Tag Archive: Insurance




MSN News

Many Low-Income Workers Say ‘No’ to Health Insurance

By STACY COWLEY 6 hrs ago
An employee at Golden Corral taking clean cups from the kitchen. Some Golden Corral restaurants began offering health insurance to employees, but few have opted in.© Logan R. Cyrus for The New York Times An employee at Golden Corral taking clean cups from the kitchen. Some Golden Corral restaurants began offering health insurance to employees, but few have…JACKSONVILLE, N.C. — When Billy Sewell began offering health insurance this year to 600 service workers at the Golden Corral restaurants that he owns, he wondered nervously how many would buy it. Adding hundreds of employees to his plan would cost him more than $1 million — a hit he wasn’t sure his low-margin business could afford.

His actual costs, though, turned out to be far smaller than he had feared. So far, only two people have signed up.

“We offered, and they didn’t take it,” he said.

Evidence is growing that his experience is not unusual. The Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate, which requires employers with more than 50 full-time workers to offer most of their employees insurance or face financial penalties, was one of the law’s most controversial provisions. Business owners and industry groups fiercely protested the change, and some companies cut workers’ hours to reduce the number of employees who would be eligible.

But 10 months after the first phase of the mandate took effect, covering companies with 100 or more workers, many business owners say they are finding very few employees willing to buy the health insurance that they are now compelled to offer. The trend is especially pronounced among smaller and midsize businesses in fields filled with low-wage hourly workers, like restaurants, retailing and hospitality. (Companies with 50 to 99 workers are not required to comply with the mandate until next year.)

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One Third of Uninsured Won’t Sign Up for Obamacare

The Fiscal Times

March 17, 2014

As the White House scrambles to get people signed up for health insurance before the March 31 deadline, many uninsured Americans say they are still planning to take their chances and remain without coverage.

A new study by Bankrate.com shows that about one third of uninsured Americans are going to remain without coverage and opt to pay the penalty.

The survey results suggest that the administration’s outreach to uninsured people may be falling short, with more than half of people without insurance unaware of the March 31 deadline—and even more unaware of subsidies that could make their policies more affordable.

Related: Obamacare May Be Failing the Uninsured

Bankrate surveyed 3,005 people and found that 41 percent of those who were uninsured said they plan to stay uninsured because they think that health insurance is too costly. Meanwhile, about 70 percent said they were unaware of subsidies available under the new law that could make their health plans more affordable.

The study’s findings are worrisome for the Obama administration since the key goal of the president’s health care law was to extend access to health coverage for the uninsured.

A separate study by the McKinsey consulting firm found just 27 percent of Obamacare enrollees were uninsured. That means that the majority of those signing up for Obamacare had previous insurance of some kind—whether they were kicked off their old policies, or they found a better deal on the exchanges. Though not confirmed by the White House, if accurate, that could mean the law is failing to meet its intended goal.

Related: Gallup: Employment, Obamacare Lower Uninsured Rate

Gary Cohen, an official for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said the administration has not been tracking how many of the Obamacare enrollees were previously uninsured.

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Eight Ways to Opt Out of Obamacare

With the deadline to sign up for Obamacare having come and gone, many Americans have decided to “opt out” of President Obama’s signature health care reform law, choosing instead to pay the $95 penalty for sidestepping the individual mandate.

“For many Americans opting out of Obamacare is the best decision they can make, but it’s important that they do it the right way—just refusing to buy health insurance and not having another way to pay for catastrophic medical expenses is a mistake,” Sean Parnell, author of the newly-released The Self-Pay Patient, told Breitbart News. “People who want to opt out should be looking at alternatives to conventional health insurance, such as joining a health care sharing ministry or purchasing a fixed benefits policy.”

Parnell also strongly advises Americans against opting out and simply paying the “list” price for medical visits and prescription drugs without shopping around, or by relying solely on the local hospital emergency room for routine medical care.

“This approach leaves people who opt out vulnerable to sky-high medical expenses at inflated ‘list’ or ‘chargemaster’ rates, and can result in an inability to obtain needed care because of cost,” Parnell writes on his blog, selfpaypatient.com.

Instead, Parnell recommends the following eight options for those who have opted out of ObamaCare:

1. Join a health care sharing ministry, which are voluntary, charitable membership organizations that share medical expenses among the membership.

Parnell states that Samaritan Ministries, Christian Healthcare Ministries, and Christian Care Ministry are open to practicing Christians, while Liberty HealthShare is open to those who are committed to religious liberty.

