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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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    New Program Designed to Break Down Barriers to Breast Cancer Screening

    NEW YORK (PRWEB) October 24, 2018

    Mount Sinai Hospital has launched the Mount Sinai Mobile Mammography Program (MMP), bringing essential breast cancer detection services and education to women in New York City. It is the only van equipped with digital breast tomosynthesis – high-quality, state-of-the-art, digital 3D mammography technology -- serving women in all five boroughs (information about first two screening events are below).

    Digital breast tomosynthesis produces images of breast tissue in one-millimeter-thin layers, and allows radiologists to better detect breast tissue abnormalities. The Mount Sinai van also is equipped with an information system that incorporates a breast cancer risk assessment tool, and makes intake and follow-up communications available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, French and Haitian Creole.

    October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Early detection of breast cancer by mammography can save lives. The American College of Radiology recommends that women age 40 and older get screened for breast cancer with mammography ever year.

    According to Laurie Margolies, MD, System Chief of Breast Imaging, Mount Sinai Health System and Professor of Radiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai: “Annual screening mammography beginning at age 40 has been shown to save lives. Our goal is to help women understand the benefits of mammographic screening and early detection. We want to break down as many barriers as possible, and encourage women to participate in screening mammography. By reaching women right in their communities, Mount Sinai’s Mobile Mammography Program helps reduce disparities in breast cancer detection and survival in those disproportionately burdened by this disease.”

    One out of four women age 40 and older in New York City is not regularly screened for breast cancer. (1) Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, except for skin cancers, and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women. (2) New York State has one of the highest breast cancer incidence rates in the country (3) in New York City alone, there are approximately 6,000 new cases of breast cancer each year, and more than 1,000 breast cancer-related deaths. (4)

    Minority women face significant disparities in breast cancer screening and outcomes. Nationally, less than 50 percent of all Asian, Latina, and Native American women aged 40 and older had a mammogram within the past year. (5) While black women have the highest screening rate among minority women- at 55 percent - they also have the highest breast cancer mortality. (5)

    Minority women face interwoven cultural, language, social, and economic barriers that prevent them from obtaining mammograms regularly which leads to poorer breast cancer-related outcomes. Commonly documented barriers include lack of health insurance, limited English proficiency, fatalistic beliefs about breast cancer, and lack of breast cancer screening knowledge. (6, 7)

    To address these issues, the Mobile Mammography Program provides culturally targeted educational workshops discussing the importance of mammography screenings. These are offered in multiple languages including English, Spanish, French, Mandarin and Cantonese. Mount Sinai also offers workshops tailored to the Muslim and LGBTQ communities.

    Multi-lingual patient navigators with access to language interpreters are available to assist participants make screening appointments and access follow-up services.

    The program is made possible with funds from Health Research, Inc. (HRI) and the State of New York.

    “By bringing screening mammography to New Yorkers via this mobile unit and using culturally-based education, we will help save lives,” said Dr. Margolies. “This is our overarching goal. Yearly screening mammography reduces, as much as possible, a woman’s risk of dying from breast cancer. Mount Sinai’s new ‘care on wheels’ will make it much easier for many New Yorkers to be screened. We are humbled and honored to play a role in improving women’s health, and to be welcomed by so many community organizations that are hosting Mount Sinai screening and education events.”

    Events:· The first screening event will take place on Thursday, October 25 in Times Square at the New York Health Care Safety Net Committee Health Fair with the Samuel J. Friedman Health Center for the Performing Events, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 137 West 48th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.
    · The second screening event will take place on Saturday, October 27 at the Safe Family Fun Fair in Clove Lakes Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1150 Clove Road in Staten Island. Hosted by Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Plus, the New York City Parks Department, and District Attorney Michael E. McMahon.

    More information:· Screening mammography services for insured patients typically have no out-of-pocket cost. New York State residents who don’t have insurance may be eligible for screenings through the New York State Cancer Services Program if they meet income and age eligibility criteria. 1-866-442-CANCER (2262).
    · To track van location and schedule a community event: phone: (844) EZMAMMO (396-2666). Email:
    · Websites: (English); (Spanish)

    About Mount Sinai Health System
    The Mount Sinai Health System is New York City’s largest integrated delivery system encompassing seven hospital campuses, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region. Mount Sinai’s vision is to produce the safest care, the highest quality, the highest satisfaction, the best access and the best value of any health system in the nation. The System includes approximately 6,600 primary and specialty care physicians; 11 joint-venture ambulatory surgery centers; more than 140 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and 31 affiliated community health centers. The Icahn School of Medicine is one of three medical schools that have earned distinction by multiple indicators: ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Medical Schools”, aligned with a U.S. News & World Report’s “Honor Roll” Hospital, it is ranked as a leading medical school for National Institutes of Health funding, and among the top 10 most innovative research institutions as ranked by the journal Nature in its Nature Innovation Index. This reflects a special level of excellence in education, clinical practice, and research. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked No. 18 on U.S. News & World Report’s “Honor Roll” of top U.S. hospitals; it is one of the nation’s top 20 hospitals in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Geriatrics, Nephrology, and Neurology/Neurosurgery, and in the top 50 in six other specialties in the 2018-2019 “Best Hospitals” issue. Mount Sinai’s Kravis Children’s Hospital also is ranked nationally in five out of ten pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report. The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked 11th nationally for Ophthalmology and 44th for Ear, Nose, and Throat, while Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Mount Sinai West are ranked regionally. For more information, visit, or find Mount Sinai on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


