Health Insurance Reforms Easy To Insure Me Health Insurance Quotes

11310573431_health-insurance3.jpgPresident Obama’s Health Insurance Bill

President Obama Releases New Health Care Proposal in Time for Health Summit: On Monday February 22, 2010, White House officials unveiled a new health insurance reform overhaul that builds on the Senate version passed last Christmas Eve, with some changes aimed at pleasing House Democrats who had concerns with the Senate bill. The President’s proposal does not include the public option, despite the hopes of Senate Democrats, due to White House concerns that the provision will hinder passage in the Senate. President Obama ignored requests by Republicans to scratch the Democratic plan and start over. As such, Republican leaders questioned Democratic motives and labeled the bill as a massive government takeover of America’s health care system.

Republicans Insist House Democrats Don’t Have the Votes to Pass Legislation: Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) announced on Wednesday that Democrats don’t have the necessary votes to pass the President’s proposal in the House because of three new House vacancies and lagging support among some moderate Democrats. At issue for some Democrats are weaker abortion provisions in the President’s proposal as well as the ongoing controversy over passing a bill by a simple majority, a process known as reconciliation.

Health Care Summit Preview

On Thursday, the President’s Health Care Summit began at 10:00 a.m. with opening comments from the President, followed by remarks from both Republicans and Democrats. The discussion centered on four themes: controlling health care costs, overhauling the insurance market, reducing the deficit and expanding insurance coverage. Prior to Thursday, several top Republicans and some Democrats stated that expectations were extremely low for the Summit’s success.

House Republicans arrived armed with their own version of a health care bill that encourages small businesses to join together to buy insurance, gives federal money to states to run high-risk pools for those unable to obtain private insurance and limits damages in medical malpractice lawsuits. The Republican plan would cost $61 billion and cover three million people over ten years. In contrast, President Obama contends his plan would cost $950 billion and cover 30 million people over the same time period. However, officials at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) indicated they would not be able to officially score the President’s proposal with just a summary – that legislative language is needed.

Note: A full summary of the results from the Health Care Summit will be included in next week’s newsletter

Additional Activities

WellPoint Executives Defend Premium Increases: On Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing to examine the proposed health insurance premium increases by Anthem Blue Cross in California. Anthem, a WellPoint subsidiary, recently informed subscribers in California that premiums for individual insurance policies would be raised an average of 25 percent, with some rates going up as much as 39 percent. Angela Braly, president of WellPoint , said the premium increases were justified by soaring medical costs, and that pending legislation could make the problem worse, driving up costs further for young, healthy people.

“Raising our premiums was not something we wanted to do,” Ms. Braly said . “But we believe this was the most prudent choice, given the rising cost of care and the problems caused by many younger and healthier policyholders dropping or reducing their coverage during tough economic times. By law, premiums must be reasonable in relationship to benefits provided, which means they need to reflect the known and anticipated costs they will cover.”

In Sacramento , Leslie Margolin, president of Anthem Blue Cross in California, also testified before lawmakers, joined by vice president and general manager James Oatman. The focus of that hearing was also the proposed premium increase for California members in the individual market, with company executives pointing to the current economic climate and rising health care costs as reasons for the rate hikes.

U.S. House of Representatives Repeals Antitrust Exemption from Health Insurance Companies: On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted 406-19 in favor of repealing a 65-year-old antitrust exemption from health insurance companies. Democrats said the repeal would lead to increased scrutiny of the industry. Yet, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said last year that repealing the exemption would not significantly reduce premiums because states already investigate health insurance companies.

In addition, industry executives pointed out that legislation could further hinder competition and the ability to share information to improve health care quality. “Health insurance is one of the most regulated industries in America at both the federal and the state levels,” said Karen Ignani, president and chief executive of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). “The real focus should be on addressing the rising cost of medical care, which is putting an unsustainable burden on families, employers and the federal budget,” she said.