Healthcare sharing ministries “operate entirely outside of ObamaCare’s regulations, and typically offer benefits for about half the cost of similar health insurance,” says Parnell. “Members are also exempt from having to pay the tax for being uninsured.”

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Working poor Texans struggle in Medicaid, ACA gap

by MARK WIGGINS / KVUE News and photojournalist PETER HULL

Bio | Email | Follow: @MarkW_KVUE


Posted on February 5, 2014 at 6:29 PM

Updated today at 6:41 PM

AUSTIN — For 28-year old Irma Aguilar, raising four young children while working a full-time job is difficult enough.

Suffering from a damaged disc in her neck and debilitating high blood pressure that leaves her dizzy and bouts of anxiety, she needs medical coverage. An assistant manager at a national pizza chain, the San Antonio resident earns too much to qualify for Medicaid, but too little to qualify for discounted plans on the health insurance marketplace.
“It just makes me feel like, how am I supposed to get help? I thought that working hard for your money was supposed to help you go on in life and help you get some kind of insurance, and we can’t even get that,” said Aguilar. “We’re the ones working hard. We’re the ones doing everything, and we can’t even get a penny out of it. We don’t get nothing. So, do I have to stop working and let my kids drain and me drain so that way I can get help? It’s just not fair to me, and it’s not fair to my kids.”
Roughly 1 million Texans are in a similar situation: unable to qualify for Medicaid under Texas’ stringent restrictions and unable to afford to purchase plans offered under the Affordable Care Act. On Wednesday, representatives of dozens of organizations gathered at the Texas Capitol to launch a new campaign demanding something be done for them.
“It’s a moral responsibility to address this situation,” said Sister J.T. Dwyer of the Seton Health Care Family. “Our mission is to care for and improve the health of those we serve with a special concern for the poor and vulnerable. So, wouldn’t we be interested in this? These are the vulnerable people who are left out.”
With 6 million uninsured individuals, Texas leads the nation in the number of residents without health care coverage. A project of the Cover Texas Now Coalition, Texas Left Me Out is a campaign to compel lawmakers to develop a solution to insuring Texas’ working poor who fall in the coverage “gap” resulting from the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to require states to expand Medicaid to those unable to afford coverage through the health insurance marketplace.
“The problem is that, because the law was written assuming that the Medicaid piece would be there, they said nobody below the poverty line is going to get the sliding scale of subsidies with premiums in the new health insurance marketplace,” said Anne Dunkelberg, associate director of the progressive Center for Public Policy Priorities.
For a $15 billion investment in state money, over the next 10 years Texas would draw down about $100 million in federal funds, which Texans will be taxed for regardless. Gov. Rick Perry has opposed expanding Medicaid, calling the system “broken.” Instead, Perry has advocated for a block grant which the federal government has thus far seemed disinclined to provide.
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Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Hum...

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services. (Photo credit: US Mission Geneva)

On Wednesday afternoon, health policy reporters found in their inboxes a friendly e-mail from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announcing “steps to ensure Americans signing up through the Marketplace have coverage and access to the care they need on January 1.” Basically, the “steps” involve muscling insurers to provide free or discounted care to those who have become uninsured because of the problems with healthcare.gov.

HHS threatens to throw non-complying plans off the exchanges

HHS assured reporters that it would be “urging issuers to give consumers additional time to pay their first month’s premium and still have coverage beginning January 1, 2014.” In other words, urging them to offer free care to those who haven’t paid. This is a problem because the government has yet to build the system that allows people who’ve signed up for plans to actually pay for them. “One client reports only 15 percent [of applicants] have paid so far,” Bob Laszewski told Charles Ornstein. “So far I’m hearing from health plans that around 5 percent and 10 percent of consumers who have made it through the data transfer gauntlet have paid first month’s premium and therefore truly enrolled,” said Kip Piper.

“What’s wrong with ‘urging’ insurers to offer free care?” you might ask. “That’s not the same as forcing them to offer free care.” Except that the government is using the full force of its regulatory powers, under Obamacare, to threaten insurers if they don’t comply. All you have to do is read the menacing language in the new regulations that HHS published this week, in which HHS says it may throw otherwise qualified health plans off of the exchanges next year if they don’t comply with the government’s “requests.”

“We are considering factoring into the [qualified health plan] renewal process, as part of the determination regarding whether making a health plan available…how [insurers] ensure continuity of care during transitions,” they write. Which is kind of like the Mafia saying that it will “consider” the amount of protection money you’ve paid in its decision as to whether or not it vandalizes your storefront.

