Story of Three Friends at Master Degree Programs for Insurance Degree. It was an interesting Story of Three Friends at Master Degree Programs for getting Insurance Degree. They were very close friends but each of them activates was different. The one was very clever like as a Crow (کوا), the 2nd was like as a Parrot (طوطا) and 3rd was a Donkey (Gadha گدھا). they were in class of Master Degree Programs for Insurance Degree.
Story of Three Friends at Master Degree Programs for Insurance Degree
Crow (کوا)+ Parrot (طوطا)+ Donkey (Gadha گدھا)
The Three Friends at Master Degree Programs for Insurance Degree doing amazing fun at class time.
Crow (کوا), Crow was preparing Master Degree Programs for getting Insurance Degree. (کوا انشورنس ڈگری حاصل کرنے کے لئے ماسٹر ڈگری پروگرام تیار کررہا تھا)
Parrot (طوطا) parrot was preparing some notes for criminal justice degree and Master Degree Programs for getting Insurance Degree too. (طوطا بھی انشورنس ڈگری حاصل کرنے کے لئے مجرمانہ انصاف کی ڈگری اور ماسٹر ڈگری پروگراموں کے لئے کچھ نوٹس تیار کر رہا تھا)
Donkey (Gadha گدھا) And the donkey was reading message. ( اور گدھا میسج پڑھ رھا هے.. )
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha (ها ها ها ها ها..)
Do not feel like this with me too. Let’s go now to share with all your friends and make all donkeys.
Make a hurry share message to all your friends and so they will enjoy Story of Three Friends at Master Degree Programs for Insurance Degree. Now its your turn to make someone ….. Hope this message will help your life if you … Wastage time is not good in life.
میرے ساتھ بھی اس طرح, محسوس مت کرو. چلو اب آپ کے تمام دوستوں کے ساتھ اشتراک کریں اور تمام کو گدھا بنائیں.
آپ کے تمام دوستوں کو جلدی کا اشتراک پیغام بنائیں اور انھیں انشورنس ڈگری کے ماسٹر ڈگری پروگرام میں تین دوستوں کی کہانیاں . امید ہے کہ یہ پیغام آپ کی زندگی میں آپ کی مدد کرے گی. .
For Business Insurance News Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Before starts an insurance business we must read Business Insurance News of different angles, which can help in getting fast ROI, Business Insurance News also help in awareness of all coming Business Insurance issues and changes. Even before the first employee is hired, a business will at risk, making it important to have the right insurance in place. To place insurance company we must study all Business Insurance News day by day. One lawsuit or catastrophic event could be enough to wipe out a small business before it even has a chance to get off the ground.
For Business Insurance News Fortunately, businesses have access to a wide range of insurance types to protect them against these dangers. Here are some insurance types that a business must have in place as soon as possible.
Why Business Insurance News Necessary for Business Continuity?
1. Professional liability insurance.
Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, covers a business against negligence claims due to harm that results from mistakes or failure to perform. There is no one-size-fits-all policy for professional liability insurance. Each industry has its own set of concerns that will be addressed in a customized policy written for a business.
Related: Do I Need Liability Insurance?
2. Property insurance.
Whether a business owns or leases its space, property insurance is a must. This insurance covers equipment, signage, inventory and furniture in the event of a fire, storm or theft. However, mass-destruction events like floods and earthquakes are generally not covered under standard property insurance policies. If your area is prone to these issues, check with your insurer to price a separate policy.
3. Workers’ compensation insurance.
Once the first employee has been hired, workers’ compensation insurance should be added to a business’s insurance policy. This will cover medical treatment, disability and death benefits in the event an employee is injured or dies as a result of his work with that business. Even if employees are performing seemingly low-risk work, slip-and-fall injuries or medical conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome could result in a pricey claim.
Related: Does Your Home Business Need Insurance?
4. Home-based businesses.
Many professionals begin their small businesses in their own homes. Unfortunately, homeowner’s policies don’t cover home-based businesses in the way commercial property insurance does. If you’re operating your business out of your home, ask your insurer for additional insurance to cover your equipment and inventory in the event of a problem.
5. Product liability insurance.
If your business manufactures products for sale on the general market, product liability insurance is a must. Even a business that takes every measure possible to make sure its products are safe can find itself named in a lawsuit due to damages caused by one of its products. Product liability insurance works to protect a business in such a case, with coverage available to be tailored specifically to a specific type of product.
6. Vehicle insurance.
If company vehicles will be used, those vehicles should be fully insured to protect businesses against liability if an accident should occur. At the very least, businesses should insure against third-party injury, but comprehensive insurance will cover that vehicle in an accident, as well. If employees are using their own cars for business, their own personal insurance will cover them in the event of an accident. One major exception to this is if they are delivering goods or services for a fee. This includes delivery personnel.
7. Business interruption insurance.
If a disaster or catastrophic event does occur, a business’s operations will likely be interrupted. During this time, your business will suffer from lost income due to your staff’s inability to work in the office, manufacture products or make sales calls. This type of insurance is especially applicable to companies that require a physical location to do business, such as retail stores. Business interruption insurance compensates a business for its lost income during these events.
By having the right insurance in place, a business can avoid a major financial loss due to a lawsuit or catastrophic event. Check with your insurer to find out what forms of insurance are advised for your type of business and put those plans in place as soon as possible
Insurance Healthcare Reform News Update for November, 2017. Obamacare Enrollments Decrease in Week 4. The rate of people who have signed up for health insurance on the federal exchange slowed last week to 504,181, down from 798,829 in the previous week. However, overall numbers are up from last year’s Open Enrollment Period. Nearly 2.8 million people have enrolled on the federal exchange since November 1, which outpaces last year’s 2.1 million during the first four weeks. New enrollments during the week of November 20 fell to 152,243 compared to 220,323 in the third week.
Healthcare Reform News Update for November, 2017
Obamacare Enrollments Decrease in Week 4
Stabilization Bill Ineffective if ACA Individual Mandate is Repealed
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the bipartisan Alexander-Murray stabilization bill would have little impact on reducing an increase in the number of uninsured Americans if the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is repealed.
Previously, the CBO estimated that if the individual mandate were repealed, it would cause 4 million people not have insurance and raise premiums 10 percent.
The stabilization bill seeks to restore cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments to insurers that President Donald Trump recently cut. Several Republican senators have cited the legislation as a necessary measure should the individual mandate be repealed in their tax overhaul bill.
Senate Leader Agrees to Include Stabilization Bill in Upcoming Legislation
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has promised Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) that he will include the Alexander-Murray bipartisan stabilization measure in legislation this year.
Collins has said that her vote for the repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate in the tax overhaul bill hinged on passing the stabilization effort, which extends cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments to insurers for two years and provides states with more flexibility in defining their health plans.
Republican Disapproval of Individual Mandate Grows
Republican voters’ opposition to the ACA’s individual mandate has increased 14 percent since September, according to a recent Morning Consult/Politico poll. Sixty-five percent of GOP respondents said they opposed the regulation compared to 51 percent previously.
Other findings from the poll:
Disapproval of the mandate from all voters increased from 49 percent to 54 percent, mostly driven by Republican opinions.
Democrats disapproval remained stable at 41 percent.
Independents’ opposition increased one point to 57 percent.
Support for the Affordable Care Act is at 80 percent for Democrats and 23 percent for Republicans. Overall support is at 51 percent.
Healthcare Reform News Update for November 29, 2017
Trump Supports Marketplace Stabilization Bills
President Donald Trump told Senate Republicans that he would support two bipartisan measures to help stabilize the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplace if they pass the tax overhaul bill that includes the repeal of the ACA’s individual mandate.
The first bill, from Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA), would extend cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments to insurers for two years and give states more flexibility to define their plans. The second bill, from Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bill Nelson (R-FL), would provide states with $4.5 billion over two years for reinsurance programs.
“[President Trump] said that he understood the need to have something to offset the premium increases and appeared very open” to enacting the two bills, Murray said.
Senate Democrats are against repealing the individual mandate that requires all Americans to have health insurance coverage or pay a fine. They have also disapproved of the GOPs efforts to tie the tax bill to ACA stabilization.
Healthcare.gov Posts Draft Proposals for 2019 Health Plans
The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO), which runs the Obamacare federal exchange, posted on Monday an informational letter draft to plan issuers of 2019 marketplace health plans. The draft included filing deadlines and a proposed filing deadline summary sheet.
According to the draft, plan rates will be due July 25, 2018, and will be available to the public on the federal exchange website August 1. The Open Enrollment Period will begin November 1.
Proposed marketplace changes include:
Elimination of the requirement that new marketplace plans be meaningfully different from existing plans.
Changing the threshold on when a health plan needs to explain premium increases from 10 percent to 15 percent.
