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Visit One News Page for Health Insurance news from around the world, aggregated from leading sources including newswires, newspapers and broadcast media. Search millions of archived news headlines. This feed provides the Health Insurance news headlines.

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    Today’s insurance industry is riddled with confusing and hidden costs, leaving consumers at a disadvantage in managing their healthcare. Transparency of actual costs is needed for both consumers and employers.

    PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (PRWEB) January 31, 2018

    Whether consumers buy their insurance themselves or are insured through their employers, they are subject to high deductibles, increasing coinsurance, and skyrocketing premiums. Because of costs, some people skip necessary medical visits, which can adversely affect their health1. But high costs are not the only issue—there are also examples of bait-and-switch and hidden costs in medical insurance. As noted by MyMedicalShopper, The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires a number of tests and procedures to be covered by health insurance at zero out-of-pocket cost to the patient. This means that a range of preventive care, from annual physical exams to colonoscopies, mammograms, flu shots and other vaccines must be given without charging a copayment or coinsurance, often referred to by patients as “free.”

    Unfortunately, “free” is rarely free when it comes to healthcare. As an example, according to MMS Analytics, Inc., the average amount paid to medical providers by health insurance carriers and/or patients for influenza vaccines in the past 12 months is $27.30. But, they point out that some providers have collected as much as $270 per flu shot. Flu shots are very often marketed to patients as “free,” and providers do usually “seem” to keep that promise from the patient’s perspective, as the out-of-pocket cost is often $0. HOWEVER, EVEN WHEN the patient pays $0 for a flu shot, the average cost paid to the provider is still $27.30, which is paid by the health insurance carrier, as well as the employer and covered employees in the form of insurance premiums. 3

    "The healthcare marketplace in the U.S. is seriously broken," said Mark Galvin, co-founder and CEO of MyMedicalShopper. "When patients are tricked into thinking that services are free, they don’t realize that there are still very real, and highly variable costs associated with that care. They don’t have any way to know the difference between a ‘free’ flu shot that costs $10 and a ‘free’ flu shot that costs $270, but the one they ultimately choose can make a huge difference to the underlying medical loss to their health plan and employer, which directly affects their future premiums.”

    There are other issues that can blindside insurance consumers. For example, many consumers will attempt to keep their costs down by seeking out and receiving in-network services (services provided by health care providers who have contracted with a consumer's insurance company to accept certain negotiated (discounted) rates). A consumer might have surgery at their local in-network hospital, but later receive a bill from an out-of-network—and thus higher-priced—assistant surgeon. Or, a person might have a visit with their in-network primary care doctor, but then receive an out-of-network bill from the lab used for blood work. 4

    A tool which compares actual post-procedure, out-of-pocket expenses for non-emergency services between care providers gives a consumer the ability to make decisions based on their own criteria. It's simply a matter of entering the procedure in a database, and being able to instantly see the provider that would save them the most money. “Patients could unknowingly pay five to ten times more than needed, simply because they don’t have the ability to shop. We estimate that our users saved over 32% on their out-of-pocket medical expenses last year when MyMedicalShopper was provided through their employer-provided insurance,” Galvin said.

    About MYMEDICALSHOPPER

    MMS Analytics, Inc. dba MyMedicalShopperTM is a big data company with big dreams for healthcare. Co-founder and CEO Mark Galvin gave rise to the company out of the need to provide consumers and companies who provide healthcare benefits to their employees with transparency—the leverage needed to make informed decisions on their healthcare and improve their quality of life. Consumers previously unfamiliar with price variations in medical procedures and testing utilize real-time health insurance plan pricing information that makes it possible to choose care based on price, quality, and convenience. Experts document that as much as $1 trillion could be slashed annually from the cost of healthcare in the U.S. The company’s goal is to transform the healthcare industry into a fair market for consumers.

    For more information visit https://www.mymedicalshopper.com/.

    1. Reports, Consumer. “9 Ways to Save Money On Your Healthcare Costs.” Consumer Reports,

    2. Reports. “Will the Affordable Care Act Cover My Flu Shot?” Health and Human Services.Gov.

    3. Proprietary claims data and algorithms. MMS Analytics, Inc. January 2018.

    4. Fontinelle, Amy. “Why People with Good Health Insurance Go into Medical Debt.” Investopedia, 11 December 2017. Reported by PRWeb 2 days ago.

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    Winning businesses recognized in over 40 categories

    Hartford, Conn. (PRWEB) January 31, 2018

    Locally owned and operated businesses are an important part of the fabric of the Greater Hartford business community. Last evening, movers, shakers and business leaders from across the region gathered at the Hartford Yard Goats Club to celebrate these enterprising companies.

    “Local businesses play an important role in the economy and the community,” said Joe Zwiebel, president and publisher of the Hartford Business Journal. “The Best of Business Awards are an opportunity for customers to recognize their favorite companies and commend them on their excellence and success.”

