Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) is the least amount of coverage that is required by Obamacare for an individual to be considered “compliant” and to avoid having to pay the Individual Mandate penalty if it were to be enforced. All ACA Marketplace plans and most major medical health insurance plans are considered MEC. Since the individual mandate tax penalty is gone as of January 1, 2019 it is unlikely that stand-alone MEC plans will have a significant roll in 2019.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, health advocacy companies began to appear to help patients deal with the complexities of the healthcare system. The complexity of the healthcare system has resulted in a variety of problems for the American public. A study found that 62 percent of persons declaring bankruptcy in 2007 had unpaid medical expenses of $1000 or more, and in 92% of these cases the medical debts exceeded $5000. Nearly 80 percent who filed for bankruptcy had health insurance.[48] The Medicare and Medicaid programs were estimated to soon account for 50 percent of all national health spending.[49] These factors and many others fueled interest in an overhaul of the health care system in the United States. In 2010 President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This Act includes an 'individual mandate' that every American must have medical insurance (or pay a fine). Health policy experts such as David Cutler and Jonathan Gruber, as well as the American medical insurance lobby group America's Health Insurance Plans, argued this provision was required in order to provide "guaranteed issue" and a "community rating," which address unpopular features of America's health insurance system such as premium weightings, exclusions for pre-existing conditions, and the pre-screening of insurance applicants. During 26–28 March, the Supreme Court heard arguments regarding the validity of the Act. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was determined to be constitutional on 28 June 2012. SCOTUS determined that Congress had the authority to apply the individual mandate within its taxing powers.[50]
The Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) was put in place under the Affordable Care Act, with the purpose of ensuring health providers offer value to their members. The Medical Loss Ratio is scored from 0% to 100%, and measures the amount of money from member premiums spent by health insurers on members’ claims rather than overhead costs. For example, if a health insurance company allocates $0.90 of every dollar to cover medical claims, and the remaining $0.10 to cover overhead costs, the MLR score for that insurer would be 90%.
It's a little awkward, so we'll get straight to the point: This Thursday we humbly ask you to defend Wikipedia's independence. We depend on donations averaging about $16.36, and only ask you for one gift a year. But most of our readers in the U.S. are not responding to our messages. If everyone reading this gave $2.75, we could keep Wikipedia thriving for years to come. The price of your Thursday coffee is all we need. When we made Wikipedia a non-profit, people warned us we'd regret it. But if Wikipedia were commercial, it would be a great loss to the world. Wikipedia unites all of us who love knowledge: contributors, readers and the donors who keep us thriving. The heart and soul of Wikipedia is a community of people working to bring you unlimited access to reliable information. Please take a minute to keep Wikipedia growing. Thank you.

Keep in mind, however, that if your state department of insurance publishes rates in advance of open enrollment, they’ll be the full-price premiums. If you’re eligible for premium subsidies, you’ll end up with lower prices when you eventually enroll. And premium subsidy eligibility extends well into the middle class. A family of four will qualify for subsidies with an income above $100,000 in 2019. So don’t assume you won’t get premium subsidies until you check to make sure!

Australian health funds can be either 'for profit' including Bupa and nib; 'mutual' including Australian Unity; or 'non-profit' including GMHBA, HCF and the HBF Health Fund (HBF). Some, such as Police Health, have membership restricted to particular groups, but the majority have open membership. Membership to most health funds is now also available through comparison websites like moneytime, Compare the Market, iSelect Ltd., Choosi, ComparingExpert and YouCompare. These comparison sites operate on a commission-basis by agreement with their participating health funds. The Private Health Insurance Ombudsman also operates a free website which allows consumers to search for and compare private health insurers' products, which includes information on price and level of cover.[9]
The health care industry incorporates several sectors that are dedicated to providing health care services and products. As a basic framework for defining the sector, the United Nations' International Standard Industrial Classification categorizes health care as generally consisting of hospital activities, medical and dental practice activities, and "other human health activities." The last class involves activities of, or under the supervision of, nurses, midwives, physiotherapists, scientific or diagnostic laboratories, pathology clinics, residential health facilities, patient advocates[18] or other allied health professions.