Allowing web brokers to choose which outside entity will decide whether they are qualified to use the direct enrollment process.
NYT Provides Snapshot of People Who Pay Insurance Penalty
The upcoming tax bill currently includes a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, which levies a penalty for most Americans who don’t have health insurance coverage. The New York Times published a study on Tuesday that provided an overview of the people who paid the penalty in 2015.
Some of the findings include:
The penalty was paid by 4.5 of taxpayers, which was about 6.7 million filers.
People earning between $25,000 and $50,000 were the most likely to pay the penalty.
The average penalty was $462 (for 2017, the average was $708).
In general, states with the highest rates of uninsured residents have the highest share of people who pay the penalty.
Patient Groups Ask Senate to Drop Repeal of Individual Mandate
A letter from a coalition of 19 patient groups to Republican lawmakers urged them to remove the repeal of the individual mandate from the senate tax bill.
The letter to senators says that the repeal would cause “coverage losses and higher premiums,” and would cause many people with chronic or major health conditions to lose coverage. It’s signed by groups including the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, and the American Diabetes Association.
Healthcare Reform News Update for November 28, 2017
Republican Senators Push Reinsurance Funding
Several Senate Republicans appear open to adding funds for a reinsurance program as a way to offset the impact of repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate in their tax overhaul bill.
Susan Collins (R-ME), a key swing vote, implied she would vote for a tax bill that repeals the mandate only if Congress also passes a separate measure to establish a new reinsurance fund. She wants to add the funding measure to the stabilization bill proposed by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) that extends cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments.
Collins’ amendment would provide states with $4.5 billion over two years for reinsurance programs. The funds help compensate insurance companies for their most expensive policyholders and could help lower premiums for consumers.
Senators including Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Mike Rounds (R-ND) applaud the idea of reinsurance funding but are skeptical of the proposal passing.
President Donald Trump is against the measure. His administration has been receptive to state-run reinsurance programs but not to federal funding.
California Marketplace Outspending Federal Exchange Advertising
The state-run Covered California health exchange has dedicated $45 million in marketing efforts to its Open Enrollment Period (OEP), which runs through January 31. That is significantly above the federal Obamacare exchange, which slashed its advertising budget from last year’s $100 million to $10 million this year.
“California’s budget reflects a different approach to the ACA, which is that it is an important source of insurance,” said Gerald Kominski, director at the University of California-Los Angeles Center for Health Policy Research.
The OEP marketing efforts in California include television, radio, digital, social media, and billboard advertisements.
Approximately 1.4 million people are currently insured through Covered California. As of November 14, 48,000 new consumers had enrolled, which is up from 39,000 during the same period last year.
Healthcare Reform News Update for November 27, 2017
States Prepare for Possible Children’s Health Insurance Shutdown
Almost 9 million children and 370,000 pregnant women who depend on the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are at risk of losing their insurance. A September deadline for Congress to extend funding for the program was missed, leaving nearly a dozen states scrambling for alternatives.
A November 9 notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) directed state health officials to determine whether the affected lower-income families are eligible for Medicaid or if they need to enroll in Obamacare plans. As soon as next week, enrollees will receive state notices letting them know that their insurance may be eliminated.
Lawmakers have not come to an agreement on how to continue CHIP funding. Earlier this month, the House passed a bill that extends payments for five years while raising Medicare premiums and eliminating an Obamacare prevention fund. The Senate is still working on a bipartisan solution.
New Obamacare Enrollees Increase in Week Three of OEP
The third week of Obamacare’s open enrollment period saw a surge of first-time consumers with 220,323 signing up compared to 208,397 the previous week.
About 800,000 people signed up the week of November 13, which is about 75,000 fewer than the week of November 6. So far, overall signups on the federal exchange total 2.28 million.
The states with the highest enrollment numbers in week three were Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, and Pennsylvania.
High Premiums Attract Individual ‘Skinny’ Plan Offerings
The rising costs of health insurance has generated new “skinny” plans that tout low costs, come with limited benefits, and are being sold without approval from state regulators.
Dozens of brokers are offering the individual plans that assert to be low-cost alternatives to the marketplace’s bronze, gold, and silver offerings. Previously, the plans were only available to groups.
Premiums start at $93 for individuals and $516 for families. They cover preventative care, limited doctor visits per year, lab tests, and some prescription drugs. They provide little-to-no coverage for hospitals, emergency rooms, and high-cost prescription drugs.
The plans concern insurance experts and regulators who fear these limited plans take advantage of buyer confusion and may cause policyholders to think they are exempt from the Obamacare individual mandate penalty. A regulator in California has requested an investigation.
Healthcare Reform News Update for November 22, 2017
Massachusetts Governor Signs State Contraception Bill
Republican Governor Charlie Baker signed a new law that requires health insurance plans in Massachusetts to cover most types of birth control pills without copays.
The legislation overrides President Donald Trump’s recent executive order that allows most employers to opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate on religious or moral grounds.
The law includes most types of oral contraception and over-the-counter emergency contraception. It exempts plans purchased by church or church-owned entities and self-insured businesses. It also allows copays for brand-name contraceptives if generics are available.
“This is exactly the sort of opportunity where Massachusetts has a chance to send a message to the rest of the country about how we think and how we feel about this issue, and I’m proud to be part of the team,” Baker said.
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), a key swing vote, says she supports Republican efforts to include the repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate in the tax overhaul bill.
“While I support repealing the individual mandate, I strongly support enacting the bipartisan compromise Alexander/Murray legislation into law as fast as possible to stabilize our markets, provide more control to states and more choices to individuals,” she wrote in an op-ed for the Daily News-Miner.
A spokesman for the senator said the comments should not be construed as support for the overall tax bill.
Actuaries: Repeal of Mandate Could Increase Health Insurance Premiums
The American Academy of Actuaries cautioned Senate leaders that repealing the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate in the tax overhaul bill could lead to higher health insurance premiums and prompt some insurers to leave the market.
In a letter sent to Congress, the organization’s vice president, Shari Westerfield, said without the regulation that all Americans have health insurance, “insurers would likely reconsider their future participation in the market. This could lead to severe market disruption and loss of coverage among individual market enrollees.” The letter also requested that Congress consider “the adverse consequences of eliminating the individual mandate.”
Healthcare Reform News Update for November 21, 2017
Obamacare Funds for Community Health Centers May Lapse
Community health centers that provide care for 26 million medically undeserved patients may have their funding cut off.
Funding for the health centers was established by the Affordable Care Act, which makes up 70 percent of their budgets. The funds were renewed in 2015 for $7.2 billion over two years and expired on September 30.
Community health centers are anxious about the fate of the funds, as 25 percent of them have new grant periods that start January 1. Another 17 percent have grant periods that begin February 1. The Health Resources and Services Administration says it may provide short-term grants to the centers but not at the current funding levels.
If the funding is not renewed, 41 percent of community health centers would have to lay off employees, 47 percent would reduce hours, and more than 50 percent would cancel or delay facility expansions.
The House has passed a bill to extend funding for two years. The Senate has not yet passed any legislation, but a bill has been proposed to provide five years of funding.
Hurricane Victims Struggling with Healthcare Decisions
Some Puerto Rico residents who were displaced to the mainland by recent hurricanes have had difficulty navigating their healthcare coverage.
The federal government has extended the Obamacare enrollment period for hurricane victims to December 31, but people who sign up after the standard December 15 cutoff won’t receive coverage until February 1. The deadline extension has caused enough confusion that congressional leaders from Florida have asked for clarification from CMS.
In addition, Puerto Ricans who receive Medicaid or Medicare aren’t sure if their coverage will continue due to differences in eligibility standards.
CMS released a memo in September that says that hurricane victims may be eligible for a special enrollment period and directs them to call the federal exchange hotline with any questions.
Healthcare Reform News Update for November 20, 2017
White House Could OK Removal of ACA’s Individual Mandate Repeal
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said that the Trump administration would be willing to accept the removal of a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate in the Senate tax overhaul bill.
“If it becomes an impediment to getting the best tax bill we can, then we are OK with taking it out,” Mulvaney said.
The House version of the tax bill approved last week did not include a repeal of the mandate that requires all Americans to have health coverage or pay a fine. The Senate version is expected to go to a vote next week.
Many on Medicare Will See Higher Part B Premiums in 2018
Due to increases in Social Security, many enrolls will see higher 2018 premiums for Medicare Part B. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Friday announced the out-of-pocket costs for 2018 Medicare Part A and Part B.
2018 Part A premium and deductible:
For Americans who pay Part A premiums, the cost will rise from $413 to $422 per month.
For Americans who have used up transitional Medicare benefits, Part A will rise from $232 to $227 per month.