    (1)    New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Breast cancer screening (mammography), 2014 (Age adjusted).
    (2)    New York State Department of Health. Cancer incidence and mortality for New York City, 2011-2015.
    (3)    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. United State Cancer Statistics Data Visualizations. Female Breast, All Ages, All Races/Ethnicities, Female Rate per 100,000 Women.
    (4)    New York State Department of Health. Female breast cancer incidence and mortality by year, New York City, 1975-2015.
    (5)    American Cancer Society. Breast cancer facts & figures 2017-2018. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society; 2017.
    (6)     Gray TF, Cudjoe J, Murphy J, Thorpe JW, Wenzel J, Han H. Disparities in cancer screening practices among minority and underrepresented populations. Seminars in Oncology Nursing. 2017;33(2):184-198.
    (7)     Moy B, Park ER, Feibelmann S, Chiang S, Weissman JS. Barriers to repeat mammography: cultural perspectives of African‐American, Asian, and Hispanic women. Psycho-oncology. 2005;15(7):623-634. Reported by PRWeb 12 hours ago.

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    Instead of migrants fleeing Central America, maybe the real “National Emergy,” to use the president’s spelling, is drugs, homelessness, gun deaths and lack of health insurance. Reported by 4 hours ago.

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    The lift of the health insurance mandate has many people in Northwest Florida opting into ProHealth Medical Memberships.

    PENSACOLA, Fla. (PRWEB) October 25, 2018

    Steve Riley walked to his mailbox Monday afternoon to find a big surprise: a $1,200 bill for routine tests ordered by his primary care physician. One would assume that Riley didn’t carry health insurance, was unemployed, or had a chronic health condition. However, none of these apply. Riley is a healthy man in his 30s, pays a $350 premium each month to a major insurance company, and still has to pay 100% of the cost for even the most basic testing. Also, his fiancé pays over $500 a month for the same amount of coverage, from the same company, because she is a woman within childbearing age. This situation is just one example of what many Americans face every day as they attempt to navigate health insurance options and seek medical care.

    “When I signed up for insurance, I assumed I was covered.” Said Riley. “I’ve paid my bill every month for the last two years only to realize that after one trip to my doctor for a general checkup, I’m not covered at all.”

    Rising costs have some families paying more for health care than the mortgage on their homes, with some plans exceeding $1,000 a month for a family of four. Also, overall benefits have decreased, while deductibles have increased, which has left many families with less coverage, higher premiums, and more bills. The frustrations felt by many Americans has prompted a search by many for better care and more affordable options. Because of this, there has been a significant rise in medical membership over the last few years and is predicted to experience continued growth.

    To get an idea about how medical memberships work it’s best to look at existing medical membership programs. ProHealth Medical Membership (PMM), is a medical membership program that has been around for over three years in Northwest Florida. PMM offers unlimited office visits for one flat fee each month regardless of age, gender, marital status, employment status, or preexisting conditions. No insurance companies involved. The flat fee allows members to seek medical care when they feel they need it without having to worry about out of pocket costs. Not only do the patients benefit, but medical practices that operate in this model retain some of the best talents because the staff doesn't have to engage with the insurance companies or spend time on cumbersome paperwork.

    In addition to the apparent benefits, PMM also offers what many people are calling the future of medical care: telemedicine. ProHealth, located in Northwest Florida, offers their members 24-hour access to telemedicine via Teladoc. Teladoc provides a team of online doctors armed with the medical advice and prescriptions they need without requiring an office visit.

    Not only does a member have access to Teladoc, but members of their family do as well. No need to wait in a doctor’s office. Members can call or access a medical professional right from the comfort of their home. Not only does Teladoc bring care to those who may not like the inconvenience of going to the doctor in person, but it also brings care options to people who are unable to leave the house or live in rural areas. As the world embraces technology in new ways, the advances in telemedicine are forging a new age of virtual medical care. Reported by PRWeb 23 hours ago.