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Obamacare Exchanges Claim 258,497 Sign-Ups In November, But No Word On How Many Are Actually Enrolled

Obama Officials In 2010: 93 Million Americans Will Be Unable To Keep Their Health Plans Under Obamacare
Medicare Deputy CIO: Somewhere Between ’30-40%’ Of Obamacare’s Exchange Software Has Not Yet Been Built
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vlogbrothers vlogbrothers

Published on Aug 20, 2013

In which John discusses the complicated reasons why the United States spends so much more on health care than any other country in the world, and along the way reveals some surprising information, including that Americans spend more of their tax dollars on public health care than people in Canada, the UK, or Australia. Who’s at fault? Insurance companies? Drug companies? Malpractice lawyers? Hospitals? Or is it more complicated than a simple blame game? (Hint: It’s that one.)

For a much more thorough examination of health care expenses in America, I recommend this series at The Incidental Economist: http://theincidentaleconomist.com/wor…
The Commonwealth Fund’s Study of Health Care Prices in the US: http://www.commonwealthfund.org/~/med…
Some of the stats in this video also come from this New York Times story: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/02/hea…

This is the first part in what will be a periodic series on health care costs and reforms leading up to the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, in 2014.

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WeNeedASavageNation WeNeedASavageNation


Published on Nov 3, 2013

11/3/13 – (Fox News Sunday) – Ezekiel Emanuel, one of the principal architects of the Affordable Care Act, appeared on Fox News Sunday and strongly debated host Chris Wallace and American Enterprise Institute’s James Capretta over President Barack Obama’s “if you like your plan, you can keep it” pledge. The pugnacious Emanuel so loudly argued over his opponents that Wallace got tongue-tied at one point and told Capretta, “Don’t talk while he’s interrupting!” Wallace fought back against Emanuel’s argument that the grandfather clause, which allows people to keep any insurance policy acquired before March of 2010, was a fulfillment of Obama’s promise.

“Your grandfathering is so narrow,” Wallace said to Emanuel, “if your insurance company changes your co-pay by more than $5 over the course of the three years since 2010, it’s no longer grandfathered in.”

“That’s usually a 25% change,” Emanuel said. “That’s a big change…You have to ask the question: how many planks do you change in a boat before it’s a different boat? That’s the same thing here: we had a plan, we argued about it.”

“You didn’t tell the American people,” Wallace said. “You said, if this plan is in effect until March of 2010, you can keep it.”

“That’s what it said!” Emanuel said. “That’s how we fulfilled that pledge.”

Wallace continued to press Emanuel on a variety of issues, including why the government gets to mandate minimum insurance coverage for people who may not need it, and the number of large employers dropping insurance policies, effectively forcing employees onto the federal exchanges. “Simple question,” Wallace said to Emanuel. “Are those people going to be able to keep their coverage, as the President promised?”

“The law does not say, ‘Sears, drop coverage!'” Emanuel said. “Sears decides what’s good for Sears. The law doesn’t say to the insurance industry, ‘You drop coverage!’ The insurance industry decides how to make money. When the private companies decide that they’re going to drop people or put them in the exchange, you decide to blame President Obama. He is not responsible for that.”

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freespeechtv freespeechtv

Published on Oct 7, 2013

Despite helping expanding affordable insurance, “Obamacare” maintains the patchwork U.S. healthcare system that will still mean high costs, weak plans and, in many cases, no insurance for millions of Americans.

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FSB Extends Too-Big-to-Fail Bank Resolution to Insurance Firms

  • Financial Stability Board
By Carolyn Bandel
August 12, 2013

The Financial Stability Board said an extended version of its guidance on the resolution of systemically important banks will apply to non-bank financial institutions, such as Allianz SE (ALV) and other large insurers.

The Basel, Switzerland-based body set up by the Group of 20 nations has developed “annexes” to its advice for local regulators of financial institutions that aren’t lenders, according to an e-mailed statement today. The FSB asked for responses from market participants by Oct. 15.

The FSB, led by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, is coordinating the global regulatory response to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression to prevent a repeat of the turmoil that followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and bailout of American International Group Inc.

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G20 Russia 2013

Meeting of the Financial Stability Board in Basel on 24 June

At its meeting in Basel yesterday, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) discussed vulnerabilities affecting the global financial system and progress in authorities’ work to strengthen global financial regulation.

