July 8, 2015 |
When economist Dan Polsky set out to study how many doctors were in the health-insurance networks available to Obamacare customers, he found out it was hard - even for him. How hard? "Nine out of 10," said Polsky, executive director of the University of Pennsylvania's Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics. He concluded that many of the 10.2 million people who have bought insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace probably don't realize they are giving up access to many physicians and hospitals in order to get lower premiums.
July 2, 2015 |
James A. Nolan, 59, of New Hope, who worked in the family title insurance company his entire adult life, died Sunday, June 21, of liver cancer. The lifelong Bucks County resident, a 1974 graduate of Neshaminy High School, began working at Tohickon Abstract Co. in Holicong soon after graduating from Dartmouth College in 1978. At the time of his death, he was president and co-owner. His brother Patrick called him a "super-hard worker in the family business. " His wife, however, said his family came first.
June 28, 2015 |
M.L. Simone isn't averse to risk. You might remember Simone, the self-proclaimed "most-educated coffee pourer in Philadelphia," who has a business degree and an art administration degree, and who first shared her insurance story here in December. She opened Hinge Cafe, a coffee bar/art gallery in Port Richmond when it was still a Maxwell House Coffee-drinking, blue-collar neighborhood. In Hinge's early years, Simone also risked not having health insurance. Starting a business put health insurance low on her list of priorities, not to mention that she couldn't afford it. But when her daughter was born five years ago, Simone jumped into the pre-Affordable Care Act individual health insurance market, paying a $600 monthly premium.
June 27, 2015 |
Now that the Supreme Court has for the second time declined to dismantle the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, one might begin to get the impression that it is the law of the land - not only because it was duly passed by Congress and signed by the eponymous president, but also by virtue of being a reasonable response to one of the country's most pressing domestic policy problems. Of course, the landmark health-care reform has been all those things for more than five years.
June 27, 2015 |
He was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed as a bedrock conservative, an antidote to other Republican nominees who in the past had too often sided with liberal colleagues, or so many conservatives believed. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., the argument went during his confirmation hearings, was no closet liberal along the lines of Earl Warren or David Souter. And yet, for the second time in three years, Roberts on Thursday provided the central legal arguments for upholding the Affordable Care Act, a law that is anathema to many conservatives.
June 22, 2015 |
After countless hours of courtroom argument, dozens of briefs, and seemingly endless legal maneuvering, the fate of President Obama's Affordable Care Act comes down to the meaning of six simple words. On June 28, 2012, when the U.S. Supreme Court first narrowly upheld the law, it seemed the bitter struggle over Obama's huge expansion of federally funded health care had come to an end. But the calm was short-lived. Within a few months, conservative legal theorists seized on a little-noticed sentence in the law that seemed to limit federal assistance for consumers to buy health insurance purchased on state-established exchanges, or marketplaces.
June 17, 2015 |
The Obama administration on Monday gave Pennsylvania and Delaware a head start in the scramble to save residents from losing health insurance coverage, the possible result of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling expected this month. The action - conditional approval to establish state-based insurance marketplaces - moves forward both states' efforts to preserve health insurance subsidies for their citizens. Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller described it as a "contingency plan" with the potential to help more than 300,000 residents who had bought subsidized insurance.
June 14, 2015 |
So far, what has passed for spring in the Philadelphia area this year has been relatively calm and much too dry. Yet Farmers Insurance reports that examined claims in 2013 and 2014 showed that spring accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners' claims nationwide during that two-year period. April, May, and June saw a 52 percent increase in homeowners' claims over January, February, and March, the claims showed. Twenty-five percent of all homeowners' claims filed during the spring in Pennsylvania were for water-related issues.
May 24, 2015 |
One of Pennsylvania's largest insurers says it has received the Federal Aviation Administration's blessing to begin launching drones, which will putter across the sky to monitor your damaged home or car. Erie Indemnity Co. hopes two DJI Phantom 2 quadcopters with digital cameras will help human adjusters view accident scenes. They'll also "help with underwriting," or pricing risk, said Erie spokeswoman Leah Knapp. Erie - which says it is the largest business insurer and the second-largest auto and home insurer in Pennsylvania, and the 12th-largest U.S. auto and 14th-largest U.S. home insurer - joins national giants including AIG, State Farm, and USAA in winning FAA backing for a robotic air force.
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.