Thursday, July 20, 2017

Thursday LinkFest

First up, FoIB Dana Beezley-Smith has a really powerful post on her blog about the actual, real-world impact that ObamaCare has had on the individual insurance market. While various pundits and pols criticize (often justifiably) on the Republican's latest attempts, they seem to have missed the ACA's "trajectory of higher premiums and costs” and “fewer, if any, coverage choices.

Read the whole thing.

Co-Blogger Bob V has the latest from the annals of the Much Vaunted National Health System©, where a "nurse has revealed she was charged £80 for parking, on top of parking fees already docked from her wages," all because she overstayed her shift to provide actual, you know, care to a cardiac patient.

But hey, gotta pay for that "free care" somehow.

And today's new word comes from FoIB Holly R: "Buurtzorg," Dutch for "neighborhood care." And it's not just a fun tongue-twister, it "allows nurses to act as a ‘health coach’ for their patients, advising them on how to stay healthy, caring for their needs and using their initiative."

And the results are impressive, allowing the Dutch "healthcare system to reduce costs by around 40%, while the time it takes to administer care has been slashed by a staggering 50%."

Maybe worth a look here?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Stunning: 1,000 Words on ACA '18

Courtesy of co-blogger Bob V, "2018 Projected Health Insurance Exchange Coverage Maps." Here's the latest:

[click to embiggen]

As Bob notes, would suck to be in Nevada.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Tweeting up a storm

For those unfamiliar with the term, a Tweetstorm is a series of short messages posted in a string (a function of the Twittter's 140 character per message limit). These are often annoying, but two recent 'storms' are really great reads. Both are from Friends of InsureBlog, and both have important insights into the health insurance/health care debate.

The first is from Dave W, posting at Ace of Spades blog (mild language warning). A sample:

The other is from Cato's Michael Cannon. And a sample of his 'storm:'

Good stuff, all.

Health "Care" Fraud Bust: By The Numbers

Courtesy ForAmerica:

[click to embiggen]

Friday, July 14, 2017

It's Time To Fully Implement Obamacare

Enough of the BS already. Obamacare can't and won't be repealed without 60 votes in the Senate. Any Republican alternative claiming to replace Obamacare that takes away money from states won't pass either. Instead of trying to do the same thing over and over while expecting a different result why not simply implement what President Obama signed back on March 23, 2010?

Members of Congress - on both sides of the aisle - have two objectives, protect themselves and find a way to get reelected. Full implementation will put both of these objectives at risk.

Want to know the perfect place to start? Eliminate Congress' illegal status as a "small business" and force all 12,000+ members, staffers, and their dependents to purchase insurance legally as the law was written. Anything less would be uncivilized.

BREAKING: Potential Reprieve for Baby Charlie

"US doctor will travel to UK to assess ill infant"

That's the good news. The not-so-great news is that he isn't scheduled to head there until next week, so who knows if Charlie will still even be alive then.

Still, small miracles...

A Tale of Two Health Systems…

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times in the area of Medicine for two countries.

One country had a health system that was based on the capitalistic principals of supply and demand. Because of the entrepreneurial system, Medical Care was valued around the world, as long as you could afford to pay for the privilege. This country will be called Callous.

In another country, the populace trusted their government with their Healthcare. No one went without the basics, but due to finite resources, not all could receive treatment. Compassion came with recognition that some will die so others may live. This country was called Enlightened.

Into these countries came two sick little boys that highlighted the successes and failures, the winners and losers, in Medicine today.

The first little boy is named Ethan. Ethan is a precocious 3 year old boy, the delight of his parents.

Little Ethan has endured many surgeries for his condition and takes daily medications to keep him alive. His latest surgery resulted in a bill of $231,115.00.  Since his parents had health insurance, their financial responsibility was only $500.00 and thanks to the parent’s health insurance, little Ethan is assured of receiving medical treatment for the remainder of his life.

