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Archive for July, 2011

The story is from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.  Highmark is looking for injunctive relief to block University of Pittsburgh Medical Centers (UPMC) from airing ads which talk about the termination of portions of their contract with Highmark in June of 2012.

UPMC is considered a very important medical provider in the Pittsburgh market.

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One of the centerpieces for Medicare savings in the Health Care Reform bill was the introduction of an Independent Payment Advisory Board.  This 15-member board would have pretty broad power to set payment rates for providers.  In order for Congress to block cuts proposed by IPAB, they would have to not only have to vote to block the change BUT ALSO would need to find equivalent savings elsewhere.

The story is covered in thehill.com.

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I got this message from NAHU today regarding news reports on a “vote” taken by the Executive Committee of NAIC in regards to broker commissions being excluded from Minimum MLR calculations for individual and small group health insurance.

The Florida Insurance Commissioner posted a response to these news reports here.

NAHU remains actively engaged in this subject at all levels:  Legislatively and Administratively at HHS as well as NAIC.

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I was reading this story from the Washington Post and it seemed to be a pretty good summation of everything I’ve read and heard about the debt ceiling debate.  Until I got to the last 2 sentences of the article.  Generally, I pretty much “zone out” by the end of an article, but my ears “perked up” when I read this:

” A major likely savings is restricting the Medigap policies seniors buy to supplement their regular Medicare, which fuel Medicare spending by making seniors less cost-conscious. Seniors who want the “first dollar” coverage that Medigap plans provide could instead be required to pay a supplemental Medicare premium.

The use of first dollar coverage is pretty widely accepted in the insurance community as a poorly designed insurance policy.  The impact on consumer behavior is generally not favorable to the insurance company, nor a cost effective means of paying claims.  Generally, you’d see deductibles for small claims and full insurance for larger claims.  That’s why I like the design of the new Plan N. . .it seems to make sense in terms of insurance theory.

Although I’d read about a Senate Finance committee hearing on the impact of Plan F on consumer behavior, I hadn’t seen any concrete talk about restricting Medicare beneficiaries access “Plan F”-type coverage.  I’m not sure if the author is talking about a penalty on Plan F solely or on Medigap generally.

I’ll keep on the lookout for more articles around this subject.  If you see anything related, please post in comments!

UPDATE:  Here is a little more detail on the Medigap story from Robert Pear at the New York Times.  I’d still like to see the full proposal with respect to how Medigap might be impacted.

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Ritter Insurance Marketing is committed to bringing tools to help with your sales.  Below are two articles that do just that.

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I saw a press release on this, but I couldn’t find it on the Arcadian website or in any other news stories on the web.  I’ll keep looking for a source, but I wouldn’t even mention it if I wasn’t convinced it’s accurate.

UPDATE:  I’ve found a source!

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This story came from the IFAwebnews.com website.  In a survey conducted by GenRe (a major reinsurer of the Medicare Supplement business) of Medicare Supplement insurance providers, nearly half (48%) expected growth in 2011 versus 2010.  Another 40% expected no change in sales from 2011 to 2010.  Doing a little math, there are only 12% of providers who expect lower growth in 2011.

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