78% of states are seeing a drop in health insurance premiums through the health insurance marketplace. Last year there was an over estimation on how much healthcare would cost, and next year we will see it balance out.
There are new plans on the marketplace; they are short-term and limited duration insurance plans. While the idea of cheaper health insurance is appealing, the cost-benefit may not be worth it.
These plans allow health insurance companies to not cover many things, including preexisting conditions or medications. Many wont cover anything until the deductable is met.
These plans, while cheaper, could end up costing you a lot more. Give us a call to see if they're the right plan for you.
Between 2010 and 2017 there were 2,149 data breaches from healthcare organizations, with an uptick since 2015. 110.4 million patient records may have been compromised.
These breaches often involve unsecured computer networks, desktop computers, laptops, electronic health records, and email.
When working with a doctor, ask them if your information is protected and what steps they're taking to be HIPPA compliant in the digital age.
Walmart has one of the nation's leading pharmacies. However, their competitor, CVS, purchased Aetna which is one of the largest health insurance companies.
To stay relevent, Walmart is looking into expanding their services to include full fledged doctor's offices. They are also looking into offering nutrition, weight counseling, and chronic pain management.
To do this, Walmart is considering purchasing Humana.
What will this mean for family doctors? Will Walmart soon be the largest healthcare provider in the US? Stay tuned here as this big story unfolds.
Last month the Trump administration announced that "short-term health plans". These healthcare plans are non-ACA compliant healthcare plans, meaning they are not required to cover prescriptions, maternity care, mental health, or preexisting conditions.
The Trump administration has said the market is going wild over these plans, but in reality health insurance companies have been slow to act.
Meanwhile, 279 healthcare advocacy groups formally concerns about this policy and opposed it. These groups include American Psychiatric Association, AIDs United, American Lung Association, the American Heart Association, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the March of Dimes, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Susan G. Komen, AARP, and the advocacy arm of the American Cancer Society.
A lawsuit has been filed by the National Alliance on Mental Illness chief executive Mary Giliberti, who says “This rule change rolls back the clock on Congress’ bipartisan efforts to ensure patient protections and fair insurance coverage of mental illness — and will start a downward spiral that leaves people with mental health conditions right back to where we were, excluded from life-saving healthcare”.
Many other patient advocacy groups have joined NAMI in this lawsuit, including Association for Community Affiliated Plans, Mental Health America, the American Psychiatric Association, AIDS United, the National Partnership for Women and Families, and Little Lobbyists (an advocacy group that represents families of children with serious illnesses).
Will these "short-term health plans" become popular enough to kill the ACA? Will the government listen to what nearly every advocacy group is saying what is best for American citizens? Check back at Idaho Insurance Agency to see!
Legal opioids, such as OxyCotin, are fairly easy to get from a doctor. Many doctors will keep refilling these prescriptions indefinitely. The problem? These drugs are highly addictive and very dangerous.
More than 72,000 Americans died from opioid related drug overdoses in 2017. Its no secret that there's an opioid epidemic. Even Donald Trump declared it a "national emergency".
Cigna, a major insurance company, has recently taken steps to help prevent these deaths. They have made a commitment to cut opioid use by 25% with its customers by 2021. In addition, they're helping customers create a plan to get weened off of opioids to prevent addiction and have been synergizing with doctors to prevent over prescribing.
Cigna is taking steps to help save lives. Will other insurance companies take these steps as well?
Pharmaceutical companies such as Purdue, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Cephalon, Jassen, McKenson, Johnson & Johnson, and several other companies are being sued by Eli Medina, a Boise resident. He claims that these companies enable the makers and sellers of opioids, which lead to other medical complications, which make health insurance premiums rise.
Medina beleives that these companies have violated the Idaho Consumer Protection Act and accuses the companies of being a negligent public nuisancethat is unjustly profiting.
Will this be the lawsuit that finally helps end the opioid epidemic? Only time will tell, and in time, we will tell you.
Over the last year, a million more people were able to sign up for health insurance, in no small part to the Affordable Care Act. In fact, since 2010, 20.3 million people were able to get health insurance.
However, Idaho remains among the states that have some of the higher insuranceless rates.
Nationally, 1/8 of Americans aged 18-64 remain uninsured, with minorities being significantly more likley to be uninsured.
While we have come a long way with ensuring the population is insured, we still have a long way to go.
In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled in NFIB v. Sebelius that the federal government could not withhold funds from states for not accepting extra medicaid funds that were provided by the Affordable Care Act. The states had the option to accept them or not. These extra funds would give medicaid to those under 65 and were at 133% of the federal poverty level or who were not eligible for other insurance.