Background: Aim of study was to assess impact of deformable registration of diagnostic MRI to planning CT upon gross tumour volume (GTV) delineation of oropharyngeal carcinoma in routine practice. Methods: 22 consecutive patients with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma treated with definitive (chemo)radiotherapy between 2015 and 2016, for whom primary GTV delineation had been performed by a single radiation oncologist using deformable registration of diagnostic MRI to planning CT, were identified. Separate GTVs were delineated as part of routine clinical practice (all diagnostic imaging available side-by-side for each delineation) using: CT (GTVCT), MRI (GTVMR), and CT and MRI (GTVCTMR). Volumetric and positional metric analyses were undertaken using contour comparison metrics (Dice conformity index, centre of gravity distance, mean distance to conformity). Results: Median GTV volumes were 13.7 cm3 (range 3.5–41.7), 15.9 cm3 (range 1.6–38.3), 19.9 cm3 (range 5.5–44.5) for GTVCT, GTVMR and GTVCTMR respectively. There was no significant difference in GTVCT and GTVMR volumes; GTVCTMR was found to be significantly larger than both GTVMR and GTVCT. Based on positional metrics, GTVCT and GTVMR were the least similar (mean Dice similarity coefficient (DSC) 0.71, 0.84, 0.82 for GTVCT–GTVMR, GTVCTMR–GTVCT and GTVCTMR–GTVMR respectively). Conclusions: These data suggest a complementary role of MRI to CT to reduce the risk of geographical misses, although they highlight the potential for larger target volumes and hence toxicity. Full article


The federal government still isn’t funding cost-sharing reductions (CSR), but insurers and state regulators figured out a workaround last fall, and its use will be even more widespread for 2019. The details are explained here, but the short story is that the cost of CSR is being added to silver plan premiums in most states, and the CSR benefits themselves continue to be available in every state.

If you decide it’s worthwhile to spend half a thousand dollars to potentially save tens or hundreds of thousands, I encourage you to do so via the links on this site, as every sale supports the operation of my website and its charitable mission. If you have any regrets in the first week, you can return the course for a full refund, no questions asked.
Some of the factors that cause rate increases are unrelated to recent government intervention, including things like general increases in the cost of medical care and prescription drugs. But throughout 2018, we've been hearing about how Congress and the Trump Administration were causing premiums to be higher for 2019 than they would otherwise have been. And that's true, despite the fact that overall average premiums are only increasingly slightly. 
In-Network Provider: (U.S. term) A health care provider on a list of providers preselected by the insurer. The insurer will offer discounted coinsurance or co-payments, or additional benefits, to a plan member to see an in-network provider. Generally, providers in network are providers who have a contract with the insurer to accept rates further discounted from the "usual and customary" charges the insurer pays to out-of-network providers.
HSA funds are considered to be “triple-tax advantaged.” This means any money put into the HSA account is contributed on a pre-tax basis, any earnings on the investments are not taxed, and any funds withdrawn for qualified medical expenses are not taxed. The HSA is an account owned by the employee, and the employee may choose to use HSA funds in the current plan year or roll the account balance forward to let it grow – even into retirement. And if an employee leaves Vanderbilt, the HSA goes with them.

Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Group Universal Life (GUL) insurance plans are insured by CGLIC. Life (other than GUL), accident, critical illness, hospital indemnity, and disability plans are insured or administered by Life Insurance Company of North America, except in NY, where insured plans are offered by Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York (New York, NY). All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

That’s great, Accidental FIRE. Always good to be aware of options. As far as Aetna goes, I think that is a great place to get coverage through. I’m looking forward to seeing what the combo with CVS will evolve into (I’m picturing expanded roles for minuteclinics, etc) which may provide better options for quality and efficient care at affordable prices. We’ll see.


