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NEWS
June 29, 2014 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
Claudia Gordon spent 14 years chasing down bad boys as a Philadelphia policewoman. As a woman officer, Gordon occasionally ran into a perp who was thinking, "Whatcha gonna do?" Bad move, bad boy. "They think women are weak," said Gordon, 59, who retired in 2006. "But we're not as weak as they think. " On the street, there was no intimidating Gordon. But buying health insurance on the Affordable Care Act marketplace - well, that rattled her. Like so many others who tried to buy health insurance on healthcare.gov last fall, Gordon had to make a couple of attempts to finally get her plan, and only then with the help of a navigator.
NEWS
June 23, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - The Corbett administration on Friday announced the list of insurance companies that had met its qualifications to provide coverage to hundreds of thousands of the uninsured by early 2015. Under Gov. Corbett's proposed Medicaid expansion alternative, nine insurance companies would provide health care to as many as 600,000 low-income residents - most of them the working poor - who make too much for traditional Medicaid but whose employers provide no coverage. "The governor is incredibly pleased with the response," said Jennifer Branstetter, Corbett's secretary of policy and planning.
NEWS
June 22, 2014 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
Six months into the Affordable Care Act, local mental-health and substance-abuse professionals have yet to see an uptick in clients using their new benefits. The seeming lack of interest has been disappointing for caregivers, but is not completely unexpected. "It's very early," said Patricia Kleven, director of outpatient mental health services at the Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment. "I don't know what it will look like in six months or a year. But at the moment, not so much.
NEWS
June 21, 2014 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
Montgomery County will have to pay 18 percent more for legal-liability insurance as a result of a $1.65 million lawsuit settlement by the District Attorney's Office. District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman agreed to the settlement in May and issued an official apology to a Radnor contractor who said her office wrongfully charged him with theft and damaged his business reputation. The charges stemmed from a 2007 contract dispute between Walter Logan and Salem Baptist Church of Jenkintown, whose members included some high-ranking county officials.
BUSINESS
June 16, 2014 | By Jeff Gelles, Inquirer Columnist
Hurricane season is starting slowly, and weather forecasters predict that El NiƱo may help spare us this year. But as Hurricane Sandy reminded our region, you never can predict when you'll be in bad luck's bull's-eye. So it's a good time to consider how to avoid another kind of harm: from a Swiss-cheese insurance policy. Some Sandy victims found, for instance, that if losses were caused by both wind and water, a term with a whale of a name - an "anti-concurrent-causation clause" - could help an insurer sidestep or lowball a claim.
NEWS
June 15, 2014 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
In the 10 months that Emily Lennon has been an Affordable Care Act navigator, she has reached one solid conclusion: Most people buying health insurance don't speak the lingo. "Nobody understands health insurance," said Lennon, who works at Resources for Human Development. Lennon has found that most first-time buyers, as well as people who were once covered through work but now buy coverage on their own, don't know basic terms like premium and deductible. Start talking coinsurance, out-of-pocket maximum, pharmaceutical formulary, co-payment, in-network providers, tier plans , HMO and PPO , and people get lost in the jargon jungle.
NEWS
May 30, 2014 | BY WILLIAM BENDER, Daily News Staff Writer benderw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5255
HOW DOES a mob-connected fraudster - who allegedly kept deer blood at his South Philly auto-body shop to stage fake "Hollywood" accidents - land a $1.8 million city contract to fix cop cars and other vehicles? This is Philadelphia. He knew a guy. "We are here today to announce the arrest - once again - of Ron Galati Sr. and his co-conspirators for a nearly $5 million insurance-fraud scheme," District Attorney Seth Williams said yesterday, before delving into the latest round of charges against Galati.
NEWS
May 30, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
People wandering through Ron Galati's South Philadelphia auto-body shop could be forgiven for thinking they'd stumbled upon an urban hunting lodge. There were deer heads mounted on the walls and carcasses, fur, and blood stored in the back. In reality, says Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, the shop was an elaborate staging area for a $5 million scheme that defrauded auto insurance companies and involved a police officer and city worker. Galati - an alleged mob associate awaiting trial for paying to kill three people - was in the business, according to a grand jury, of "fictitious deer accidents.
NEWS
May 23, 2014 | By Stacey Burling, Inquirer Staff Writer
UnitedHealth Group has declared its experiment with using Comcast's video-on-demand service to deliver a weight-loss program a success. But the Minnesota health insurer has no immediate plans to continue using cable TV to coax clients to adopt healthier habits that could lead to lower health-care costs. Instead, it is selling a Web-based version of the program to employers who want to prevent expensive chronic medical problems in overweight workers. Such efforts to make weight-loss programs easily available to more consumers are becoming more popular, experts say. The goal of the program, offered to Comcast viewers in Philadelphia and Knoxville, Tenn., was for participants at risk of developing diabetes to lose 5 percent to 7 percent of their body weight.
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