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NEWS
June 27, 2015 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
BUSINESS
June 22, 2015 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
June 17, 2015 | By Don Sapatkin, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
REAL_ESTATE
June 14, 2015 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
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.
BUSINESS
May 24, 2015 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
May 11, 2015 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
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.
BUSINESS
May 2, 2015 | By Jonathan Takiff, Inquirer Staff Writer
    Keeping fit used to be its own reward. Now, living healthy can also save you money on life insurance, if you're willing to share statistics about your fitness campaign gathered on a smart watch, fitness band, or mobile phone. On Monday, John Hancock Insurance dangled a new app ("Vitality") for iPhone, iPod Touch, and Apple Watch users that enables the deal, working with Apple's HealthKit platform to track your vitals and good conduct. Walk or run a lot, lower your blood pressure (and be able to prove it)
NEWS
April 26, 2015 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
People who paid a penalty because they didn't buy health insurance last year are nearing the end of their options to get covered and avoid an even bigger penalty next tax season. The special enrollment period - a window the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services opened for people who learned of the fine only when they filed their 2014 taxes - closes Thursday. After that, current rules allow consumers to buy insurance from the marketplace only if they experience a life-changing event, such as marriage or loss of job-based coverage.
BUSINESS
April 25, 2015 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
In the latest expansion move by a Philadelphia-based law firm, Cozen O'Connor said Thursday that it would merge with a 60-lawyer firm in Chicago, greatly expanding its presence there, and deepening its labor and employment and white-collar defense practices, along with other legal areas. The merger, effective June 1, will bring the total number of lawyers at Cozen to 635, said the firm's CEO, Michael Heller. "This gives us a much broader full-service office in Chicago, and allows us to do this with an extremely accomplished group of lawyers with national practices," Heller said of the merger with Meckler Bulger Tilson.
NEWS
April 19, 2015 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
Researchers who study hereditary breast and ovarian cancer call it "the Angelina Jolie Effect. " They reported a sustained global surge in requests for BRCA genetic testing after the actress wrote about her preventive mastectomy two years ago. Last month, she gave another boost to awareness when she wrote about her recent surgery to remove her ovaries. But raising awareness hasn't necessarily lowered barriers, BRCA experts say. People seeking to identify and manage their inherited cancer risk often confront conflicting, confusing medical guidelines, test options, and insurance coverage.
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