Late Breaking NEWS (Real or Fake)

Status as I see it. Our new President is in the White House and Executive orders are flying all over the place. We don’t conclude a day without something in the news (Fake or real) about Mr. Trump and the White House dealings. One thing for sure is that there is no shortage of speculation on where the health care system is heading.

I get a question often about “What’s going to happen?” like I have insider information! My usual response is that we are under ObamaCare, with Trumpcare on the cusp. A third answer could as easily be “I don’t Care!” but I’m a nice guy and won’t offer that.

So far, we are seeing a lot of suggestions and some relaxing of the regulatory rhetoric but nothing concrete. Our feeling is that what is will continue for the next year or longer. Humana announced last evening that they were not a player in the 2018 exchange. They have 11 states of the 19 they offered  remaining, (Not a Health Player in California)  and in many they are the only player. This shortage of carriers could cause the Republicans to start thinking a bit faster than I don’t Care! The only real answer I can honestly offer is that NOTHING has changed and you still need a plan to avoid the penalty.

If you follow the news you’ll also see that the mergers between the major carriers are being disallowed! One carrier is even suing the other carrier it was supposed to merge with for non completion of the merger! Who do you think will pay the damages for that legal entanglement? The last President said you could keep your plan if you liked it (FAIL) We were told we needed the ACA to control costs (FAIL). This President won his office on the REPEAL/REPLACE promise. (FAIL/SUCCESS)  You make the call!

Here We Are In Real Life!

Happy New Year to all!

So, the election went just as planned? November proved to us that we are living in interesting times. As of this moment a few weeks from the Inauguration and the slings and arrows are still flying! Not sure anymore what’s real and what isn’t. Even the stories of the Fake news are probably false!

Last year I blogged about the what if the Republicans win! Wow was I providing foresight? Reality is here and the end of Obamacare is around the corner but an alternative plan isn’t. As I predicted, we are going to be sitting with this law for a time into the future. Continue reading “Here We Are In Real Life!”

2016 rates for 4th quarter Released

When we see this announcement we cringe!! This year I figured the California Health Carriers would have figured out that the public can’t keep handling the massive increases doled out in previous years. Boy was I wrong. Today the Covered California people fed the public a 13.2% rate change for the …oh so popular, Exchange products. (Sarcasm noted)

Not to be outdone and certainly to take away the sting at the Exchange Blue Shield just piped in with an “only 19.9% rate change” for their 2016 Individual products. What happened to all of the hype about how many people they have enrolled and how they will control rates with all of the citizens of California signing on to the new ACA required Health Insurance? Continue reading “2016 rates for 4th quarter Released”

Benefits without Borders?

Are you covered?

Peter Paul and Mary once hit the music charts with “Leaving on a Jet Plane” It was one of my favorites for the era I fondly remember as my Folk Music period. It unfortunately raises a question for any Health Insurance covered person that until now is seldom asked. Am I covered when I am travelling on a jet plane to say another state or country?

The easy answer to the question when asked about other countries is “NO”! Your coverage stops at the beach as you fly to that exotic get a way in a foreign land. So rule one to remember is talk to your travel agent or call your health insurance broker to be sure that where you are going has options to take care of any issue that could arise. Continue reading “Benefits without Borders?”

What’s going to happen if the Republicans…..?

One of the most interesting questions I get more and more is the question of …”What’s going to happen if the …… get the White House?”

At first I thought this question could just get me into trouble with some clients who were looking to see where I stood on the ACA and the current Health Care Reform issues. As I kept getting the question more and more often I realized that many were asking because they wanted to figure out a strategy for not subscribing to the required Health Insurance Mandate!! They were analyzing their odds of the fine being repealed and all of this Gotta Get It Or Else debate!! Continue reading “What’s going to happen if the Republicans…..?”

At Renewal – Don’t just read the right side of the menu…

The left side can give you heartburn!

Renewals!! Group or individual health insurance are coming in everyday at PAB Insurance Solutions. We automatically go straight to the right side of the menu where the price is. What we’ve learned is that prices are going up no matter what the politicians are telling you. We see a few 0.1% increases but more often than not the increases are double digit!! 22% and 16% are what I saw yesterday for the two groups that passed my desk.

The problem with the increases isn’t the number, although it’s staggering, but the changes that are being offered in the products!! The heartburn creation is the increase in consumer expenses in these plans that are being moved out to the insured! (That’s the left side of the menu) Two key areas are the copays, or the limiting of the Formulary for the prescription benefits. Continue reading “At Renewal – Don’t just read the right side of the menu…”

“How To” Videos

I want to invite you to view our website and check out the videos that are being uploaded. We decided to give me my 15 minutes of fame by producing short “How to…” videos. Some of the subjects will be on navigating the Covered California Website to get help and other subjects that are just informative. 

Our healthcare system is really going through an evolution so I’m being asked to explain lots of different aspects of health insurance. I’ve asked folks for topics that need an explanation and am trying to give the simplest form of answers. If you have something, please write in and I’ll see if I can answer in a video what it is that you seek answers to. Sorry but explaining the meaning of life isn’t going to happen. I may attempt the reason for the back rotor on a helicopter but not the life question. I’m also not going to attempt to compete with Mike Rowe of voiceover fame on the “Dirtiest Jobs”.

Try checking out the videos. I’d appreciate your comments to make it better other than getting a new spokesperson!

Hey Doc! Where Are You?

Finding a doctor located in your carrier’s network can be a frustrating and daunting experience. You ask the wrong questions, word the questions incorrectly, or don’t ask the questions about being in network at all and end up paying the higher out of network costs for your care.

Each carrier has a website and the availability for a guest to locate a physician either by name or location. You can choose to receive a listing of doctors within a 2 mile, 5 mile or even 10 mile radius of your home or work place. If you have a physician presently, or are recommended to one and you are changing carriers and need to know if that physician is a contracted provider, using the website is an excellent way of obtaining that information.

Continue reading “Hey Doc! Where Are You?”

You Might Be Reading the Wrong Side of the Menu First

When I was a younger and a more thrifty man making his way through the world I would naturally be very careful in selecting my purchases. I have friends who decide they want something, locate the product and just go in and buy it. I search the same stores and on line locations but always feel I can just squeeze a little more savings if I continue to look. I’ve even looked after buying so you decide if this is a sickness or not. 
Continue reading “You Might Be Reading the Wrong Side of the Menu First”