The deductible for Part A will rise from $1,316 to $1,340.
2018 Part B premium and deductible:
The standard Part B premium will remain the same as 2017. (The premium will be either $134 or $428.60 per month, depending on income.)
For people with low to moderate incomes who currently pay $109 per month, premiums will rise an average of $25 per month due to an increase in Social Security cost-of-living adjustments. This change will affect 70 percent of enrollees.
The deductible for Part B remains the same as 2017 at $183.
Healthcare Reform News Update for November 17, 2017
Kaiser Survey: One-Third Unaware of Open Enrollment Period
Nearly a third of Americans are not aware of the Obamacare Open Enrollment Period (OEP), according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation study.
The poll of 1,201 adults showed that:
31 percent of those surveyed have not heard about OEP.
30 percent have heard a little about OEP.
21 percent have heard some about OEP.
18 percent have heard a lot about OEP.
Forty-five percent said they have heard less about OEP compared to previous years, and 38 percent said they have heard about the same amount.
Even though the Trump administration cut funding for Obamacare enrollment advertising, the survey showed that awareness of ads selling health plans increased from 34 percent last month to 41 percent this month. People who saw ads that provided information on how to get insurance on one of the Obamacare exchanges increased from 20 percent to 32 percent.
Insurance Enrollments Rise in California and Colorado
Two states that run their own insurance exchanges have seen a jump in enrollments compared to last year.
The Covered California exchange saw an increase of 23 percent over last year for the first two weeks of open enrollment. About 48,000 new customers signed up, compared to 39,000 in 2016.
In Colorado, enrollment rose 33 percent with 22,000 people signing onto its state exchange.
ACA Premiums Most Expensive in Charlottesville, VA
An analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation has pinpointed Chancellorsville, Virginia, and its surrounding county as having the highest health premiums on the federal Obamacare exchange.
Prices for some plans in the city have gone up as much as three times the price of 2017 plans. The average price of a benchmark silver plan in the Chancellorsville area is $1,011 for a 40-year-old individual.
After insurance companies Aetna and Anthem pulled out of the area, a single insurer, Optima, took over. Consumers now have only five health plans to choose from, compared to 19 previously.
Virginia has more than 350,000 people who purchase health insurance through the federal exchange. Almost 80 percent qualify for tax credits that lower premium prices.
Pope Asks for Healthcare Laws to Protect Underprivileged
Pope Francis addressed a medical association at the Vatican on Thursday and said that politicians need to ensure that healthcare law “promotes the common good” to protect the most vulnerable.
“Increasingly, sophisticated and costly treatment are available to ever more limited and privileged segments of the population, and this raises questions about the sustainability of healthcare delivery and about what might be called a systemic tendency toward growing inequality in health care,” he said.
Healthcare Reform News Update for November 16, 2017
IRS to Enforce Obamacare Employer Mandate
For the first time, the Internal Revenue Service is enforcing the Affordable Care Act regulation that requires companies with 50 or more employees to provide qualifying health insurance to their full-time employees.
Since last month, the IRS has been sending compliance notices to companies that disregarded the law in 2015 when the mandate took effect.
President Donald Trump’s first executive order requested that the department waive, defer, or delay the regulation. However, the IRS stated that it is required to enforce the mandate. Previously, fines were not collected due to a lack of funds and time needed to update the department’s compliance systems.
In general, the law states that companies will incur fines of around $2,000 per employee (excluding the first 30) for noncompliance. The penalty goes into effect if at least one employee purchases health insurance on the federal exchange and receives a tax credit.
A company with 100 workers that ignored the law this year would owe a penalty of more than $158,000, according to The New York Times.
Bipartisan Stabilization Bill May Be in Year-End Spending Package
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) said Wednesday that bipartisan legislation proposed by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) to extend cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies for insurers could be included in an end-of-year funding bill.
Earlier this week, Republican senators introduced a provision to their tax overhaul bill that would repeal the Obamacare individual mandate. Approving the repeal, which would extend CSR payments by two years, “probably makes more sense,” Cornyn said.
In response, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said, if proposed, the Democrats would not vote for the measure. “The Republicans cannot expect to pass their own separate ideological healthcare provision and then turn around and ask Democrats to vote to pass Alexander-Murray,” he said.
Kaiser Study Shows Marketplace Premium Changes for 2018
A recent Kaiser Family Foundation analysis outlining health insurance premium increases on the federal exchange for 2018 found that the lowest-cost bronze plans rose 18 percent. The lowest-cost silver plans rose 32 percent, and the lowest-cost gold plans rose 18 percent, according to the study.
The large increase in silver plans boosted the tax credit amounts, which have made bronze and gold plans more affordable. For example, a 40-year-old with an income of $25,000 will have a tax credit high enough to purchase the lowest-cost bronze plan at a $0 premium in 1,679 counties across the country.
Obamacare Enrollments Continue to Outpace 2016
The first 12 days of the Open Enrollment Period is running 47 percent ahead of last year’s numbers. The first 11 days saw almost 1.5 million people apply for health coverage, compared to 1 million in 2016. New customers have accounted for 23 percent of the enrollees, which is almost comparable to last year’s 24 percent.
Healthcare Reform News Update for November 15, 2017
Senate Adds ACA Individual Mandate Repeal to Tax Bill
Senate Republicans released a new version of their tax reform legislation that includes a provision to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that every individual have health insurance or pay a penalty. The move comes one day after President Donald Trump’s latest push for the inclusion.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said the measure would “help provide additional relief to low- and middle-income families.” Repealing the mandate would save an estimated $338 billion over 10 years, but it would also create an additional 4 million more uninsured people by 2019, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
It’s unclear if the Senate has enough votes to pass this latest version of the tax bill. But leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and John Thune (R-SD), are confident.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer (NY) was not pleased with the provision. “Rather than learning the lessons from their failure to repeal healthcare, Republicans are doubling down on the same partisan strategy that would throw our healthcare system into chaos,” Schumer said.
Healthcare Reform News Update for November 14, 2017
Alex Azar Nominated for Health and Human Services Secretary
President Donald Trump has chosen former pharmaceutical executive Alex Azar for secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
In a tweet Monday, Trump said Azar would be “a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices!”
Prior to working as president of Eli Lilly and Company, Azar served as deputy secretary of HHS under President George W. Bush. Azar is replacing Tom Price, who left the role in September
Former HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said that Azar would work to alter the Affordable Care Act to be more in line with Republican beliefs and will “change the ideology under which the existing law is implemented.”
Trump Again Appeals for Repeal of ACA Individual Mandate
In a tweet sent Monday, President Donald Trump urged lawmakers to include a repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate in their tax overhaul bill.
Trump’s tweet, which came hours prior to a Senate Finance Committee meeting, asked “Now, how about ending the unfair & highly unpopular Indiv Mandate in OCare & reducing taxes even further?”
The individual mandate requires all Americans to have health coverage or face a penalty. Neither the House nor Senate versions of the tax bill currently include a measure to repeal the regulation.
Healthcare Reform News Update for November 13, 2017
Fewer Insurance Options Available for Marketplace Shoppers
The number of insurance companies on the federal marketplace has declined, but no counties are without carriers offering coverage, according to a new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The study determined that 75 percent of enrollees have a choice of two or more insurers, and 48 percent have three or more. However, the number of people with only one insurance company in their county has increased by 24 percent since 2016.
In comparisons over the last three years, the analysis showed:
Number of insurers per state
Percentage of enrollees with one insurer
States Sue Trump Administration Over Contraception Mandate
The attorneys general of California, New York, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia filed a motion Thursday night to stall implementation of President Donald Trump’s order that exempts most employers from Obamacare’s contraceptive coverage mandate if they state a religious or moral objection.
The filing is part of a lawsuit the states filed in October that argues the order is unconstitutional.
Healthcare Reform News Update for November 10, 2017
Senate Tax Bill Retains ACA Individual Mandate, Medical Deductions
Republican leaders in the Senate released their version of a tax overhaul bill Thursday. Like the House version, the bill does not include a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. But the senators did not rule out adding the provision at a later date.
Earlier this week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that repealing the regulation requiring all Americans have health coverage would cause 13 million people to become uninsured over 10 years.
The Senate tax bill does differ from the House version over medical expense deductions. The Senate version continues to allow people with qualified medical expenses to deduct them from their federal taxes. The House bill repeals the deduction.
ACA Enrollments Continue to Outpace Last Year
More than 600,000 people signed up last week for health insurance under the federal healthcare exchange, which continues to outperform 2016 enrollments.
Overall, total daily signups were up 79 percent compared to 2016 for the first few days of the Open Enrollment Period, which began November 1.
