Florida Medicare Advantage Plan to pay for members’ fitness trackers (which means the plan seeks to enroll healthy, not chronically ill, seniors).
Actuarial studies of plans sold through health insurance marketplaces in some states found that many make consumers responsible for as much as 50 percent of the price of specialty drugs, which can cost $8,000 or more a month…
Researchers also say the higher rates help insurers bankroll low monthly premiums to attract healthy young enrollees…
Obamacare caps those expenses at $6,350 for individuals and $12,700 for families. But patient advocates say the spike in cost-sharing means chronically ill people could reach those caps quickly, in some cases within the first months of coverage. (Reuters)
ObamaCare treats immigrants better than U.S. citizens:
At issue is a little-noticed provision of the federal health law that allows some low-income immigrants who are living here legally to qualify for subsidies to help them buy private insurance through online marketplaces.
Poor U.S. citizens aren’t eligible for those subsidies because the law provided for an expansion of Medicaid to help them get coverage. (KHN)
The Army, for example, requires the soldier to have had a medical condition “that demanded at least six months of complex medical management,” while the Marine Corps standard was that the individual had “to have medical conditions that demanded treatment for more than 90 days.”
The Air Force requires an injury or illness that is combat ― or hostilities ― related, requiring an unspecified amount of long-term care and a medical evaluation board or physical evaluation board to determine fitness for duty. The Navy has a similar standard. (Walter Pincus)
After an hour on the phone, most of which was hold time, a call center employee had entered the several pages of information (names, dates of birth, addresses, etc.) into an application on her computer twice without success. She suggested that it might be something to do with the fact that our street address has the word “North” in it, which could confused the system if it wasn’t entered to exactly match the records they had received. (So was it N? Or North? Or NORTH? So many options!) We consulted the company benefits office, which advised us to enter everything in all capital letters…
Three hours after beginning my second attempt, I succeeded, or so I thought. DC Health Link congratulated me on my enrollment and I thought a health insurance card would be making its way to my door soon…Once again, that assumption was incorrect. When we hadn’t gotten any information on our new health insurance plans by February 3, I called our new insurance company and see what was up. They said they had no record of our enrollment…
Eventually my family got a letter that did confirm our enrollment. While the letter confirmed that we had enrolled in something, it did not explain why our insurance company didn’t know who we were three days into the month our coverage was supposed to start. (More)
I’m not kidding. He really said it. In the NYT this morning. How callous can you get?
Maybe he should read this morning’s WSJ. Here is Stephen Blackwood, the president of Ralston College, describing his mother, a cancer victim whose insurance was cancelled because of ObamaCare:
The repeated and prolonged phone waits were Sisyphean, the competence and customer service abysmal. When finally she found a plan that looked like it would cover her Sandostatin and other cancer treatments, she called the insurer, Humana, to confirm that it would do so. The enrollment agent said that after she met her deductible, all treatments and medications — including those for her cancer — would be covered at 100%. Because, however, the enrollment agents did not — unbelievable though this may seem — have access to the “coverage formularies” for the plans they were selling, they said the only way to find out in detail what was in the plan was to buy the plan. (Does that remind you of anyone?)
With no other options, she bought the plan and was approved on Nov. 22. Because by January the plan was still not showing up on her online Humana account, however, she repeatedly called to confirm that it was active. The agents told her not to worry, she was definitely covered.
Then on Feb. 12, just before going into (yet another) surgery, she was informed by Humana that it would not, in fact, cover her Sandostatin, or other cancer-related medications. The cost of the Sandostatin alone, since Jan. 1, was $14,000, and the company was refusing to pay.
The news was dumbfounding. This is a woman who had an affordable health plan that covered her condition. Our lawmakers weren’t happy with that because…they wanted plans that were affordable and covered her condition. So they gave her a new one. It doesn’t cover her condition and it’s completely unaffordable.
According to a post on the A Line of Sight blog, this woman’s family policy was canceled by the ObamaCare regulations. She fell ill while waiting for her ObamaCare policy to take effect on February 2. In hindsight, she “should have gone to see a doctor,” but instead decided to wait so that her husband and four children wouldn’t be burdened by avoidable medical expenses.
The author of the article, her brother, concludes that the ObamaCare debate for his family ended “with the death of my sister. For us, it’s not about “policy,” anymore. It’s about the tragic consequences that can happen when the government decides to cancel the private economic decisions of individuals in favor of a huge policy experiment created in the back rooms of Washington by out-of-touch bureaucrats, statisticians and lobbyists.”
Here are results from a 2008 paper on the relationship between breast cancer and type of health coverage in Rhode Island. Covering all breast cancer cases registered from 1996 to 2005, the data once again suggest that the uninsured fare almost as well as people on Medicaid.
The table below lists tumor size and stage at diagnosis by type of health coverage. When breast cancer victims on Medicaid are compared to those with private insurance, those on Medicaid have larger tumors at diagnosis and higher stage tumors. They also have more node positive tumors — tumors that have already spread to lymph nodes. This is cause for concern as survival rates are better for small tumors, tumors that are node negative, and those at stage 1 or below. Women on Medicaid who do have early stage tumors are also less likely to have surgery and, if they have surgery, to have surgery that removes only a part of their breast.