Expanding medicaid would do many good things for Idahoans. It would help 62,000 Idahoans get healthcare that currently do not qualify for medicaid or through the healthcare exchange. In addition, it would also create 14,000 jobs, generate $46,000,000 in revenue for the state, and save millions in state funds which currently go to indigent care services.
The best part? Our taxes wont go up. Idahoans have been paying for this program since 2012, but have just chosen not to use it. In fact, by using this program we'd be getting $500,000,000 of our own tax dollars back into Idaho.
Idaho's legislature has refused to accept these funds. Over the years, there have been campaigns to get the legislature to change it's mind or put medicaid expansion to a public vote. This year thousands of volunteers around the state garnered enough signatures to get medicaid expansion on the ballot. The medicaid expansion, Prop. 2, was officially given the green light by Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney on July 17, 2018 with 75,134 verified signatures (nearly 20,000 more than necessary).
Prop. 2 will literally help save lives. If you'd like to be a part of saving those lives, go vote on November 6th in favor of Prop. 2. The first step is to get registered to vote here and find your polling place here.
Last week we saw the new ruling on short-term healthcare coverage. The president said insurance companies were "going wild" over this new law, but in reality they are being cautious.
Many big name players in the insurance world have said they are taking their time in designing new plans. We may not even see them advertised till this fall.
Many organizations are still concerned that short-term plans will mean higher bills for unsuspecting people who switch from ACA plans. Many also falsely believe that they can just re-join an ACA plan anytime, but you would actually have to wait for the annual open enrollment.
WHat do you think about these new plans? Are they a god-send or a wolf in sheep's clothing?
The Trump administration made a final decision that will allow for health insurance companies to sell plans outside of the Affordable Care Act. These plans won't be required to cover prescriptions, maternity care, or preexisting conditions.
Donald Trump believes that these new “short-term, limited-duration insurance” plans could help millions who don't want comprehensive coverage still have health insurance. He continues on to say the new plans are “much less expensive health care at a much lower price”.
Many believe that these health insurance plans are bait to lure people away from comprehensive insurance plans through the healthcare marketplace, and eventually cause it's collapse.
Under previous rules, short-term healthcare was limited to 3 months, but under this new ruling they could be up to 36 months.
What do you think? Is this a good move for the American people? How will it affect your healthcare? Call us up and let's chat about your healthcare future.
The U.S. House of Representatives has extended the National Flood Insurance Program through hurricane season.
This program is deep in debt, and many people believed it was going to close. However, the program will remain active until at least November.
Will a more sensible solution be concieved to replace this failing program, or will the government only keep dumping money into it? There is a hot debate on the program's purpose, effeciency, and future. There are several proposals to rather revise or replace the program.
The one thing we do know: nothing will change for the next 4 months.
The day where self driving cars are common place is nearly here, and there are many questions that we still need answers to. Among them is how will car insurance work?
One company, Travelers Companies Inc, may have given us a glimpse into these policies.
They beleive that cars should be insured and covered the same whether they are autonomous or not.
Could this become the default for how insurance works? Only time will tell!
The Trump administration announced it is going to suspend the risk adjustment program of the Affordable Care Act. This program was made to keep markets stable. Removing this program may destabalize health insurance markets across the country.
This would be good news for the healthy, as it would mean their premiums would be much smaller. However, it could be life-ending news for those who are sick.
With the Republican's march to repeal, replace, or gut the ACA, the future of healthcare is always uncertain. This is one instability that will be in our future very soon.
Amazon has become a demagogue in our world. It is a massive retailer that even outweighs Walmart in revenue. Recently Amazon has made a move into the healthcare industry as well.
Amazon acquired the company known as "PillPack". It is an online pharmacy that delivers medication and medical supplies straight to your door.
Amazon's deliver to your door business model has resulted in a significant loss of business in many retail fields. Will pharmacies be next on Amazon's chopping block?
The Department of Justice recently announced charges against 601 defendants in a massive health care fraud crackdown.
The DoJ claims that healthcare professionals such as doctors, nurses, and pharmacies stole $2 billion from Medicaid, Medicare, Tricare, and private insurance companies. They did so by charging for medical supplies and procedures that weren't necessary.
Over 25% of those charged were for frivolously prescribing dangerous opioids. Opioid use has risen to epidemic levels and thousands die from abuse every year. This abuse is doctor approved, and often leads to illegal opioid use such as heroin.
Is this the beginning of the end for the opioid crisis? We can only hope that it is, and we will save thousands of lives in the process.
The White House is close to taking the last step in finalizing a plan to make health insurance policies cheaper for some small businesses.
The plans are cheaper because they have to cover less that what the Affordable Care Act requires. Luckily they still require covering pre-existing health conditions. It also allows health insurance providers the ability to discriminate based on gender, age, and line of work.