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    Tickets are available for “A Mind Is…” Gala on Nov. 17, which will raise funds for future scholarships and honor Neil and Maria Bush and Dr. Nicole McZeal Walters

    HOUSTON (PRWEB) October 25, 2018

    Born to a landscaper and a maid, one Sunnyside student raised in Houston’s southeast side made his way through college and law school with help from the UNCF (United Negro College Fund). Decades later, he now serves as Harris County Precinct One Commissioner. Rodney Ellis is one of thousands of success stories of students who earned a degree thanks to support from UNCF.

    “You can put a price on tuition, but you can’t put a price on the intrinsic value and impact higher education has on one’s mind,” Ellis said. “UNCF’s work is proof that when you invest in underserved populations, it changes lives. My long tenure in public service is partially thanks to their support. I look forward to joining UNCF as they recognize 30 years and send the next generation of leaders and change agents to college.”

    For 30 years, UNCF Houston has funded the dreams and education goals of Houston’s underserved students. On Saturday, Nov. 17, at the Hilton Americas Hotel, the dream continues. UNCF Houston’s “A Mind Is…” Gala aims to provide 700 students with college scholarships next school year and continue supporting historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Generous community leaders, including the Bush family, will be honored at the event.

    “The UNCF Houston gala has raised $9.8 million dollars to support UNCF member HBCUs and provide scholarships for local students who may have been otherwise unable to attend a college or university,” UNCF Area Development Director Juana Collins said. “Our efforts have successfully created a pipeline of thriving leaders who are driving a positive impact in our community, but our work is far from complete. The annual gala is pivotal to raising funds, changing the face of education and honoring those who have helped blaze the path.”

    H-E-B will join UNCF as a presenting sponsor to honor long-time UNCF supporters and philanthropists, Neil Bush, son of former U.S President George H.W. Bush, and his wife, Maria with the “Excellence in Education” Award. Dr. Nicole McZeal Walters, Associate Dean of Graduate Programs in the School of Education at University of St. Thomas, will receive the “John and Drucie Chase Young Builders” Award. Gala guests will also have the opportunity to watch a musical performance by Morris Day and The Time as well as enter a raffle.

    Last year alone, UNCF provided scholarships to 683 Texas students who now attend UNCF’s Texas member schools, including: Huston-Tillotson University, Jarvis Christian College, Texas College and Wiley College. HBCUs like these generate $1.3 billion in total economic impact and 11,490 jobs per year. Scholarship recipients also attend schools across the state, such as University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University and University of Houston.

    Additionally, for students who earn a college degree, the incidence of poverty is 3.5 times lower, the likelihood of being employed is 24 percent higher and the probability of having a retirement plan and health insurance are 72 and 41 percent higher, respectively.

    “I honestly would not have come this far without the help of UNCF,” scholarship recipient, Dorcus Mbaeri, said. “I was able to focus on my career path, attend academic conferences, network with others and ultimately land the position I have now.”

    Gala tickets are available at and the event can be followed on social media with #UNCFHouston. Chris and Divya Brown and James and Marla Davis are serving as honorary chairs, and the gala chair is Shawntell McWilliams.

    UNCF is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding nearly 20 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF awards more than $100 million in scholarships annually and administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in.”® Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities. Learn more at or for continuous news and updates, follow UNCF on Twitter @UNCF and use #UNCFHouston to follow the event on social media. Reported by PRWeb 20 hours ago.

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    Minnesota farmer Paul Fritsche can no longer afford health insurance as he struggles to sustain a dairy farm that has been in his family for nearly a century. Reported by Reuters 18 hours ago.

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    A 22-year-old Johns Hopkins dropout is pioneering a new way to treat drug addiction using your phone, and health VCs are lining up to invest· *22-year-old Shrenik Jain dropped out of a triple major at Johns Hopkins to create Marigold Health, a startup that offers a new kind of addiction treatment.
    · *Jain's startup recently got backing from Silicon Valley health venture fund Rock Health, along with General Catalyst, a VC that's funded successful startups like Jet.
    · *Other notable investors include the National Institutes of Health, the US government's chief medical research agency.
    · *Marigold offers patients access to text-based peer support groups that are monitored by a social worker and informed by advanced data analytics software.

    After working as a Baltimore EMT for two years and regularly reviving people who'd overdosed on opioids, Shrenik Jain decided there had to be a better way to help people with addiction.

    So a few years ago, he dropped out of Johns Hopkins and went to work on a startup designed to help prevent people from overdosing in the first place.

    Today, that startup is called Marigold Health, and it recently received an undisclosed amount of funding from influential Silicon Valley health venture fund Rock Health. Other backers include General Catalyst, the Cambridge-based VC that's funded successful startups like Jet, Snap Inc., and Kayak, as well as Johns Hopkins' tech venture arm and the National Institutes of Health.