The other little boy is Charlie. Charlie is 10 months old and was born with Mitochondrial Depletion Syndrome. Charlie is very sick and has not received any treatment, other than basic life support. Without life support he will die and even with treatment, the prognosis is not good.

Now one boy lives in the country that has Health Care that is each individual’s financial responsibility and the other boy lives in the country that takes cares of its populaces Health Care without a financial drain on the individual.

Reading the scenarios, Ethan is fairing much better than Charlie. He is receiving treatment and living and thriving. Ethan lives in the United State of America and has the benefits of all the Medical Care he could want or need, without the government interfering in his decision. Charlie lives in England, where the Health Care is directed by the National Health Care System, which determines how the medical dollars will be spent and on whom, without input from the patient.

Which country is which from our opening? …. Well Dear Reader, I am sure you have figured out that Callous is the USA and Enlightened is England.

These two cases focus in real time the benefits of the Health Care System in America and the flaw in any Socialist Health Care (such as that which currently exists in England. In any Socialist System, there is INFINITE NEED with FINITE RESOURCES. England has chosen the compassionate route for Health Care, taking the financial burden from individuals so all can benefit. The only problem is that when there is only one pot of money then only the strong will survive. When individuals rely on themselves, instead of the Government, then there are INFINITE RESOURCES to deal with all needs.

There is a footnote to these stories: Ethan is lucky enough to have one parent who is an American and one parent who is Canadian. Given the choice of the two health systems for Ethan’s care, his parents picked America. They purposely chose Callous over Enlightened.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Burning Data

We've been writing about who owns our medical data for a long time. For example:

"Hugo Campos has [an ICD] buried in his chest to help keep him alive. But he has no idea what it says about his faulty heart ... what if Mr Campos wants to see that data for himself?"

An interesting question, no?

Here's another: what if that information was relevant to a crime?

Think that's far-fetched?

Well, thanks to FoIB Holly R, we have the case of Ross Compton:

"A judge says data from the pacemaker of a man accused of setting his Ohio house on fire in 2016 can be presented as evidence at his trial."

His attorney had argued that use of the data "violated Compton's constitutional rights."

Maybe, but the judge didn't agree, saying that "the individual data is no more private than other things."

What "other things" isn't clear, but the message certainly is.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Tuesday LinkFest

First up, courtesy of FoIB Holly R:

■ Next, our friend Allison B at ThinkAdvisor piles on:

"Individual Health Enrollment Falls 11% ... Plan withdrawals and rising premiums led to a sharp drop in individual and family major medical plan use in the first quarter" of the year.

But hey, if you like your plan....

■ And finally, FoIB Ʀєfùsєηíκ tips us that "The number of U.S. adults without health insurance has grown by some 2 million this year."

Which seems unpossible, since the entire point of ObamaCare was to eradicate this plague.


SEP News (Sorta)

As we've previously noted, the qualification process for triggering a Special Open Enrollment has gotten tougher, as carriers have been hit with ever higher claims:

"Perhaps the most egregious is the fact that no one in government seems to care about the massive fraud being perpetrated right under their noses during this time."

Our friends at Medical Mutual emailed us a slideshow of the new, tougher Special Open Enrollment process, available here.

One that immediately jumped out was this:

"Beginning in Summer 2017, new applicants ... who attest to certain types of SEP qualifying events will be subject to the SEPV process of pre-enrollment verification. Eligible consumers must submit documents that confirm their SEP eligibility before they can enroll and start using their Marketplace coverage."
Quite different than before, where one was given a certain period of time after enrolling in (and, perhaps, using) a new plan. Under the new system, no policy is issued until the verification paperwork is submitted and approved.

Which would seem to be a challenge for carriers, but fret not:

"When submitting business ON Exchange please submit verification documents directly to the exchange.  Medical Mutual cannot process/accept anything that is submitted directly to us."

Can't say as I blame them. 

NB: I reached out to our rep who confirmed that MMO would continue to process this info for off-HIX plans.