Public Opinion

Polling Suggest Health Care Reform is Still Key to Economic Recovery: Recent polling on health care reform shows mixed reaction among the public over the proposed legislation. According to a recent CNN poll, 48 percent of those questioned said lawmakers should work on an entirely new bill and 25 percent felt that Congress should stop work on health care reform altogether.

According to the monthly poll from the nonpartisan Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 75 percent of Americans still think it’s important that Obama include health care reform in addressing the nation’s economic crisis, while many still harbor doubts about the legislation.

When asked how health care legislation relates to their economic situation:

* Nearly 31 percent said they thought the Democratic bills would make their personal financial situation worse, compared with 10 percent who said it would improve their family budgets.
* Forty-two percent said the nation’s fiscal condition would suffer because of the legislation, compared with 26 percent who said it would get better.
* Americans were divided on whether the Democrats’ approach would improve overall access to health care around the country, with 35 percent saying it would and nearly that many disagreeing.

Health Insurance Coverage Varies Widely Based on Age: Coming just before the President’s Summit on Health Care Reform, a newly released Gallup Poll reinforces the wide degree of variability in health insurance coverage across U.S. population segments, especially when it comes to age. Eighty-four percent of 18-year-olds have health insurance, most likely because they are still covered under their parents’ policies. By age 22, health insurance coverage reaches its lowest point, with just 66 percent maintaining coverage. From age 22 on, the percentage of Americans with health insurance begins to climb, albeit slowly, reaching the 95 percent level at age 65 when Medicare becomes an option.

Looking Ahead

Legislators need to determine next steps for health care legislation coming out of the President’s Health Care Reform Summit. On Wednesday, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius invited executives from the top five insurance companies to meet at HHS to discuss their companies’ insurance premiums.

Buying Individual Health Insurance Tips

01310573431_california-health-insurance-doctor.jpgWe all need to have health insurance, and for anyone who is are self employed, or are unable to obtain insurance from your employer, you will have to look into purchasing individual health insurance. Insurance on your own is generally considerably more costly than when you get it from a company, so it pays to shop around and find the best coverage for you. Despite the fact that they are called individual policies, they usually can insure your spouse and kids as well. However, whenever you apply for a policy, there is no guarantee that says you will be approved for an individual policy. If you have certain health conditions, since the policy is medically underwritten, your insurer might deny your application, or add exclusions to your plan. There are a few states that make this practice illegal, and this means that health insurers will have to offer you a policy, whatever medicals problems there are.

People who are older or who are in bad health, will have to pay higher premiums than those who are younger and in excellent health.

Knowing how health insurance is priced is without doubt one of the most confusing aspects of obtaining individual health insurance, so researching various companies and their rates might make a big difference in the amount you have to pay for health insurance.

When you are hunting for individual health insurance, don’t let all the confusion make you shy away from obtaining a policy. Even for people that are in great health, one accident could land you in economic peril without health insurance. Some questions to think about when buying individual health insurance are: Easy To Insure ME has the answers

Do I wish to keep my current doctor? If there is a doctor that you really like, this might determine whether an HMO or PPO plan is best for you and your family. In case you have an HMO, then you have to use their doctors, but a PPO plan will allow you to use the physician that you pick.

Just how much will it require me to pay out of pocket, and just how much will my premiums be every month? Is it smart for me to pay more for lower out of pocket costs? For a comprehensive health plan that doesn’t have many out of pocket charges, an HMO could possibly be what you are searching for. However, if you’re in your 20′s or 30′s, do not have children, and also have more money saved up, you can save money by only obtaining insurance for catastrophic illnesses. This will mean that you will have to pay out of pocket for virtually every tests or doctor appointments.

Just how much health care will my family need? Think of any services that could be needed by your loved ones on a regular basis. If someone has asthma in the family, will they need to go to an asthma specialist to regulate their illness?

When you can take some time to compare and think about the health insurance you and your family need, it could possibly make buying individual health insurance much less difficult, and provide the health coverage you and your family need for a price that you’ll be able to live with at the same time.