Future Healthcare Expenses Will Not Necessarily Mirror Past Expenses

I recently wrote an article responding to the Americans for Prosperity video about Emilie Lamb that has been making its way around the internet.  I spoke with Emilie and took a good look at the plan she used to have, comparing it with her new Platinum plan.  To sum it up, her old plan was […]

Risky Business

[…] It can also pose a risk  to a population’s overall health, and we’re seeing that in Greece with a rise in the incidence of malaria (including 12 cases that were acquired in Greece rather than brought in by travelers) and HIV.  I spent two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in East Africa, taking risksand I witnessed the link between poverty and poor health constantly.  The health concerns in Greece are a reminder that “wealthy” countries cannot be complacent with regards to healthcare.  In happier news, a very big congratulations to Jason and his wife on the arrival of their baby daughter last month!

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” -Anais Nin

Russell Hutchinson, writing at Chatswood Consulting, gives us his perspective on a troubling story about a terminally ill woman who is battling her life insurance carrier over a “material misrepresentation” on her application:  She was sexually abused when she was ten, and was treated with anti-depressants when she was 14.  That was nearly half a century ago, and yet when her life insurance carrier found out about it, they determined that she should have checked “yes” on the question about whether she had ever been treated for a mental illness or depression.  Russell gives a very professional run-down in his post, including discussing the difference between an official diagnosis and a note scribbled by a doctor in a patient file.  We have come across this problem numerous times over the years with our health insurance clients, and it’s not something that has an easy answer – the perspective is likely to be very different depending on whether you’re talking to the insured or to the insurance carrier.

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T.S. Eliot

Jaan Sidorov, of Disease Management Care Blog, writes in his usual thoughtful style about “reasonable and necessary” when it comes to Medicare coverage – and how the debates surrounding that issue at CMS eventually impact all of us, not just people on Medicare.  The determination of what gets covered by Medicare is complicated and can rely on data that is difficult to collect and interpret.  And since private health insurance carriers generally take their cues from Medicare when it comes to determining whether a treatment is “reasonable and necessary,” the decisions that CMS makes have far-reaching implications.

A ship in a harbor is safe, but that’s not why ships are built.”  – William Shedd, Benazir Bhutto, or Grace Hopper (sometimes it’s hard to pin down the source of a quote!)

Hank Stern, the voice behind InsureBlog, tells us about business interruption coverage – very timely in the wake of Sandy.  When we think of business insurance, we tend to picture coverage to rebuild a business in the event of a fire or flood or theft.  But what if a natural disaster shuts your business down for a while or causes the evacuation of your clientele?  Your business might bring in little or no money […]

Going Without Health Insurance

You may already be familiar with the blog Zen Habits.  It’s a very popular site with hundreds of thousands of readers.  It’s written by Leo Babauta, who has authored numerous ebooks and paper books and has over a hundred thousand followers on Twitter (he’s following three people – all those followers he has are just interested in what he has to say).  When he writes something, it gets read and shared and talked about.  I’ve been reading – and enjoying – his site for a few years, and I usually find myself nodding in agreement with whatever he’s written.

But his most recent post threw me for a bit of a loop.  He explains his rationale for not having health insurance for his family (he and his wife and six kids), and goes into a detailed description of how you, too, can make health insurance a bad bet.

The peace of mind not going without health insuranceI have no idea what his full financial situation looks like.  He often writes about being a minimalist, so I know he’s not spending lots of money on material stuff.  They do like to travel and recently spent several weeks in Europe – that doesn’t come cheap, but it’s a great experience for adults and children alike.  He has a very successful blog and several books, so I have to imagine he’s not poor.  And yet Leo Babauta considers going without health insurance to be a reasonable risk.