These plans will also be able to be sold across state lines, which is something Republicans have wanted for years. They believe that by encouraging competition that prices will be lowered.
Many people believe that this will encourage healthy people to get this coverage, which will dramatically raise the cost of health insurance through the ACA. This could have such a drastic effect on it that it could completely destabalize it. In addition it will leave young, healthy men with very low premiums and older women with very high ones.
If all of this sounds familiar, its because IDaho tried to do this exact thing within it's own borders.
Will this FINALLY be the end of the ACA that the Republicans have coveted for so long?
The Affordable Care Act has had a very uncertain future since the new administration took charge. Not a week goes by that we hear another Republican trying to finally be the one to repeal and replace.
What affect has this uncertain future had? Many believe it has caused prices to sky rocket.
The Trump administration's secretary of health and human services, Alex M. Azar II, denies this observation by saying “there’s no incentive for insurance companies to in any way contain their cost increases” because federal subsidies generally rise along with premiums. Those prices are going to go up, and, absent statutory change, there’s little we can do to stop that premium increase because the subsidies chase those premiums”.
Whatever the cause, we know this: health insurance is getting more expensive. What can be done to stop this?
Uber is the taxi service for the modern world. With millions of estimated drivers, there are lots of people needing insurance.
Uber sees it's drivers as the face of it's company. They want to care for them in any way that they can. Because of this priority, they are looking into how they could give benefits and insurance to their drivers. They want to make sure that their employees have a safe way to live. They want to cover injury, sickness, and maternity/paternity needs.
These benefits were recently extended to drivers living in Europe, and hope to bring them to a more global audience.
Many states are seeing big increases for health insurance. Both sides of the aisle have their theories on why, but what if there's another option?
The country has heard many threats about repealing and replacing since the ACA took effect in 2014. In the minds of the American people, the law is unstable. Even more so now that we have a Republican president.
Many people are simply not signing up for insurance anymore. This leaves mostly sick people opting into the ACA programs, which means high insurance rates because they are using insurance more.
What this means for you is that your insurance premiums are likely to keep rising.
A new survey found that around 4,000,000 Americans lost their health insurance within the last 2 years.
The survey found that republicans were statistically more likely to be uninsured and experienced a 6% increase in uninsured rates.
Unfortunately, this trend will likely continue. The Trump administration slashed advertising for enrollment into Obamacare by as much as 90%.
Unsurprisingly, both sides of the aisle are blaming the other for this increase and are towing the party line of how to fix it.
Read more here:
Trump is set to change rules regarding short-term health insurance plans. As of now you can get short-term plans for up to 90 days, and with this change you will have up to 12 months.
Short-term plans are typically cheaper because they are less comprehensive. They typically do not cover prescriptions drugs, maternity care, or pre-existing conditions.
Many believe this is an attempt to further gut Obamacare. Republicans in Congress have not been able to effectively repeal and replace as they said they would, so Trump is doing his best to do so through adminitrative instead of legislative means.
Read more here:
There were more than a dozen ways to be exempt from the penalties from not having health insurance, and the government just added 4 more.
These new exemptions include if you:
1. Live somewhere where there are no marketplace plans available
2. Live somewhere where there is just one insurer marketplace plans
3. Can't afford a plan that doesn't cover abortion
4. Can't afford a plan that doesn't cover the specialty care you need
Read more here:
Car insurance is something that hasn't changed much over the years. You pay a fee every month, and if you get in an accident insurance covers the associated costs. The more often you get into accidents, the higher that fee is. What if there was a way to prove to your insurance that you're a good driver? Would your fee go down? Such a reality is what HiRoad has created.
HiRoad is a Rhode Island-based insurance company that uses your phone to monitor how safely you drive. It takes into account things like how you accelerate, how fast you drive, how quickly you brake, how you turn corners, how often you drive, and overall how you drive.
This all translates to the potential for safe drivers to save a lot of money. Would you switch to a car insurance system like this?
A startling new study shows that there was a 22% increase in uninsured drivers on Idaho roads from 2012 to 2015. Being hit by an uninsured driver can leave all the financial responsibility to your insurance, which would be devastating for rates.
This leads to one simple question: Why are they not insured? The answer is more complex than you think.
Unfortunately, there's not an easy way to enforce this. When you get your liscence and/or registration at the DMV you aren't required to show proof of ID. Some counties have made you promise to have this insurance, but that is a promise that can't be followed up on easily. One of the few ways it can be followed up on is if you're ever pulled over and don't have insurance you can be fined. This is also unreliable since many times when the uninsured are talking to police its after they've already hit someone.
What is your best solution to this problem? Give me a call and talk to me about it at 208-377-7101