    Marigold provides people with access to group therapy — somewhat similar to what people with addiction may engage in face-to-face in the rooms of 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. But unlike those resources, Marigold's group texts can be paid for by insurers. And thanks to a finely-tuned set of data analytics tools, Marigold also keeps track of patients in the system to ensure they're progressing; if they're headed in the other direction, someone from Marigold reaches out to help.

    No other system for helping patients with addiction in this way currently exists. For patients with depression or anxiety, a handful of tools let individuals text a therapist (or an AI-powered chatbot) for support between in-person sessions; some of those tools allow people to keep track of their symptoms, but many do not. But when it comes to drug addiction, which can coincide with depression but is a separate clinical issue, those kinds of tools are scant.

    "There's nothing else like this today," Jain told Business Insider.

    To be clear, Jain does not aim for Marigold to replace any current addiction treatment method. Instead, Marigold is intended to complement a patient's existing treatments, which could include attending NA meetings, taking medications like naltrexone or buprenorphine, or having regular sessions with a therapist in person.

    "We're not saying that peers are going to replace clinicians," Jain said. "We're saying that peers can do something valuable and distinct from clinicians in the care continuum. And they can do so cost-effectively."

    *Peer groups: an imperfect lifeline for patients with addiction*

    In 2016 alone, 62,000 Americans died from a drug overdose, and recent data suggest that our current treatments for addiction are barely making a dent in the problem.

    Part of the problem is that addiction is a chronic condition that can last anywhere from several years to a lifetime, but most current healthcare models treat it as a short-term illness. Health insurance coverage for in-patient treatment can be limited; during this time, patients are advised to detox and attend 12-step meetings. If and when patients relapse, there's little recourse for help. Patients frequently end up back in the hospital, where they can rack up large medical bills.

    Peer groups can help. The authors of a 2016 study published in the journal Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation, for example, found higher rates of abstinence, more satisfaction with treatment, and significant reductions in relapse rates among people who participated in peer groups for substance abuse compared with people who did not.

    But peer groups aren't perfect — many lack the necessary structure to keep discussions on track and the oversight needed to ensure patient safety and security. Jain has some first-hand experience with this, having worked at a nonprofit called Thread where he served an advisory role with a group of underserved Baltimore high schoolers who'd experienced trauma and anxiety.

    "When you put patients in peer groups they engage really well, but the problem is it's really hard to have oversight," Jain said.

    On Reddit, for example, people will invade peer groups created for individuals with depression who are being monitored on suicide watch. At 12-step programs, drug dealers show up to take advantage of vulnerable attendees, and sexual harassment is widespread (there's even a name for it: "13th stepping"). Plus, there's little that peers can do when one of their members suddenly goes missing.

    "It's not like high blood pressure or any other kind of disease where you can look at labs," Jain said. "There's no way to passively track a patient in the community short of tracking them down."

    *What Marigold offers that other text-based interventions don't*

    Marigold offers a potential solution.

    Its algorithm uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to monitor group chats; a certified social worker regularly scans the group and looks at the data that the algorithm provides. All of this happens under the oversight of Geetha Jayaram, an associate professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins. The Marigold platform is HIPAA-compliant, so patient privacy is secured. 

    "Coming from an engineering perspective, we were like, let's use natural language processing — not to build a bot — but to actually look at the sentiment in the messages and make it so a health care provider doesn't have to read every single message manually," Jain said.

    Jain claims this will allow providers to see anywhere from seven to 10 times as many patients as they would without the tool. That's all thanks to Satya Bommaraju, Marigold's chief data scientist and a fellow former Johns Hopkins student who put his plans for a PhD on hold to work at the startup.

    Jain and Shah plan to sell Marigold directly to health care providers and health plans. He says they'll be incentivized to cover the treatment because it will save them in the long-term on hospital readmissions, ER visits, and other medical bills that crop up when patients with addiction relapse.

    Bill Evans, the CEO and managing director of Rock Health, one of Marigold's backers, agreed.

    "For providers right now there's an opportunity to get reimbursement for something they want to provide but they don't have the tool," Evans told Business Insider.

    Marigold could be one of those tools, he said.

    *DON'T MISS: DNA tests that cost as much as $750 claim to tell you which antidepressant is best for you, but scientists say they're not worth the money*

    *SEE ALSO: Most rehabs don't offer a science-backed treatment for drug addiction. A new initiative aims to change that.*

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here's what caffeine does to your body and brain Reported by Business Insider 18 hours ago.

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    EOMN Announces First Acquisition *NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / October 25, 2018 / *Ethos Media Network, Inc. (OTC PINK: EOMN) announces that is has acquired 100% of Employee Benefits Solutions (''EBS'') and U.S. Benefits Alliance (''US Alliance''), two Michigan-based insurance agencies specializing in the sale of health insurance products, in the wholesale and retail industry. Agencies, as opposed to insurance carriers, bear no insurance risk. Both insurance agencies were acquired from a related party.

