Posts Tagged ‘compare health insurance quotes’

Blue Cross Blue Shield Rate Increase in Rhode Island

Friday, March 18th, 2011

According to The Providence Journal in Rhode Island, insurance rates from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island are going up.  Richard Salit’s article “State approves reduced health insurance rate hike” says that the Health Insurance Commissioner of Rhode Island approved a rate increase of 1.9% for consumers purchasing their health insurance directly from Blue Cross Blue Shield.  Although an increase is still an increase, the percentage could have been much higher.  Blue Cross had requested an increase of 7.9%, which could have financially impacted many in the state.  They are the only health insurance company that residents not eligible for employer or government health coverage can use.

Rhode Island’s Health Commissioner said that he worked hard to find a balance between keeping insurance rates low for consumers while still maintaining solvency for Blue Cross Blue Shield.  He didn’t want to hurt the company while helping consumers or vice versa.  Since Rhode Island residents cannot compare health insurance quotes from different companies, the state feels an obligation to protect their consumers from unnecessary rate hikes.  While they didn’t approve Blue Cross’s initial request, the company was able to process a rate increase that the Commissioner believes is fair to everyone.

Blue Cross is not happy with this outcome however.  A spokesperson for the company said that their 7.9% request was justified by numbers and that the company has been diligent in reducing their expenses.  They have even cut administrative costs by $15 million.  The Direct Pay customers’ rate increases will go into effect on April 1, but there is always the possibility that Blue Cross will appeal the decision made by the Commissioner.  He defends the smaller rate increase, however, by stating that Direct Pay customers are very vulnerable to insurance companies so he must protect them.

Compare Health Insurance Quotes After Waiver

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

map of united statesIndividual states may be able to file a waiver against the federal government’s health care reform changes as early as 2014, the year that they will all be in effect.  The Christian Science Monitor article “Health insurance waiver: bipartisan proposal attempts to move up date” by John Whitesides says that the current law allows states to file a waiver in 2017.  Republican Senator Scott Brown and Democratic Senator Ron Wyden are working together on legislation that would allow states to file a waiver in 2014 since that is when the individual mandate and other aspects of the health care reform act of 2010 will take effect.

The waiver, if approved, will allow states to make their own health care policies rather than complying with the federal guidelines.  States can apply for exemptions from the individual mandate, the employer penalty that will be issued if they don’t offer insurance coverage, and some of the other main federal requirements.  When you compare health insurance quotes and the coverage that state residents will be offered though, states will have to prove that their alternatives to the federal requirements are both affordable and effective.

Since they don’t agree that all states need the same health care guidelines, the Senators hope that the government will see that one size does not fit all when it comes to health insurance for Americans.  Senator Brown’s home state of Massachusetts already has a comprehensive health care plan that they hope to maintain after filing a waiver against some of the federal requirements.  In Oregon, Senator Wyden’s home state, alternative health care programs are already offered as well.  The Senators are concerned that if states are not able to file a waiver until 2017, some of the successful health insurance options they offer will have to be cut between 2014 and 2017 to meet federal requirements.

Compare Health Insurance Quotes in Minnesota

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

There are more people than ever looking for individual health insurance and this will only increase as more health insurance reform changes take effect.  According to Blue Cross Blue Shield’s news release “Blue Cross And Blue Shield Of Minnesota Launches New Individual Products,” Minnesotans can now compare health insurance quotes from Blue Cross Blue Shield with many added choices.  The new options are available only for individual and family coverage.  After polling consumers, the plans were developed with their needs for lower cost coverage with good benefits and choices.

GoBlue is their new plan, which is made especially for young adults who are looking for affordable health care coverage.  Blue Cross Blue Shield has also updated many of their already existing health care plans.  Discounts at health and fitness clubs are available through many plans now, something that consumers really asked for.  They have made the co-pays for doctor visits more affordable and increased the number of retail clinics that plan members can conveniently visit.

Some of the plan changes have been dictated by the new health care reform, such as 100% coverage on preventative care.  Consumers can choose their own deductible and co-pay amounts based on their plan.  The plans include InstaCare, Simply Blue, GoBlue, Options Blue and Personal Blue.  Some plans are available for anyone aged 19 to 64, while others are for all individuals and families.  Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota’s InstaCare plan is short term coverage available for 1, 2, or 3 month periods.