Posts Tagged ‘Golden Rule Health Insurance’

Golden Rule Health Insurance Watches Battle

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

courtroomTwenty states are fighting mad over President Obama’s health care reform.  With Florida being the largest and the most likely to bring its fight to the U.S. Supreme Court, all political eyes are on the southern state.  This information comes from the NPR story and article “States Lay Out Battle Lines In Health Care Suits” by Carrie Johnson.  Insurance Companies like Golden Rule Health Insurance will watch these battles unfold to see if the outcome will effect the changes they expected in the federal health policies.  In 2014 all Americans will be required to carry some form of health insurance.  While this could be a good thing for health insurers, they also have a lot of new rules to follow from the government and are getting a hard time over their rising insurance rates.

The states who have filed lawsuits seem to run right along political lines.  Democrats tend to agree with the President’s health care reform while Republicans tend to argue against it.  Those in opposition believe that the government it overreaching its boundaries into people’s lives and the health care industry.  They think that it is against the constitution to force these requirements and policies on American citizens and insurers like Cigna Health Insurance.  Opponents don’t think the government has the right to regulate people’s inactivity, so they are most angered about the individual mandate requiring the purchase of health insurance.  Obama’s administration argues that states don’t have to follow the new rules if they opt out of federal money for programs like Medicare, but state governments say that is hardly a good solution.  We’ll be following this political health care battle.

Compare Health Insurance Medigap Plans

Monday, July 12th, 2010

In the article “Ask Kim: The ABCs of the new Medigap plans,” Kimberly Lankford of Kiplinger’s Money Power explains the recent Medigap changes.  Two new Medicare supplement plans were introduced on June 1, Medigap plans M and N.  Plans E, H, I, and J will no longer be offered as Medigap plans.  Anyone who wants to keep their old plan, even those that have been discontinued, is able to do so with no changes.  It might be a good idea to compare health insurance options though, because the new plans offer lower premiums in exchange for some cost-sharing.

The new plans are both similar to Medigap’s most popular policy, Plan F.  The difference with Plan M is that it only covers half of the Medicare Part A deductible of $1,100 and does not cover any of the $155 Part B deductible.  While Plan N does cover the full Part A deductible, it has the added expense of co-pays for doctors visits ($20) and emergency room treatment ($50).  Medicare Part B “excess charges” are not covered by either Plan M or N.

More insurers like Golden Rule Health Insurance are offering Plan N than Plan M.  The cost is about 30% less than Plan F.  While you’ll be paying less for your policy, take into account the additional co-pays, Part B deductible, and any Part B “excess charges” you may have to pay out of pocket with Plan N before switching.  It might still work out to your benefit to change plans.  People eligible for the first time for Medicare Part B within 6 months will automatically qualify for Medigap plans.  Once that enrollment period ends, you could be disqualified for health conditions.  There are insurers offering Plans M and N regardless of health conditions though.

Compare Health Insurance with Dental

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

One-fourth of Americans do not have dental insurance, according to a U.S. News & World Report article.  In “1 in 4 Americans Under 65 Lacks Dental Insurance,” this survey from 2008 shows that race, employment, and even education all play a roll in whether Americans have dental coverage.  Compare health insurance with dental coverage and many people think dental is something they can cut back on to save money.  Unfortunately this leads to dental problems and other health issues since dental health is directly related to overall health.

This U.S. National Center for Health Statistics report was released last week and showed that having dental insurance is the main indicator of whether or not you receive regular dental care.  Eighty-percent of people who have employer sponsored health care had dental coverage included in that care.  Unfortunately, only thirty percent of those who had directly purchased their own insurance from a company like Golden Rule health insurance had included dental coverage.

Black Americans were more likely to have dental coverage than white Americans, Asian Americans, or Hispanic Americans.  People with less than a high school education only had dental insurance in forty percent of the cases studied.  Americans are more likely to have dental insurance as their income gets higher, along with most other types of insurance.  Taking care of your teeth, mouth, and gums is very important to your overall good health.  Search for dental insurance coverage to take care of you and your family.

California Hospitals: Compare Health Insurance Rising Costs

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

In “California’s higher hospital costs add to health insurance hikes,” Bobby Caina Calvan and Phillip Reese of The Sacramento Bee try to compare health insurance costs and the reasons they keep rising.  While the general public and even the government can be quick to blame insurance companies for everything, the authors’ research showed that hospitals collected $25 billion from health insurance companies from September 2008 to October 2009.  Since 2005, that number increased by over one-third.  A lot of the charges to insurance companies, which flow directly to consumers, come from expenses like hospital expansions, new technology, and services for the uninsured.  It was found that some hospitals actually charged more than double what the service provided actually cost.