    The winners of the 2017 Best of Business Awards (honored in 2018) are as follows:·     Best Happy Hour Spot – City Steam
    ·     Best Spot to Grab a Coffee- Sarah’s Coffee House
    ·     Best Restaurant for Business Lunch – Max Downtown
    ·     Best Restaurant for Business Dinner- Max Downtown
    ·     Best Caterer for a Corporate Event- Café Louise
    ·     Best Outdoor Dining- Salute
    ·     Best Accounting Firm- CohnReznick LLP
    ·     Best Advertising Firm- Cronin & Company
    ·     Best Architecture Firm- S/L/A/M Collaborative
    ·     Best Law Firm- Halloran & Sage LLP
    ·     Best Engineering Firm- BETA Group, Inc.
    ·     Best Employee Benefits Company- OneDigital
    ·     Best Public Relations Firm- Cronin & Company
    ·     Best Health Insurance Provider- Connecticare
    ·     Best Commercial Real Estate Brokerage- CBRE
    ·     Best Credit Union- American Eagle Federal Credit Union
    ·     Best Bank- Webster Bank
    ·     Best Commercial Lender- Webster Bank
    ·     Best Financial Planning Services- Connecticut Wealth Management
    ·     Best Insurance Agency- Smith Brothers
    ·     Best Private Wealth Management- Connecticut Wealth Management
    ·     Best Corporate Event Venue- Dunkin’ Donuts Park
    ·     Best Public Golf Course- Keney Park Golf Course
    ·     Best Hotel- Hartford Marriott
    ·     Best Business Meeting Venue- Dunkin’ Donuts Park
    ·     Best Employee Outing Venue- Dunkin’ Donuts Park
    ·     Best Tourist Attraction- Mark Twain House
    ·     Best Private Golf Course- Hartford Golf Club
    ·     Best Commercial Landscape Company- E.A. Quinn Landscape Contracting, Inc.
    ·     Best Commercial Movers- Woodland Moving and Storage
    ·     Best Commercial Interior Design Firm- Ridgewood Designs
    ·     Best Electrical Contractors- McPhee Electric
    ·     Best Plumber/HVAC Contractor- Avon Plumbing
    ·     Best Office Furniture- OFI
    ·     Best Energy Company- Eversource
    ·     Best Commercial Property Managers- R&M Property Management
    ·     Best Audio/Visual Production Company- Powerstation Events
    ·     Best Web Design Firm- ImageWorks LLC
    ·     Best Internet Services- Comcast
    ·     Best IT Services- Whittlesey Technology
    ·     Best Printing Company- Allied Printing
    ·     Best Limousine Company- Lindsey Limousine
    ·     Best Luxury Auto Dealer- Hoffman Auto Group
    ·     Best Men’s Business Clothier – Morneault’s Stackpole Moore Tryon
    ·     Best Women’s Business Clothier- Morneault’s Stackpole Moore Tryon
    ·     Best Jeweler- Lux Bond & Green
    ·     Best Continuing Education Program- Manchester Community College
    ·     Best MBA Program- UConn
    ·     Best Nonprofit Fundraiser Event- Hartford’s Camp Courant Buddy Bash

    The Best of Business Awards were presented by Hartford Business Journal and sponsored by UConn School of Business, WFSB-3 Eyewitness News, and Hartford Yard Goats (presenting sponsors) and Express Strategies (event sponsor). Event Partners include J. Fiereck Photography, Merritt Graphics, Rider Productions and Co-Communications, Marketing & Public Relations.

    ####
    About Hartford Business Journal
    Hartford Business Journal is the only audited weekly, subscription-based business publication in Connecticut. Whether it’s market trends, the latest merger news or an update on state government, this award-winning weekly is the “must read” for area business leaders. Hartford Business Journal has a total readership of 31,000 affluent and educated business decision makers in the 61 towns that make up Metro Hartford. For more information, please visit http://www.hartfordbusiness.com or call 860.236.9998. Reported by PRWeb 2 days ago.

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    THE INSURANCE AND THE IoT REPORT: How insurers are using connected devices to cut costs and more accurately price policies This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.

    Insurance companies have long based their pricing models and strategies on assumptions about the demographics of their customers. Auto insurers, for example, have traditionally charged higher premiums for parents of teenage drivers based on the assumption that members of this demographic are more likely to get into an accident.

    But those assumptions are inherently flawed, since they often aren't based on the actual behaviors and characteristics of individual customers. As new IoT technologies increasingly move into the mainstream, insurers are able to collect and analyze data to more accurately price premiums, helping them to protect the assets they insure and enabling more efficient assessment of damages to conserve resources.

    A new report from BI Intelligence explains how companies in the auto, health, and home insurance markets are using the data produced by IoT solutions to augment their existing policy pricing models and grow their customer bases. In addition, it examines areas where IoT devices have the potential to open up new insurance segments.

     Here are some of the key takeaways:

    · The world's largest auto insurers now offer usage-based policies, which price premiums based on vehicle usage data collected directly from the car.
    · Large home and commercial property insurers are using drones to inspect damaged properties, which can improve workflow efficiency and reduce their reliance on human labor.
    · Health and life insurance firms are offering customers fitness trackers to encourage healthy behavior, and discounts for meeting certain goals.
    · Home insurers are offering discounts on smart home devices to current customers, and in some cases, free devices to entice new customers.

    In full, the report:

    · Forecasts the number of Americans who will have tried usage-based auto insurance by 2021.
    · Explains why narrowly tailored wearables could be what's next for the health insurance industry.
    · Analyzes the market for potential future insurance products on IoT devices.
    · Discusses and analyzes the barriers to consumers opting in to policies that collect their data.

    To get your copy of this invaluable guide to the IoT, choose one of these options:

    1. Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> *START A MEMBERSHIP*
    2. Purchase the report and download it immediately from our research store. >> *BUY THE REPORT*

    The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of insurance and the IoT.

    Join the conversation about this story » Reported by Business Insider 20 hours ago.

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    Real estate firm HomeSmart International is offering health insurance benefits to its 14,000 agents nationwide. Scottsdale-based HomeSmart is working with Resourcing Edge, a benefits firm, to offer health insurance to residential agents. “As independent contractors, finding suitable benefits for themselves and their families can be time consuming and expensive,” said Wendy Forsythe, COO of HomeSmart International. “We’re glad to have the opportunity to offer a solution to agents so that… Reported by bizjournals 19 hours ago.

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    The Union government is likely to pay an annual premium of less than Rs 1,200 per family for the ambitious national health protection scheme, for which approximately Rs 12,000 crore is required every year.

    For 2018-19, the government has made an initial provision of Rs 2,000 crore and an extra Rs 800 crore is expected from the states, when they join the scheme. Some money is also expected from the enhanced health and education cess.

    Taken together, the resources are adequate to launch the scheme, most probably on October 2, say government officials.

    Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said the scheme, dubbed as the worlds biggest health cover plan that provides medical insurance to 50 crore individuals, would be cashless and not a reimbursement scheme.

    There are two routes to implement the scheme - buying insurance from a private company or involving a government-supported trust to provide the insurance cover. It would be left to the state governments to decide which model they would like to adopt.

    "The scheme takes care of hospitalisation, secondary and tertiary care. Obviously, it will involve various state hospitals and selected private hospitals. It can be on trust model, it can be on insurance model. Its not on a reimbursement model since there are too many complaints about this model," Jaitley said.

    Asked whether the scheme would provide a profiteering opportunity for insurance companies, health ministry sources told DH that insurance firms would be asked to keep their administrative cost and profit collectively below 20%.

    Currently, 24 states run health insurance schemes for the poor. The officials hoped that most of these schemes would be merged with the new programme. The Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna too would be subsumed into it.

    The ambitious scheme that is being hailed as Modi-care by the ruling dispensation, is yet to be approved by the Expenditure Finance Committee under the Union Finance Ministry and by the Cabinet. "We have just circulated an EFC note," said health ministry sources.

    Union Health Minister J P Nadda said the Union government would provide 60% money for the scheme and the balance would come from the states. It would provide cover to the geriatric population.

    Though the scheme would be Aadhaar linked, eligibility would not be denied to those not having the unique identification card.

    "The scheme would change Indias socio-economic scene by preventing bankruptcy of many families due to healthcare costs. It will improve Indias economic productivity," Nadda said.

    The rising out-of-pocket expenditure on health is one of the biggest ills facing millions of Indians. It adversely impacts the finances of 62% of the population, according to the Economic Survey. Reported by Deccan Herald 2 hours ago.

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    Idaho made an announcement last week that it will now allow insurers to sell health insurance that doesn’t fit with... Reported by Deseret News 4 hours ago.

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    **State-level reforms for universal health care are laudable; they are not single payer.**

    Two states with a long history of state-based healthcare reform efforts, California and New York, are hard at work organizing for state bills labeled as single payer healthcare plans. Other states are moving in that direction too. This raises questions by single payer advocates: Can states create single payer healthcare systems? Does state-level work help or hinder our goal of National Improved Medicare for All (NIMA)?

    The movement for NIMA gained momentum throughout 2017, largely due to rising premiums under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Republican efforts to worsen the healthcare crisis. Supporters of NIMA mobilized to build support for single payer legislation in Congress, spoke out at Town Halls and pressured lawmakers. As a result, the House bill, HR 676: The Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, grew to 120 co-sponsors, the highest number in its 15-year history, and Senator Sanders was successfully pressured to introduce a bill in the Senate, S 1804: The Medicare for All Act.

    As momentum grew, the expected push back materialized. In the spring, Democrats in Congress urged people to focus on fixing the ACA and uttered support for various forms of a public insurance, a ‘public option’ or Medicare buy-in. In August, well-known progressives, claiming to be ‘single payer supporters’, published articles arguing that single payer was too much to ask for and outlining ‘incremental approaches’. Members of Congress, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, complained about Democratic voters making single payer a litmus test in the next elections. Pelosi said, “So I say to people, if you want [single payer], do it in your States.  States are laboratories.” The message was clear, there was too much pressure for NIMA and Democrats didn’t like it. Sending people to work at the state level would lower the heat on Congress

    **State Efforts for Universal Health Care**

    Canada is often pointed to as a model for achieving National Improved Medicare for All in the United States. A universal medical insurance was first created in the province of Saskatchewan in 1962, following decades of increasing socialization of medicine in several provinces and a national law that financed universal hospital coverage at the provincial level. By 1968, a universal publicly-financed Medicare program was adopted nationally. Could the same path occur in the US?

    The twenty-first century healthcare system in the United States is much more complex than the Canadian system was in the 1960s. At that time, health care was left up to the provinces. Dr. Don McCanne writes, “We cannot use the example of Saskatchewan and pretend that a state can set up a single payer system that could serve as an example for the nation – a model that could be expanded to all states. No. Saskatchewan began with a tabula rasa. They were able to create a de novo single payer system.”

    Rather than socializing medicine, the US has experienced decades of increasing privatization. There are a multitude of payers in the US, which include private insurance through employers, unions and individually, public programs, and national programs for federal employees and the military. A state would have to succeed in obtaining multiple waivers from the federal government and changes to federal laws to enact a state-based program. One federal law, the Employee Retirement and Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), which prohibits states from regulating employee benefits, is a major obstacle. States also face the hurdle of being required to balance their budgets, a barrier that doesn’t exist at the national level.

    As outlined in Public Citizen’s “Roadmap to Single Payer,” a state can potentially make its healthcare system more efficient, but it cannot achieve a pure single payer system; thus, it can’t attain the bulk of savings that a single payer system would have. Within their budget constraints, states would be forced to raise the costs to individuals and businesses or lower coverage if they are not able to meet their needs for care. This has happened in every past attempt by states to achieve universal coverage, as Drs. Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein document in “State Health Reform Flatlines.”

    If a state were able to pass a bill outlining a path toward a universal healthcare system and to be granted a federal waiver from the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which are major feats, the state would still face significant barriers, some of which make it impossible to create a pure single payer program.

    **Barriers to state single payer**

    *1. Federal health plans – *There are numerous federal health plans, such as Medicare for seniors and those who qualify for disability, the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), which includes over 200 plans, the Veterans Health Administration (VA), the Indian Health Service (IHS) and Tri-Care for members of the military; it is not possible to merge all these programs into a single state system.

    Medicare does not have the authority to give federal Medicare dollars to the state as a block grant. Single payer advocates have opposed passing a federal law that would allow this due to concern that it would dismantle the Medicare Program state-by-state and allow some states to use the law to further privatize Medicare through vouchers.

    Some state advocates have considered applying for a new state healthcare plan to be considered a Medicare Advantage plan. These are private plans offered under Medicare. If such a waiver were granted, the state still could not force seniors to choose the state plan, so it would only capture some of the Medicare recipients in the state.

