Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday Afternoon LinkFest

Lately, we've had an embarrassment of riches concerning the ObamaTax and other related news. Because there are only 24 hours in a day, it's not really possible to give each one the blog-space it probably deserves, but at least we can give our readers a heads' up on what's hot:

1 - We've been warning folks about the very real probability of fraud in the new Navigator program. From FoIB Holly R here's the latest:

"...officials are watching for look-alike websites that could lead consumers to be the victims of fraud or simply confuse people ... States are on the lookout for websites created by interest groups, private insurance companies and sometimes scammers that have similar web addresses and the appearances of the official state exchange websites."

So-called "phishing" sites have been around for a long time, this seems to be the latest iteration of that phenomenon.

2 - Holly also tips us to this story - surely only one of many to come - about pushback on so-called "wellness" programs. In this case, certain employees at Penn State University are protesting a new requirement that they either participate in one of these, with the added benefit that they'll get to divulge some very personal information, at least some of which seems pretty intrusive (and doesn't seem to be particularly "health"-related):

"The plan requires nonunion employees, like professors and clerical staff members, to visit their doctors ... and submit to an extensive online health risk questionnaire that asks, among other questions, whether they have recently had problems with a co-worker, a supervisor or a divorce"

Cost for declining to participate? $100 a month (or $200 if they're married and have their spouse on the plan).

Potential solution (and probably rationale for the whole exercise): opt out of the Penn State plan and onto the Exchange.

3 - We've noted before that the Public Exchanges seem to be having a problem attracting (and keeping) carriers. Our Friend Jeff M reports from North Carolina that the Tar Heel State is no exception:

"FirstCarolinaCare Insurance abruptly pulled out of the North Carolina market, saying there are too many unknowns about how the Affordable Care Act will play out here."

So what if they gave an Exchange and no carrier came?

We may find out.

4 - And circling back around to Navigators and the likelihood of shenanigans, Florida has banned them from county health departments:

"Local health departments can accept public exchange brochures and other exchange outreach material, but they can distribute the materials only if consumers ask for information"

Florida heath officials wanted to make sure that they're agencies know that Navigators "aren't acting on behalf of the state."

Gee, one wonders why anyone would think that.
blog comments powered by Disqus