To be fair, I agree wholeheartedly with the tips he gives for “making health insurance a bad bet“.  Things like eating well, exercising, avoiding excess alcohol, not smoking, driving safely […]

AG Announces Settlement With Colorado Discount Medical Benefits Plan

Last spring I wrote about the lawsuit that was filed by the Colorado Attorney General against Consolidated Medical Services, LLC.  Consolidated Medical Services was a discount plan (ie, not health insurance but a cheaper substitute that wouldn’t provide much in the way of benefits if a person needed medical care) run by Joseph Benedetto.  The Colorado discount medical benefits plans were, according to Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, “… fraudulent, frequently failing to pay patients’ claims as promised.”  However, the focus of the lawsuit was the manner in which Benedetto and his LLC went about recruiting affiliate salespeople.  According to the AG press release, “Consolidated Medical Services recruited individuals, many of whom are elderly, to market “medical benefits programs” that were advertised as valid substitutes for traditional health insurance.”  Salespeople were charged start-up fees and monthly hosting fees in order to sell the discount medical benefits, and virtually none of them made enough money selling the product to recoup the fees they had paid.  Only about three percent of the 12,800 affiliates who were recruited between 2008 and 2011 made any money at all selling the discount plan, and most of the few who did make money earned less than they had paid in fees.

Attorney General Suthers’ office announced today that a settlement has been reached with Joseph Benedetto and Consolidated Medical Services, LLC.  Benedetto must […]

Thanksgiving Cavalcade Of Risk

Welcome to the Thanksgiving Cavalcade. It’s an exciting time to be hosting because risk is a hot topic right now. Insurance and healthcare risk, as well as monetary policy and finance, etc […]

Colorado Division Of Insurance Still Reviewing Rates

We mentioned last week that the Colorado Division of Insurance had not yet approved rates past 9/23 for several carriers, and unfortunately, that is still the situation. For carriers that allow any effective date, quotes can still be generated for 9/22, but carriers that only allow 1st and 15th of the month effective dates are unable to quote new policies now (and have been since 9/15) if their rates have not been approved. This is causing a bit of a traffic jam for people who are searching for a new individual health insurance policy right now. […]

Disability Insurance Awareness Month

[…] May is disability insurance awareness month, and it’s a good reminder to consider how well you’re protecting your greatest asset – your earning potential. Working adults are more likely to encounter a disability that prevents them from working for at least 90 days than they are to die, and yet people tend to be more proactive about securing life insurance than disability insurance. […]

Rescission Still Allowed In Cases Of Fraud Or Misrepresentation

[…] Starting in 2014, pre-existing conditions will no longer be an issue when applying for individual health insurance, and one would assume that the practice of rescissions will also disappear at that time. But between now and then, applicants still have to be honest when completing applications for individual health insurance, as rescission will continue be allowed if it is deemed that the applicant committed fraud or intentional misrepresentation when applying for a policy.

Imerica Placed In Rehabilitation

[…] If it is determined that Imerica can be rehabilitated, they will continue to do business under the rehabilitation plan. If not, Imerica would be liquidated, and policyholder claims not paid by Imerica would become the responsibility of the life and health insurance guaranty funds in the states where Imerica was licensed. In Colorado, this group is known as the Life and Health Insurance Protections Assocation (LHIPA). LHIPA has a maximum benefit of $500,000 for major medical insurance, which is significantly lower than most of the benefit maximums offered on private health insurance policies in Colorado (including Imerica, which offered policies with lifetime maximums ranging from $2 million to $8 million) […]

Declined… Now What?

If you’ve been declined for an individual policy by a private health insurance company in Colorado, you do still have other options. I’ll outline them here, and provide links to detailed information that you might find helpful. […]

A La Carte Not Such A Good Idea For Health Insurance

[…] the al la carte insurance idea, written as a piece of satirical genius, reminded me of policies that are sold by some of the less scrupulous health insurance carriers in Colorado. If your health insurance application is asking you to decide whether you’d like to have coverage for cancer and ambulance rides, you might want to keep shopping.

A Cost Saving Idea For Health Insurance Companies

In the nearly seven years we’ve been selling health insurance in Colorado, we’ve seen a lot of technology advancements. These days, applications are online and there are broker websites where we log in to see the status of applications, current premiums for each client, renewal premiums, etc. But health insurance companies still send too much paper mail to agents.

