Background: With the recent increase use of observation care, it is important to understand the characteristics of patients that utilize this care and either have a prolonged observation care stay or require admission. Methods: We a conducted a retrospective cohort study utilizing 5% sample data from Medicare patients age ≥65 years that was nationally representative in the year 2013. We performed a generalized estimating equation (GEE) logistic regression analysis to evaluate the relationship between an unsuccessful observation stay (defined as either requiring an inpatient admission from observation or having a prolonged observation stay) compared to having successful observation care. Observation cut offs of “successful” vs. “unsuccessful” were based on the CMS 2 midnight rule. Results: Of 154,756 observation stays in 2013, 19 percent (n = 29,604) were admitted to the inpatient service and 34,275 (22.2%) had a prolonged observation stay. The two diagnoses most likely to have an unsuccessful observation stay were intestinal infections (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.32–1.83) and pneumonia (OR 1.26, 95% CI 1.13–1.41). Conclusion: We found patients placed in observation care with intestinal infections and pneumonia to have the highest odds of either being admitted from observation or having a prolonged observation stay. Full article
Humana health products are underwritten and issued by Humana Insurance Company which is financially responsible for these products. No member of the State Farm family of companies is financially responsible for these products. Humana, Inc, Humana MarketPOINT Inc, and Humana Insurance Company are not affiliates of State Farm. Please call a State Farm agent for more detailed information.

You may be able to get extra help to pay for your prescription drug premiums and costs. To see if you qualify for getting extra help, call: 1-800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227). TTY or TDD users should call 877-486-2048, 24 hours a day/7 days a week; The Social Security Office at 800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. TTY or TDD users should call, 800-325-0778; or Your State Medical Assistance (Medicaid) Office.


As a result, insurers in some states were scrambling to adjust their 2018 premiums in the latter half of October. For example, Colorado’s exchange was already in the process of loading 2018 rates into their system when the Trump Administration announced that CSR funding would not continue. The initial rates were based on the assumption that CSR funding would continue, although the state had backup rates that included the cost of CSR built into the premiums. But the exchange had to start over on October 13 with the process of loading the backup rates into the system, which delayed the availability of window shopping.
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 An important note about Avera Health in South Dakota. Avera Health declined to renew our contract to offer their ACA plans in 2019. When we inquired as to why, we received this reply on 10/18/18: “RVers… I am sorry, but a narrow network product does not fit well for the members. We want to be able to take care of our members when they have an accident or illness. We do not have any providers or facilities outside of SD and NW Iowa, which makes us not the best fit for RVers.” While we agree that their plans are not a great fit for RVers, it seems it should be left to the members to decide if they are willing to risk traveling with their coverage. Nevertheless, it looks like RVers are not welcome to enroll with Avera Health for 2019.
Very important topic but not too early to run it. One can change as early as October 1st since the easiest ACA tax exemption is the lack of insurance coverage was for three months or less. (Talking to an insurance agent this harmed the market with poor families rolling the dice on their health to have more holiday money.) Plus all independent contractors (not just FIRE folks) should be looking into the offerings coming this Fall.
Since 1974, New Zealand has had a system of universal no-fault health insurance for personal injuries through the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). The ACC scheme covers most of the costs of related to treatment of injuries acquired in New Zealand (including overseas visitors) regardless of how the injury occurred, and also covers lost income (at 80 percent of the employee's pre-injury income) and costs related to long-term rehabilitation, such as home and vehicle modifications for those seriously injured. Funding from the scheme comes from a combination of levies on employers' payroll (for work injuries), levies on an employee's taxable income (for non-work injuries to salary earners), levies on vehicle licensing fees and petrol (for motor vehicle accidents), and funds from the general taxation pool (for non-work injuries to children, senior citizens, unemployed people, overseas visitors, etc.)
The Commonwealth Fund, in its annual survey, "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall", compares the performance of the health care systems in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and the U.S. Its 2007 study found that, although the U.S. system is the most expensive, it consistently under-performs compared to the other countries.[6] One difference between the U.S. and the other countries in the study is that the U.S. is the only country without universal health insurance coverage.

