Posts Tagged ‘aultcare health insurance’

Mandatory Contraceptive Coverage from Aultcare Health Insurance

Sunday, November 6th, 2011

Certain groups are fighting President Obama’s standards mandating health insurance companies to cover contraceptives without charging a deductible or a co-payment.  In a New York Times editorial, “A New Battle Over Contraception,” the writer is against those who are fighting to eliminate or weaken the mandate.  Some members of the Catholic Church and some Republicans are fighting the fact that companies like Aultcare health insurance will be forced to cover contraceptives.

All churches and other religious places are already released from this mandate, so the author questions why groups like the Catholic Church are fighting this mandate for others.  Leaders of the church want to add employees of Catholic hospitals, charities, and schools from elementary through college to the list of exemptions.  There are people who disagree with contraceptive use that want to extend exemptions to any employer who says that contraceptives are against their beliefs.  The problem with this is that all of the employees working for Catholic hospitals, charities, schools, and companies with an employer against contraceptives don’t necessarily hold the same beliefs.

The group Catholics for Choice says that nearly all Catholic women who are sexually active have used some form of contraception that is banned by the church.  President Obama based this mandate partly on the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine’s recommendation.  They found that mandating all health insurance companies, like Tonik health insurance for young, healthy individuals, to cover contraceptives could help to lower the rate of unwanted/unplanned pregnancy and abortions.  This battle will rage on as both sides fight for what they believe.

Health Insurance Denials As High As 70%

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Maybe some companies are trying to get their denials in before health care reform takes effect in 2014, but many are issuing health insurance denials at an all-time high level.  According to a USA Today article by Phil Galewitz of Kaiser Health News, “Health insurance denial rates (are) routinely 20%, data show.”  Companies like Aultcare health insurance work hard to keep their denials for health insurance coverage low, but it can be hard when more and more applicants have pre-existing conditions related to obesity and other seemingly manageable conditions.

America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) found data in 2009 suggesting that 87% of Americans who apply for individual health insurance are accepted.  That figure does include those who are denied their original request and are given an alternate plan or charged more for insurance than they thought.  Current information shows that more than 20% of applicants are denied coverage for a wide range of reasons.  Different health insurance companies have different denial rates state by state and each state has a large variation in the denial rates of different companies.  Aetna denies 15% of applicants in Georgia, while Kaiser Permanente denies 47% of applicants in the same state.

The highest denial rate of 70% went to John Alden health insurance, a branch of Assurant Health.  Assurant points out that these statistics can be a bit misleading, however.  The denial rate includes applicants who are offered a plan in which they qualify for an additional cost and those who apply, but are out of the company’s coverage area.  Regardless of the reason for the denial, many Americans are having a hard time finding individual health insurance and have high hopes that the 2014 ban of denying coverage for pre-existing conditions will really help them.  Click here to see if you qualify for the individual health insurance of your choice.

Compare Health Insurance for Same Sex Married Couples in New York

Monday, July 25th, 2011

New Yorkers who recently celebrated gay marriage and health insurance companies are looking into benefits to see what changes will be made.  Chris Hawley and Michael Hall of the Associated Press wrote about this in their article “NYers ask how gay marriage will affect benefits.”  Many people hope to add their same sex spouse to their insurance plans and save money.  But some companies who compare health insurance plans before and after New York legalized gay marriage won’t be making any changes at all.  There are employers who put restrictions on domestic partner benefits and it remains to be seen if and how these restrictions will be changed now that the marriage is legal.

With well over 40,000 same sex couples in New York, the question of how legalized marriage will affect health insurance benefits is important.  Many of the couples are already legally married in other places, but now that their marriages are legal in New York, insurance and tax consequences will follow.  State taxes will be reduced and offer savings for the newly married and those whose unions are now legal in New York.  But because their unions are not recognized federally, the differences between state and federal taxes will become more complicated.  Health insurance, taxes, adoption and estate selling are the most common financial changes that will occur with the new laws, but other areas of life will be affected as well.

Couples who are married do not get taxed on their employer’s contribution to health plans from companies like Aultcare health insurance, for the costs to cover their spouse.  Even if same sex couples were able to get their partner covered under their health insurance plan, as is the case in about one-third of businesses, the working spouse was taxed on the employer contributions toward their partner’s coverage.  Now that their marriages are legal in New York, same sex couples will see savings from this tax.  But those who maybe weren’t planning on getting married could risk losing same sex domestic partnership benefits now that they can legally get married.  It might force some couples to get married once they compare health insurance benefits that could be lost if they don’t, but not all companies will force people to marry to keep their benefits.  There are quite a few changes that same sex couples, businesses, and the government will have to figure out with gay marriage legalization in New York.