    The consideration for the acquisition was the issuance of 16,400,000 restricted EOMN shares, bringing the total number of issued and outstanding EOMN common shares to 263,393,149. Immediately after the acquisition of EBS and US Alliance, EOMN's subsidiary Eye on South Florida, Inc. was sold back to EOMN's former principals for $1.

    On a combined basis, EBS and US Alliance’s revenues from commissions on insurance premiums in 2017 were $914,000(unaudited). As previously announced, new management as of September 21, 2018 terminated EOMN's registration as a reporting issuer with the SEC, because their intention is to acquire companies which might not have SEC-compliant audited financial statements. Then, when the SEC-compliant audits of the business or businesses have been completed, they intend EOMN to become a SEC-reporting issuer again.

    Ezra Beyman, EOMN's CEO, stated, ''We are delighted with EOMN's first acquisitions in the insurance agency business, and we intend to continue to acquire companies in this sector and in real estate. We have significant experience in both sectors, and, at the appropriate time, we intend to become a SEC-reporting company again.''

    EOMN also announces that it has submitted Articles of Amendment with the Secretary of State of Florida, changing EOMN's corporate name to RELIANCE GLOBAL GROUP, INC.; the filing of that Amendment is pending.

    *SOURCE: *Ethos Media Network
    View source version on Reported by Accesswire 17 hours ago.

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    Real estate company Compass is offering its independent contractors the opportunity to purchase health insurance.  -More-  Reported by SmartBrief 10 hours ago.

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    Licensed insurance agents Rudy Rosas and Rolando Gonzalez stepped up to the plate in their home city of Laredo, TX and installed a kiosk inside the Mall del Norte. This kiosk is equipped to share bi-lingual information with the public about Medicare, where they can speak to a licensed agent about health insurance in English or in Spanish.

    LAREDO, Texas (PRWEB) October 26, 2018

    Texas-based insurance FMO, Empower Brokerage, Inc., encourages its agents to make a difference in their communities. People need information, especially during the current Medicare Annual Election Period, spanning from October 15th through December 7th. Licensed insurance agents Rudy Rosas and Rolando Gonzalez stepped up to the plate in their home city of Laredo, TX and installed a kiosk inside the Mall del Norte. This kiosk is equipped to share bi-lingual information with the public about Medicare. Here, they can speak to many people about health insurance in English or in Spanish.

    When asked what inspired this outreach, Rosas and Gonzalez said they were inspired by two agents who were doing something similar in the state of Florida. “Most agents don’t do things like this because of the effort and expense required,” Rosas said. The agents said they chose Mall del Norte as the prime location because the Florida agents used their mall as the main enrollment place to sign up customers. This is important because in a high traffic area, such as a shopping mall, they can help many more people in a shorter period of time. The Laredo Mall del Norte is in a high-trafficked area that caters to most of the Webb county population. This made it an ideal spot for their message to reach a significant number of Medicare aged people.

    To get the kiosk ready for presentation, Rosas and Gonzales brainstormed ideas and spoke to William Bronson, the Marketing Director at Empower Brokerage. After carefully selecting the right pieces to convey their message, they placed the marketing materials order and began preparations. The kiosk was ready the week before the October 15th Medicare season kickoff.

    According to Rosas, they don’t just want to help Medicare customers. They also want to help those under 65 years of age with ACA or other health insurance, and business owners with group coverage options.

    They state that the kiosk will be beneficial to the community, because, “it’s an information center. People don’t really know what the terms mean, such as ACA, AEP, Medigap, Marketplace, etc. Many people don’t know ACA still exists and many seniors don’t know what their benefits and choices are. They need to be well informed, so they can make the best decision for their families. We want to educate the community as well as people in other areas.”

    Rosas and Gonzalez hope to establish the kiosk permanently, to become known as a place people can come for answers.
    Mr. Gonzalez said they hope the project is successful enough that they can recruit other agents to help them, which will allow them to serve more people.

    The Mall del Norte is located at 5300 San Dario Ave, Laredo, TX 78041 and is open from 10AM to 9PM Monday through Saturday, and 11AM to 7PM on Sunday.

    Empower Brokerage provides several online educational resources, including information for Medicare, Health Insurance, and Life Insurance. Reported by PRWeb 23 hours ago.

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    Democratic candidates for the U.S. Congress are closing out the campaign season with an ominous warning: telling voters millions of Americans could lose their health insurance or be forced to pay significantly more if Republicans win. Reported by Reuters 20 hours ago.

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    A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis estimates that health insurance premiums in Affordable Care Act markets will increase by  -More-  Reported by SmartBrief 14 hours ago.

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    It's time to think health insurance. Reported by Deseret News 13 hours ago.