I can’t believe I missed this post on the day it published. I guess I am a fat-fire type. (I hate this term since I hate anyone calling me FAT!). After reading this I think I should work 3 more months than planned. I told my office staff that I was going to retire on My next birthday on 7/1. I will be 61. I pay health insurance quarterly so I would have my current BCBS plan paid up through 9/17. If I worked until September I could keep the current policy and then choose a catastrophic plan for the next 3.5 years. This all sounds good to me. I was expecting to pay $20000 minimum for a bronze ACA plan. They should be releasing details later this year.
Short Term Medical plans are medically underwritten so they will be most suitable for healthy individuals without pre-existing conditions or expensive medications. Keep in mind that when you renew a STM plan you have to medically qualify each renewal term. So, if you have a medical situation occur while enrolled in a STM they can not drop your coverage but they can deny you the option to renew it at the end of your term.

Regarding the first demographic, this represents primarily folks living in the 19 states that didn’t expand Medicaid under Obamacare. There is now a gap between Medicaid eligibility and where the exchange subsidies kick in. There are nearly 2.5 million people who fall into this gap and generally elect to not buy any health insurance or opt for the cheap catastrophic plans.
Do your wife’s retiree health benefits provide for the option to buy insurance through the employer or actually help cover some of the cost as well? Either or, that’s an awesome option you folks have that very few folks are offered. My employer would offer retiree health insurance in a similar situation as your wife, but I’d have to pay the cost full-freight so I don’t think it would be a great option for us (plus 55 is still a long ways off for me).
Those calculations are based on how rates would change if everyone keeps their current policy in 2019, which is unlikely—a significant number of enrollees shop around during open enrollment each year and switch plans if there's a better option available. But without plan changes, we're looking at a slight increase in nationwide average premiums for 2019.
Of course, it's a gamble, because you never know what's going to happen, Fredericks says. When it comes to bronze plans, Fredericks' advice: "Caveat emptor." (Buyer beware.) Once you sign up for a level of coverage, you are locked into that level for the year. If you choose a bronze plan and discover you need surgery, you can't change to a plan with a lower deductible.
 There are other HCSM plans out there. We personally used a different popular “liberty-based” HCSM for 3 years but had a horrible time getting claims paid when we needed it in the 3rd year. Therefore, based on our own experience, we do not recommend the other ‘liberty-based’ HCSM plan. However, we understand our experience may be anecdotal and others may be happy with an alternative.

Do your wife’s retiree health benefits provide for the option to buy insurance through the employer or actually help cover some of the cost as well? Either or, that’s an awesome option you folks have that very few folks are offered. My employer would offer retiree health insurance in a similar situation as your wife, but I’d have to pay the cost full-freight so I don’t think it would be a great option for us (plus 55 is still a long ways off for me).


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The ACA’s premium subsidies are designed to increase to keep pace with the cost of the benchmark plan in each area. As premiums grow, so do premium subsidies. But starting in 2018, premium subsidies became disproportionately large in many areas, due to the way states and insurers handled the loss of federal funding for cost-sharing reductions (CSR).
So it does not benefit insurers to just raise rates and pocket the additional premiums. And when it became clear that the premiums for 2018 had been set too high in many cases, the insurers proposed rate decreases for 2019 (or, in some cases, would have proposed rate decreases if not for the factors described above that are pushing premiums higher than they would otherwise have been for 2019).
You can also use your phone to “pre-shop” for a plan with a licensed agent – to discuss your personal plan benefit needs, get premium information and get specifics on your subsidy eligibility and subsidy amount. (You can call one of healthinsurance.org’s partners at 1-844-608-2739 to talk with a licensed, exchange-certified broker who can enroll you in an ACA-compliant plan.)
Vanderbilt University is committed to providing high-quality benefits to serve the diverse and changing needs of faculty and staff. To help faculty and staff make the best decision for themselves and their families, the 2019 health plan options and changes are outlined below. At the end of this article, links to additional tools and information, as well as dates and locations for benefits discussion forums, are provided.
Hi reader in the U.S., it seems you use Wikipedia a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but this Thursday we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We’re not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $16.36 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $2.75, the price of your coffee this Thursday, Wikipedia could keep thriving. Thank you.
In 2006, a new system of health insurance came into force in the Netherlands. This new system avoids the two pitfalls of adverse selection and moral hazard associated with traditional forms of health insurance by using a combination of regulation and an insurance equalization pool. Moral hazard is avoided by mandating that insurance companies provide at least one policy which meets a government set minimum standard level of coverage, and all adult residents are obliged by law to purchase this coverage from an insurance company of their choice. All insurance companies receive funds from the equalization pool to help cover the cost of this government-mandated coverage. This pool is run by a regulator which collects salary-based contributions from employers, which make up about 50% of all health care funding, and funding from the government to cover people who cannot afford health care, which makes up an additional 5%.[31]
We would be willing to take on a significantly higher deductible in a catastrophic plan. Even $20 – $25k a year deductible in order to keep basic premiums low and pay for most things out of pocket. Depending on the landscape when we retire (whether subsidies still exist), we could COBRA until the end of that year and shop for a low premium plan for the following year. And like the good ole doc, we are beefing up our HSA accounts while we can to fill in gaps if we need to until becoming eligible for Medicare. Hoping to preserve them for later on though.
The Australian government announced in May 2008 that it proposes to increase the thresholds, to $100,000 for singles and $150,000 for families. These changes require legislative approval. A bill to change the law has been introduced but was not passed by the Senate.[12] An amended version was passed on 16 October 2008. There have been criticisms that the changes will cause many people to drop their private health insurance, causing a further burden on the public hospital system, and a rise in premiums for those who stay with the private system. Other commentators believe the effect will be minimal.[13]

