March 2, 2012
Every time a costly mandate is added to health insurance it eliminates more families who are on the borderline in their ability to buy health insurance.
State mandates have always and continue to negatively impact citizens and their ability to find affordable health insurance in any state.
The addition of autism as a state mandate will eliminate another 25% or more of families from the health insurance roles in Michigan.
In the State Senate hearings family after family is being paraded before the committee to state their case. They all clearly state, that the cost is $4,000 or more per month to care for an autistic child.
Now consider the most conservative estimate of the number of children who are born with autistism.
The number is 1 out of 100.
With a population of 100 families with two children each, there are two autistic children. This adds a cost of $100,000 to the cost of insurance for the 100 families. Add administrative fees, etc. and each family is now paying over $1,000 or more per year for their health insurance.
If you use the higher estimate of five children per 100, you add $2,500 or more to each family who wants to buy health insurance.
Why would any sane business owner continue to provide health insurance for their employees? How can any family afford this dramatic increase to their health insurance bill?
This is as bad as Obamacare and I cannot believe, any objective person is unable to see the unintended consequences.
Many of those reading this will say, it is cruel and how will these children get care?
If you buy your own health insurance, or if you are a small business owner, just send a $2,500 check for yourself and each employee to the state.
The government and the dozens of agencies created or enhanced by Obamacare, continue to stumble through the law, creating more and more regulations and indirect taxes. Obama’s latest mandate that all organizations must offer contraception is a direct violation of the 1st Amendment in our Constitution. Whether this will or will not stand will eventually be decided by the Supreme Court. The fact that all Supreme Court Justices and the President take an oath to uphold the Constitution becomes more and more of a mute point. With a President who regularly finds ways to bypass or disregard the Constitution it appears that his oath was to him a formality only. Now we have one Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg who told an Egyptian TV station that she would not recommend the U.S. Constitution as a model for Egypt’s new government.
It is very apparent that they have no intention of living up to their oath of office. This is what the framers of the Constitution feared; a return to the tyrannical actions of governments in Europe telling their citizens what to do all their lives, including what to believe when it comes to God.
December 17, 2010
Beginning in October 2010, once each month Standard & Poor’s, a division of McGraw-Hill Companies that publishes financial research and analysis on stocks and bonds, now publishes a set of Healthcare Economic Indices. These indices are “designed to provide an independent, timely estimate of the rate of change in the total cost of healthcare in the United States.”
S&P Healthcare Economic Indices take some time to develop, meaning the figures for the 12-month period ending October 31, 2010, have just been released. The indices show that health care costs have risen 6.70% for that period, down from 7.32% for the 12-month period ending August 31, 2010.
Standard & Poor’s publishes an approximately 30-page introduction to their Healthcare Economic Indices. This introduction is available as a PDF by clicking here.
December 13, 2010
One of the more confusing issues about Medicare is that it was never set up to handle long-term care expenditures. While the plans are certainly capable of handling short-term needs as ordered by a physician, such as in-home physical therapy, home health aides, home safety checks (but not the equipment) and durable medical equipment such as hospital beds and bedside toilets, this is not the same type of coverage as might be supplied by a hospice or other long-term care organization.
An article titled “Seniors and Their Caregivers Should Know Their Medicare Options” outlines considerably more specifics about what is and is not covered by Medicare. It becomes apparent that Long-Term Care insurance is really the way to go in supplementing the supplements so both short-term and long-term needs are met.
The deeper issue is that people do make assumptions about their insurance coverage without actually understanding what it entails. They hear stories or rumors about various plans and, believing what they hear, they think they know what they’re getting into. The only way to understand what any coverage is all about is to speak with an agent or broker who is more interested in educating people than in only making a sales commission. These agents do exist, and it’s important to find one.
December 8, 2010
Earlier this week the Obama administration announced that employer-sponsored group health insurance plans could have their tax breaks repealed in planned deficit cuts. In an Associated Press article Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar wrote, “Many economists believe employers would boost pay if they didn’t provide health care. Proponents of repeal usually call for a tax credit to offset part of the cost of individually purchasing coverage.”
During recent contract negotiations involving city workers, a small city in southern Michigan (population about 1,500) was asked to pay the workers an additional $5,000 per year if the employees elected not to enroll in the offered group health insurance plan. This was declined by city negotiators when it was determined the city’s contribution to the plan was no where near the requested $5,000.
The question becomes this: If the tax breaks for employer-sponsored group health insurance are indeed repealed, would it then be more cost-effective for this particular city to drop the employees’ insurance plan and boost their salaries by the requested amount? This is something the Mayor and City Administrator will have to consider.
December 2, 2010
Beginning on-or-about November 1st the office staff of Allchoice, Inc. in Wixom, Michigan, begins going through the file each and every client with a Medicare Part D prescription plan. The clients are contacted, medication lists are updated to the current list of prescriptions if any, and new Medicare Part D prescription reports are run to determine if there is a better plan than the Medicare Part D plan the client is currently a member of. The reports are sent to the client, along with a blank CMS-approved Scope of Sales Appointment Confirmation Form. Once the form is signed and returned to Allchoice, Inc., the client can speak with an agent about the plans in the new reports.
During this 2011 Medicare Open Enrollment period in the latter part of 2010, most Medicare Part D reports are containing anywhere from 30 – 35 plans for the client to look through and review. This can be quite a daunting task as there is a considerable amount of information to digest. It’s simple to look at the reports, order them by the monthly amount of the plan’s premium and select the least-expensive plan. However, there’s much more to the actual annual cost than just the monthly premium.
Here’s what needs to be considered:
- Deductibles and Co-Payments
If a plan with a given monthly premium has a high deductible and a fairly low co-pay, it may actually end up costing more than a plan with a higher monthly premium having a lower deductible and no co-pay. It’s the annual cost of these three factors that’s really the key to determining which plan is least expensive.
- Generics vs. Brand Name Drugs
While a lot of plans cover the generic versions of a given prescription, it’s possible to have an adverse reaction to the generic to the point where the brand name is required. In these situations it’s important to make sure the brand name drug is available under a given plan and how much that brand name medication will cost per month.
- Pharmacy Restrictions
Some Medicare Part D prescription plans will restrict purchase of medications to particular pharmacies or chains of pharmacies. Which pharmacies are available and where they’re located are factors in whether or not a given plan will be cost-effective for the member.
- The “Donut Hole”
For the 2011 period the “donut hole” occurs once the individual’s and plan’s combined costs total $2,840. The individual is then responsible for all costs until the beginning of what’s known as “catastrophic coverage”, which is when costs exceed $6,448 and plans cover 95% of costs. During the donut hole there’s a 7% discount on generics and a 50% discount on brand-name drugs. Evaluating how this works for a given list of prescriptions will help in determining the actual cost of a plan.
- Other Information
Receiving complete and objective information about a given plan can be difficult for a given client’s set of circumstances, necessary prescriptions, ongoing and intermittent treatments and many other factors. It’s important to talk with someone who is interested in the individual client’s needs and who can look at the requirements and options with an open mind.
November 22, 2010
Medicare costs for 2011 will increase significantly for seniors because of the provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. However, Medicare Part B fees to Doctors and Hospitals will also decrease dramatically under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed in 2010.
Click here for complete information on the 2011 Medicare premium changes.