Complaint Ratios Updated With 2007 Data

The Colorado Division of Insurance has finished compiling and organizing the data for 2007. Visit the Colorado Health Insurance Company Complaint Ratio Comparison page to see the updated complaint, revenue, and market share statistics from the division of insurance along with the A.M. Best Rating information we’ve added alongside. We hope this makes it easier for you to shop for health insurance in Colorado, but you can always contact us for our expert assistance at no cost!

No Freedom Of Choice For CSU Grad Students

[…] to be a graduate student at Colorado State University, and needs to get a health insurance policy. Last year, CSU made a requirement for graduate and international students to have health insurance. The students may either get a policy through CSU’s Hartshorn Health Plan, or they can show proof of comparable coverage obtained elsewhere. The Hartshorn policy costs […]

Individual Health Insurance Vs Government Intervention

[…] regulations would also be eliminated. For example, state laws that mandate coverage for mammograms or hospital stays after childbirth could be ignored at will.” I’m not sure what they’re referring to here, as there are plenty of mandates on individual policies in Colorado, and I haven’t heard anything about individual health insurance carriers being able to ignore them.

The Caregivers Marketplace

I found a website that may be helpful for our readers and their families. The Caregivers Marketplace allows users to get cash back when they buy eligible products. I checked out the site, and there don’t appear to be any strings attached. The eligible products range from blood pressure monitors to vitamins to diapers to […]

Preventing Diabetes

Now researchers in a long-term study have found that a healthy lifestyle followed for six years continues to lower the risk for developing type 2 diabetes for another 14 years. That’s a pretty impressive result. Here in Colorado, nearly 221,000 people have diabetes […]

Daily Dialysis Dramatically Better

I came across this article today about the benefits of home hemodialysis. My father has been on dialysis for nearly 7 years, since a rare autoimmune disease destroyed his kidneys in the summer of 2001. He was on hemodialysis for a while, and then switched to peritoneal dialysis. That worked for a couple years until […]

Health Insurance After Infertility Treatment

I just read a post by ForHealth about infertility treatment and individual health insurance. Her experience is one we’ve seen with some clients over the years. She went through fertility treatment – Clomid, in this case – which was unsuccessful. Three years later, she applied for an individual health insurance policy and was declined. The […]

Risk is Everywhere

The Digerati Life hosted a HUGE Cavalcade of Risk yesterday.  It took me a while to get all the way through it.  The Colorado Health Insurance Insider is included.  Also, in the “Insurance and Risk Management” section was a good article by Consumers Health Insurance Blog about the Consumer Reports article “12 Money Mistakes that […]

Continuing Discussion on Vaccines and Choice

The Public Health Council in NJ has voted 5-2 to make flu shots mandatory for preschoolers. The Department of Health and Human Services has a vaccination schedule that calls for at least 34 vaccines by the time a child is six years old. As a parent-to-be, I am very uneasy about the ever-increasing number of […]

Managed Care Matters Has Your Cavalcade of Risk

Joe Paduda hosts the pre-holiday edition of the Cav and he’s done a great job explaining each article so you can just breeze through it and read what sounds interesting.  My favorite post was from Jonathan Pletzke who has just written a book called “Buying Health Insurance Without Getting Ripped Off“.  So he started a […]

Pelvic Exams During Pregnancy

This post is a little more personal than most I write. Jay and I are expecting a baby in the spring, and have been seeing a midwife for the past couple months for prenatal care. We’re planning a home birth and are covering the cost of the midwife ourselves, since our health insurance doesn’t cover […]

Health Insurance Choices – Emotions Versus Reason

Amy Gillentine has written an article for the Colorado Springs Business Journal that points out many of the current concerns and confusion surrounding our health care system. When it comes to open enrollment for employer-sponsored plans, she sums it up clearly: Choosing among options for health insurance is often an emotional — rather than practical […]

Cavalcade of Risk Is Up

Take a look at the newest edition of the Cavalcade of Risk at Hill’s Personal Finance.