Otherwise known as ‘Obamacare’ this is Major Medical health insurance like you would obtain from the Federal Marketplace or your state’s exchange. These, and only these, are subsidy-eligible plans. However, it is getting increasingly difficult to find nationwide PPO coverage options on the Marketplace exchange. But, if you can find one, and you have pre-existing health conditions and/or qualify for a subsidy then this may be the best option for you. There is NO MEDICAL UNDERWRITING with this option.


While federal officials say the intention is to provide more affordable coverage options, critics say the move — coupled with the recent elimination of a penalty for non-coverage starting in 2019 — could drive even more young and healthy consumers away from the ACA marketplace. Short-term plans come with limited coverage and are largely unavailable to people with health problems.
The remaining 45% of health care funding comes from insurance premiums paid by the public, for which companies compete on price, though the variation between the various competing insurers is only about 5%.[citation needed] However, insurance companies are free to sell additional policies to provide coverage beyond the national minimum. These policies do not receive funding from the equalization pool, but cover additional treatments, such as dental procedures and physiotherapy, which are not paid for by the mandatory policy.[citation needed]
(US specific) Provided by an employer-sponsored self-funded ERISA plan. The company generally advertises that they have one of the big insurance companies. However, in an ERISA case, that insurance company "doesn't engage in the act of insurance", they just administer it. Therefore, ERISA plans are not subject to state laws. ERISA plans are governed by federal law under the jurisdiction of the US Department of Labor (USDOL). The specific benefits or coverage details are found in the Summary Plan Description (SPD). An appeal must go through the insurance company, then to the Employer's Plan Fiduciary. If still required, the Fiduciary's decision can be brought to the USDOL to review for ERISA compliance, and then file a lawsuit in federal court.
In 2018, it was easier for states to finalize premiums well in advance of open enrollment. In the summer/fall of 2017, it was more challenging, due to the uncertainty surrounding funding for cost-sharing reductions (CSR). President Trump had threatened throughout 2017 to eliminate federal funding for CSR, and ultimately did so on October 12, less than three weeks before the start of open enrollment.
Background: Studies evaluating the end-of-life care for longer periods of illness trajectories and in several care places are currently lacking. This study explored bereaved family members’ satisfaction with care during the last three months of life for people with advanced illness, and associations between satisfaction with care and characteristics of the deceased individuals and their family members. Methods: A cross-sectional survey design was used. The sample was 485 family members of individuals who died at four different hospitals in Sweden. Results: Of the participants, 78.7% rated the overall care as high. For hospice care, 87.1% reported being satisfied, 87% with the hospital care, 72.3% with district/county nurses, 65.4% with nursing homes, 62.1% with specialized home care, and 59.6% with general practitioners (GPs). Family members of deceased persons with cancer were more likely to have a higher satisfaction with the care. A lower satisfaction was more likely if the deceased person had a higher educational attainment and a length of illness before death of one year or longer. Conclusion: The type of care, diagnoses, length of illness, educational attainment, and the relationship between the deceased person and the family member influences the satisfaction with care. Full article
There are various types of health insurance and different markets. Pennsylvania’s health insurance market can be broken down into Medicaid and CHIP, Medicare, and Commercial fully-insured and self-insured. Depending on the market and type of insurance, there are different ways to obtain coverage, and there are many factors that you need to consider when deciding which path is best for you. The Pennsylvania Insurance Department is here to help with information so you can make the best decision for your situation.
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