Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wednesday Afternoon Linkage

Courtesy of FoIB Jeff M, we learn that North Carolina's Blue Cross/Shield is continuing to take on water as its customer information interface melts down:

"Moncol learned all of the information several weeks ago when she went online to check her family's health savings account and found data on the McAllister family instead. After a few more clicks, she found she could access the investment accounts tied to the HSA."

Ooops. In fact, she could have actually changed pretty much all of that other family's info, or stolen their identity were she "that kind of person" (which, thankfully, she's not). But talk about a security hole big enough to drive a Mack truck through. Looks like the Tar Heel State's Blues could give the security-flawed site a run for its money.

As we've long noted, the above-mentioned site is rife with security issues, and as FoIB Holly R alerts us:

"During the two years before the disastrous opening of, federal officials in charge of creating the online insurance marketplace received 18 written warnings that the mammoth project was mismanaged and off course but never considered postponing its launch"

Well of course not, silly: why would massive security flaws hold us up?

Another long-term topic has been faith-based (primarily Christian) "sharing ministries," a sort of religious crowd-funding arrangement for health care financing. Co-blogger Bob V sent us this latest news:

"The use of so-called “health sharing ministries” has soared in the wake of President Barack Obama’s health care reforms ... membership has more than doubled, from about 200,000 to about 530,000"

At over half a million participants, this is definitely a force with which to be reckoned. The usual caveats apply, of course: "the plans offer members no guarantee their medical bills will be shared, and ministries aren’t obligated to include a range of care that insurance companies are."

Still, by saving thousands of dollars in potential fines, and tens of thousands in deductibles and co-insurance, it sure seems that these folks have found something that works for them. and the fact that their ranks have swelled so fast and so far is pretty good proof of its appeal and effectiveness.
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