    There is a similar situation with the health plans for federal employees. It would require a change in federal law to shift the FEHBP to the state. Perhaps a state could apply to be considered a choice for federal employees but even if it succeeded, it could not compel federal employees to choose their plan. Tri-Care is a program run by the Department of Defense that would also continue to operate outside the new state system. And the VA and IHS would operate independently as well.

    It is possible, although this has not been tried yet, that a state could become an intermediary between providers in the state and the various federal programs such that claims would be submitted to the state and the state would collect the payment from the federal program to pay the provider. This would add more administrative complexity and cost to the state program, and providers would still have to interact with the individual plans for authorization of care.

    *2. Medicaid* – Medicaid is a federal program for people with low incomes administered at the state level. A state would have to apply for a waiver to incorporate Medicaid into its new state program. There is greater flexibility for a state to do this than there is for Medicare. States would still have to track how many people qualify for Medicaid to be reimbursed for them by the federal government, another administrative task that adds cost, or would need to ask for a block grant. Single payer advocates have opposed turning Medicaid into a block grant program because that would limit funds during periods of recession when more people qualify for Medicaid. A block grant would not expand as the need expanded. Currently, all states except Connecticut use a mix of private insurance Managed Care Organizations (MCO’s) for Medicaid patients. To streamline its Medicaid system, a state would need to get rid of its multiple Medicaid MCO’s.

    *3. Employer Health Plans* – Employee benefits are protected under a federal law, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). While states have the authority to regulate health insurers that operate in their state, they do not have authority to regulate plans offered by businesses that self-insure, which is 60 percent of businesses that provide health benefits. Any interference in employee benefits can be challenged under ERISA and would result in a lengthy and expensive court battle.

    California and New York are trying to circumvent ERISA by stating explicitly that their state program “does not create any employment benefit, nor does it require, prohibit, or limit the providing of any employment benefit.” However, a state system would be challenged under ERISA, and recent ERISA challenges have not been favorable. A case between the state of Vermont and Liberty Mutual, which operates as an ERISA plan, went to the US Supreme Court in 2016 and was decided against the state. The case involved a law requiring insurers to report claims data. Even though the Vermont law did not specifically target ERISA plans, it was determined to be preempted by ERISA because it had a “connection” to the ERISA plan. Another impermissible “connection” would occur if “economic effects of the state law force an ERISA plan to adopt a certain scheme of substantive coverage or effectively restrict its choice of insurers.” A state law requiring businesses to pay a payroll tax would likely be viewed as restricting choice.

    **States can strive for universal coverage, but calling plans single payer is incorrect**

    For many decades, states have introduced and passed laws aimed at achieving universal health care coverage. None has yet succeeded in being universal or sustainable, but these are admirable efforts that have increased access to care, at least temporarily. It is possible for a state, using the roadmap outlined by Public Citizen, to move towards universal coverage. It is not possible to achieve a pure single payer system at the state level and so states forego the significant savings of a single payer system.

    In the drive towards universal health care, states might consider working to get rid of private Medicaid MCOs as Connecticut did so that more Medicaid dollars are available to cover more people and/or more care. Oklahoma had a similar program that was successful. Part of the success of these programs is providing case management for people with significant health needs to avoid preventable emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

    Given that states are not able to achieve pure single payer systems, states take a risk when they label themselves single payer or Medicare for All. While it is understandable that these terms are popular and that most advocates for health reform support single payer, and so are inspired to work for it, it is misleading and could harm national efforts.

    For example, Vermont passed a law in 2010 requiring the state to develop a plan for universal healthcare coverage. That law allowed the state to contract Dr. William Hsaio, who assisted in the design of the Taiwanese single payer healthcare system in the 1990s, to design their system. Vermont’s system was not a single payer system, yet it was consistently called single payer by the Governor, advocates and the media. It failed, and its failure was blamed on its high cost.

    Similarly, Colorado attempted universal healthcare coverage in 2016 through the creation of a state-wide publicly-financed healthcare cooperative: “ColoradoCare would have replaced most private health insurance and taken over the state’s Medicaid program for the poor and people with disabilities, starting in 2019. The ballot initiative did not seek to replace Medicare benefits or current health coverage for veterans, military personnel and civilian defense employees.”

    The Colorado plan was called single payer, even though it wasn’t, and its defeat was marked in the media as a second defeat for single payer health care. Prominent Democrats opposed ColoradoCare. Some progressive groups in Colorado also declined to support it, saying that single payer can only be done at the national level. It is hard to argue with them when they are correct. It undermines our legitimacy if single payer advocates are on the inaccurate side of that argument.

    **Do state efforts help or hinder national efforts?**

    Advocates for ‘single payer’ at the state level often say that state efforts will help national efforts. Some advocates work for reform at the state level because they believe the public will be more inspired to fight for change at the local than at the national level.

    It is true that it is often easier to engage people around local or state efforts. They feel more winnable. But, what happens when the public is told they are working for state-based single payer and then they find out that they have been misled because the goal is not possible? It may be that public trust is lost or that people experience a deep disappointment because they worked hard for something that will never be realized.

    And, what would happen if a state succeeded in passing a health law? First, it would take a tremendous effort focused on influencing state, not national, legislators to pass it. Second, that level of state-based pressure would have to be maintained to implement the law. And third, a state campaign would be so focused on these efforts that it would have little time or resources to advocate for change at the national level. Their national fight would be aimed at applying for waivers and winning changes to the Medicare law and ERISA.

    Imagine if a highly-populated progressive state such as California or New York were to drop out of the national effort for NIMA to focus on their state. This would be a huge loss. Dr. Woolhandler reminds us, “Living in New York or Massachusetts doesn’t lessen our sense of responsibility for millions in the Deep South and other ‘red state’ areas for whom national legislation is the only realistic option for health care progress.”

