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Don’t want a COVID vaccine? Be prepared to pay more for insurance

Before COVID vaccines, most major private insurers waived patient payments for coronavirus treatment, but many if not most have allowed that policy to lapse for what is now a preventable hospitalization, so vaccine resisters should be prepared for insurance hikes.... Read more»

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Angry patients charged for telemedicine after being promised waived costs

Policymakers and insurers across the country say they are eliminating copayments, deductibles and other barriers to telemedicine for patients confined at home who need a doctor for any reason. But in a fragmented health system, the shift to cost-free telemedicine for patients is going far less smoothly than the speeches and press releases suggest. In some cases, doctors are billing for telephone calls that used to be free.... Read more»

Obamacare marketplace shakeout rocks Arizona, Southeast

Some of the Affordable Care Act’s insurance marketplaces are in turmoil as the fourth open enrollment season approaches this fall, but what’s ahead for consumers very much depends on where they live.... Read more»


Skyrocketing salaries for health insurance CEOs

Commentary: If they're making millions, should the rest of us have to pay higher premiums? If health insurance companies announce big premium increases on policies for 2015, I hope regulators, lawmakers and the media will look closely at whether they are justified, especially in light of better-than-expected profits in 2013, rosy outlooks and soaring CEO compensation.... Read more»


Keeping an eye on insurance companies that refuse to pay claims

All-too-common Arizona case only got resolved following media attention.... Read more»


Potter: Beginning of the end for major health insurers

I’ve often said that the Affordable Care Act is the end of the beginning of reform. Starting tomorrow, October 1, 2014, that law will signify the beginning of the end of the health insurance industry as we know it.... Read more»


Potter: The fiction of Obamacare 'rate shock'

It’s been a while since you’ve seen a lot of stories in the media about Obamacare “rate shock,” hasn’t it? Politicians want to scare us, but early returns indicate Affordable Care Act will save money for many.... Read more»

Bare-bones insurance plans expected to survive health law

Consumer Reports calls it “junk health insurance.” A California regulator described them as “skeleton policies.” To an expert from the American Cancer Society, they “are a perfect example of why health care reform is so crucial.” They are bare-bones health plans, and critics say they could leave consumers who become seriously ill on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars in medical costs. The Affordable Care Act was supposed to do away with them.... Read more»


Potter: Who wins with Medicare Advantage?

The big five health insurance companies have begun reporting their third quarter 2012 earnings and so far, they are pleasing their shareholders with profits that are better than Wall Street expected, in large part because they are doing especially well in one key area: Medicare. ... Read more»


Why insurers want ObamaCare's Medicaid business

Pay no attention to GOP governors and House leaders; insurance firms need new customers.... Read more»


The end of health care as we know it?

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini caused quite a stir when he said at a Las Vegas conference a few days ago that the insurance industry as we know it is, for all practical purposes, a dinosaur on the verge of extinction.... Read more»1


Small businesses being 'purged' by insurance carriers

For several years now, insurance companies have been 'purging' small business accounts they no longer consider profitable enough or that their underwriters believe pose too much risk. ... Read more»

News analysis

The false promise and big profits of ‘mini-med’ health plans

One of the reasons I left my job as a PR executive for the health insurance industry was because I could not in good conscience be a pitchman for the sort of fabulously profitable benefit plan that often provides little more than the illusion of coverage.... Read more»

Pentagon health plan won't cover brain-damage therapy for troops

Despite pressure from Congress and the recommendations of military and civilian experts, the Pentagon refuses to cover cognitive rehabilitation — a decision that could affect the tens of thousands of service members who have suffered brain damage while fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. ... Read more»

Chamber seeks cash for anti-regulation effort

Even as it plowed tens of millions of dollars into ads this year to help mostly Republicans notch Congressional victories, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was initiating a new effort to raise millions more from energy, health insurance, financial services, and other firms to fund a new anti-regulatory campaign. ... Read more»

Health care rules unveiled by HHS, yet insurers' stocks rise

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius unveiled regulations requiring insurers to spend 80 to 85 percent of premiums collected on medical care ... Read more»

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