Vulnerabilities in the financial system

Despite important progress in strengthening the resilience of the global financial system, some parts of the system remain in a state of incomplete repair. Some jurisdictions need to continue to improve the capitalization of their banking systems. The balance sheet assessment to be undertaken by the ECB later this year in preparation for the single supervisory mechanism, together with clarity on the availability of adequate capital backstops, will be important to strengthening the Eurozone banking system. In other parts of the world where credit growth has been very rapid over recent years, building further resilience remains a priority.

Over the last several weeks, volatility in interest rates, asset prices and capital flows has increased. Market participants and supervisory authorities should incorporate in their stress tests scenarios that involve considerably elevated interest rate risk, widening credit spreads, falls in asset prices, and material volatility in foreign exchange markets and capital flows. Constrained capital levels in banks have been a contributory factor to reduced secondary bond market liquidity, potentially resulting in larger price movements in these markets in times of stress.

Resolution of financial institutions

The FSB approved for public release a set of guidance papers to support the recovery and resolution planning process for systemically important financial institutions. The guidance covers the development of effective resolution strategies, stress scenarios and recovery triggers, and the identification of critical functions. They will be released in July.

The FSB also reviewed Annexes to be added to the FSB Key Attributes of Effective Resolution Regimes on the resolution of financial market infrastructures, the resolution of systemic insurance groups, the protection of client and custody assets in resolution and information sharing among relevant authorities for resolution purposes. These will be issued for public consultation later this summer.

The FSB also agreed to release for public consultation a methodology for assessing the implementation by countries of the Key Attributes of Effective Resolution Regimes. Such a methodology is required for an international standard to be assessed under the IMF and World Bank’s FSAP program.

Global Systemically Important Insurers (G-SIIs)

The FSB reviewed the assessment methodology and policy measures for global systemically important insurers, developed by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) taking into account the results of a public consultation. Based on this assessment methodology, the FSB and national authorities, in consultation with the IAIS, will identify an initial list of G-SIIs in July 2013. A decision on the G-SII status of and appropriate risk mitigating measures for, major reinsurers will be made in July 2014.

The policy measures that will apply to G-SIIs include the recovery and resolution planning requirements under the FSB’s Key Attributes, enhanced group-wide supervision and higher loss absorbency requirements. As a foundation for higher loss absorbency requirements, the IAIS will as a first step develop straightforward, backstop capital requirements to apply to all group activities, including non-insurance subsidiaries, to be finalized by the time of the G20 Summit in 2014.

Over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives reforms

The FSB discussed progress in the implementation of reforms to OTC derivatives markets. Given the highly international nature of these markets, members stressed the importance and urgency of resolving remaining issues arising from the cross-border application of rules, including to bridge remaining differences between jurisdictions’ rules and implementation timetables, ahead of the G20 Summit in early September.

The FSB agreed that global aggregation of trade repository data is essential to enable comprehensive monitoring of risks to financial stability, and launched a feasibility study of options for how information from trade repositories can be aggregated and shared among authorities. The results of the study will be published in the first half of 2014.

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Financial Stability Board

The FSB has been established to coordinate at the international level the work of national financial authorities and international standard setting bodies and to develop and promote the implementation of effective regulatory, supervisory and other financial sector policies in the interest of financial stability. more

FSB consults on implementation guidance for the Key Attributes of Effective Resolution Regimes

The FSB launches a public consultation on

The Application of the Key Attributes of Effective Resolution Regimes to Non-Bank Financial Institutions. The proposed guidance is designed to assist jurisdictions and authorities in implementing the Key Attributes with respect to resolution regimes for FMIs (including central counterparties, central securities depositories and securities settlement systems), insurers and firms with holdings of client assets.

Information Sharing for Resolution Purposes. The proposed guidance sets out principles for the design of legal gateways and confidentiality regimes to allow the sharing of non-public information between domestic and foreign authorities that is necessary for planning and carrying out resolution.

The FSB welcomes comments on the consultative documents by 15 October 2013. Responses should be sent to fsb@bis.org.

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Keiser Report: Fake-It-Til-You-Make-It Economy (E401)

RussiaToday RussiaToday

Published on Feb 2, 2013

In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss the global yellow cake baking, talcum powder shaking, perpetual war making, balloon boy chasing, fake it til you make it economy in which spoof trading and a shadow banking system collateralised by a combination of liar loans and temporary workers consuming genetically modified food-like products produces such heroes for our times as Robb U, the guy who was handed $6 million in loans based on having a YouTube music video with a million plus views. In the second half of the show, Max Keiser talks to former Scotland Yard fraud squad detective, Rowan Bosworth-Davies of Rowans-Blog.blogspot.co.uk about justice departments and regulators going after the ‘little guy’ because he is ‘easier’ to get than the too-big-to-fail.