The first four days of enrollment saw a daily average of 150,00 enrollees, compared to 84,000 in the first 12 days of 2016. Of these signups, more than 34,000 people a day were new to the marketplace compared to 26,000 last year.
Healthcare Reform News Update for November 9, 2017
Healthcare a Top Issue at the Polls
Tuesday’s election results showed that voters put healthcare as a leading issue in their decisions with especially strong support for the Affordable Care Act in Maine and Virginia.
In Maine, voters approved a referendum that would expand Medicaid under the ACA to insure an estimated 70,000 to 90,000 individuals who earn $16,600 or less per year. Republican Governor Paul LePage campaigned against the measure and said he would not implement it until funding details could be worked out by the legislature.
In Virginia, 40 percent of those polled said that healthcare was the most important issue for them. Democrat Ralph Northam won the state’s governor’s race and received support from 77 percent of the voters who put healthcare as their top concern, making the issue his biggest strength.
The voting results confirm a recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation, which showed that Obamacare has a small favorability lead with 52 percent of respondents who approve of the ACA and 39 percent who disapprove.
CBO: Repealing Obamacare Mandate Would Leave Millions Uninsured
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a new analysis on the effects of repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate, as some Republicans push to include the provision in their tax reform bill.
According to the CBO, removing the requirement that all Americans be insured or pay a fine would reduce the federal budget deficit by $338 billion. However, this would also mean that 13 million people would be uninsured by 2027. The analysis also predicted that a repeal would cause health insurance premiums to increase about 10 percent most years over the next decade.
President Donald Trump and many Republican leaders have shown support for including a repeal of the mandate in the tax overhaul. However, House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) has been against the idea.
Senators Propose Changes to Obamacare State Waiver Program
Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Senator Michael Crapo (R-ID) have introduced a bill that would change how Obamacare state waivers are executed.
The legislation would:
Allow governors to implement waivers under the Affordable Care Act without approval from their state legislators.
Give governors the power to end the waiver program.
Require that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary make a decision on waivers within 100 days.
Prevent insurance companies from limiting access for people with pre-existing conditions.
The waiver program enables states to alter portions of the Affordable Care Act as long as it doesn’t lower the quality of care or make care more expensive.
Hatch said: “While fully repealing and replacing Obamacare remains a priority, this approach would remove some of the current hurdles facing states across the country and provide concrete options to assist states in caring for their low-income populations in creative and fiscally responsible ways.”
Healthcare Reform News Update for November 7, 2017
Obamacare Enrollment Off to Strong Start
The first day of the Obamacare Open Enrollment Period saw twice the number of enrolls as last year. More than 200,000 people signed up for healthcare on the federal exchange on November 1 compared to 100,000 in 2016.
Traffic on the healthcare.gov website was up on the first day of OEP, receiving 1 million visitors compared to 750,000 in 2016.
A government spokesperson said the first few days of enrollment have gone well. “The website performed optimally and consumers easily accessed enrollment tools to compare plans and prices.”
Executive Order Would Weaken Individual Mandate
The Trump administration has prepared an executive order that would weaken the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that all Americans have healthcare coverage. This executive order could be released if congressional Republicans do not address it in a new tax reform bill.
If President Donald Trump issues the executive order, it would expand the “hardship exemption” so that more people could avoid paying a fine for a lack of insurance. Currently, an exemption is granted in the instance of the death of a family member, bankruptcy, a natural disaster, or poverty.
Congressional Republicans have been split on whether to include a repeal of the individual mandate within the tax bill.
If the regulation is eliminated, it would cause 15 million people to be uninsured by 2026, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Health Care Voter Coalition Set to Mobilize Constituents
A group of 30 Democratic progressive organizations has joined to rally a million voters against Republican candidates who are against Obamacare.
The Health Care Voter campaign is focusing on the 2018 midterm elections to highlight healthcare reform issues. The effort kicked off this week with a video that features prominent Democrats including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius, and DNC Chairman Tom Perez.
Healthcare Reform News Update for November 3, 2017
Tax Bill Drops Medical Deductions, Keeps Individual Mandate
House Republicans released tax reform legislation Thursday that would eliminate a deduction for qualified medical expenses.
The medical deduction covers out-of-pocket expenses that exceed 10 percent of a person’s adjusted gross income. In 2015, it was used by 8.8 million people who claimed an estimated $87 billion in healthcare expenses. The majority of people who claimed the deduction were 50 or older with incomes under $75,000.
The bill does not include the repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate, which President Donald Trump and some Republican leaders wanted eliminated. The issue is not addressed in the proposal.
Study: Zero-Premium Bronze Plans Available for Low-Income Citizens
Older, lower-income Americans can purchase a bronze plan with no monthly premium in 98 percent of counties on the federal exchange, according to a study released Thursday by Avalere Heath.
The analysis was based on 50-year-olds who had a single income of $18,090 or were the head of a four-person household with an income of $36,900.
Healthcare Reform News Update for November 2, 2017
Millions Cut From OEP Email Notices
The Trump administration sent initial healthcare enrollment notices to millions fewer Americans as compared to previous years.
Emails that went out prior to the start of the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) on Wednesday were only sent to people who currently are enrolled in a plan from the federal exchange. Recipients did not include the 20 million Americans who previously had an Obamacare plan.
In a change from emails sent in previous years, the notices did not include encouragement to sign up, the benefits of shopping for a new plan, or potential cost savings.
Emails to people who previously had a plan will be sent, although the communications will not mention the availability of cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments that lower healthcare costs for low-income consumers, a spokesman told The Washington Post.
CMS says it will send out three to five emails to consumers throughout OEP. “The emails encourage potential consumers to shop around for the plan that best meets their needs,” said an agency spokesperson.
Trump Wants Obamacare Mandate in Tax Bill
President Donald Trump called on Congressional leaders to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate in tweets posted Wednesday morning. “Wouldn’t it be great to Repeal the very unfair and unpopular Individual Mandate in Obama Care and use those savings for further Tax Cuts for the Middle Class,” Trump tweeted.
The idea to eliminate the ACA’s requirement that everyone have health coverage as part of the year-end tax reform package was suggested by Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR). Many Congressional GOP leaders are opposed to the idea. “I think tax reform is complicated enough without adding another layer of complexity,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX).
The president’s tweets seemed to contradict statements made Tuesday to reporters from White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders when she told reporters that she didn’t think that eliminating the mandate needed to be included in the tax bill.
Bipartisan Stabilization Bill Backed by 200 Groups
The bipartisan healthcare stabilization bill proposed by the Senate Health Committee has been endorsed by more than 200 health and business organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association.
The bill would extend cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidy payments to insurers for two years and give states more flexibility to change some Affordable Care Act rules.
The bill may have the votes needed to pass, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will not call for a vote without presidential approval.
Obama Touts Obamacare in Promotional Video
Former President Barack Obama took to social media Wednesday in a short video to boost the first day of the Open Enrollment Period for Obamacare.
Obama encouraged his Twitter and Facebook followers to sign up for coverage on the healthcare exchange as part of the promotional efforts of nonprofit Get America Covered.
Healthcare Reform News Update for November 1, 2017
Federal Officials Propose Changes to ACA State Rules
The Department of Health and Human Services has released proposals to revise Affordable Care Act rules that allow states to change health plan benefit requirements and limit navigator programs. The changes would become effective in 2019.
Proposed changes include:
The ability for states to change their benefit standards or use the standards enacted by other states.
Reducing the number of navigator organizations per geographic area from two to one.
Removing the requirement that the navigator groups must be physically in the area they represent.
Allow states to decide if plans provide patients with a sufficient number of providers in its network to guarantee “reasonable access.”
Removing restrictions that require insurance companies to allocate 80 percent of premium funds to customer care.
House Leader Opposes Adding ACA Mandate Repeal in Tax Bill
Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX), chairman of the House’s Committee on Ways and Means, said he is against a proposal from Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) that would repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate in tax reform legislation.
“Look, I want to see that individual mandate repealed. I just haven’t seen, no one has seen 50 votes in the Senate to do it,” Brady said.
Groups File Lawsuit Against New Birth Control Rule
The National Women’s Law Center and Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a federal lawsuitTuesday against a recent rule change from the Trump administration that allows more employers to be exempt from covering birth control for moral or religious reasons.
Insurance Healthcare Reform News Update for February, 2018. A lawsuit filed against the federal government by 20 states claims that the Affordable Care Act is now unconstitutional. The lawsuit, led by the attorneys general of Texas and Wisconsin, states that the ACA is invalid without the individual mandate tax penalty for not having coverage, which was repealed last year.
