Health Insurance News for Rural Arizona

Arizona State Senator, Gail Griffin – R-Hereford, sponsored a bill that will will prohibit health insurance carriers from declining payments for medical services provided through telemedicine. Put another way, if a medical treatment/condition is covered under a patient’s plan the insurance carrier will be required to pay whether it was provided physically in a doctor’s office or through a televised link-up.

One Blue Cross/Blue Shield represented indicated that he believed this legislation would save patients and the insurance carrier money. The cost of transporting a client from a rural area to an urban hospital is costly. If the client can be treated or advised medically through a televised link up it reduces costs.

Implementation of the new bill is being delayed until the latter part of 2014 to allay industry concerns.

And insurance carriers will only be required to pay for seven (burns, trauma, burns, infectious diseases, cardiology, mental health disorders, dermatology, and neurologic diseases, including strokes) treatments through the new televised method. This measure is being designed with 13 rural counties in mind, and the areas that are considered remote in Maricopa and Pima counties, like Gila Bend and Ajo.

Would the real Medicaid study please step forward

Two years ago the National Bureau of Economic Research published a study that concluded people are happier when they are on Medicaid. Those with Medicaid were compared to people not on Medicaid.

Supporters of nationalized health care have used this study to promote an expansion of Medicaid, according to one online article.

The New England Journal of Medicine went after the study to dig deeper.

Their determination, in part, is the original study seemed to focus on whether people seemed “happier” being on Medicaid than the overall effectiveness of the program in the lives of those who use the program. The new study also sought to determine if people were actually healthier. What they found is that people on Medicaid were not any more healthy than those not on Medicaid.

The New England Journal of Medicine study also concluded that Medicaid is pretty good if you have routine health issues. But if you need specialized care that is where the challenge truly begins. The report seemed to indicate that Medicaid resources are spread too thin to adequately help everyone who needs more than routine care. That cannot be good news for the elderly who rely on specialized care more than the rest of the population as a whole.

Health Insurance Premiums to Rise?

It is being reported, and widely expected, that as Obamacare is fully rolled out consumers will see a tick upwards in premiums. The younger generation, for example, will likely see a bigger jump than they expected. One reason, older adult healthcare will be covered in more robust ways. Costs to care for older patients will be passed down along the lines and effecting the rates of everyone else, even for the young and healthy. Don’t gripe too much because we all will arrive there one day.

The Oregon insurance commissioner believes, according to online reports, that health insurance rates in his state could swing upwards by as much as 30%. Even the California insurance commissioner, a big proponent of Obamacare, has expressed concerns about rising costs. If costs rise as many believe it makes a person wonder as to whether care for our senior population will go down. There is no free lunch, even in government.

Businesses Dumping Spousal Health Coverage

More businesses are opting to not allow spouses of employees to be covered under their health insurance. Businesses not only save the premiums it costs to pay for spouses but also new, rising fees due to Obamacare. The fee used to be a few dollars but will jump to $65 per person in 2014.

Spouses who do not work tend to use health care more, according to reports. While kids are mandatory to cover under Obamacare husbands and spouses are optional. One news story said that the city of Terre Haute, Indiana stopped offering coverage for spouses effective July 2013. Again, that leaves people scrambling and particulary those spouses with health issues wondering what to do next. So much for covering all those uninsured with ease, as we were told would happen under the new health insurance law. From what we read it seems to be cause more people to be uninsured and disrupting lives and finances.

Insuring Celebrity Body Parts

It is not surprising to read that celebrities are insuring their body parts. Here is a list of some:

Tina Turner insured her legs for $3.2 million
Heidi Klum insured her legs for $2 million
Bruce Springsteen insured his vocal cords for $6 million
Dolly Parton insured her breasts for $300,000 each
Michael Flatley insured his legs for $40 million
America Ferrara insured her smile for $10 million
Keith Richards insured the middle finger on his left hand for $1.6 million
Holly Madison insured her breasts for $1 million

And here are most consumers wondering how to pay their basic auto insurance premium. Such is life.

Long Term Care Insurance

may be one of the most least known insurance plans in our country.

LTC Insurance helps pay the cost of a nursing home, assisted living facility or at-home care if you are too sick or injured to care for yourself.

Surprisingly, many young people need Long Term Care. Yet, for the most part, LTC is a product designed for our senior population. Senior citizens usually understand long term care and the impact of paying for it.

Nursing homes can easily cost $50,000 or more today – and those costs are rising. Imagine needing 3-4 years of long term care. How much of a dent will that put into your savings and investments?

If you are age 55 or older you seriously should consider asking us for quotes on Arizona Long Term Care Insurance. We can shop your LTC quote with a lot of top rated and top ranked insurance companies to find the BEST plan for you.

Our goal is to assist you in finding a LOW rate with the BEST carrier.

If you are unfamiliar with long term care or Arizona long term care insurance, please call our office today.

As always, we never pressure anyone and there is no obligation to get more information.
Are you getting older? Concerned about what will happen if you become sick and need assisted living care, at-home nursing assistance or even a nursing home?

A nursing home can cost upwards to $75,000 per year. How long can your finances hold out at that cost? Also, if you need a nursing home care you will need to spend most of your assets before government assistance will kick in.

Long Term Care Insurance is the one product that can help you:

1) Pay for long term care expense
2) Gives you or your family control over where you stay
3) Protects your assets

Call us if you want to learn more about Long Term Care Insurance.
MetLife recently announced they are pulling out of the Long Term Care Insurance market. They still have to continue servicing existing LTC clients and paying claims.

Other carriers may follow suit or make changes to their policies. It was also reported one other long term carrier provider lost a billion dollars, primarily due to costs associated with their long term care payouts.

When insurance companies began selling LTC insurance policies they likely expected a certain percentage of clients to keep their policies for a few years before stopping payments and letting them expire. That has not happened.

To their surprise, a vast majority of clients who bought LTC insurance are keeping the policies.

Truly, it really should not have come as a surprise to insurance companies that this happened. The majority of people who LTC insurance are older and in better shape financially – they can afford those higher LTC premiums.

Plus, Americans are living longer and needing more care than ever before.

There are still companies offering LTC insurance. If you believe you may need this type of coverage, please call me. We can help you make sense of which companies are “A” rated and offer the best rates.

Do we still recommend LTC insurance? Absolutely, maybe now more than ever. If you want to discuss or get a quote, please call me.