August 11, 2016
ISSUE | ABORTION Support all choices A commentary, "Rather than fund abortion, let's invest in alternatives" (Sunday), presented a false choice. We don't need to choose between respecting and supporting a woman who has decided to end her pregnancy and respecting and supporting a woman who has decided to continue her pregnancy. We can and should do both. However we feel about abortion, we can agree that politicians shouldn't force a woman to make a certain decision or stand in the way of what she decides is best for herself and her family.
August 4, 2016 |
Health insurers have requested rate changes -- including an increase of up to 32.3 percent -- for individual plans that will be offered this fall on New Jersey's Affordable Care Act marketplace this fall, according to data posted Monday on the federal web site HealthCare.gov. However, 12 of 19 insurance plans, effective Jan. 1, are seeking increases of less than 10 percent. The biggest requested increase was from Oxford Health Insurance Inc., a unit of UnitedHealthcare. Its Oxford NJ EPO (exclusive provider organization)
July 29, 2016 |
Saying their own costs have risen, health insurance companies made their cases to state regulators Wednesday for double-digit rate increases next year for individual policies in Pennsylvania. The requests before the Insurance Department include proposed average rate increases of 17.2 percent for Aetna Health Inc., 25.4 percent to 48.1 percent for Highmark companies, 0.9 percent to 16.2 percent for UPMC companies, and 19.9 percent to 22.5 percent for Independence Blue Cross companies, according to the department.
July 8, 2016 |
The special investigations unit of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey generated $43.2 million in savings last year by rooting out fraud, the Newark, N.J., health insurer said Wednesday. Horizon said one of the latest trends in fraud is the "phantom doctor's office," which are shell offices that submit bogus claims using stolen insurance identification numbers and then vanish. Another increasingly common scheme, Horizon said, is "the impossible day," on which a doctor claims to have seen dozens or even hundreds of patients.
July 8, 2016
By Joe Pitts Americans who once believed that Obamacare would deliver are long past being disillusioned. President Obama promised people lower premiums and deductibles and the ability to keep their current health plans if they liked them; the opposite happened. Under Obamacare, Americans received higher premiums and deductibles and encountered insurers that dropped their plans. Americans are understandably wary of another "solution. " Late last month, Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.)
July 3, 2016 |
Some consumers who use health insurance copays to buy prescription drugs are paying far more than they should be and would be better off paying with cash, especially for generics. The added cost runs as high as $30 or more a prescription, say pharmacists, and the profit is largely being pocketed by middlemen who collect the added money from local pharmacies. Cash prices started to dip below copays a decade ago when several big box stores started offering dozens of generics for as little as $4 a prescription.
July 3, 2016 |
Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller has scheduled a hearing for July 27 to give consumers a chance to comment on proposed rate increases on 2017 health-insurance plans to be sold on the federal marketplace, the department said Friday. "A public hearing on these rate requests fulfills the Wolf administration's high standards for government transparency, while also giving companies an opportunity to explain their requests, Insurance Department staff a chance to outline our review process, and the public a forum to express how these rates may affect them," Miller said.
May 27, 2016 |
The Pennsylvania Insurance Department on Wednesday released preliminary rate requests for 20 small-group health plans and 18 individual plans that will be offered under the Affordable Care Act for next year. The requests for increases now under reveiw by the insurance department averaged 7.9 percent for small group plans and 23.6 percent for individual plans, but the final rates that will be posted in October could be lower. In addition, 75 percent of the Pennsylvanians who purchased insurance for this year on the exchange received a federal subsidy that reduces their cost.
May 17, 2016
By David Woods One hears these days mutterings by disaffected Americans that if Donald Trump becomes president, they will pack their bags and leave for Canada. One assumes, of course, that no wall will be built along the border to thwart their exit. I made the reverse trip. Having emigrated from Britain to Canada, where I became the editor in chief of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, I opted to come to the United States in 1988 for personal reasons. But I was also taken with American rugged individualism and a health-care system focused on market forces and competition.
May 5, 2016
ISSUE | CAMPAIGN 2016 Protest Trump at Penn - peacefully I assume there will be protesters at the University of Pennsylvania on May 15, considering the expected presence of Donald Trump at the School of Arts and Science's commencement ceremonies ("Penn graduation will be long on top-tier statesmen," Tuesday). They should be there to acknowledge the threat to our country posed by Trump's presidential candidacy; his domestic policy of hatred toward African Americans, Hispanics, immigrants, and women; and his foreign policy, which consists of little more than bluster and "America First" slogans.