    The only way we will achieve National Improved Medicare for All is if we develop a movement of movements and strategic campaigns focused on that goal. It is going to be a fight, but it is a winnable fight, especially now as the ACA becomes unsustainable and Congress threatens the minor safety net currently in existence. To win, we need to continue to build momentum in our states to pressure members of Congress. This election year is a perfect time to do that, particularly during the primaries when candidates are sensitive about their image.

    We need to connect our fights to other struggles to protect public insurances such as Medicaid and Medicare. The solution to preserving our social health systems is to make them universal. Then we have the social solidarity, everybody in and nobody out, to protect and strengthen them.

    A study of social movements shows us that we are close to winning NIMA. The power holders will predictably work to throw us off track by sending us down false paths of partial reforms and state-based efforts and lure us into working on elections. We must recognize and resist these distractions. We will win when we have built the popular power to shift the political culture so that no politician can be on the wrong side of this issue. We win when there is a loud and clear public demand for National Improved Medicare for All. Reported by Eurasia Review 4 hours ago.

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    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Illinois said on Friday it will require its Medicaid recipients work or do some other form of community engagement, becoming the second state to make this fundamental change to the 50-year-old health insurance program for the poor. Reported by Reuters 2 hours ago.

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    “Unlike the standard mediclaim, which is an urban phenomenon, a big chunk of the people covered under the NHPS are living in remote districts. The healthcare facilities are largely trust, missionary and district hospitals where the cost is significantly lower,” said Apollo Munich Health Insurance CEO Antony Jacob. Reported by IndiaTimes 18 hours ago.

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    Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said his government has undertaken many path-breaking economic reforms, making the country the most preferred investment destination with the highest FDI in last fiscal at USD 60 billion.

    Inaugurating the two-day Global Investors Summit hosted by Assam, Modi said the NDA government has speeded up the functioning of official machinery and "we want all programmes to be completed before target".

    Modi stressed that Indias growth story will gain further momentum only when there is an all-round development of the North-east and its people, and stressed the importance of Act East Policy in this regard.

    "We have created the Act East Policy and the Northeast is at the heart of it.

    "The Act East Policy requires increased people to people contact, trade ties and other relations with countries on Indias east, particularly ASEAN countries," he said.

    The prime minister said the tagline of the summit Advantage Assam: Indias Express way to ASEAN is not just a statement but is a comprehensive vision.

    "The Union government has taken up many path breaking economic reforms in last three-and-a-half years, which have simplified procedures for doing business," he said.

    Talking about the recent announcements in the budget, he said 45-50 crore people will benefit from the health insurance scheme Ayushman Bharat and it has enhanced the possibilities of setting up hospitals in tier II and III cities by hospital chains.

    The new target for the Ujjwala scheme of providing free cooking gas has now been fixed at eight crore women, the PM said.

    He said India has become the most preferred investment destination in the world and the highest USD 60 billion FDI came to India in 2016-17.

    Modi said his government has changed the functioning style of the official machinery and it was now working with greater speed.

    "We want all programmes to be completed before target," he said.

    Those present at the event included Bhutanese PM Tshering Tobgay, several Union ministers, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, chief ministers of Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur, ambassadors and high commissioners of 16 countries, RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani, Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekharan besides other.

    Assam is hosting its first global investors summit to showcase its manufacturing opportunities and geostrategic advantages to foreign and domestic investors.

    The summit aims at highlighting Assams core competencies in different sectors along with the policy initiatives taken by the state government.

    Sonowal had earlier told PTI that the event will showcase the manufacturing prowess and the opportunities offered by Assam in terms of export-oriented manufacturing and services to growing economies such as of ASEAN countried and others in Southeast Asia. Reported by Deccan Herald 13 hours ago.

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    Highlighting "path-breaking" economic reforms undertaken by his government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said Indias growth story will further pick up speed when there is an all-round development of the Northeast.

    Inaugurating the two-day Global Investors Summit hosted by Assam, he stressed on the importance of Act East Policy in the Centres aim of achieving balanced and fast-paced growth of the Northeastern region.

    "We have created the Act East Policy and the Northeast is at the heart of it.

    "The Act East Policy requires increased people to people contact, trade ties and other relations with countries on Indias east, particularly ASEAN countries," he said.

    The prime minister said due to economic reforms, India is today the most preferred investment destination in the world with the highest FDI in last fiscal at USD 60 billion, and highlighted the countrys improved credit rating, low inflation rate and an opening of various sectors to foreign direct investment.

    "The world sees India today as an emerging powerhouse for economic growth," he said.

    Modi said his government has changed the work culture of the official machinery, giving it greater speed, and "we want all projects to be completed before target".

    Pointing to initiatives announced in the Budget on health insurance and free cooking gas connection for the poor and transparency in tax regime, he said all the schemes of the Union government are oriented towards bringing about a qualitative change in the lives of the people.

    The aim is to improve "ease of living", the prime minister said.

    The Union government has taken up many path-breaking economic reforms in last three years, which have simplified procedures for doing business, he said.

    It is a result of these reforms that India today ranks 100 among 190 countries in the Doing Business Report, of the World Bank, after climbing up 42 ranks, Modi said.

    Indias position has improved in many other ratings like Global Competitiveness Index of World Economic Forum and Moodys rating upgrade from stable to positive in November 2017.

    "Our policies have ensured that inflation remains below 5 percent mark. Now, we have foreign exchange reserves of USD 418 billion.

    "Many new sectors have been opened for 100 per cent FDI through automatic routes like automobiles, textiles, tourism, ports and highways.

    "Today, India is one of the most preferred destinations for FDI. India has received highest ever annual FDI of USD 60 billion in 2016-17," he said.

    Talking about the recent announcements in the budget, he said 45-50 crore people will benefit from the health insurance scheme Ayushman Bharat and it has enhanced the possibilities of setting up hospitals in tier II and III cities by hospital chains.

