents too)!

If you are:

1.  A parent whose young adult child is about to be taken off of your health insurance plan because they’re all grown up (well done!), or

2.  A young adult who is about to be taken off of your parents’ health insurance plan because you’re all grown up (good job!),

… then this is good news is for you!

There is a provision in the newly enacted health care reform legislation that will allow young adults up to age 26 to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan, regardless of marital status or the availability of other health insurance.

While this provision doesn’t take effect until September, 2010, there are four insurance companies which have announced they will immediately comply with the new law, without waiting until September.

Humana, Kaiser Permanente and UnitedHealthcare say they will immediately allow young adults to stay on their parents’ plans.    And WellPoint (in some states, that’s Blue Cross) says they’ll implement the new provisions starting June 1.

Here’s an easy-to-read description about this portion of the new law.   I promise it won’t make your eyes bleed!

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April 9th, 2010

Your Government’s Health Insurance Plan

I have it on good authority that you’ll be able to contact one of the following newly created federal boards and commissions to get help with your government-sponsored health insurance.  Which one will you choose?

1. Grant program for consumer assistance offices (Section 1002, p. 37)
2. Grant program for states to monitor premium increases (Section  1003, p. 42)
3. Committee to review administrative simplification standards  (Section 1104, p. 71)
4. Demonstration program for state wellness programs (Section 1201, p.  93)
5. Grant program to establish state Exchanges (Section 1311(a), p. 130)
6. State American Health Benefit Exchanges (Section 1311(b), p. 131)
7. Exchange grants to establish consumer navigator programs (Section  1311(i), p. 150)
8. Grant program for state cooperatives (Section 1322, p. 169)
9. Advisory board for state cooperatives (Section 1322(b)(3), p. 173)
10. Private purchasing council for state cooperatives (Section  1322(d), p. 177)
11. State basic health plan programs (Section 1331, p. 201)
12. State-based reinsurance program (Section 1341, p. 226)
13. Program of risk corridors for individual and small group markets  (Section 1342, p. 233)
14. Program to determine eligibility for Exchange participation  (Section 1411, p. 267)
15. Program for advance determination of tax credit eligibility  (Section 1412, p. 288)
16. Grant program to implement health IT enrollment standards (Section  1561, p. 370)
17. Federal Coordinated Health Care Office for dual eligible  beneficiaries (Section 2602, p. 512)
18. Medicaid quality measurement program (Section 2701, p. 518)
19. Medicaid health home program for people with chronic conditions,  and grants for planning same (Section 2703, p. 524)
20. Medicaid demonstration project to evaluate bundled payments  (Section 2704, p. 532)
21. Medicaid demonstration project for global payment system (Section  2705, p. 536)
22. Medicaid demonstration project for accountable care organizations  (Section 2706, p. 538)
23. Medicaid demonstration project for emergency …

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