Follow Max Keiser on Twitter: http://twitter.com/maxkeiser


Black Update: Australia Bank Bail In 2013-2014 Government Plan To Use Citizens Wealth To Bail In

Published on Jul 17, 2013


I found it.
As predicted. Apologies it took so long.
Unsurprisingly, the evidence was fairly well buried. Naturally, the government does not want you to know what they are doing.
Just like the Canadian government did in March, and just as Europe, the USA and the UK have now done, the Australian government too is now beginning to make good on its 2010 G20 commitment to implement the Goldman Sachs-chaired, internationalist Financial Stability Board’s new regime for bailing out the banks using depositors’ money.
On page 134 of the Australian Government Budget 2013-14 Portfolio Budget Statements, under the section for the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, we find the first of APRA’s main strategic objectives for 2013-14.  It can be effectively summarised as “business as usual”.
Their second strategic objective for 2013-14, is to:
• consolidate the prudential framework by enhancing prudential standards where appropriate, in line with the global reform initiatives endorsed by the G20 and overseen by the Financial Stability Board; [see image at top of this post]
Those “global reform initiatives endorsed by the G20″ include the FSB plan to “bail-in” insolvent banks:

FSB: ‘Key Attributes of Effective Resolution Regimes for Financial Institutions’, Annex III (click to enlarge)
In the waffle that follows, we find further that:
APRA will focus on implementing the new global bank liquidity framework in Australia…

page 134, Portfolio Budget Statements, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, Australian Government Budget 2013-14.
This is likely referring in particular to the Basel III International Framework For Liquidity Risk Measurement, Standards, and Monitoring.
When published in combination with the previously mentioned strategic objective to “consolidate the prudential framework… in line with the global reform initiatives endorsed by the G20 and overseen by the Financial Stability Board”, the implication is crystal clear.
“Global bank liquidity framework” is really just technocrat-ese for “global bankster plan to prop up insolvent banks using other people’s money, and so instantly impoverish everyone who still has any savings left”.
For further proof that what this all means is the Australian government planning to steal your money to “bail-in” so-called “systemically-important financial institutions” (SIFI’s) — under the orders of an unelected international body (of bankers and bureaucrats) you’ve never heard of; a body funded by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), and chaired consecutively by Goldman Sachs alumni — then please study the detailed primary source evidence in this blog’s original breaking story published on April 1st –
G20 Governments All Agreed to Cyprus-Style Theft Of Bank Deposits … In 2010
That’s something else to thank our recently-deposed PM Julia Gillard for doing, without our knowledge or permission.


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May 01, 2013 5:57 PM
Corn plants dry in a drought-stricken farm field near Fritchton, Ind., last summer.

Corn plants dry in a drought-stricken farm field near Fritchton, Ind., last summer.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Say the words “crop insurance” and most people start to yawn. For years, few nonfarmers knew much about these government-subsidized insurance policies, and even fewer found any fault with them. After all, who could criticize a safety net for farmers that saves them from getting wiped out by floods or drought?

But consider this: According to a , crop insurance allowed corn and soybean farmers not only to survive last year’s epic drought, but it also allowed them to make bigger profits than they would have in a normal year. A big chunk of those profits were provided through taxpayer subsidies. In fact, crop insurance has grown into the largest subsidy that the government provides to America’s farmers.

Economist from Iowa State University carried out the new analysis. It was commissioned by the , a long-time critic of agricultural subsidies.

“We really saw, in 2012, how the crop insurance program performs,” he says. “It kind of reveals itself.”

What’s revealed, first of all, is the fact that the vast majority of farmers are signing up for a version of insurance that Babcock calls the “Cadillac.” This kind of policy covers two different kinds of losses: lower harvests or lower prices.

Here’s why it’s Cadillac insurance and why it ends up costing taxpayers billions of dollars. Last year, farmers got a poor harvest. At the same time, because corn and soybeans were in short supply, prices soared, which benefited farmers greatly. The insurance, however, paid farmers for the lost yield — but paid them at the higher, post-drought market price. Essentially, farmers reaped the drought’s benefits, yet were protected from its harm.

“Those farmers made more money than they anticipated making when they planted the crop. That’s clear,” says Babcock.


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Published on Jul 31, 2012 by

Gerald Friedman: A single-payer plan in Maryland would cover everyone, improve outcomes and make business more competitive

Part 2 What a Single Payer Health Insurance Plan Looks Like