    Modi said the governments current focus is on infrastructure investment and next year it will be investing about Rs 6 lakh crore in this sector.

    "This year we aim to complete more than 9,000 kilometres length of National Highways. We will be developing 35,000 kilometers of roads with investment of Rs 5.35 lakh crore under Bharatmala project," he said, adding the Railways will make an investment of Rs 1.48 lakh crore in 2018-19. Assam is hosting its first global investors summit to showcase its manufacturing opportunities and geostrategic advantages to foreign and domestic investors.

    The summit aims at highlighting Assams core competencies in different sectors along with the policy initiatives taken by the state government.

    The prime minister said the tagline of the summit Advantage Assam: Indias Express way to ASEAN is not just a statement but is a comprehensive vision.

    Indias growth story will further pick up speed only when there is an all-round development of the Northeast and its people, he said.

    Modi said development of MSME sector is a priority for the government as this is the back-bone of countrys industries.

    "In this years budget, we are giving a big relief to MSMEs by reducing rate of income tax to 25 per cent on companies reporting a turn-over of up to Rs. 250 crore.

    "This will benefit almost 99 per cent of companies, he said.

    Modi said the 2018-19 budget has provided additional deduction to the employees of 30 per cent of the wages paid for new employees under the Income Tax Act.

    "We are also rolling out e-assessment of income tax across the country to eliminate corruption and bring efficiency and transparency, he said.

    Further, the women employees contribution to EPF will be 8 per cent for first three years against existing rate of 12 per cent.

    The prime minister said he was happy to note that Assam is ranked first among the Northeastern states in the Ease of Doing Business report.

    "I am sure that with the present leadership of the state government, Assam is going to further improve its current position to emerge as one of the most sought-after states for industrial investment in the country," he said.

    Those present at the event included Bhutanese PM Tshering Tobgay, several Union ministers, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, chief ministers of Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur, ambassadors and high commissioners of 16 countries, RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani, Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekharan besides other. PTI ACB NES RT Reported by Deccan Herald 11 hours ago.

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    ez1095 2017 ACA software has been updated to accommodate the recently IRS extended due dates for ACA Forms. Test drive the 30 day no cost or obligation trial at http://www.halfpricesoft.com.

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (PRWEB) February 03, 2018

    Due date changes have recently been released by the IRS for ACA forms. ez1095 ACA software developers at Halfpricesoft.com will add extended assistance in filing to accommodate these changes. Halfpricesoft.com team have added the date change information below for customer convenience.

    1095 individual copies: March 2, 2018· The due date for furnishing to individuals the 2017 Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, is March 2, 2018.
    · The due date for furnishing to individuals the 2017 Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, is March 2, 2018.

    IRS extends due date for employers and providers to issue HACA forms to individuals in 2018.

    Insurers, self-insuring employers, other coverage providers, and applicable large employers now have until March 2, 2018, to provide Forms 1095-B or 1095-C to individuals, which is a 30-day extension from the original due date of Jan. 31.

    (Source:https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-extends-due-date-for-employers-and-providers-to-issue-health-coverage-forms-to-individuals-in-2018)

    1095 and 1094 IRS copies: Feb 28, 2018 If mailing paper form, March 31 if efiling

    The due date for filing with the service the 2017 Form 1094-B, transmittal of health coverage information returns, and the 2017 form 1095-B, health coverage, remains unchanged. The due date is February 28, 2017; if filing electronically, the due date is March 31, 2018.

    The due date for filing with the service the 2017 Form 1094-C, transmittal of employer-provided health insurance offer and coverage information returns, and the 2017 form 1095-C, employer-provided health insurance offer and coverage, remains unchanged. The due date is February 28, 2018; if filing electronically, the due date is March 31, 2018.

    “Ez1095 2017 ACA software accommodates extensions released by the IRS on due dates for the information reporting requirements,” said Dr. Ge, the founder of Halfpricesoft.com.

    Customers that need to file Form 1095C, 1094C, 1095B and 1094B can download and try out this ACA software from halfpricesoft.com before purchasing with no obligation by visiting http://www.halfpricesoft.com/aca-1095/form-1095-software-free-download.asp

    ez1095 software allows customers to import data quickly from external file and makes it easy to print ACA forms for recipients. Priced from just $195 per installation, ez1095 can support multiple company accounts on the same machine at no extra charge.

    The main features include but are not limited to :

    · Print ACA Form 1095-C, 1094-C, 1095-B and 1094-B on white paper for recipients and IRS with inkjet or laser printer.
    · PDF print 1095-C and 1095-B recipient copies
    · Efile version available at additional cost.
    · Support unlimited companies.
    · Support unlimited number of recipients.
    · Print unlimited number of 1095 and 1094 forms.
    · Fast data import feature
    · Print Form 1095 C: Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Insurance
    · Print Form 1094 C: Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns
    · Print Form 1095-B: Health Coverage
    · Print Form 1094-B: Transmittal of Health Coverage Information Return

    ez1095 software is compatible Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP and other Windows systems. Designed with simplicity in mind, ez1095 software is easy to use and flexible. ez1095 software’s graphical interface leads customers step-by-step through setting up company, adding employees, add forms and print forms. Customers can also click form level help links to get more details regarding the software.

    To learn more about ez1095 ACA software, customers can visit http://www.halfpricesoft.com/aca-1095/aca-1095-software.asp

    About halfpricesoft.com
    Founded in 2003, Halfpricesoft.com has established itself as a leader in meeting the software needs of small businesses around the world with its payroll software, employee attendance tracking software, check printing software, W2 software, 1099 software and barcode generating software. It continues to grow with its philosophy that small business owners need affordable, user friendly, super simple, and totally risk-free software. Reported by PRWeb 15 hours ago.

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    Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in an exclusive interview to Zee Business spoke about different facets of the Union Budget 2018. 

