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Health Insurance

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BUSINESS
November 14, 1998 | By Bob Fernandez, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Provident American Corp., which is developing an Internet site to sell health insurance, has agreed to sell its traditional agent-based insurance business to an Ohio company for $15 million. Central Reserve Life Insurance Co., an acquisition-minded firm in Strongsville, a suburb of Cleveland, is buying Provident American Life and Health Insurance. The Provident American Corp. subsidiary includes 27,000 agents nationwide and about 60 employees at the head office in Norristown, Peter Nauert, Central Reserve's chief executive, said yesterday.
BUSINESS
October 8, 2012
This is the first of Joel L. Naroff's monthly columns for The Inquirer's Sunday Business section. Obamacare! Nothing gets the blood boiling more than a discussion about this law. Is this a business and health-care system killer, or a medical-sector lifeline? While the political sound bites are strident and conflicting, economic logic makes it clear: A major health-insurance overhaul is needed, and how it is done will have huge implications for the region's economy. Once upon a time, health insurance was a popular, affordable benefit used by firms to attract and retain high-quality employees.
NEWS
October 27, 2011 | By Geoff Mulvihill, Associated Press
A state court judge has ruled against Gov. Christie's administration for a second time in a lawsuit over whether the state can increase judges' health insurance and pension contributions. Mercer County Superior Court Judge Linda Feinberg ruled Wednesday that New Jersey cannot increase judges' contributions while the case proceeds. Last week, Feinberg sided with Hudson County Superior Court Judge Paul DePascale, who sued the state over its pension and benefits overhaul. DePascale argued that the increases would diminish his salary.
NEWS
September 1, 2013 | By Susan Snyder, Inquirer Staff Writer
  On the day the Philadelphia teachers' contract expires, the school district and union negotiators were expected to return to the bargaining table Saturday to continue tense negotiations that both sides say have shown little progress. "We're still very far apart," Deborah Willig, a union lawyer said after 13 hours of bargaining were wrapping up Friday night. "Every proposal the district has made is to take something away. " The financially struggling district is seeking $103 million in concessions from the union, which represents 15,000 teachers, secretaries, counselors, nurses, and aides.
NEWS
August 30, 2013 | By Susan Snyder, Inquirer Staff Writer
The leadership of the Philadelphia teachers union has proposed a one-year salary freeze and changes in health insurance coverage for its members to help the school district save millions and avert a financial crisis. But the union is adamantly against any wage cuts, said Jerry Jordan, president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. Jordan declined to say how much the district could save or whether it would be anywhere near the $103 million in concessions the district is demanding.
BUSINESS
January 29, 1993 | Daily News Wire Services
State insurance regulators yesterday warned consumers and businesses who have purchased health insurance coverage from Atlantic Healthcare and United Healthcare Benefits Trust that they should find replacement coverage from licensed companies. Both Atlantic and United are unlicensed insurance companies that have operated illegally in the Philadelphia, Reading and Allentown areas, Acting Insurance Commissioner Cynthia M. Maleski said in a statement. The Insurance Department has received complaints that United Healthcare Benefits was not paying claims and had refused to answer customer inquiries.
NEWS
September 27, 2011 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The cost of health insurance skyrocketed in 2011 after several years of relatively small increases. Prices rose 9 percent for family coverage, with the average family premium reaching $15,073 and employees picking up $4,129 of that cost. Last year, family premium prices rose three percent. "This year's nine percent increase in premiums is especially painful for workers and employers struggling through a weak recovery," said Drew Altman, president of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation in California, in a statement.
NEWS
November 19, 1992
Ever since Rep. Allen G. Kukovich proposed a plan for state-subsidized health insurance for poor children, it's been obvious that this is the right thing - and the smart thing - to do. It's right because thousands of Pennsylvania children do without basic preventive health care. Their parents earn too much to qualify for Medicare, yet lack job-related health insurance coverage for their families. It's smart because accessible, basic health care means healthier children. Too many kids today have to get seriously ill before desperate parents seek high-priced emergency room care.
BUSINESS
May 19, 2008
The exterior of the Corporate Synergies Group Inc. building in Mount Laurel could not be more nondescript: vanilla office park, random trees. But inside the health-insurance brokerage, it's different. It's obvious that chief executive Eric Raymond, 51, of Bala Cynwyd, had to own his own business. Otherwise, he'd have no place to display dozens of travel photographs, especially of South American monkeys. (Beats the standard hallway gallery of business patriarchs every time.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
October 19, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Striking back against a move to cancel its contract, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers on Friday challenged the School Reform Commission on several fronts. The teachers' union asked for an injunction to halt planned changes to its members' health-care plans. It filed bad-faith bargaining charges against the SRC with the state Labor Relations Board. And it asserted that a key ruling - now scheduled to be made in Commonwealth Court - on whether the SRC has the power to cancel the labor contract should be decided in a lower court or through arbitration.
