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Category archives for: Health Care Business

Law Be Damned: Some Insurers Still Refuse to Provide Coverage for Contraceptives

| August 22, 2014

There’s not much leeway for employers and insurers in deciding whether they’ll cover contraceptives without charge and in determining which methods make the cut, yet that hasn’t stopped some from trying.

1 in 6 Big Businesses Planning to Offer “Junk” Health Insurance Below ACA Standards

| August 18, 2014

Many thought such low-benefit “skinny plans” would be history once the health law was implemented. Instead, 16 percent of large employers will offer lower-benefit coverage along with at least one health plan that does qualify under ACA standards.

Average Cost of Silver-Range Insurance Plans Will Decline in Florida Marketplace

| August 11, 2014

About 75 percent of Floridians live in areas where the second-cheapest silver premium will actually decline, said Tasha Bradley, a spokeswoman for the federal Department of Health and Human Services.

Warts and All, Obamacare Saved Me From Bankruptcy

| August 10, 2014

FlaglerLive Editor Pierre Tristam exposes his health care bills before and after Obamacare, and before and after cancer, to show how without the Affordable Care Act, he and his family would have face ruin.

Those Double-Digit Health Insurance Rate Hikes in Florida? Blame State GOP.

| August 7, 2014

Sen. Bill Nelson, once Florida’s insurance commissioner, reminds residents that it was the Republican state Legislature that stripped the office of insurance regulation of the authority to approve, modify or reject rate hikes by health insurance companies, thus leading to current, unacceptable rate hikes.

Florida Blue Raising Premiums 17.6% for Exchange Policies as Obamacare Ire Spikes

| August 4, 2014

A dearth of younger and healthy enrollees and a greater-than-expected surge of people seeking expensive health services are factors driving up premiums. A new polls shows disapproval of Obamacare spiking in July.

Florida Insurers Owe $41.7 Million in Rebates to Individuals and Companies, Topping Nation

| July 24, 2014

The latest round of paybacks brings Florida’s three-year total from the Affordable Care Act’s rebate program to almost $220 million. This year’s rebate will average $65 per family in Florida, according to the report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In a Major Blow to Obamacare, Court Rules Health Insurance Subsidies Illegal in 36 States, Including Florida; 2nd Court Disagrees

| July 22, 2014

The decision is a potentially fatal blow to the Affordable Care Act, but it conflicts with an opposite conclusion by a different appeals court on the same day. In Florida, 91 percent of those enrolled get an average monthly subsidy of $278 a month. Most could not afford the premiums without the subsidies, which would disappear if the decision sticks.

Florida Inverse: 2nd Highest Level of Uninsured, Dead Last in Affordable Care Grants

| July 16, 2014

Judging by the grant totals of other states, Florida appears to have forfeited at least $100 million and possibly $300 million or more, not even including $51 billion the state is forfeiting by saying no to Medicaid expansion.

For Floridians, Affordable Care Act Lives Up To Its Name: Average Monthly Premium Is $68

| June 19, 2014

The $68 a month average premium is considerably less than the national average of $82. The plans are subsidized through tax credits taken in advance. Ninety-one percent of those who enrolled in Florida received the financial help, averaging $278 a month.

Lobbyists, Lawyers and Investors Line Up to Cash in on Florida’s Nascent Pot Industry

| June 4, 2014

Lawmakers broadened eligibility for medical marijuana to include cancer patients as well as those suffering from severe muscle spasms or seizures, thereby opening up the market for potential sellers. The strain of marijuana is high in cannabidiol (CBD) and low in euphoria-inducing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Mega Health Bill Favoring Nurse Practitioners, Trauma Centers and Drs. Without State License Clears House Panel

| April 10, 2014

The bill would protect private for-profit trauma centers, allow for independent practice for nurse practitioners and allow out-of-state doctors to participate in telehealth without a Florida license. The Florida Medical Association opposes the latter two.

Obamacare Tally: Florida Subsidies Average $3,000, But Some Families Complain of Costly Exclusion

| April 1, 2014

And yet only one in four Floridians who qualifies for a subsidy had enrolled in a plan by March 1, leaving 1 million eligible residents uninsured. A mother describes how the law’s employee-insurance provision barred her family from subsidies.

Lawmaker Files Bill Favoring Trauma Centers Run by HCA, Gov. Scott’s Former Company

| February 27, 2014

The proposal, opposed by numerous Florida hospitals, would help the HCA health-care chain keep trauma centers open and could short-circuit a debate about how the Florida Department of Health determines where new trauma centers should be allowed to open.

Senate President Says No to More Authority and Prescription Power For Nurse Practitioners

| February 26, 2014

A House bill would give advanced-practice nurses more authority, including prescribing of controlled substances, and set up a pathway to independent practice, not supervised by physicians. But Senate President Don Gaetz opposes it.

In Major Shift, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Now Urges Fix, Not Repeal, of Obamacare

| February 1, 2014

In 2010, the Chamber got behind a major business lawsuit to fight it at the U.S. Supreme Court. Now, in a striking about-face, the chamber says the Affordable Care Act is here to stay and should be worked on, not repealed.