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  • 10/26/18--20:14: Containing CEO Pay – OpEd
  • Last week Roger Lowenstein had a piece in the Post about GE’s hiring of a new CEO after the prior one served less than a year. According to Lowenstein, the new CEO’s contract will give him incentives worth $300 million over the next four years if he does well by the shareholders. He will walk away with $75 million if he does poorly. This follows the hiring of an inept CEO who was dumped in less than a year and long-term CEO Jeffrey Immelt, who pocketed hundreds of millions of dollars during his tenure while giving shareholders returns averaging 1.0 percent annually, according to Lowenstein.

    This raises the obvious question: What is GE’s board is doing? I haven’t looked at their forms, but I am quite certain these people get paid well over $100k a year and quite possibly over $200k for a job that requires perhaps 200 to 300 hours a year of work. That comes to an hourly pay rate in the $300 to $1,000 range. The primary responsibility of directors is picking top management and making sure that they don’t rip off the shareholders.

    How could you possibly fail worse in this job than GE’s board? Yet, my guess is that there has been very little turnover in the board.

    As a practical matter, it is difficult for shareholders, even large shareholders, to organize to remove board members. More than 99.0 percent of the incumbents who are nominated by the board for re-election win.

    This is the classic problem of collective action. It is almost always much easier to simply exit as a shareholder and sell your stock than to organize and try to change the way the company operates. For this reason, CEOs are able to make out like bandits, getting pay in the tens of millions of dollars, even when they do poorly by shareholders.

    It is common for progressives to condemn the outrageous pay of CEOs. However, they rarely move beyond condemnation to point out that the CEOs are ripping off their companies. This means first and foremost the shareholders.

    If a CEO gets paid $20 or $30 million, but does not produce returns for shareholders that are at least this large, or perhaps more importantly, doesn’t add, say $15 or $25 million, to what a CEO getting $5 million would produce for shareholders, then the company is being ripped off by the CEO. This means that the shareholders would benefit if they could organize to reduce CEO pay.

    There is considerable research showing that CEOs are not worth their pay, much of which is cited in Lucian Bebchuk and Jesse Fried’s excellent book, Pay Without Performance. There are any number of studies showing, for example, that CEOs get richly rewarded for events they had nothing to do with, like higher profits at an oil company due to a jump in world oil prices.

    It is possible to prevent such windfalls, for example by indexing compensation to relative performance. That would mean an oil company CEO gets paid based on how the company’s stock does relative to other oil companies, not just whether the company’s stock goes up. CEO pay is almost never structured this way.

    It is also worth noting that incentives are always one way. CEOs get extra pay when the company does well, but they never have money deducted from their base pay when it does poorly. This can mean, for example, that a CEO may do very well in three years when the company’s stock price goes up, but they never have to give back their pay if the stock tanks in the next two years. Again, it is possible to write contracts that would require givebacks and penalties for poor performance, but it is almost never done.

    Jessica Schieder and I did a short paper earlier this year that looked at whether the limit on the tax deductibility of CEO pay in the health insurance industry imposed by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), had any impact on their pay. The ACA prevented insurers from deducting more than $500,000 of a CEO’s pay from their profits for tax purposes. This meant that instead of CEO pay costing the firm 65 cents on the dollar (the tax rate was 35 percent at the time), it cost them 100 cents on the dollar, effectively raising the cost of a marginal dollar of CEO pay by more than 50 percent.

    If health insurers are setting the pay equal to the value the CEO adds to the shareholders, the increased cost of pay to the company from the loss of tax deductibility should have unambiguously had the effect of lowering CEO pay, after controlling for other factors. We ran a large number of regressions, controlling for increases in revenues, profits, share prices, and other factors that could plausibly affect pay.

    In none of them did we find any evidence that CEO pay in the health insurance industry had been lowered by this provision in the ACA. This would seem to support the view that CEO pay does not bear any relationship to the returns CEOs produce for shareholders.

    If CEOs are ripping off shareholders, then we should look to shareholders as allies in reducing CEO pay rather than as actively colluding in exorbitant pay. This isn’t a question of doing justice by shareholders. I am well aware of the enormous skewing of stock ownership, although there are many more non-rich people who would benefit from lower CEO pay than there are non-rich CEOs who benefit from higher pay. Most middle-income people do own some stock in their retirement plans. And, we still have tens of millions of people enrolled in traditional defined-benefit pension plans that hold stock.

    More importantly, CEO pay helps to set pay structures throughout the economy. In a context where CEOs of large companies routinely earn $20 or $30 million a year, the heads of large non-profits, such as foundations, charities, and universities can typically command compensation of more than a $1 million a year. They can truthfully say that they would be earning far more if they were running a private company of the same size.

    And, excessive CEO pay affects their immediate subordinates. If the CEO is getting paid $20 million, then the chief financial officer and other top executives might be getting in the neighborhood of $10 million. The third level of executives could still be crossing the $1 million threshold. As fans of arithmetic everywhere know, the more money that goes to those at the top, the less is available for everyone else.

