Rstark

Centralia School District Defrauds Medicaid

July 25, 2014 in Blog

It was recently reported that the Centralia School District submitted false financial claims to the Medicaid program at least 200 times.[1] What does a school district have to do with Medicaid, a health insurance entitlement for children of poor families?

Obamacare Architect on Record for Agreeing with D.C. Appeals Court Decision

July 25, 2014 in Blog

On July 22nd, the U.S. Appeals Court for the D.C. Circuit ruled in a 2 to 1 decision that the residents of any state that used the federal health insurance exchange could not legally receive taxpayer subsidies to help them purchase health insurance. (Here) The language in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, is very specific.

Huge Blow to Obamacare Today

July 22, 2014 in Blog

In a potentially huge blow to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, the U.S. Appeals Court for the D. C. Circuit today ruled in a 2-1 decision that the I.R.S. lacked the authority to allow subsidies to be provided in health insurance exchanges not run by individual states (Halbig vs Burwell). (Here)

Greater Use of Over-the-Counter Drugs for Consumer-Driven Health Care

July 15, 2014 in Blog

One issue that is often overlooked in the discussion of patient-driven health care is access to therapeutic drugs. Specifically, should patients, as consumers, have greater choices in over-the-counter (OTC) drugs?

As recently as thirty years ago patients only had access to very basic OTC drugs such as aspirin, Tylenol and anti-acids. Now people can freely obtain a wide variety of drugs to treat ulcers, colds, the flu, as well as a much broader choice of pain medication.

The Truth Behind the Obamacare Sign-up Numbers

July 11, 2014 in Blog

The Commonwealth Fund recently reported that as of May 1, 2014, 20 million people now have health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare. A follow-up paper by the Heritage Foundation puts that number in perspective, however.

Obamacare Tax on Drug Manufacturers Will Result in Fewer or More Costly Drugs

June 19, 2014 in Blog

Part of the funding for Obamacare comes from a $2.3 billion per year tax on drug manufacturers. The tax is assessed based on the share of all drug sales for each company that specific year. The money to pay this tax will either come from higher drug prices passed on to consumers or will come from research and development budgets.

Is It Time To Close the V.A. Hospital System?

May 21, 2014 in Blog

For years, proponents of a single-payer health care system in the U.S. have pointed to the V.A. Hospital System as the example of how government-run health care can work in this country. It is now being revealed that the V.A. system has some terrible flaws. (Here, Here, Here)

Even If You Like Your Employer-sponsored Health Insurance, You Probably Won't Be Able To Keep It

May 1, 2014 in Blog

Almost half the people in the U.S. have employer-sponsored health insurance. The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, taxes or fines employers with more than 49 employees if they don't provide health insurance to their employees. The financial penalty is set at either $2,000 or $3,000 per employee per year, depending on whether the employer offers health benefits. Both numbers are significantly less than the cost of the average employee health insurance plan.

Insurance Commissioner Kreidler's New Rule

April 24, 2014 in Blog

Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler is in the process of creating a new rule for health insurance companies selling policies in the state exchange. (Here) In an interesting turn of events, hospitals and insurance companies are lining up together to oppose the ruling, but for very different reasons.

A bit of background is needed.

What Do the Obamacare Sign-up Numbers Really Mean?

April 2, 2014 in Blog

The final (sort of) numbers are out and the Obamacare supporters are doing the Happy Dance. The "official" enrollment number for the health insurance exchanges is 7.1 million people, which has been the goal since enrollment began on 10/1/13. The "sort of" comes from the fact that the Obama Administration has allowed an extention for people experiencing "hardships" in signing up. These hardships are self-reported, so essentially the Administration has extended the open enrollment period indefinitely.

Oversight of the Office of Insurance Commissioner

March 27, 2014 in Blog

It's been said there are two things you never want to see being made - sausage and legislation. In many cases, proposed legislation morphs into a totally different bill when finally passed. Fortunately, this was not exactly the situation with SB 6458.

Update on Health Savings Accounts

March 10, 2014 in Blog

The current version of health savings accounts (HSA) began in 2003, so we now have 10 years of experience with them. The Devenir Group recently published an update on HSA utilization through the end of 2013. The popularity of these plans continues to grow in spite of the limitations placed on them by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.

One More Obamacare Delay

March 5, 2014 in Blog

The Obama Administration announced yet one more major delay in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. (Here) People who have health insurance in the individual market may now keep their non-Obamacare-compliant insurance for an additional two years instead of one year.

Adverse Risk Selection Continues in the Washington State Health Insurance Exchange

January 26, 2014 in Blog

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange just released the latest enrollment numbers. (Here) These were  the enrollment figures from December 23rd, which was the deadline for coverage that began on January 1, 2014. Although somewhat improved over the November data, the numbers still reflect a serious adverse selection problem.