    He said that the people have welcomed the budget overall. Reacting to criticism regarding not providing enough sops, Jaitley said that in the past three years enough relief has been given to them. Arun Jaitley highlighted how this budget will be greatly beneficial for the retired class. 

    Union Finance Minister assured that farmers will be compensated in case crops are destroyed. 

    Union Finance Minister says that they are tried to do structural changes in the first few years and did a stock checking. And the need was felt to prioritise the rural sector. He also said that poor has the first right to government's money. 

     In his last budget before general elections, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley unveiled a slew of measures for agriculture as well as the rural sector and announced a new health insurance scheme for the poor, but provided little relief to the middle class.

    With chaotic implementation of the Goods and Services Tax and demonetisation causing distress in the economy, Jaitley announced massive spending on rural and urban infrastructure as also lower tax rates for small and medium enterprises.

    While continuing the 10-15 per cent surcharge on super- rich, he raised the health and education cess, levied on all taxable income, to 4 per cent from 3 per cent at present.

    Keeping the income tax rates and slabs unchanged, he introduced a Rs 40,000 Standard Deduction for salaried employees and pensioners in lieu of the present exemption in respect of transport and medical expenses.

    Jaitley however made import of a host of products -- from cellphone to perfumes and toiletry, from watches to parts of automobiles, sunglasses to truck and bus tyres, footwear to diamonds and edible oils to fruit juices -- costly by raising customs duty.

    Fourteen years after it was scrapped, he brought back tax on gains made from sale of shares to offset revenue losses.

    In the 110 minute speech, in which he kept switching from English to Hindi for wider mass appeal, Jaitley announced plans for agriculture, rural housing, organic farming, animal husbandry and fisheries with a total allocation of Rs 14.34 lakh crore.

    "My government is committed for the welfare of farmers," he said announcing that his party's election promise of fixing a minimum support price (MSP) at 150 per cent of the cost will be implemented for all kharif crops this year.

    The Union Budget 2018-19 was the last full budget before the general elections next year, when a vote on account would be presented. The next full budget will be presented by the new government.

    With GST and demonetisation pulling down GDP growth rate in Asia's third largest economy to its lowest level in three years, he said economic growth was picking up and "firmly on path to achieve 8 per cent plus growth soon".

    "Indian economy is now USD 2.5 trillion - seventh largest in the world. India is expected to become the fifth largest economy very soon," he said.

    Article Type: 
    Report
    Sections: 
    Business
    Authors: 
    DNA Web Team
    Agencies: 
    DNA webdesk
    Tags: 
    Union Budget 2018
    Budget 2018
    Arun Jaitley
    Zee Business
    Sat, 3 Feb 2018-05:33pm
    Date updated: 
    Saturday, 3 February 2018 - 5:33pm
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    dnai.in/ffiG
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    From Print Edition: 
    Highlights:  Reported by DNA 11 hours ago.

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    Dear Abby: My younger sister is planning a destination wedding this summer. Recently she had a courthouse wedding for health insurance purposes because she’s going back to school full-time. I am the matron of honor and she also has a maid of honor (which I am confused about; can you have both?). She is still planning her destination wedding because she won’t consider herself “really married” until the formal ceremony. Save-the-date notices were already sent. I told her I didn’t feel comfortable throwing a bachelorette party since she’s already married. She was fine with it, and mentioned the maid of honor may have a bonfire with their friends. Reported by SFGate 11 hours ago.

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    Policybazaar.com Ropes in Tisca Chopra and Pankaj Tripathi for a New Ad Campaign *Policybazaar.com* (twitter handle: @policybazaar_in), India’s largest insurance website and comparison portal, has roped in actors *Tisca Chopra* and *Pankaj Tripathi* to launch a new health insurance campaign.The campaign aims at highlighting how access to health insurance can help people to avoid taking extreme measures when facing a medical exigency. Health Insurance can be used as a powerful protection tool against these unexpected events.

     
     

    *A still from Policybazaar.com’s new health insurance ad*

     

    The campaign is designed by the in-house team of Policybazaar.com and executed by *K Silent Productions*. It is launched on digital media channel on 15^th January, 2018 and will go on air on 19^th January, 2018.

     
     

    *A still from Policybazaar.com’s new health insurance ad*

     

    Speaking on the launch,* Mr. Dhruv Sarin - Head of Health Insurance, Policybazaar.com *said, “The medical inflation in India is increasing at an alarming rate, owing to higher medical bills. Roughly around 70% of medical expenses are borne out of pocket in India. Moreover, the health insurance penetration in India is abysmally low. Through the campaign, we are pushing customers to realise the immediate need of buying health insurance to safeguard against any unforeseen medical events.

     

    As per the survey conducted by the National Sample Survey Organisation from January 2013 to June 2014, 1 out 5 people did not have sufficient corpus to pay their medical expense and had to borrow money from friends or family,” he added.

     

    *Mr. Sai Narayan - Associate Director and Head of Marketing, Policybazaar.com *added, “With the rise in number of lifestyle and environmental diseases, it is very important to invest in a good health insurance that covers most aspects of unexpected hospitalization. Not having health insurance or inadequate cover can leave you vulnerable. The cost of medical treatment either eats all the savings or people end up borrowing. Our new campaign focuses on how having a health Insurance will empower you to do the right things for your family.”

     

    He further added, “In all our earlier campaigns, we have emphasized on the comparison before buying, however, with this campaign, we have gone one step ahead and tried to push the customers to buy an adequate health insurance policy. The campaign is mainly aimed at spreading awareness amongst first time buyers. *Majboori Nahi, Health Insurance Chuniye *is the creative rendition and the thought behind the campaign.”

