Health Insurance

  • Health Insurance

    Key terms and definitions for signing up

    Throughout my life, I’ve had the good fortune to stay on my parents’ health insurance plan. But this year I turned 26. So, when my company kicked off its open enrollment period, the window when your choose plans, it was time for me to spread my wings.  Clicking the link to choose a plan felt daunting, and it got worse when I started going through the selection process. What is an HSA? Or an FSA? Did I need that? And what did high deductible versus low mean in terms of a plan? Overwhelmed, I decided to talk to experts for  

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  • Health Insurance

    Build Back Better Act Would Patch Holes in Health Coverage

    WASHINGTON — Of all the “bitter disappointments” he had as president, Harry Truman once wrote, the “one that has troubled me most, in a personal way,” was the failure to enact a national program that would assure all Americans “a full measure of opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health.” More than 75 years after Truman first proposed universal coverage, Democrats are still chasing his dream. If President Biden’s social policy bill becomes law, they will make major strides toward fulfilling it. An estimated 3.4 million Americans would gain health insurance as a result of the legislation, which passed the  

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  • Health Insurance

    Company could owe $4.7 million over insurance fraud claims

    Getty Images/iStockphoto A purported health care cost-sharing company, which was once deemed “ruthless in denying coverage” by “Last Week Tonight’s” John Oliver, has lost a $4.7 million lawsuit in Lexington federal court. The Aliera Companies, which created and marketed “fraudulent” health care coverage, has lost a class-action lawsuit resulting in a nearly $4.7 million judgment. A judge in a Lexington federal court ruled against the company earlier this month after the company’s representatives failed to appear in court multiple times, according to records. Senior U.S. District Judge Joseph M. Hood declared that the company should have been subjected to Kentucky  

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  • Health Insurance

    Health Insurance Deductibles Give Black Friday a Whole New Meaning

    And those deductibles renew every year. So for millions of families, time is running out to fit in those last-minute healthcare needs. When the clock strikes 12 in just 35 days on January 1, 2022, they’ll find their healthcare back behind the deductible paywall. It gives Black Friday a whole new meaning.  Health insurers argue that deductibles are a simple “cost-sharing” strategy—forcing patients to have “skin in the game” when it comes to using healthcare (beyond their actual skin, I guess?). Cost-sharing, they argue, prevents beneficiaries from using unnecessary, “low-value” healthcare. They point to an out-dated 1970s-era experiment run by  

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  • Health Insurance

    No health insurance? You could be among millions who qualify for help

    Brothers91 | E+ | Getty Images If you lack health insurance, it may not be as out of reach as you might think. An estimated 10 million individuals who are uninsured could qualify for financial help with private insurance through the public marketplace, according to research from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Another 7 million could get coverage through Medicaid and/or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, also known as CHIP. “If you haven’t looked to see what you qualify for, you really should,” said Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow with the foundation. “By our estimate, millions of people could be pleasantly  

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  • Health Insurance

    Health plans need to address health inequities as part of their core work

    Health care companies and organizations across the country are grappling with health inequities, spurred by devastating disparities in the pandemic’s toll as well as the overdue reckoning with racial injustice that has followed the murder of George Floyd. Some have been at this for a while. Others are just beginning. But all have a lot of work to do. We work for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA), a not-for-profit private health plan that has long made diversity, equity, and inclusion a priority in its business, hiring and corporate culture, and community work. But directly addressing the racial  

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  • Health Insurance

    Patients stranded out of network as health insurance contract talks collapse

    On a larger level, the severed contract between a hospital system and health insurer reflects tensions that have been growing nationally this year. Caption Shelly Azzopardi ran into a snag with her insurance when her insurer, UnitedHealthcare, and Wellstar Health System did not agree on a new contract. (Submitted photo) Credit: Submitted photo Credit: Submitted photo Health care consultants and industry officials say an increasing number of contracts are ending without a deal. Even if they are eventually resolved, those terminations throw tens of thousands of patients into the difficult position of choosing between much higher out-of-pocket costs or leaving  

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  • Health Insurance

    More Americans expected to enroll in Affordable Care Act health plans as costs drop, benefits increase

    If you’ve shopped the Affordable Care Act marketplace for a health plan in recent years only to be disappointed by its price tags, you might want to try again. More Americans than ever qualify for federal subsidies to reduce what they spend on health insurance in 2022 — including millions who are under 65 and self-employed, run a small business or don’t have an employer who offers sufficient benefits. “There’s more plans out there that can meet your needs, and they’re more affordable than ever,” said Joseph Bayura, director of product development for individual and small group sales at UPMC  

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