    Imagine that run of the mill CEOs got $2–$3 million and the really outstanding ones (in producing returns for shareholders) got $4–$5 million. In this scenario, the chief financial officer probably gets a bit more than $1 million, and the third tier of executives are looking at pay in the high six figures. This leaves a lot more money for everyone else.

    In my better world, we would limit the top pay for anyone at non-profits to the president’s salary $400,000 a year. (They lose their non-profit status if they pay more.) This means that provosts, vice-presidents, deans and other administrators would get less. This would leave much more money for faculty and staff.

    The key step in my view is to find ways to make it easier for shareholders to rein in CEO pay. There was a very small step in the Dodd–Frank financial reform bill. It required a “say on pay” vote by shareholders every three years in which they vote up or down on CEO pay. The vote is non-binding. As a result, there is generally little organizing around it and more than 97 percent of pay packages are approved.

    I have argued for putting some teeth in the vote. Suppose directors sacrificed their own pay if a CEO pay package was voted down. This would give them some real incentive to think carefully about whether they could get away with paying their CEO less money or whether they could get another CEO who was as good for half the price.

    The neat thing about this sort of measure is that it could be adopted at the state level, where states imposed it on companies incorporated within the state. Companies could, of course, change their state of incorporation, but this matters little to the state. They get little revenue as a result of companies being incorporated in the state. Also, it might be an embarrassment to the company to say that they have to change their state of incorporation because the directors are worried about losing a say on pay vote.

    In fact, shareholders could push companies to adopt this rule voluntarily. After all, how many directors want to argue that they are worried about being in the bottom 3.0 percent of corporate boards?

    I realize the power of inertia, so nothing in politics is ever as easy as it should be. But we do have good cause to worry about CEO pay, which is grossly out of line both with its past levels and with respect to pay in other countries. And rich shareholders are an ally in this story.

    There also is another aspect to the story that has largely escaped notice. If we go back forty years, most of the shareholders’ return came from dividends. These were typically in the range of 3–4 percent annually. In the last four decades, there has been a near doubling of the price-to-earnings ratio. This run-up has allowed stocks to offer acceptable returns (although less than in the 1947 to 1973 Golden Age), even as the dividend yield has fallen sharply.

    The problem in this story is that the run-up is unlikely to continue. We are not likely to see price-to-earnings ratios of 40 or 50 to one. If stock prices just rise in step with profit growth, which in turn is likely to be roughly the rate of economic growth, then stock returns will be much lower going forward than in the past.

    This also means that CEO pay that depends on rising stock prices will be much lower. If CEOs are still going to pocket $20 to $30 million a year, then companies will increasingly be forced to pay them directly rather than through grants of stock options. This will make the cost to shareholders more apparent. That may still not be enough to reverse the massive run-up in CEO pay over the last four decades, but there is always hope.

    This article originally appeared on Dean Baker’s Beat the Press blog. Reported by Eurasia Review 3 hours ago.

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    Colbert Wants to Remind You Republicans Have Never Wanted Insurance to Have to Cover Pre-existing Conditions (Video) On Friday night’s episode of “The Late Show,” Stephen Colbert opened his monologue by pummeling Donald Trump and the rest of the Republicans for trying to act like they haven’t spent years trying to repeal Obamacare and ensure that health insurance providers didn’t have to provide coverage for pre-existing conditions.

    “Polls indicate that health care is the number one issue for voters. That shows how hopeful Americans are. Donald Trump is president, and they still want to live,” Colbert quipped. “Good for you. Good for you.

    “Americans like certain aspects of Obamacare a lot. A recent poll showed a full 90 percent of people said it was either somewhat or very important that the law protect people with pre-existing conditions. 90 percent! Nothing in America is that popular. That’s the Tom Hanks with fudge sauce of Obamacare provisions.”

    *Also Read:* Seth Meyers: The Answer to 'Is Trump Lying or Is He Stupid' Is Both (Video)

    After driving that point home, Colbert then took aim at Republicans, who have very much not operated as though they have any interest in protecting coverage of pre-existing conditions even though many of them are now trying to say they do.

    “But that’s awkward for Republicans, since they have voted to repeal Obamacare at least 70 times. Of course, Republicans in Congress were doing it to please their biggest donor,” Colbert joked, as an image of the Grim Reaper wearing a MAGA hat appeared on screen. “But with public sentiment so against them, the GOP came up with an entirely new health care plan: lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie.

    “And it starts at the top. Two days ago, Trump tweeted this: ‘Republicans will totally protect people with Pre-Existing Conditions, Democrats will not! Vote Republican.’ What the hell? Does Donald Trump think we’ve been in a coma for two years? We’re not covered for that. He spent most of his presidency trying to repeal Obamacare until one man stopped him.”

