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NEWS
December 25, 2013 | By Robert Calandra and Don Sapatkin, Inquirer Staff Writers
With Monday's deadline - now extended to Tuesday - to sign up for health insurance starting Jan. 1, hundreds of thousands of people flocked to the federal website and sought help from local organizations. About 850,000 people had visited the website by 2 p.m., five times more than the same time the previous Monday, on top of 1.2 million over the weekend, a federal spokeswoman said, and there were few glitches. "Yes, everybody waited until today to enroll," said a harried-sounding Laura Line, corporate assistant director for Philadelphia-based Resources for Human Development, who had to rush off the phone at 5:15 p.m. to help a new arrival get insurance.
NEWS
December 8, 2013 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
On Monday night, precisely at 10 p.m., I logged on to a site where many have unhappily gone before - HealthCare.gov - to see whether the fixes touted by the Obama administration had taken hold. I chose the late hour because Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said people might have better luck buying health insurance during off-peak hours. The site's welcome screen popped up quickly. So far, so good, I thought. And then: "Healthcare.gov has a lot of visitors right now. We need you to wait here so we can make sure there's room for you to have a good experience on our site.
NEWS
December 7, 2013 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Staff Writer
TRENTON New Jersey's insurance commissioner testified Thursday before a state Senate committee that no insurers in the state have yet opted to continue selling plans that are slated to end because they do not comply with the Affordable Care Act. About 800,000 New Jerseyans - including 650,000 in the small-employer market - have the plans, which won't be renewable next year under the new health care law. Facing pressure after promising that consumers...
NEWS
December 5, 2013 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
Three years ago, New Jersey regulators suspended abortion provider Steven Brigham's medical license for endangering and deceiving patients. During the suspension hearing, he testified that he was covered by medical malpractice insurance. Now, as Brigham, 57, tries to regain his license, New Jersey prosecutors have submitted evidence that his sworn statement was yet another lie. They allege that not only did he stop carrying required liability insurance around 2006, but last month produced a phony insurance policy when forced to back up the statement.
NEWS
November 29, 2013 | By Don Sapatkin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Responding to New Jersey's decision late Tuesday allowing insurers to continue health policies that are scheduled for cancellation, the state's largest carrier said that doing so under the guidelines would not be a viable option for most plans in the individual market because of cost. The immediate effect of the announcement by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey was unclear. Millions of policies are being canceled nationwide, in many cases because they do not meet the Affordable Care Act's minimum standards.
NEWS
November 27, 2013 | By Don Sapatkin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Come into city offices ranging from the Free Library to the Department of Records over the next few months and you will, in theory, be asked whether you have health insurance and offered information about Obamacare, including the option of getting a call from a specialist trained in enrollment. The outreach, described by Enroll America, a national nonprofit, as its biggest partnership with a city in support of the Affordable Care Act, will be announced Tuesday by Mayor Nutter. "It is an amazing way to extend the reach that we have in coming into contact with consumers who have no insurance and may be eligible for insurance in the marketplace," said Bill England, Pennsylvania director for Enroll America.
NEWS
November 27, 2013 | By Mark Fazlollah, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA A federal judge on Monday slapped a politically connected insurance executive with a 30-month prison sentence for stealing more than $2 million from the Philadelphia Housing Authority. In 2006, Kobie T. West created a fake invoice for $2.3 million for PHA's worker compensation coverage and a commission. A corrupt PHA official working in concert with West then approved the bogus invoice. The official, Edgar Bridges, later pleaded guilty in a separate federal criminal case.
BUSINESS
November 25, 2013 | By Jeff Gelles, Inquirer Columnist
What if buying a new laptop were like buying auto insurance? You couldn't simply get a price when you shopped. Instead, each store or website you visited would start by asking you questions - including about things that seem to have nothing to do with your purchase. Then each would offer a quote: $974 at one store, $2,591 at another, and $5,136 at a third - all for the exact same computer. Sound far-fetched? Probably, since charging twice or five times as much as the competition isn't usually a recipe for business success.
NEWS
November 25, 2013 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Robert F. Rink, 82, of Wayne, a life insurance company executive, died Friday, Nov. 15, at Paoli Memorial Hospital of a thoracic aortic aneurysm. Starting in 1955, Mr. Rink worked in the life insurance industry, rising to president of the Life Insurance Co. of North America, which became part of Cigna Corp. After retiring in 1989, he taught business and finance courses in the degree-completion program at Eastern College. Born in Pittsburgh, Mr. Rink graduated from Mount Lebanon High School and earned a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Pittsburgh.
NEWS
November 21, 2013 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
The frosty weeks before the holidays were always the hot season for Andre Butler. He would head downtown, looking snappy in his "blacks and whites" - industry argot for tuxedos - to work as a bartender, server, or host in Center City's finest hotels. But postrecession, those parties have become fewer and smaller. The only reminder for Butler of those days is the constant ache in his legs and hips from the years of lugging heavy trays. He needs tests to pinpoint the cause of his pain, but lacks insurance or the money to pay out-of-pocket.
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