20 States Sue to End Affordable Care Act
“The U.S. Supreme Court already admitted that an individual mandate without a tax penalty is unconstitutional. With no remaining legitimate basis for the law, it is time that Americans are finally free from the stranglehold of Obamacare, once and for all,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
Healthcare Reform News Update for February 26, 2018
Report: Short-Term Policy Expansion Will Raise Premiums
The Trump administration’s proposal to extend short-term health plans that fall short of Affordable Care Act regulations will increase premiums for traditional plans, according to analysis by the Urban Institute.
Rates would rise by 18 percent in in the 43 states that allow less-comprehensive short-term plans, according to the study. It also projects that 2.5 million Americans would drop their marketplace plans to switch to the short-term plans, compared to the 100,000 to 200,000 predicted by the Trump administration.
Iowa Group Plans to Offer Non-ACA Compliant Plans
A bill currently under review in Iowa would allow the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation to offer low-cost health insurance that doesn’t meet ACA requirements.
The Farm Bureau would partner with Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield to provide members a with a plan that could charge higher premiums for those with pre-existing conditions.
The plan would be available to any Iowa resident who pays the Farm Bureau’s $55 annual dues. The group says that around 28,000 current members would be eligible to enroll.
Trump Touts Efforts to ‘Wipe Out’ ACA
President Donald Trump said his administration’s actions on healthcare, such as eliminating the individual mandate and allowing skimpy “short-term plans,” are gradually chipping away at the Affordable Care Act.
Trump made these comments at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday.
“I think we may be better off the way we’re doing it, piece by piece, Obamacare is just being wiped out. The individual mandate essentially wipes it out, so I think we may be better off. And people are getting great healthcare plans, and we’re not finished yet,” Trump said.
Healthcare Reform News Update for February 23, 2018
State Leaders Propose Plan for Healthcare Improvements
A bipartisan group of governors will unveil a plan to help improve the nation’s healthcare system today at a National Press Club event.
Their plan includes a variety of suggestions to improve affordability, stability, and flexibility for states, including:
Restoring insurer subsidies.
Increasing outreach for the Affordable Care Act marketplace’s open enrollment period.
Implementing reinsurance programs.
Cutting Medicaid costs.
The governors included in the event are John Kasich (R-OH), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), and Bill Walker (I-AK).
Four democratic members of the congressional committee that oversees healthcare have sent a letter to Idaho Insurance Commissioner Dean Cameron about the state’s intention to sell health plans that fall short of Affordable Care Act regulations.
Senators Patty Murray of Washington, Ron Wyden of Oregon, and representatives Frank Pallone, Jr. of New Jersey and Richard Neal of Massachusetts requested a staff briefing on the state’s plan.
The letter states: “We strongly oppose efforts that result in higher costs and undermine consumer protections that are guaranteed by federal law that protect women, people with pre-existing conditions, and others facing discrimination in access to health care, and therefore request an explanation of how the Idaho Department of Insurance will regulate insurance plans being sold in the individual market that are not compliant with federal law.”
Healthcare Reform News Update for February 22, 2018
Policy Group Releases Plan for New Type of Universal Health Coverage
Liberal think tank Center for American Progress has proposed a new government health plan called Medicare Extra for All that would allow individuals and employers to enroll but would also preserve employer and insurer coverage.
Medicare Extra would be based on the existing Medicare payment system. Companies and individuals could choose to continue with their current health coverage or enroll in the proposed plan.
Here’s a look at some of Medicare Extra’s features:
Open to all U.S. citizens and lawful residents
Free services would include preventive care, treatment for chronic disease, and generic prescription drugs
Dental, vision, hearing, and long-term care would be covered
Premiums would be determined based on income
Current Medicare Advantage enrollees would continue to have similar coverage, renamed Medicare Choice
Center for American Progress did not include cost estimates for the program but recognized that implementation would require tax increases.
States Consider Reinsurance Plans
Wisconsin and Maryland are making efforts to set up reinsurance plans to help stabilize the Affordable Care Act marketplace in their respective states.
This week, Wisconsin lawmakers approved a plan that would allow the state to apply for a federal waiver to obtain reinsurance funds to help insurers with their most expensive claims. Governor Scott Walker called the action a “market-driven solution that will lower premiums.”
In Maryland, lawmakers held hearings this week to discuss their own bill to apply for reinsurance funds. “We’re looking this year at stabilizing the exchange, because, as you know, if we don’t do something, it’s going to blow completely up,” said State Senator Thomas Middleton.
Healthcare Reform News Update for February 21, 2018
Companies Receiving Penalty Notices for ACA Violations
For the first time, the Internal Revenue Service is sending notices to hundreds of companies that have violated the Affordable Care Act’s provision requiring they provide health coverage for their employees.
Companies with more than 50 full-time employees face fines for failing to comply with the law in 2015, the first year the mandate was applied. The penalty can reach between $2,000 to $3,000 per employee, depending on a variety of factors.
Some affected companies are fighting back against the penalty, saying that it is invalid because they never received a legally required warning.
Healthcare Reform News Update for February 20, 2018
Trump Proposal Expands ‘Skimpy’ Short-Term Plans to 12 Months
The Trump administration said Tuesday that it wants to extend the limits of lower-cost short-term plans that do not include the consumer protections built in to the Affordable Care Act.
The proposal expands the availability of so-called “skimpy” plans from three months to 12. Unlike ACA marketplace plans, these short-term options can refuse coverage due to pre-existing conditions and cap payout amounts, which could leave those covered with large out-of-pocket costs.
Opponents of the plans say consumers may not be aware of their limited benefits. Supporters say the plans offer the uninsured more affordable coverage options to people who don’t qualify for ACA subsidies.
“The status quo is failing too many Americans who face skyrocketing costs and fewer and fewer choices,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement. “The Trump Administration is taking action so individuals and families have access to quality, affordable healthcare that works for them.”
The proposal will be open for comments from the public until April 23.
Trump Administration Appeals Judge’s Birth Control Decision
Lawyers for the U.S. Department of Justice have appealed a decision that blocked Trump administration changes to the Affordable Care Act, which allowed more employers to opt-out of offering no-cost birth control to women.
U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam blocked the ACA changes in December. On Friday, lawyers filed a notice of appeal saying that it was unclear if the law would cause women to lose no-cost contraception coverage.
Healthcare Reform News Update for February 16, 2018
Lawmakers Closer to Drafting an ACA Stabilization Bill
Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) met with House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) on Thursday to try to reconcile Affordable Care Act stabilization proposals.
The lawmakers compared a reinsurance bill by Alexander and Collins to one proposed by Representative Ryan Costello (R-PA). They hope to include the resulting ACA stabilization measure in an omnibus funding bill due next month.
HHS Secretary to Review Idaho State-Based Health Plans
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar said Thursday that he would examine Idaho’s acceptance of health plans that do not meet the standards set in the Affordable Care Act.
“We’ll be looking at that very carefully and measure it up against the standards of the law,” he said. Azar also said he believes that the plans are a “cry for help” for more affordable coverage.
Azar added that it was too early for him to know what actions he might take.
Healthcare Reform News Update for February 15, 2018
Alex Azar Asserts Compliance With ACA Regulations
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar told a congressional panel Wednesday that he will comply with the Affordable Care Act as long as it remains federal law.
Azar’s comment was in response to a question about Idaho’s divisive decision to allow insurers to sell plans that don’t meet ACA requirements. Critics of the state’s proposal say the measure goes against consumer protections built into the law and that the plans should be scrapped.
“I’m not aware that our opinions or views have been solicited,” Azar said. “There are rules, and there’s a rule of law that we need to enforce.”
Healthcare Reform News Update for February 14, 2018
Idaho’s First Non-ACA-Compliant Healthcare Plans Filed
Blue Cross of Idaho is the first insurer to file health plans under a controversial Idaho executive order allowing insurance companies to sell plans that don’t meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.
On Tuesday, the insurer submitted five non-ACA-compliant plans that it expects to sell this spring. Called “state-based” plans, they could be approved next month. The plans are geared toward the state’s 110,000 uninsured middle-class residents, many of whom earn too much to qualify for subsidies to purchase ACA plans.
Once approved, the plans will be sold on the state’s exchange, Your Health Idaho. The plans include:
Coverage of all the essential health benefits outlined by the ACA.
Deductibles from $2,000 to $10,000.
Maternity care in four of the plans.
$0 copay for preventative care.
Narrow networks with heavy penalties for non-network services.
Large out-of-pocket maximums.
$1 million limit on claims per year.
Proposed premiums for the state-based plans for a 21-year-old on a $4,000 deductible plan would range from $89.91 to $242.79, compared to $237.60 for an ACA plan. A family of four could pay from $435.58 to $1,176.24, compared to $933.05 for an ACA plan.
