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Health Insurance Open Enrollment Guide
Written by Yamileth Medina   
Thursday, 05 November 2009 16:58

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The open enrollment period is about to begin for the millions of Americans who receive health insurance from their employers. Employees have about one or two months to choose which of the offered plans they will take; they'll be stuck with their selection for a while year, so it's a very important decision. Don't rely on Congress' healthcare reform bill to provide you with a public option; it won't take effect until 2013, and its exact provisions are still unknown. Here are some tips on what to expect during the open enrollment process:
 

Today's HSA = Healthcare Suicide Act?
Written by Michael Brewer   
Thursday, 05 November 2009 16:49

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A newly-released survey of human resources professionals suggests that HSAs (or Healthcare Savings Accounts / Flexible Spending Accounts) need a strong legislative antibiotic to ward off a growing epidemic of consumers who are enrolling in higher deductible health care plans in a flat, uncertain economy.

Originally signed into law as a cornerstone of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003, HSAs were endorsed by then-President George Bush as a compromise between healthcare industry advocates who insisted at the time that higher co-payments for medical coverage are necessary to make a profit and please their shareholders and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), who lobbied hard for retirees on fixed incomes to obtain public assistance for medications. When the dust settled, the HSA was supposed to be the panacea for skyrocketing healthcare costs.
 

Could Alternative Medicine Be To Blame for Expensive Health Insurance Plans?
Written by Yamileth Medina   
Wednesday, 04 November 2009 00:00

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One of the main drivers of the push for healthcare reform is the soaring cost of health insurance. As affordable health insurance becomes harder to find, more people are deciding that the current system needs fixing. Some blame the higher cost of premiums on private insurers' profit margins or increasing obesity rates in America. These factors certainly play a part; however, the primary explanation could be an expansion of the services health insurance plans cover. An increasing number of insurance companies now cover alternative medicine. Alternative treatments include herbs, acupuncture, and chiropractic. Insurers claim that they are simply responding to consumer demand, but is their coverage of such largely unproven treatments increasing healthcare costs for everyone?
 

Crunch Time for Medicare Beneficiaries
Written by Michael Brewer   
Tuesday, 03 November 2009 00:00

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For 35 million American seniors who are direct beneficiaries of our government-run health care program, Medicare, it's crunch time.

As New York Times reporter, Walecia Konrad reports today, employees who are still fortunate enough to have group health insurance coverage from their employer (even though their plan options are shrinking along with the U.S. workforce), Medicare recipients will have the opposite problem in a few weeks— a potentially overwhelming and confusing list of choices. They may need to sort through dozens -- even hundreds -- of plans governing everything from diabetic supplies and home medical devices to prescription drugs and physical exams during the annual enrollment period, which starts on November 15.

Happy New Year!...Now Open Your Wallet.
 

This Could Be Your Grandpa: Indirect Euthanasia Via Health Insurance?
Written by Yamileth Medina   
Friday, 30 October 2009 00:00

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A sad story in Miami, Florida regarding health insurance was recently brought to my attention. It highlights the flaws inherent in both public and private health insurance plans, and is an example of why healthcare reform is so important. A friend of mine has an ailing grandfather, named Benito Jimenez. Benito's daughter, Maria Conroy cares for him 24/7, and has taken charge of navigating the complexities of his insurance coverage. Her 85-year-old father has Medicare, but also has a Medicare Advantage administered by Humana. This would seem like an ideal compromise of the government and corporations, which would allow them to provide the best healthcare possible. Instead, it's only brought Maria and her family one frustration after another.
 
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