September 19, 2016 |
Kate Morgan, 25, hasn't seen a doctor for a checkup since before she went to college, when she saw her pediatrician at age 18. "Nothing's bothering me, I don't have any symptoms, why go see a doctor?" reasoned Morgan, who recently moved from Voorhees, N.J. to Hummelstown, Pa. When she has needed medical care, she either went to the emergency department or visited an urgent care clinic. For now she has insurance under her dad's policy, but that's ending with her 26th birthday next week.
September 14, 2016 |
An overwhelming majority of faculty in Pennsylvania's state university system voted to authorize their faculty union to call a strike when leadership deems one necessary, the union said Monday. Faculty at the 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education cast their votes last week, with 82 percent of eligible faculty voting. Of those, 93 percent voted to give the leadership of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties the authority to call a strike, the union said.
September 8, 2016
It says a lot about the state of the Philadelphia School District that the big news on opening day is that its 130,000 students will actually have new textbooks. But given the perpetual financial crisis that the city's public schools have been mired in the last few years, just buying books is a positive development worth celebrating. After all, this is a school district that has gone several years without librarians, school nurses, guidance counselors, or assistant principals in many of its schools.
September 8, 2016 |
Merle DiVento and her husband, Larry, are in their 60s, but they spend a lot of time playing school, making art projects, and reading board books. It's the dream job they retired for: caring for granddaughters Gianna, 4, and Jewel, 15 months. Still, for Merle, who taught mostly kindergarten for more than 36 years, and Larry, now working at his at-home framing business around his babysitting duties - it's "exhausting. " The Mount Laurel couple wouldn't have it any other way. "Now we build our lives around theirs," said Merle, aka "Mimi," whose commute is a minutes-long car ride to their daughter's home.
August 30, 2016
ISSUE | HEALTH CARE Insurance unaffordable I am worried about proposed health-insurance rate hikes proposed for next year. Aetna has requested an 18 percent increase for its HMO, and Independence Blue Cross's Keystone Health Plan East, also an HMO, has proposed a 13 percent increase. Medical treatments are getting pricier every year, and a recent study by the University of Michigan found that patients are bearing a much larger share of that cost. According to the four-year study, deductibles rose 86 percent and coinsurance costs increased 33 percent.
August 24, 2016 |
IF YOU HAVE never dialed 911 for an ambulance - and most of us haven't - you probably don't know that after the professional paramedics have taken you to the hospital, the city will send you a bill. A really big bill. It came as a shock to Roberto Roque, 56, who suffered a severe asthma attack four years ago while at the Asthma Center, 822 Pine St., across from Pennsylvania Hospital. Rather than risk liability by walking him across the street, the doctor called 911 to collect Roque and "drive around the block," Roque says.
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.