health insurance

For the first time in years, health insurance premiums sold on the Affordable Care Act marketplace in Florida are not expected to rise by double digits.

To an outsider, the fancy booths at a June health insurance industry gathering in San Diego, Calif., aren't very compelling: a handful of companies pitching "lifestyle" data and salespeople touting jargony phrases like "social determinants of health."

But dig deeper and the implications of what they're selling might give many patients pause: a future in which everything you do — the things you buy, the food you eat, the time you spend watching TV — may help determine how much you pay for health insurance.

The Trump administration is close to finalizing a health insurance option for small firms and self-employed people that would cost less but could cover fewer benefits than current plans, congressional officials and business groups said.

Responding to a torrent of criticism from Democrats, Gov. Rick Scott on Monday repeated past statements that he supports maintaining protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions who purchase health insurance.

Hospitals Worry About ‘Confusing Picture’ On Health Website

Jun 17, 2018

Asserting it would help hold down health-care costs, Gov. Rick Scott’s administration created a database of paid insurance claims that allows people to shop for costs of medical procedures.

Michael Frank ran his finger down his medical bill, studying the charges and pausing in disbelief. The numbers didn't make sense.

His recovery from a partial hip replacement had been difficult. He had iced and elevated his leg for weeks. He had pushed his 49-year-old body, limping and wincing, through more than a dozen physical therapy sessions.

The last thing he needed was a botched bill.

His December 2015 surgery to replace the ball in his left hip joint at NYU Langone Health in New York City had been routine. One night in the hospital and no complications.

Premiums for health insurance plans sold on the federal marketplace are expected to increase by nearly 16.9 percent in Florida next year due to changes in the Affordable Care Act, according to a new analysis.

Released on Friday by the Center for American Progress, the analysis estimates that a decision by Congress and President Donald Trump to repeal the mandate that people buy health insurance, coupled with proposed changes to the types of policies that can be sold, will increase premiums for Floridians by $1,011.

More Floridians get their health insurance through their jobs than from any other source—about 42 percent of us, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Every day, a school bus drops off as many as 45 children at a community eye clinic on Chicago's South Side. Many of the kids were referred to the clinic after failing vision screenings at their public schools.

Clinicians and students from the Illinois College of Optometry give the children comprehensive eye exams, which feature refraction tests to determine a correct prescription for eyeglasses and dilation of their pupils to examine their eyes, including the optic nerve and retina.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has this pen. It's not all that remarkable looking, but he held it up multiple times Monday at a briefing with reporters.

"This pen," he said, "has a lot of power."

And he said he is prepared to use it.

Azar was making the point that in the area of drug prices, the head of HHS — which runs the Medicare and Medicaid programs and buys about $130 billion in prescription drugs each year — can make a lot of changes in the pharmaceutical market. And he doesn't need congressional approval to do it.

Sammy Mack

If you're like a lot of Floridians and get your health insurance through an employer, some of your health care decisions may be made for you before you ever set foot in a doctor's office, hospital or lab. 

Direct 'Primary Care Bill' Gets Scott's Approval

Mar 26, 2018
Rick Scott/flickr

After years of legislative discussion about the issue, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed a measure (HB 37) that amends the state insurance code to make clear that “direct primary care” agreements do not run afoul of insurance laws. Under direct primary-care agreements, doctors charge patients monthly fees in advance of providing services, with patients then able to access services at no extra cost. The bill, sponsored by House Insurance & Banking Chairman Danny Burgess, R-Zephyrhills, and Sen.

As congressional Republicans and the Trump administration keep chipping away at the Affordable Care Act, a number of states are enacting laws that aim to safeguard its central provisions.

The GOP tax plan approved by Congress in the last days of 2017 repealed the ACA penalty for people who fail to carry health insurance, a provision called the individual mandate.

But before that federal change happens next year, some states are working to preserve the effects of the mandate by creating their own versions of it.

Health plans that don't meet the standards of the Affordable Care Act; work requirements for Medicaid coverage; changes to Medicare's approved drug lists: As the ground continues to shift on health care coverage, I'm answering readers' queries this week about these three different types of plans:

Paperback Paris

On Tuesday, Broward County became the latest municipality to ban conversion therapy for kids. The ban passed in a unanimous vote.

The controversial therapy, designed to psychologically change a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation, has proved to be harmful to kids and teens. Broward County follows the lead of Palm Beach County, which was the first in the state to pass the ban.

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