Healthcare can contribute to a significant part of a country's economy. In 2011, the healthcare industry consumed an average of 9.3 percent of the GDP or US$ 3,322 (PPP-adjusted) per capita across the 34 members of OECD countries. The US (17.7%, or US$ PPP 8,508), the Netherlands (11.9%, 5,099), France (11.6%, 4,118), Germany (11.3%, 4,495), Canada (11.2%, 5669), and Switzerland (11%, 5,634) were the top spenders, however life expectancy in total population at birth was highest in Switzerland (82.8 years), Japan and Italy (82.7), Spain and Iceland (82.4), France (82.2) and Australia (82.0), while OECD's average exceeds 80 years for the first time ever in 2011: 80.1 years, a gain of 10 years since 1970. The US (78.7 years) ranges only on place 26 among the 34 OECD member countries, but has the highest costs by far. All OECD countries have achieved universal (or almost universal) health coverage, except the US and Mexico.[2][3] (see also international comparisons.)
Access to health care may vary across countries, communities, and individuals, largely influenced by social and economic conditions as well as the health policies in place. Countries and jurisdictions have different policies and plans in relation to the personal and population-based health care goals within their societies. Healthcare systems are organizations established to meet the health needs of targeted populations. Their exact configuration varies between national and subnational entities. In some countries and jurisdictions, health care planning is distributed among market participants, whereas in others, planning occurs more centrally among governments or other coordinating bodies. In all cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), a well-functioning healthcare system requires a robust financing mechanism; a well-trained and adequately paid workforce; reliable information on which to base decisions and policies; and well maintained health facilities and logistics to deliver quality medicines and technologies.[1]

Then you will want to consider either an ACA plan, HSA 5000, Premier Plans or the AlieraCare option since these options include FULL ACA-required preventive care with ZERO out of pocket costs to members. But, we advise against purchasing a plan solely based on this offering since the largest risk of loss with healthcare is not routine preventive care but rather extended hospitalization.


Can anyone address the elephant in the room: as medical therapeutics change and biologics are available and more appropriate for various conditions it is noteworthy to realize that these costs are often not covered by many government insurers and not eligible for foundations grants (as are sometimes offered in the form of copay cards, or copay assistance). I’m talking 20% out of pocket cost for a biologic can run 1500-2000 out of pocket after insurance. If you happen to get one of these rheumatologic or immunologic diseases, Medicare is NOT going to cut it. Are people folding in these possibilities into their projected costs in retirement. How does the FIRE community think about these things (I mean the medical FIRE community…I don’t think the non-medical FIRE community is even aware of these nuances unless they’re already dealing with a chronic or rare disease under treatment).
Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) is frequently used as a treatment for acute hypercapnic respiratory failure (AHRF) in hospitalised patients with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD). In the UK, many patients with AHRF secondary to AECOPD are treated with ward-based NIV, rather than being treated in critical care. NIV has been increasingly used as an alternative to invasive ventilation and as a ceiling of treatment in patients with a ‘do not intubate’ order. This narrative review describes the evidence base for ward-based NIV in the context of AECOPD and summarises current practice and clinical outcomes in the UK. Full article
Consumer Reports is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to helping consumers. We make it easy to buy the right product from a variety of retailers. Clicking a retailer link will take you to that retailer’s website to shop. When you shop through retailer links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission – 100% of the fees we collect are used to support our mission. Learn more. Our service is unbiased: retailers can’t influence placement. All prices are subject to change.
Colombians report little to no confidence in judges, the formal legal system and their rights. And yet they continue to file tutela claims. I conducted research in Colombia between July 2016 and May 2017 to investigate this, interviewing 90 lawyers, judges, government officials and service providers, as well as 93 everyday citizens from various class backgrounds. I also surveyed 310 Colombians who were in the process of filing tutela claims. I concluded that citizens view the tutela as the only mechanism through which they can make claims to things they care about, such as health care. Colombians turn to the courts because they see no other alternative, not because of their robust belief in the courts.

Obamacare health insurance plans are major medical insurance that provide individual or full family healthcare coverage that meets all the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), signed by President Obama in 2010. One of the biggest features of Obamacare plans is that they are required to offer 10 "essential health benefits." These benefits include provisions such as maternity care and mental health coverage, that may not be available with other forms of health insurance. Another key feature of Obamacare is that these plans offer strong protections for consumers with pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes or cancer. The ACA requires that health insurers can't turn you down, charge you more or drop your coverage if you have a pre-existing condition.

×