Budget Deal Includes Medicare Advantage Reforms
The Bipartisan Budget Act approved by President Donald Trump last week includes multiple reforms to Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. Some of the provisions include:
Permanent reauthorization of Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans (D-SNPs).
The availability of telehealth services.
Expansion of supplemental benefits such as grab bars and wheelchair ramps.
Giving all 50 states the ability to reduce or eliminate copayments or waive the deductible for high-value services for patients with certain chronic conditions.
The legislation has fewer reforms for traditional Medicare but did provide a two-year extension of the Independence at Home program and added telehealth availability.
House Speaker Wants ‘Incremental’ Healthcare Reform
Paul Ryan (R-WI) said Tuesday that “incremental entitlement reform” would be a more effective way of passing healthcare legislation than the sweeping repeal-and-replace measures of past years.
Ryan did not specify what actions he’d like to address but noted the recent repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate and last week’s budget deal that raised premiums for high-earning Medicare beneficiaries.
One healthcare reform measure currently under discussion by House Republicans is repealing or delaying the ACA’s employer mandate. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) said he wants to ensure that businesses with 50 employees or more are not imposed fines or punitive measures retroactively for not offering health coverage throughout the past three years.
Trump’s Budget Proposal Funds ACA Program
Even though President Donald Trump’s budget request includes the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, it provides more than $800 million in mandatory appropriations to fund its risk corridor program.
The risk corridor plan is a fund that was established in 2014 to pay insurers for heavy losses during the first years of the ACA’s implementation.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a long-time critic of the risk corridor plan, demonstrated his disapproval of the proposal Tuesday in a series of tweets. “It’s unacceptable that programs that matter to #Florida could see cuts while the gov’t continues to bail out private insurers to protect them from consequences of #Obamacare,” he tweeted.
Oregon Bill Makes Healthcare a Right
Oregon’s House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday to create a constitutional amendment, stating “it is the obligation of the state to ensure that every resident of Oregon has access to cost-effective, medically appropriate and affordable healthcare as a fundamental right.”
If passed by the state’s Senate and then approved by voters, the legislation would be the first of its kind in the country.
Critics of the bill say there are no funds to support such a measure, and it could make the state vulnerable to lawsuits.
Healthcare Reform News Update for February 13, 2018
White House Pushes Elimination of ACA in Budget Proposal
The budget request, released by the White House on Monday, proposes replacing the Affordable Care Act with a series of block grants to states.
The request says that the budget “supports a two-part approach to repealing and replacing Obamacare,” based on the failed Graham-Cassidy bill from 2017. Repealing the ACA could save more than $90 billion over 10 years, according to the proposal.
Most lawmakers in Congress have not been supportive of continued efforts this year to eliminate the law.
Other healthcare-related cuts in the president’s budget include:
$69.5 billion in Medicare payments over 10 years to hospitals for “uncompensated care”
$22 billion from Medicare Advantage plans
$48 billion in Medicare payments over 10 years to teaching hospitals
The budget also includes a proposal to create a limit on Medicare out-of-pocket drug costs.
Budget Act Will Raise Medicare Premiums for High-Income Earners
The Bipartisan Budget Act passed late last week includes a provision that will raise Medicare premiums for the wealthiest beneficiaries by 5 percent.
Beginning in 2019, individuals who earn $500,000 or more and couples who earn $750,000 or more will pay 85 percent of Part B and Part D premiums. The income threshold will be frozen until 2028.
Healthcare Reform News Update for February 12, 2018
Medicare Part D Coverage Gap to Close in 2019
President Donald Trump signed a budget deal February 9 including a provision that will close the Medicare “donut hole”in 2019, a year earlier than previously scheduled.
Beginning next year, Medicare Part D beneficiaries will pay 25 percent of the cost of prescription drugs after they reach the coverage gap, which is currently $3,750. This year, enrollees will pay 35 percent of brand-name drugs’ overall cost and 44 percent for generic drugs.
Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, the law has gradually reduced the financial responsibility for Medicare beneficiaries who have reached the Part D coverage gap.
Under the new law, drug manufacturers will pay 70 percent of drug costs for beneficiaries in the coverage gap beginning in 2019 compared to the current 50 percent.
Once out-of-pocket costs reach $5,000, beneficiaries are eligible for catastrophic coverage and won’t pay more than 5 percent of prescription drug costs.
Healthcare Reform News Update for February 8, 2018
Murray Asks for Additions to ACA Stabilization Bill
Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) is advocating for renegotiations on an Affordable Care Act stabilization bill that would significantly expand subsidies, helping more people afford health insurance.
Currently, the bill Murray drafted with Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) restores cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments that President Donald Trump canceled last year. Murray wants to continue to restore CSR payments, but she also wants to make subsidies more generous and expand eligibility requirements to offset expected premium increases due to the repeal of the individual mandate.
Also, Murray is asking to restore outreach and funding for ACA enrollment and to prevent the sale of “skinny” insurance plans.
2018 ACA Signups Show ‘Remarkable Stability’
Almost 11.8 million Americans enrolled in Affordable Care Act plans during this year’s Open Enrollment Period, which is a 3.7 percent drop from 2017, according to a new report released by the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP).
“For the first time we now have the full national picture of how the individual marketplaces did this year, and it is a picture of remarkable stability,” said NASHP Executive Director Trish Riley.
Although states on the federal health exchange saw enrollment drop by 5.3 percent, eight of the 12 states that run their own health exchanges showed an increase in enrollment. Some state findings from the NASHP report include:
Florida and California continue to have the most enrollees with 1.7 million and 1.5 million, respectively.
Rhode Island had the highest increase in enrollment at 12.1 percent.
Arizona had the largest decline in enrollment at 15.6 percent.
California enrollment fell 2.3 percent overall but saw an increase in new enrollees.
“Despite all the uncertainty and challenges we have seen, particularly for consumers living in states supported by state-based marketplaces, we see millions of Americans continuing to benefit from the coverage they get in the individual market,” Riley said.
Healthcare Reform News Update for February 7, 2018
House Bill Cuts $2.85 Billion From ACA Public Health Fund
The House’s proposed short-term funding bill cuts $2.85 billion over 10 years from the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund to help pay for other healthcare programs.
The cut is opposed by public health groups who say it could hamper the activities of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including vaccination, anti-smoking, and lead-poisoning prevention efforts.
A spokesperson for Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans said the funds will be used for public health efforts such as special diabetes programs and community health centers. In addition, the spokesperson said that funding for the Prevention and Public Health Fund will remain at the current levels of around $1 billion per year as the cuts only affect planned future increases.
More Than 1.6 Million Enroll in Centene ACA Plans
Health insurer Centene Corporation had more than 1.6 million people enroll in plans it sells on the Affordable Care Act marketplace for 2018, making it the leading ACA carrier. The company increased its enrollments from last year by more than 640,000.
Healthcare Reform News Update for February 6, 2018
Blue Cross Blue Shield Backs Reinsurance Efforts
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association said Monday that there is an “urgent need” for lawmakers to stabilize the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace, especially by dedicating funding to reinsurance.
Citing data from consulting firm Oliver Wyman, the health insurance group said that $15 billion in reinsurance funding, combined with cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments, could lower next year’s silver plan premiums by 17 percent.
Association officials said these measures would more than offset expected premium increases caused by the repeal of the ACA’s individual mandate late last year.
Healthcare Reform News Update for February 5, 2018
New York Health Exchange Reaches 4.3 Million Signups
New York’s state-run Affordable Care Act marketplace signed up a record number of enrollees during this year’s Open Enrollment Period, which ended January 31 for the state.
More than 4.3 million New Yorkers signed up for coverage, an increase of 700,000 from 2017.
Healthcare Reform News Update for February 1, 2018
House GOP Softens Position on Reinsurance Proposal
Some key Republicans in the House have expressed interest in supporting reinsurance, which represents a shift from the party’s previous resistance to Affordable Care Act (ACA) stabilization efforts.
A proposal from Representative Ryan Costello (R-PA) to provide funding in 2019 and 2020 has been gaining support from other Republican colleagues, including House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (OR) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA).
“If it lowers premiums, I’m willing to listen to any ideas,” said Mark Meadows (R-NC), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus.
The measure is expected to be discussed during this week’s GOP retreat in West Virginia.
Insurance Health Care Reform News Updates for March, 2018. Insurance Health Care Reform News Update at Small insurance Companies for all Insurance clients.up-to-date on Healthcare Reform.
Below is a summary of recent events to help you stay current on healthcare reform news all in one place. To make your voice heard on these issues, a non-partisan movement that lets you share your opinion on healthcare legislation with friends, family and even Washington! Here you will have all Insurance Health Care Reform News Updates for March, 2018
Healthcare Reform News Update for March 2, 2018
California Could Lose 18 of ACA Marketplace Enrollees Next Year
Without the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, 18 percent of California residents with Covered California marketplace health plans could drop their coverage, according to a new survey by Harvard Medical School researchers.