Insurers like Golden Rule Health Insurance are essentially held hostage by the charges from hospitals yet take most of the blame for increasing premiums to consumers.  Hospitals in California are required to report the amount they spend on caring for insured patients, the amount they charge insurance companies, and the amount that they actually collect.  The hospitals reported a 53% increase from the amount they spent on care to the amount they charged.  Unfortunately, hospitals are in their own predicament with costs which is why they have to pass them along somewhere.  Government mandates to make hospital improvements, provide care to uninsured Americans and illegal aliens, and reimbursements for Medicare and Medi-Cal that are less than cost force that money to be made up for somewhere.  Unfortunately for consumers, these cost increases for insurance companies usually lead to increased premiums.

Compare Health Insurance with the Health Care Reform Act of 2010

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

ERThe Washington Post article “Who is left uninsured by the health-care reform bill?” by Ezra Klein contains intriguing information.  With two different pie charts showing the number of uninsured Americans both with and without the health-care reform bill, we are better able to compare health insurance coverage both ways.  The first chart shows the breakdown of insurance coverage in 2019 without the recently passed health-care reform bill.  Uninsured Americans would make up the second largest group of 54 million people.  The largest segment would belong to those insured through the employer market by companies like Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield.  Thirty-five million people would have insurance through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) while the remaining 30 million Americans would be covered under other non-group plans.  Compare the number of Americans uninsured without this health-care reform to the number forcasted with the bill’s passing.

Uninsured Americans should move from the second largest category to the smallest group with the passage of this health-care reform act.  Employer market plans will remain the largest group with 156 million people, followed by 44 million on Medicaid or CHIP, 25 million in the other/non-group market with smaller companies like Golden Rule Health Insurance, 24 million in the created exchanges, and 22 million in the smallest category of uninsured.  Many skeptics ask why so many Americans would still be uninsured with the passage of the health-care reform bill.  The majority of those uninsured would actually be illegal immigrants who are not eligible for insurance coverage through the new program.  The other people that make up the uninsured category would be those who choose not to carry coverage in lieu of paying the $750 penalty, those whose income is low enough that they are not required to purchase insurance, and people who qualify for public programs like Medicaid but don’t actually sign up.  The bottom line is that only 40 million Americans will be in a different health insurance situation after the health-care reform bill and 75% of those will go from being uninsured to being insured.  Most of the others will have moved from individual or small group coverage into the insurance exchanges.

Nancy Pelosi’s Bill Could Help Golden Rule Health Insurance & UPMC, Among Others

Friday, February 5th, 2010

nancy pelosiSince the large health care reform bill has stalled, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is working to pass smaller bills containing the most popular reforms.  This is according to The Denver Post article “Dems pursue Plan B: lifting health-insurance antitrust shields” by Michael Riley.  Compare health insurance industry rules with other industries and you see that health insurance and Major League Baseball are the only two shielded from antitrust laws.  Pelosi hopes to change that with a new bill sponsored by Reps. Betsy Markey and Tom Perriello.

The bill would simply remove the antitrust exemption that health insurance companies have had for decades.  This would allow smaller  companies like Golden Rule health insurance and UPMC a better chance to compete in the industry.  In nine states, 75% of insureds are covered by one insurer and in thirty-five other states, half of insureds are covered by only two insurers.  Removing the antitrust exemption would increase competition, therefore lowering the cost of premiums to individuals and businesses.  It remains to be seen what the Senate will think of Pelosi’s plans.

Golden Rule Health Insurance Parent Company Acquires Health Net

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

According to “UnitedHealthCare’s Acquisition of Health Net Approved” by Matthew Sturdevant of The Hartford Courant, Health Net is now part of UnitedHealthCare.  Oxford and Golden Rule health insurance are included in the UnitedHealthCare group.  They bid on the rights to renew the memberships of all Health Net customers in Connecticut and their bid was approved this week.  Connecticut now has 5 major health care providers instead of 6, which has drawn some opposition from physician organizations.  They bring up the concern of fewer options for insurance providers leading to an increase in the cost for both treatments and medicine.  But UnitedHealthCare says that they plan to expand both the choices and access to care for Health Net customers and that Connecticut is a competitive market so cost will remain in line with that.

Golden Rule insurance is part of UnitedHealthCare.  They are proud to offer individualized plans customized for each member’s circumstances including coverage like maternity benefits, prescription drug cards, term life plans, and supplemental accident benefits.  With UnitedHealthCare’s acquisition of Health Net, Health Net should have similar programs to Golden Rule health insurance and Oxford insurance.  This will also help them remain the second largest insurance provider in the state.  Customers can compare health insurance from all available providers to find which company suits them the best.  The Connecticut Insurance Department monitors all insurance providers and will closely watch to ensure that Health Net’s customers receive excellent care from their new provider.