Medicare Advantage Carriers Compare Health Insurance Losses

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Even though the government said that it would be increasing its payments to Medicare Advantage plans in 2012 earlier this year, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has now decided to decrease the amount they pay for the plans.  This information comes from “Medicare Advantage Plans to Get Less in 2012,” by Emily Walker of MedPage Today.  Medicare Advantage plans are available for people in the government’s Medicare program, but they are run by private companies like Aultcare health insurance.  In February of this year, the CMS thought it would be increasing its Medicare Advantage reimbursement by .7% next year.  But by April, they realized that they would have to cut the reimbursement by .16% from today’s levels.  A government spokesperson said that the reason for the decrease is “lower 2010 physician outlays.”

The Advance Notice and Call Letter gives the updates for this year’s Medicare changes.  The same warning is given to companies offering Medicare Advantage plans that they received this year.  Increasing premiums by more than 10% next year will result in the companies being banned from enrolling any Medicare beneficiaries.  Since the Affordable Care Act gives the government the right to compare health insurance companies’ rates and make changes to their privileges, they are using this power to keep beneficiaries’ rates as low as possible.  There are also changes in store for Medicare Part D.  Seniors in the so-called doughnut hole will get 50% off of brand name drugs and be reimbursed for 14% of generic prescriptions.  Part D deductibles will increase by $10 next year as well.

Compare Health Insurance Quotes for Abortion Coverage in SC

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

A new bill was passed in the South Carolina House which could require women to pay separate health insurance premiums to cover abortions.  That is the only way that health insurers would have to cover the procedures when South Carolinians compare health insurance quotes.  This information comes from The Augusta Chronicle’s ‘Across South Carolina’ section in the article “House approves more abortion legislation.”  This bill protects doctors who will not perform abortions because of personal reasons as well.  The House approved the bill with a vote of 69-41.  This legislation is part of a bill mandating that state insurance exchanges put in place with federal health care reform will not have to provide coverage for abortions.

The South Carolina House has a GOP majority which lists abortion legislation among its top priorities.  Democrats in the state are unhappy about this new bill.  They argue that a woman has no idea if she would ever need abortion coverage in the future, especially if she encountered rape or incest.  Other opponents say that health insurers like Aultcare health insurance will be unlikely to even offer the added coverage and that women would rarely add an additional premium for something like abortion.  They may never plan to have one, but a pregnancy difficulty or deformity, or a devastating rape cannot be predicted.  The abortion debate will rage on in both state and federal government as long as there are opposing sides, which will likely be forever.

Compare Health Insurance Quotes in North Carolina

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

A recent customer satisfaction survey ranked Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina the second best health insurer in the South Atlantic Region.  Bob Graham’s article “North Carolina health insurer earns high customer satisfaction score” in Insurance & Financial Advisor talks about the J.D. Power and Associates’ U.S. Member Health Insurance Plan Study.  The 2011 study polled 34,000 commercial health plan members of insurers like Aultcare health insurance.

Kaiser Foundation Health Plan was the top ranked with a score of 747 out of 1,000.  Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina’s score was 714, 14 points higher than the regional average.  Out of the five years that this study has been given, this year marked the lowest national average for the 137 health plans studied in 17 regions throughout the United States.  This year’s national average was 696 points.

To compare health insurance quotes is not the only aspect that this study looks into.  They also ask about customer service, different coverage and benefit options, processing of claims, provider choices, the communication process and information offered, statements, and the approval process.  The companies rounding out the rest of the South Atlantic Region’s best were Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, Aetna, UnitedHealthcare, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina.

Health Insurance Rates & Voided Reform

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

According to a Reuters article “Health Care Law Declared Void by Florida Judge” on CNBC, a U.S. Judge in Florida has just declared President Obama’s healthcare changes unconstitutional.  Judge Roger Vinson is the second judge to say that the individual mandate is unconstitutional.  He believes that the President went too far by requiring Americans to carry health insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty fine for not doing so.  Health insurance rates were expected to change after this individual mandate took effect.  It remains to be seen what will happen to both health insurance rates and the healthcare reform bill overall with Judges ruling against it.

The Governors and Attorneys General in 26 states agree with the fact that this individual mandate is unconstitutional.  It will most likely be taken to the U.S. Supreme Court now since these political figures believe the whole act should be declared null and void.  Keep in mind that nearly everyone in the group against this reform is a Republican, so the party lines have been drawn.  Since the plaintiffs in this Florida case represent over half of the states in the U.S., it actually may have more bearing than cases filed in federal courts.  There have been more than twenty of those.

