Archive for December 12th, 2009

Here is a link to NAHU’s Washington Update.  Needless to say, there’s a ton of information to report on.  There’s a good analysis of the Senate’s Health Reform compromise, although it’s difficult to evaluate because many of the details are sketchy. 

Also, here is a link to a memo sent to Senators Reid and McConnell underscoring the importance of Insurance Agents in helping consumers navigate Health Insurance Choices.

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Thanks to Ken for giving me this link.  Interested blog post on the Senate’s Compromise to shelve the Public Option in favor of Privately-Run Insurance plans regulated by the OPM and an expansion of Medicare benefits to those who are “exchange eligible” and ages 50-64.  Seems that the Docs and Hospitals have real problems adding more folks to Medicare where they are already getting under paid.  This would result in even more “Cost Shifting” to Private Insurance via Employer Group and Individual under 65 (or should I say under 50?) Health coverage.

Meanwhile, the Senate is awaiting CBO scores for this compromise, but the compromise might already be sunk!

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Ritter Insurance Marketing makes it easy to register for upcoming Learning Opportunities with Aetna!  Simply click here to get registered (you must be logged in to register) to attend one of the upcoming live training sessions or webinars.  Coming this week:

  • California Medicare Products – December 15th in Chino, CA
  • Florida Individual Products – December 15th, 17th Webinar
  • Florida Consumer Portal Training – December 15th Webinar
  • Florida Individual Training – December 15th in Altamonte Springs, FL
  • New York Medicare Products – December 16th in Uniondale, NY
  • Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC Individual Products – December 16th and 21st Webinar
  • Michigan Individual Products – December 17th Webinar
  • New York Medicare Products – December 22nd at 100 Park Ave, New York, NY

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This story comes from the Philadelphia Inquirer.  IBC (one of the largest health insurers in Pennsylvania) is facing large losses.  This is due to reduced revenue in it’s Commercial Group market as Employer Groups lay off employees and drop their health insurance.

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Here is the full story from the AP.  The study was done by the Office of the Actuary which is under Health and Human Services.  The study looked at the OVERALL impact of Health Care Reform being proposed and not just the impact on the Federal Budget (where tax increases offset additional costs).  Interestingly, they found that Health Care spending would increase by 0.7% MORE with reform than if we did NOTHING! 

They also questioned the feasibility of cutting $493 Billion from Medicare without causing reductions in service.  The actuaries tried to evaluate whether future Congresses would hold fast on implementing the cuts or whether providers would be able to convince Congress in future years to restore some of the money.  This is similar to the current situation arising from the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) of 1997 where “Medicare Sustainability Models” are mandating a 21% cut in the Physician’s Fee Schedule, however, Congress avoided such cuts every single year they were mandated by DRA.

The Actuaries also question the sustainability of the Long Term Care Insurance Plan which was also inserted into Health Care Reform.  Their reasoning here is that the plan would attract significant numbers of people in poor health which would result in an “insurance death spiral” as premiums escalate at an uncontrolable rate.

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Here is the full story from the NY Times.   Ironically, Drug Reimportation was originally supported by President Obama.  However, the White House and the Pharmaceutical Industry struck a deal earlier this year which did not include reimportation.  Now, Democratic leaders have stopped debate on the Reimportation Amendment on fears that it would PASS.  The amendment has bi-partisan support and would save the Federal Government almost $20 Billion over the next 10 years according to the CBO.  The fear is that if the amendment passes, the Pharmaceutical industry would drop its support of the Health Care Reform bill.

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