     

    The TV commercial starts with a contractor (actor Pankaj Tripathi) entering the cabin of an officer (actor Tisca Chopra) who is sitting on her desk, signing files. Contractor and his assistant sit on the chair and the lady officer says, “Fir aa gaye, tumhara tender nahi pass hone wala. The contractor then says, leave it madam. We are here to ask about your husband, we’ve heard he is not well. The lady says tomorrow is his operation. The contractor then says, medical expenses are brutal, and his assistant adds to his comment “*5 lakhs*”. Hearing this, the contractor gives his assistant a sign and the assistant grabs a box of the first-aid kit filled with cash and place it on the table, saying “*help*”. Then the contractor says, not for sweets but for medicines. To this, the lady takes a sigh and says, to avoid being compelled by illness, we had purchased health insurance from Policybazaar.com. She pushes back the money with her pen, saying thanks for the help and gets back to work. The contractor then asks his assistant in a whispering tone, she said Policybazaar? And his assistant replies, she is telling us to get-out.

     

                            

     

    *Majboori Nahi, Health Insurance Chuniye - PolicyBazaar.com*

     

    *YouTube Link: *

    *https://youtu.be/TEToN-zuHfU*

     

    *Creative Credits: *

    Policybazaar.com Marketing Team

    Associate Director and Head of Marketing - Sai Narayan

    Marketing Manager - Samir Sethi

     

    *Production House: K Silent Productions*

    Writer / Creative Director: Riazat Khan

    Director: Anand Karir

    Executive Producer: KC Pandey

     

    *About PolicyBazaar.com*

    PolicyBazaar.com is India's largest insurance marketplace. It has backing from a host of investors including the likes of Temasek, Tiger Global Management, True North, InfoEdge (Naukri.com), Premji Invest, besides investments from other PE funds and family offices. The portal started with a purpose to educate people on insurance products and has had a significant influence on how insurance is bought in India. It has helped in driving penetration of pure life insurance, health insurance and such products which were barely bought earlier.

     

    From receiving traffic of 180,000 visitors in 2008, PolicyBazaar.com has come a long way and today hosts over 80 million visitors yearly and records sale of nearly 150,000 transactions a month. Currently, PolicyBazaar.com accounts for nearly 25% of India’s life cover, and over 7% of India’s retail health business. It accounts for roughly half of all internet based insurance purchase in the country, and is more than doubling annually.

     

    The company has received several accolades in India and globally. The most noteworthy being recognized as India’s top and world’s leading “*Fin Tech Innovator*” by the Global consultancy firm, KPMG and venture capital fund, H2 Ventures for 2015 & 2016. It has won a range of awards, including The Financial Express “*Best Fintech Marketplace*”, The Economic Times “*Best Corporate Brand*”, Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) “*Best Financial Website*” for two years, and BML Munjal Award for “*Excellence in Learning & Development*” among the most notable ones in the last couple of years. Reported by NewsVoir 1 hour ago.

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    Will the Trump administration compel Idaho to stick to health insurance rules laid out in the Affordable Care Act or let the state proceed with plans to skip some of its consumer protections? Reported by NPR 5 days ago.

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    Nearly 25% of full-time employees in the U.S. do not receive benefits, such as health insurance, retirement savings plan, or paid vacation, from their employers, according to a new survey by Clutch Reported by Mondaq 5 days ago.

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    This new alliance promises to save employers on health insurance premiums Reported by bizjournals 5 days ago.

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    New hire adds depth to company's strengths in cyber security, systems integration, M&A

    RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (PRWEB) January 30, 2018

    Jon Kelly, a 29-year leader in IT systems and strategy, has joined CREO, Inc., a Research Triangle Park-based management consulting firm specializing in the life sciences, healthcare, and technology services industries. Kelly will serve as principal consultant, advising clients in cyber security, due diligence and integration of IT systems, and regulatory compliance.

    Kelly joins CREO after 12 years in progressively senior roles at CSRA, an IT services company serving US government customers. He most recently held the position of Senior Director, Managed Hosting Services, where he led a group that created full-service hosting and data center operations supporting more than 50 contracts operating under stringent Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) Moderate level requirements. He was a member of CSRA’s senior leadership team.

    Kelly spent nearly a decade leading IT due diligence during mergers and acquisitions, including post-merger systems integration, at SRA and The Constella Group, both later acquired by CSRA. Earlier in his career, he held a variety of technical, consulting and sales engineering roles at legal and accounting firms. He is a graduate of West Virginia University.

    “Jon offers our clients a wealth of experience to help solve their critical technical challenges,” says Mike Townley, co-founder and managing partner at CREO, Inc. “Many companies, especially those in industries such as drug discovery and clinical research organizations, recognize the need to strengthen technology, procedures and training for data privacy and security. Jon has built these systems from the ground up, and led teams that implemented effective solutions.”

    Kelly is excited to return to consulting, which will provide him an opportunity to work both with emerging companies and established industry leaders. “I am looking forward to putting my nearly 3 decades of hands-on operational, leadership and technical skills into helping CREO’s clients address their most pressing issues, using proven solutions,” he says. Kelly says he anticipates helping companies assure that their IT systems are compliant with federal regulations, including FISMA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the electronic records requirements mandated by the Food & Drug Administration.

    ABOUT CREO, Inc.: CREO, Inc. is an innovative management consulting and advisory firm based in Research Triangle Park. CREO helps its clients operate effectively, freeing them to apply their talents, pursue their mission, and realize their vision through a focus on effective operations and organizational health. CREO’s senior team of C-level advisors works shoulder-to-shoulder with clients to solve their toughest challenges and realize their biggest opportunities. To learn more, visit http://www.creoinc.net. Reported by PRWeb 5 days ago.

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    Dear Abby: My 25-year-old niece still lives at home. She works full time and attends college online. She’s a hard worker who doesn’t do drugs or engage in risky behavior. I pay her a bonus for every A she earns, and I also pay for her health insurance. While I gladly pay the college bonuses, I have misgivings about continuing to pay for her health insurance, even though I can afford it. She doesn’t make much money at her job, but she goes out to restaurants and bars often, attends concerts and takes trips out of state three or four times a year. When I was her age, I also went to college, worked a low-paying job and lived with my mother. Reported by SFGate 5 days ago.

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