Archive for December, 2010

Aetna Health Insurance Through Costco

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Time after time in surveys of their Costco members, the services department found that they are concerned with the increasing costs of health insurance.  A Costco Connection newsletter from earlier this year described Costco’s solution to their members’ concerns.  Costco hopes to reach businesses, families, and individuals who are looking for better deals on health insurance.  The products offered by Costco come after extensive research in the areas where Costco operates.  Saving money while meeting customers’ insurance needs is done through quality insurance companies and plans.

In 1997, Costco started offering their Executive members in the state of Washington business health insurance options.  Since then the program has expanded to California, Oregon, and Hawaii.  The plans offer preventative care, catastrophic coverage, and prescription drug coverage.  Dental and life insurance coverage is also available.  When members compare health insurance costs with the Costco business plans, they typically save 5 to 10% on their premiums from previous insurance plans.

Executive members in California have had the option of getting their individual and family health insurance coverage through Costco since 2005.  Because of the popularity of this program, a partnership with Aetna health insurance now offers all Costco members in Georgia and Pennsylvania individual health insurance plans.  Costco is pleased with the value they are able to bring their members and plans to further expand their health insurance offerings.  Through Costco’s website or toll free numbers, members can access information about the health insurance plans and other insurance that Costco offers, including Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.

Individual Mandate: Compare Health Insurance

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

While the fighting over the individual mandate in President Obama’s Affordable Care Act of 2010 rages on, recent court rulings have upheld the mandate.  The Insurance Journal article “U.S. Judge Upholds Individual Mandate in Obama Healthcare Law” discusses an October ruling from U.S. District Judge George Steeh.  The individual mandate will go into effect in 2014 and requires all Americans to compare health insurance and get coverage or risk getting penalized by the government.

Conservative interest groups and Republicans in general are up in arms over the new law and are trying to get it changed before it is scheduled to go into effect.  The Thomas More Law Center’s lawsuit filed in Michigan argued that the individual mandate is unconstitutional because of the tax on Americans and that it is above and beyond Congress’ powers.  Judge Steeh disagreed, however, and said that the mandate is within Congress’ power based on the Constitution’s Commerce Clause and confirmed that penalizing Americans who do not follow the law is also within their authority.

Out of six claims filed by the Thomas More Law Center, two were dismissed by Judge Steeh and the other four are pending.  Steeh also rejected the injunction that they wanted to issue against the government.  He said that the minimum coverage provision has been put in place to help take care of skyrocketing health care costs and get more Americans covered under health insurance from Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and other insurers.  The Thomas More Law Center surely is not the only group fighting the government over this healthcare reform bill.  Many states have joined a lawsuit in Florida challenging the individual mandate as well.

Use Health Exchanges to Get Fallon Health Insurance

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

Starting in 2014, Americans will be using health exchanges to shop for their health insurance.  The exchanges were put into place by the Affordable Care Act of 2010 and are supposed to be one-stop shops for Americans to get affordable insurance coverage from companies like Fallon Health Insurance.  The goal is for the exchanges to allow individuals and small businesses looking for health insurance to join forces and be able to purchase health insurance coverage together.  With larger purchasing power, they should be able to get affordable care at the kind of discounted prices that large businesses can.  Tax subsidies and cost-sharing discounts will also be given to individuals below a minimum income level to help with financial assistance.

According to Insurance Journal’s “Midwest States Getting $1M Each for Health Exchanges,” $49 million will be given out by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help establish the health exchanges in individual states.  Illinois, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota will each receive $1 million to get their health insurance exchanges up and running.  All states were given the option to run their own insurance exchanges with companies like UPMC.  States that choose not to run their own exchanges will have one created and run by the federal government.  Those states receiving a portion of the $49 million will use that money to start their exchanges and determine how they will actually operate.

New Sleep Apnea Treatments: Compare Health Insurance

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Sleep apnea treatments have just made a huge advance, according to “First Sleep Apnea Therapy System Designed for Outdoor Sporting Lifestyle Available Soon; Makes Evolutionary Jump Over Traditional CPAP Machines.”  The press release from Elise Schadauer of Somnetics describes the new sleep apnea therapy system called Transcend.  The system was designed for those who camp and travel often, but still suffer from the sleep apnea that millions of Americans face.  Transcend will be available soon for consumers and is lightweight, durable and compact according to the press release.

CPAP machines have never really been transportable for many reasons.  They are large, require constant power, and use distilled water.  If you are an outdoor enthusiast looking to sleep in a tent or cabin, a traditional CPAP machine will not work for you.  Transcend’s unique design will allow those suffering from sleep apnea to sleep outdoors in a tent, boat, cabin or just out under the stars.  Not only will consumers sleep, they will get the well rested sleep they desire when using a sleep apnea machine.  Consumers will have to compare health insurance companies to see who will pay for this new technology to help treat their sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea effects close to 20 million Americans.  The soft tissue of the throat closes during sleep and causes you to stop breathing briefly.  It not only makes for a very unrestful night of sleep, but has shown its sufferers to also have high blood pressure, memory problems, heart problems, and headaches.  The majority of those with sleep apnea are overweight, middle-aged men but anyone can suffer from sleep apnea.  The problem is also associated with snoring in about half of the cases.  Aultcare and other insurance companies may cover the cost of CPAP machines, Transcend and other sleep apnea treatments, but you have to check with them first to make sure.