NEWS
October 19, 2014 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
A federal bankruptcy judge on Friday allowed the owners of Atlantic City's bankrupt Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort to void its contract with its 1,100 union workers. Whether the $15 million in savings will be enough to keep the doors of the troubled casino open is nowhere near a sure bet. In a decision delivered in a Delaware courtroom, Judge Kevin Gross granted a request by the casino's owners, Trump Entertainment Resorts, to end the contract, cutting health and pension benefits.
NEWS
October 19, 2014 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
Deborah Fasoline quit smoking. The 57-year-old Bensalem truck driver had tried twice before to stop but failed. This time was different. This time she squashed her lifelong habit like a spent cigarette butt under foot. Fasoline says she has gone seven straight months without lighting up. That's one month more than the Affordable Care Act demands to expunge the up-to-50 percent tobacco surcharge on smokers' monthly premiums. So you can understand why Fasoline can't wait for the marketplace to reopen next month.
NEWS
October 17, 2014 | BY JOSEPHUS WEEKS
ON FRIDAY, Sept. 25, 2014, my uncle Thomas Eric Duncan went to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. He had a high fever and stomach pains. He told the nurse he recently had been in Liberia. But he was a man of color with no health insurance and no means to pay for treatment, so within hours he was released with some antibiotics and Tylenol. Two days later, he returned to the hospital in an ambulance. Two days after that, he was finally diagnosed with Ebola. Eight days later, he died alone in a hospital room.
BUSINESS
October 5, 2014 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a blow to Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc.'s proposed reorganization plan, a bankruptcy judge in Wilmington on Friday denied a motion by the owner of Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City to immediately withdraw from a union pension plan. The proposal to cap its obligations under the defined-benefit pension plan is part of a broader effort to modify Trump Entertainment's contract with Unite Here Local 54. A hearing on the motion to reject the entire collective bargaining agreement, or CBA, including the pension plan and company-sponsored health insurance, is scheduled for Oct. 14. "The court does not have authority to reject a portion of a CBA," U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross said in a teleconference, according to a Bloomberg News report.
NEWS
October 5, 2014 | Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
Scott R. Hafetz is a glass-half-full kind of guy. So last fall, when the launch of the Affordable Care Act website had his health insurance broker colleagues fretting about their future - OK, panicking - Hafetz figured things would somehow work out. He was right. "I figured there would be a place for us," says Hafetz, an independent health insurance broker and owner of Hafetz & Associates in Linwood, N.J. A year ago, health insurance brokers and agents were looking like an endangered species.
NEWS
September 28, 2014 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
Two months before Healthy Pennsylvania - Gov. Corbett's private-market version of Medicaid expansion - opens for business, advocates for the low-income uninsured have no idea what benefits packages will be offered or what criteria will be used to place people in plans. State officials "clearly have been on top of this because they have been getting the delivery system in place," says Leonardo Cuello, director of health policy at the National Health Law Program in Washington. "But I wouldn't be surprised if they haven't figured out a lot of the details.
NEWS
September 21, 2014 | Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
The Affordable Care Act is working. More than eight million people - many for the first time - have signed up and are covered by health insurance. But that doesn't mean that choosing a plan won't be hard and frustrating. It is, especially for first-time buyers. Plans are divided in bronze, silver, gold, and platinum tiers, and are loaded with unfamiliar and confusing terms - monthly premium, annual deductible, co-pay, coinsurance, out-of-pocket maximum, pharmaceutical formulary , network . Settling on the right plan - HMO or PPO?
NEWS
September 15, 2014 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
Young adults are paying as much or more in premiums for the cheapest bronze plans purchased on the Affordable Care Act marketplace as people ages 54 to 64, according to a University of Tennessee Health Science Center study. The study, published online last week in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that the reverse premium age curve - premiums should be cheaper for younger people, who use less health care - is the result of how tax credit subsidies are calculated under the law. It could mean that paying the penalty for not buying insurance as required by the individual mandate would be less than the monthly premiums for those low-premium policies.
NEWS
September 8, 2014 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
Now that the Obama administration has approved Gov. Corbett's private-market alternative to Medicaid expansion - putting Pennsylvania on track to become the 27th state to provide health insurance for low-income residents under the Affordable Care Act - the next issue is how to let people know. The national advocacy group Enroll America plans to ramp up Chase, its phone-call program that reminds people about enrolling in health insurance. Enroll America found that people were 25 percent more likely to buy insurance on the Obamacare marketplace when they received three follow-up calls.
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