Hendry County, With Highest Uninsured Rate in Florida, Sees Little Impact From Obamacare

| January 27, 2014

Thirty-five percent of Hendry County’s 33,000 residents under 65 lack health insurance, but nearly a month after the health law’s expansion of coverage began, local health officials say little has changed for most uninsured residents.

Obamacare’s Popularity Overwhelms Florida Blue as System Crashes, Costing Enrollees

| January 20, 2014

Many who signed up and paid Florida Blue for their new plan between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 say the insurer has lost them in its computer system.  Now, when they go to the doctor or try to get a prescription filled, they have to pay the bill themselves or cancel.

Florida Hospital Flagler CEO: State Must Extend Medicaid to Working Poor

| January 4, 2014

The Florida Legislature still has the opportunity this year to draw down $51 billion in federal dollars already sent to Washington to help pay the cost of health insurance for those who cannot afford it, argues Floridfa Hospital Flagler CEO Ken Mattison.

Despite Florida’s Resistance, A New Era Of Health Insurance Begins for Millions

| January 3, 2014

Thousands of previously uninsured Floridians woke up Wednesday morning with peace of mind for the first time in years. More than half of Florida’s nearly 4 million uninsured are projected to qualify for coverage through the Marketplace. Another million would qualify if the Florida Legislature would permit it.

Obamacare Dilemma:
High Deductibles vs. “Huge Fear”

| December 26, 2013

Going without insurance “is like gambling,” says a 43-year-old social worker. But the high deductibles of Affordable Care Act plans make them a hard sell, as the plans sold on the exchange are not as generous as employer-sponsored insurance.

Yes, That Too: Your Employee-Provided Health Insurance Costs Are Going Up in 2014

| December 23, 2013

The new year will likely bring higher deductibles and co-payments, penalties for not joining wellness programs and smaller employer contributions toward family coverage, but Obamacare isn’t entirely to blame: it is only accelerating pre-existing conditions.

Longing For Stormin’ Norman: How Obama’s Smugness Is Crippling His Leadership

| December 12, 2013

There are leaders out there. The Obama administration administration has let us down by failing to find them. As a result, the task Barack Obama has left himself is to convince us that the Affordable Care Act is a winner, not a clunker.

Another Obamacare Surprise: Married Couples Not Eligible For Subsidies Given Single Filers

| December 5, 2013

For middle class married couples who don’t have children, the subsidy cutoff is $62,000. If one spouse makes $30,000 and the other $40,000, they are ineligible for a subsidy when combined. But if they were just living together, each would be eligible for a subsidy.

With 3 Weeks To Go, Consumers Fear Ending Up Without Health Coverage On New Year’s

| December 2, 2013

The next three weeks are critical for consumers keen on getting health coverage as soon as the health law allows it on Jan. 1. People who desire coverage by then need to sign up in the new marketplaces no later than Dec. 23. Consumers can still enroll up to the end of March, but their coverage will begin later.

Republicans Fret as Motor Voter Law
Meets Obamacare

| November 20, 2013

Twenty years ago, Congress passed a controversial law requiring states to allow people to register to vote when they applied for driver’s licenses or social services. That same law is bringing voter registration to the health insurance marketplaces, and again, it is expected to result in legal fights as Republicans fear it will drive up Democratic registrations.

Only 3,600 Floridians Enroll in Affordable Care Act’s First Month; Obama Accepts Blame But Questions Abound

| November 14, 2013

Only 3,571 people have successfully enrolled in a private insurance plan in Florida in the first month of the Affordable Care Act’s federal marketplace. The target was 33,400, resulting in a success rate of just 11 percent, though 3.8 million Floridians are without health insurance.

Popular and Consumer-Driven Provisions Fuel Sticker Shock of Obamacare Premiums

| November 7, 2013

When setting premiums for next year, insurers baked in bigger-than-usual adjustments, driven in large part by a game-changing rule: They can no longer reject people with medical problems. It’s the double-edged sword of Obamacare–a crucial provision that comes with sticker shock for some.

School District, County’s Largest Employer, Starts Health Clinic Experiment With Florida Hospital Flagler

| October 30, 2013

The $288,000 annual contract with Florida Hospital Flagler’s Prompt Care Clinic will allow 1,400 of the school district’s 1,700 employees to seek out primary care at no cost, but with some restrictions. The district hopes it will lower the annual increases in premiums that employees and taxpayers have been bearing.

Too Young for Medicare, Too Old for Medicaid, and Neglected By Affordable Health Act

| October 30, 2013

While most of the uninsured will be able to get subsidized health coverage Jan. 1 under the Affordable Care Act, the poorest adults under 65 will be out of luck in many states, including Florida. Many are women in their 50s and 60s, too old to have children still at home so they can’t qualify for Medicaid. But they’re not yet 65 so they don’t qualify for Medicare, either.

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