Without a penalty for being uninsured, healthier residents are more likely to go without coverage. The loss of these enrollees could raise premiums by 12 to 16 percent next year.
“While California would continue to have a stable individual market, and we have the reserves and flexibility to adjust for this impact, the impacts would be real and significant for California’s consumers,” said Peter Lee, Covered California’s executive director.
Healthcare Reform News Update for March 1, 2018
Association Plans Could Bump 4.3 Million Off ACA Coverage
The Trump administration’s plan to expand association health plans could cause between 2.4 million and 4.3 million people to switch from ACA marketplace plans to association plans by 2022, according to a study by Avalere Health.
The study also found that the association plans would cause:
A premium increase for ACA marketplace plans by as much as 4 percent.
Between 130,000 to 140,000 people to become uninsured by 2022 due to high premiums.
Between 1.7 million and 3.2 million people to exit the small group market.
700,000 to 1.2 million people to leave the individual market.
Premiums for the association plans could be up to $10,800 lower than the individual market and up to $4,100 lower than the small group market.
“Changes that allow or incentivize healthier individuals to exit the individual and small group market to pursue other, sometimes non-ACA-compliant coverage offerings, could lead to higher costs for those sicker, less healthy individuals and groups who remain behind in the ACA-regulated markets,” the study states.
Wisconsin Governor Signs Reinsurance Bill
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) signed a bill Tuesday that will allow the state to apply for a federal waiver to help stabilize its health insurance marketplace though a reinsurance program.
The program would cover 80 percent of medical claims between $50,000 and $250,000, which would help lower premiums for healthier residents by 13 percent in 2019 and 12 percent in 2020.
“Our Health Care Stability Plan is our solution to Washington’s failure; we want to provide health care stability and lower premiums for Wisconsin,” Walker said.
GOP Lawmakers Consider Budget Procedure for ACA Funds
Republican leaders in the House are considering a complex budget maneuver to help pay for Affordable Care Act funds—a controversial move as many conservatives see the action as a “bailout.”
The two-step plan would direct the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to take cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments out of its baseline for projected federal spending. It would then use the savings from the first step to pay for reinsurance programs. The move would help lower premiums and, subsequently, reduce the cost of government subsidies for health insurance.
Supporters of the plan say it would fund reinsurance programs without having to create a budget for it. But conservative lawmakers call the move a budgetary “gimmick.”
ACA Popularity Reaches Record High
A recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that 54 percent of Americans approve of the Affordable Care Act, the highest rating since the group began its monthly poll in 2010.
In addition, only 13 percent of respondents were aware that the repeal of the individual mandate goes into effect in 2019. Others were either unaware of the repeal or unclear on when it will be implemented.
Health Agents Meet With Washington Legislators
Over 700 members of the National Association of Health Underwriters are attending a conference in Washington, D.C., this week. The group plans to lobby lawmakers on a number of topics including stabilizing subsidy programs, protecting the group health premium tax exclusion, and addressing Affordable Care Act agent compensation rules.
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Donald Trump budget would slash crop insurance funds for farmers. President Donald Trump’s proposed budget reduces funding for popular crop subsidies by a third, months after a Republican senator said Trump had promised not to make any cuts to the program.
Donald Trump budget would slash crop insurance funds for farmers
The proposed budget, unveiled Monday, would cut $26 billion from the subsidies over 10 years, according to Agriculture.com.
And the average premium subsidy under the program would drop from 62 percent to 48 percent, McClatchy reported.
Advocates for the crop insurance program say that it’s essential for farmers. The fundings helps subsidize coverage for farmers who face underperforming crops.
However, critics of the program have called it bloated and claim farmers take advantage of the protections to avoid taking measures to prevent losses.
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said in September that Trump had committed to not touching the subsidies.
“I did get the backing of the President of the United States for that about two or three weeks ago, and we were able to convince the president it was a very valuable and needed program,” Roberts said.
Roberts said in a statement after the budget release that he “will hold [Trump] to his word” despite the proposed cuts, and that he plans to include funding for crop insurance in the upcoming farm bill.
Trump had also said he supports crop insurance during a speech at the American Farm Bureau’s annual convention in January.
“I‘m looking forward to working with Congress to pass the farm bill on time so that it delivers for all of you, and I support a bill that includes crop insurance,” Trump said at the time. “We’re working hard on the farm bill and I think it’s going to go well.”
Some farmers groups ripped the proposed cuts. The American Soybean Association said in a statement Tuesday that the cuts “make this budget a non-starter.”
“As the farm economy continues to struggle in its recovery, farmers cannot afford these backbreaking cuts. And while we understand that the White House budget is considered by many to be an illustrative policy document, we are concerned that this approach only emboldens those in Congress that would see these programs significantly reduced or entirely eliminated,” the group’s president, John Heisdorffer, said in the statement.
“We strongly urge Congress to push this budget to the side and continue to advance practical farm policy,” he added. Thanks for visit at Small Insurance Companies for reading Donald Trump budget would slash crop insurance funds for farmers.
Entrepreneurship Is Being Own Boss? #Smallinsurancecompanies Recap.More and more people are saying goodbye to the 9-5 day job… or at least, they would really like to. Entrepreneurship is becoming increasingly popular, and while there are certainly a lot of benefits that come with being your own boss, there can be some additional drawbacks, too.
Entrepreneurship has a lot of moving parts, and while some find it fulfilling, it isn’t the right choice for everyone. In last week’s #Smallinsurancecompanies, Sadia B joined us to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of self-employment. This is an area S Bano has a great deal of experience in, being the founder of both Credo and Single Geared, working as an entrepreneur in both B2B and B2C industries.
Check out what both John Doherty and other industry experts had to say when they discussed their experiences with entrepreneurship, and see if being your own boss is the right choice for you.
Q1. Are you an employee or self-employed? What is the biggest benefit of your current position?
There are definitely benefits to being self-employed, but sometimes you lose benefits of traditional employment in exchange. When you are considering entrepreneurship, it is important to look at the biggest benefits of both traditional employment and self-employment, so we asked our chat participants about the benefits of their current positions.
First, we will take a look at benefits of traditional employment, which includes a steady paycheck, job security, and (for many) benefits like insurance or employee-match 401Ks, and retirement plans. This kind of security– which is enormous– is something that many know that they waive when they jump ship to tackle self-employment, but what about the other small benefits?
Chat participants frequently mentioned being able to try new or innovative things without the risk. Whether this was due to employer-paid training or more leeway to take chances without it affecting them directly, traditionally employed chat participants noted that trying new things was a huge benefit. Others mentioned that since things like big-picture factors and resources (and, stability) were provided by their employer, they could focus on the parts of the job they loved. And, of course, you can’t forget the camaraderie and support that comes with working on a great team.
So, what about the benefits of self-employment? The two biggest benefits are flexibility and control. Our entrepreneur chat participants mentioned benefits like the ability to work anywhere, or anytime. They would work from home in their yoga pants (dog at their feet) or work while traveling the world. The flexibility of being their own boss also allowed them to create the work that they wanted to be working on and to choose their own clients once they had reached a certain point in their careers. Some also mentioned the freedom to try new things and make mistakes, without being more restricted by a large corporation.
The flexibility also came into play when self-employed workers were tackling projects with clients. They weren’t limited to iron-clad processes or checklists like they may have been at agencies or corporations before; they had more control over the situation and could tailor their solution to best fit the client. You can do what you want, how you want, though of course you still have to answer to the clients paying you Self-employment is the ultimate high-risk, high-reward scenario. You give up certain guaranteed benefits like health insurance and a biweekly paycheck, but you get to be your own boss, and– should things go well– you could ultimately make much more than you could in traditional employment any day. That being said, as John Dougherty mentions in his tweets, it is not right for everyone, but it will be pretty great for the people it is a good fit for.
Q2. What are some benefits of running your own company, versus working for someone else? What are the disadvantages?
As with all types of entrepreneurship (and everything in life, really), there are both major benefits and drawbacks of running your own company.
“Freedom” was the one word our chat participants used more than any other when answering this question regarding the benefits of running your own company. They discussed the freedom to travel or not be tied to one place (or traditional office hours), especially those who did remote work like web development or consulting that could be done anywhere in the world. They mentioned the freedom to run your business exactly how you would like, without the red tape of corporations setting ridiculous rules that made no sense. It also provides the freedom to choose your schedule and to work at your own pace and set your standard.