Healthcare reform in this Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has the goals of lowering healthcare costs while getting more Americans covered by health insurance.  The current administration is adamant that the reform is constitutional and will be upheld.  Two other federal judges have already upheld the individual mandate in cases they have seen, so not everyone agrees that the individual mandate is wrong.  While a judge in Virginia did recently rule against the individual mandate, he did not go as far as Florida’s Vinson in saying that the entire healthcare reform act needs to be thrown out.  Aultcare health insurance and other carriers are watching closely to see what will come of the House’s decision to repeal the healthcare act.  It will likely go no further since the Democratic Senate will probably just drop it, but the individual mandate is crucial to the plan and debates are likely to continue for a long time.

Medicare: Compare Health Insurance Changes

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

2011 will mark a year of many changes for Medicare beneficiaries.  “Medicare changes set for 2011″ in California’s Times-Standard summarizes the information shared from The Area 1 Agency on Aging.  The Agency’s Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) offers free services in two Northern California counties related to Medicare counseling, assistance, and notification of changes.  They help Medicare beneficiaries compare health insurance changes so that they know what to expect and change in the coming year.

Beneficiaries will now be eligible for an annual wellness exam each year without having to pay co-pays or deductibles.  This begins one year after their initial Medicare exam.  For those who reach the donut hole, or the gap in prescription drug coverage, they will pay about half as much for name brand medications and even pay a bit less for generic drugs.  These discounts will last all the way through 2019.

People looking to remove themselves from a Medicare Advantage Plan and enroll in traditional Medicare will have a new enrollment period lasting from Jan. 1 through Feb. 15.  There will also be a new enrollment period for those wanting to join a prescription drug plan.  The HICAP encourages people to call them early and inquire about all the changes occurring with Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans because they expect to be busy.  Enrollment begins Nov. 15 and lasts through Dec. 31.

If they don’t make changes or additions during this year’s enrollment period, the dates will change for 2011 open enrollment.  That will begin Oct. 15 and last through Dec. 7.  At that time, beneficiaries can either change or join Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plans.  Whether you are insured through a smaller insurer like Aultcare health insurance or a larger company providing your Medicare benefits, it is important to know all of your options and any upcoming changes that could affect your benefits.

Free Health Screenings from Aultcare Health Insurance

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Seniors near Canton, Ohio have a lot to look forward to on September 29.  Not only can they get into Canton’s Pro Football Hall of Fame free that day from 7am-5pm, they can also get free health screenings.  The screenings are being offered by the Aultman Health Foundation, according to the company’s news release “Aultman Offers Free Health Screenings for Senior Day at Pro Football Hall of Fame.”  Aultcare health insurance is the insurer run by Aultman hospital and will be working with seniors 55 and over at the end of this month to provide the free screenings.

From 7am to 2pm there will be booths with information on senior care and general health screenings for cholesterol, blood sugar, triglycerides, blood pressure, diabetes risk, breast cancer risk, body fat analysis, cardiac risk, and even more.  Seniors do not need to make an appointment, but are requested to fast for at least 12 hours before the testing to provide optimal results.  There will also be a health fair set up by different Aultman departments with tips and education on everything from grieving to fitness to sleep apnea.

There will be a series of speakers in the Hall of Fame’s Plaza Tent that talk about certain needs related to joint health, home safety, diabetes, and heart health.  There will be radio personalities and special events at the Hall of Fame as well.  Each senior will get extra Hall of Fame discounts, a 2010 yearbook, a souvenir from Aultman, and complimentary drinks and snacks.

High-Risk Pools: Compare Health Insurance Options

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

All 50 states had to decide by April 30 whether they would run their own high-risk health insurance pools or have the government run them.  Florida has opted out of running their own high-risk pools, according to “Crist wants federal government to run high-risk health insurance pool,” by Fred Tasker of The Miami Herald. The Obama administration’s health care reform created these high-risk pools to compare health insurance options for those who cannot get insurance in the private market.  Americans with preexisting conditions such as cancer or diabetes will now be able to obtain health insurance from these high-risk pools, whether run by individual states or the federal government.

The Department of Health and Human Services will be in charge of all of the government run programs.  With 29 states opting to run their own high-risk health insurance pools, they’ll use a one-time government subsidy to help establish the programs.  Although Florida will receive $5 million of the total $351 million subsidy, Governor Crist says that he cannot commit any of Florida’s own resources to run this temporary high-risk pool.  Companies like Aultcare health insurance will work hard with their individual consumers to offer health insurance to everyone they can.  Those who still don’t qualify can look to the government pools.  Of course, politics seems to be working its way into which states opt to run their own programs and which do not.  Regardless of what the states decided, more Americans with preexisting conditions will be able to obtain health coverage.