May 17, 2015 |
Reena Khan got health insurance the day before giving birth to her daughter. The 26-year-old had lost her job-based insurance three weeks earlier. She said her employer let her go when she couldn't continue working as a home health aide because she was pregnant. Desperate, Khan called the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, a statewide nonprofit that helps people find affordable health insurance. "I didn't want to be without insurance for me and my baby," said Khan, a Pakistani native who immigrated to the United States five years ago and settled with her family in Northeast Philadelphia.
May 11, 2015 |
For Pat O'Brien, Feb. 15 was just another winter Sunday. The Huntingdon Valley nurse had always had job-based health insurance. So she didn't realize Feb. 15 was the last day to buy Affordable Care Act marketplace coverage for 2015. But on that unseasonably warm day, O'Brien and her husband, Joe, a retired police officer, needed health insurance. Two weeks earlier, O'Brien had lost her job, and with it, their benefits. "I had no idea, because I didn't need it," said O'Brien, 60. "I've had insurance my whole life.
April 26, 2015 |
People who paid a penalty because they didn't buy health insurance last year are nearing the end of their options to get covered and avoid an even bigger penalty next tax season. The special enrollment period - a window the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services opened for people who learned of the fine only when they filed their 2014 taxes - closes Thursday. After that, current rules allow consumers to buy insurance from the marketplace only if they experience a life-changing event, such as marriage or loss of job-based coverage.
April 19, 2015 |
In some ways, health insurance is like car insurance. Both are designed to protect you from the financial risk of repair associated with body damage. But unlike a car insurance policy that comes with bumper-to-bumper protection, nongroup health insurance doesn't cover your grille. Dental insurance has always been a separate purchase from medical health insurance. "A lot of this is a legacy in terms of historically how dental insurance came to be," says Marko Vujicic, chief economist and vice president of the American Dental Association's Health Policy Institute.
April 12, 2015 |
With just three days left to file 2014 taxes, tax preparer Mary Arthur and her colleagues at the Campaign for Working Families at 31 sites across Philadelphia and South Jersey are hard at work. But even as the tax season winds down, Arthur, the group's executive director, already is fretting about next year. She is worried because statistics from early March show that of the 10,000 tax returns filed, 2,800 were from people who didn't have health insurance last year and were paying a penalty.
April 5, 2015 |
After two months of trying to get Independence Blue Cross to correct what seemed like a fairly simple problem, Anthony Goldsmith finally ran out of patience. On Feb. 25, the Media psychologist filed a formal complaint with the company for billing him for the wrong plan, denying his claims, and threatening to terminate his health insurance. If anything, Goldsmith's experience with Independence shows that transferring health insurance data, even internally from one plan to another, can be problematic.
March 30, 2015 |
Until she noticed the tiny blood spots on her sheets, Peg Fagan thought the itchy, raised area on her shoulder was a spider bite. So when her doctor asked during a routine checkup in April whether Fagan had any health concerns, she mentioned the bite. The doctor took a sample to biopsy. A few days later, Fagan got a call saying she had to come in to the office. "I said, 'No, I don't,' " remembered Fagan, 56, a breast cancer survivor. "If you are going to tell me that I have cancer, just tell me. " Fagan had melanoma, the most serious kind of skin cancer.
March 27, 2015
ISSUE | MARKETING A grande win-win After Starbucks Coffee was criticized as being opportunistic for having baristas write race together on coffee cups, the company discontinued the practice ("Starbucks ends cup messages," March 23). But virtually all capitalist enterprise is inherently opportunistic. The green movement in marketing is one example. Companies employing the strategy are at least partly attempting to take advantage of customers' current environmental values to increase sales.
March 22, 2015 |
Until she could buy health insurance on healthcare.gov last year, Gina Connor saw her doctor only when it was "unavoidable. " With most of her income going to caring for her child and paying the mortgage and utility bills, Connor relied on over-the-counter remedies for some five years to see her through. But doctor visits became "unavoidable" for colds and other ailments, Connor had to pay out of pocket. "It was expensive, depending on what was done," said the 38-year-old Upper Darby resident.
March 16, 2015 |
TAMMY Sadler-Chase was sick and uninsured. She had lost her mobility and her sight after being diagnosed with a rare blood disorder. Her hospital bills had reached nearly $200,000. And every time she applied for insurance, she was denied. Desperate for help, Sadler-Chase called the PHMC Rising Sun Health Center in Olney, where she was connected to a lawyer named Lydia Gottesfeld, who helped her secure proper care and health-care coverage. Sadler-Chase is one of more than 400 patients who are utilizing Rising Sun Health Center, which this month officially began offering on-site financial and legal services to its clients, making it the first of its kind in the nation.