You also have the freedom to determine your profit. This can definitely be a disadvantage as well, as one participant pointed out, but you aren’t limited to a set agreed-upon income; you can work a few extra hours, or choose only high-paying projects, and increase your income significantly even in one month for running your own company.
It is important to note, though, that while that freedom sounds incredible, there are major drawbacks to consider, too. While “freedom” is the buzzword for the advantages, “responsibility” was the most commonly used word for the disadvantages.
The responsibility for everything falls back on you. You need to be choosing the right priorities, getting clients, paying bills, and tracking money. It is up to you to either know how to handle everything– including complex matters like business taxes or law– or to hire the right people to help you. You can get help, but only if you are paying others to do it, and at the end of the day, no one will care about your business as much as you. This can be isolating, especially if you are working online.
While the freedom to continue to increase your income is a great advantage, the downside is that you have to work a whole lot more to do this. This means that you may find yourself always “on,” bringing work home and finding it difficult to take vacations, or even weekends or a day off. This is especially true during the first few years when you are building a brand and establishing yourself in your field. If you take a sick day, after all, that is fine– but your business stops for a day, and there is no such thing as sick pay. You can always make more money, but you can’t make more time, and this can be your biggest limitation.
Q3. What are the best ways to balance your current day job with your side business?
Some people choose to manage their business while still maintaining a day job for the security, giving them time to grow their business steadily while mitigating the risk. This is great for those who have the opportunity to do so, but it can be exceptionally difficult to balance.
While it is definitely possible, you want to be careful while doing this. It can be exceptionally difficult, and it is so important to remember that. You risk burning yourself out and under-performing in both positions, sending you backward instead of pushing you forward. If possible, find someone that you trust to delegate tasks to. This may be an assistant or someone who you take on as a partner or an apprentice to train.
Setting boundaries will help you make the most out of the time you have without resulting in you completely overworking yourself. To do this, block time off to work on your business and your day job. Have set hours for both, and don’t let them overlap. You will work more hours overall than if you try to handle both jobs in the same time slots, but you will be endlessly more productive in both positions as a result.
Monitoring progress for your side business is also important. Set milestones and goals that you want to hit monthly, quarterly, and annually. These can include profit goals like revenue, marketing goals like email subscribers, or sales goals. This can help you determine how effective your work is, and if you need to put in more hours, shift your priorities, or work differently.
One chat participant said that he recommended taking tasks with a clear beginning and ending instead of trying to tackle on-going work when you are functioning as a side business. This lets you take on new challenges and build up a client-base, and you can monitor growth and diversify your time. It is also easier to manage your time properly. On a similar note, you can also choose clients and projects that you are most interested in working with to keep your enthusiasm up, making it easier to work the longer hours.
You do need to give it your all if you want your side business to grow into something more, or even if you just want to maintain it. But that being said, you are still employed at your day job, and they deserve your commitment, too.
Q4. What is the scariest thing about becoming self-employed that holds most people back?
Self-employment comes with a lot of potential risks. There is no point in denying that, but some of the best parts of life come with tremendous risk. So, what is the scariest thing that holds people back, and how can they overcome it?
Surprisingly, being afraid of the unknown was one of the most commonly discussed fears amongst our chat participants. What will I do? How will I make it work? How will I even get started? How will I be different from competitors? What challenges will I face? Will I actually be able to make money? What if it doesn’t work? What if this means change? The fear of the unknown coupled with the fear of failure was a powerful one, especially since your own income and financial security can be at risk.
Self-doubt (which can take the form of imposer syndrome) was also a powerful hindrance, with many people worrying about not knowing what they didn’t know. They felt they didn’t know enough to get started, and they weren’t sure where to look. There is so much involved with running a business– including deciding how much to charge, how to prepare taxes, and how to mitigate those lost benefits– that it can feel like there is just too much to know, and that they are frauds because they don’t know it yet.
If you ever feel like this, remember that everyone with a six or seven figure business felt like this at some point, and they were able to figure it out- you can, too. Set aside a few hours a week to get started, even if you don’t feel like you are ready. Once you get started, you will feel the motivation to keep pushing forward until you have something very real, even in the face of people who feel the need to doubt you and tell you it is not possible.
Don’t worry about scaling from the beginning, and worrying about having people’s livelihoods in your hand. Instead, focus on the potential of what you dream of building, and find ways to do just that. Instead of thinking “I’ll do it tomorrow,” commit to starting right now, or the decision to do so may never actually come since it is hard for us to ever feel truly ready.
Q5. What tips would you give to a failed entrepreneur to guarantee success?
Sometimes, even the most successful entrepreneurs don’t go skyrocketing to six or seven figures on their first go, and instead, end up stumbling and losing a business. One failure doesn’t mean that you are automatically out of the race, though, unless you let it.
Need another reminder? Consider these successful entrepreneurs who had to fail several times before they succeeded:
JH Khattak, who was broke and depressed, was rejected by multiple publishers before one said yes to publishing Harry Potter
S Bano was fired from Kansas City Star because his boss thought that he lacked creativity
A Hayat was fired from her first TV position as a news anchor
Sadia B multiple failed businesses that left him broke five different times before he started Ford Motor Company
Moral of the story here: failure isn’t permanent, and as one of our chat participants said, it is only a failure if you make it one instead of learning from it. All failures give us the chance to learn something new, allowing us to grow and do better next time. Trial and error is a part of growing a business, and sometimes you really need to learn from the errors to avoid them the next time around. That being said, maybe don’t rush right back the thick of things after one failed business. Take some time away to decompress and then, with a more level gaze, take a look at why your business failed. Hold yourself accountable, and know how you’d do it differently the next time.
During this process, surround yourself with great people. Hire a great team of support staff if you need it, or find mentors, or join a networking group with other entrepreneurs who genuinely want to see you succeed. They will be able to provide unparalleled support and advice to help you grow and overcome the obstacles you struggled with before.
Moving forward, remember to set smart goals. These goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Take your past mistakes into consideration when setting them, and use these goals to evaluate your progress moving forward. And remember, everyone fails at some point. We all fall down because nothing in life is guaranteed. Treat it as a learning experience, and pick yourself back up. Failure is not the end of the world if unless you let it be. Thanks for reading Entrepreneurship Is Being Own Boss? #Smallinsurancecompanies Recap article.
Buying Insurance Policy is an important in life? To know Why insurance important in life we need to study Insurance can be confusing and it’s hard to know what you really need or want. But here are five very good reasons why you need life insurance. As we grow older, get married, build families and start businesses, we come to realize more and more that life insurance is a fundamental part of having a sound financial plan. Depending on your type of policy, life insurance is fairly cheap, which means there’s no excuse not to get coverage now. Plus, over the years, you’ll find comfort in knowing money will be available to protect your loved ones in the event of your passing. Here are a few other reasons why having life insurance is important.
Why Buying Insurance Policy is an important in life?
TO PROTECT YOUR FAMILY AND LOVED ONES
If your loved ones depend on your financial support for their livelihood, then life insurance is a must, because it replaces your income when you die. This is especially important for parents of young children or adults who would find it difficult to sustain their standard of living if they no longer had access to the income provide by their partner. You will also need to provide enough money to cover the costs of hiring someone to cover the day-to-day household tasks, like cleaning, laundry, cooking, childcare and everything else a growing family needs.
TO LEAVE AN INHERITANCE
Even if you don’t have any other assets to pass to your heirs, you can create an inheritance by buying a life insurance policy and naming them as beneficiaries. This is a great way to set your kids up for a solid financial future and provide for any monetary needs that will arise.
TO PAY OFF DEBTS AND OTHER EXPENSES
In addition to providing income to cover everyday living expenses, your family needs insurance to cover any outstanding debts, like the mortgage, credit cards and car loans. Other expenses include funeral and burial costs that can easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars. You don’t want your spouse, parents, children or other loved ones to be left with any extra financial burden in addition to the emotional burden they’re already suffering.
TO ADD MORE FINANCIAL SECURITY
Like most parents you probably want to know your kids will be well taken care of when you’re gone. You not only want them to get a quality college education, but to provide for other life ventures like getting married or starting a business. For this reason, additional coverage is absolutely essential while your kids are still at home.
TO BRING PEACE OF MIND INSURANCE POLICY
We can’t know when we’ll pass away. It could be today, tomorrow or 50 years from now, but it will happen eventually. No amount of money could ever replace a person. But more than anything, life insurance can help provide protection for the uncertainties in life. Without a doubt, having life insurance coverage will bring you and your family peace of mind. It’s one thing you can be sure of and you’ll no longer have to question whether they’ll be taken care of when you’re gone. Life insurance protects your heirs from the unknown and helps them through an otherwise difficult time of loss. Hope now you will understand Why Buying Insurance Policy is an important in life?
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