    *Also Read:* Trump Rage Tweets 'Lowly Rated CNN' at 3:14 in the Morning

    Colbert is referring to John McCain, whose deciding vote killed Mitch McConnell’s Obamacare repeal bill last year. Then “The Late Show” played a clip of Trump talking about that vote, saying that “I would’ve gotten rid of everything” had McCain not voted against that bill.

    “Yes, he would have gotten rid of everything, and ‘everything’ includes coverage for pre-existing conditions he just swore that he would save,” Colbert said. “Nothing Trump is saying is true, but he doesn’t care. ‘Sure, every word out of my mouth is a lie. But you knew that when you elected me. I’m a pre-existing condition.’ And it’s not just the president. Republicans are saying this all over the place.”

    Next up was a brief montage of Republicans Rick Scott, Brian Kemp and Ted Cruz insisting vociferously that they definitely are all about coverage of pre-existing conditions. The Cruz clip saw the senator go so far as to declare that “everyone agrees we’re going to protect pre-existing conditions.”

    *Also Read:* Colbert Chastises Trump for Not Understanding Globalism: 'He Does Realize America Is on the Globe, Right?' (Video)

    “Oh, yeah, senator Cruz, everyone agrees,” Colbert said. “Except you, because you filibustered for 21 hours to try to completely eliminate all of Obamacare. Remember this?”

    Then “The Late Show” played a clip of Cruz reading part of the Dr. Seuss book “Green Eggs and Ham” during his filibuster. “Do you like green eggs and ham? I do not like them, Sam I am. I do not like green eggs and ham!”

    And then Colbert finished the rhyme with a twist of his own.

    “I will not eat them in a box. I will not eat them with a fox. I will not eat them with a fork. You should vote for Beto O’Rourke,” Colbert said.

    *Also Read:* Colbert: If Trump Wants Women to Vote Republican He Should Maybe Stop Insulting Them (Video)

    You can watch this portion of Colbert’s monologue from Friday’s “The Late Show” in the video embedded at the top of this post.

    *Related stories from TheWrap:*

    Seth Meyers: The Answer to 'Is Trump Lying or Is He Stupid' Is Both (Video)

    Colbert Chastises Trump for Not Understanding Globalism: 'He Does Realize America Is on the Globe, Right?' (Video)

    Colbert: If Trump Wants Women to Vote Republican He Should Maybe Stop Insulting Them (Video) Reported by The Wrap 20 hours ago.

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    Frustrated that Congress hasn't repealed the Affordable Care Act, the Trump administration continues to make moves that chip away at the ACA's nationwide protections and give states more control. Reported by NPR 19 hours ago.

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    Consumers seeking health insurance will see relatively stable premiums when open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act starts Thursday, but there will be fewer sources of advice and assistance. Reported by 17 hours ago.

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    Consumers can sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act starting Thursday. Last year, 8.7 million people enrolled at, and 3 million more selected plans on insurance exchanges run by states. Reported by Seattle Times 4 hours ago.

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    New York Employee Benefits Consultant and Administrator Now Offering MyMedicalShopper's Suite of Healthcare Cost-Saving Tools

    PORTSMOUTH, N.H. and FAIRPORT, N.Y. (PRWEB) October 29, 2018

    MMS Analytics, Inc. dba MyMedicalShopper, a leading provider of healthcare price transparency solutions, and ComTon Inc., an insurance broker and third-party administrator serving Upstate New York, are partnering to give consumers more choice and control with respect to their healthcare spending. Today the companies announced the partnership, making MyMedicalShopper’s advanced healthcare price transparency software and cost-saving employer tools available to ComTon clients.

    ComTon can now deliver MyMedicalShopper’s entire suite of products, which brings cutting-edge price transparency technology and robust claims analytics to employers and their employees. MyMedicalShopper™ and its powerful employer analytics package are now available to ComTon’s entire client base.

    “We’re excited to be partnering with ComTon to bring innovative solutions to their clients and help them take control of their healthcare costs,” says MyMedicalShopper co-founder and CEO, Mark Galvin. “We seek out partners who are dedicated to addressing their customers’ biggest pain points. By working together with progressive brokers and administrators like ComTon, we’re confident that we can reverse the trend of rising healthcare costs for businesses and their employees.”

    For ComTon Inc., an insurance broker and administrator serving large clients in Upstate New York, this new offering is a significant step towards an improved health benefits environment for their clients.

    “We spend a considerable amount of time researching potential solutions to solve our clients’ biggest pain points,” says Rob Commisso, principal and co-founder of ComTon Inc. in Fairport, NY. “Rising healthcare costs are the most difficult challenge facing our clients today, so we were excited to find MyMedicalShopper making huge strides in this area.”

    Greg Singleton, principal and co-founder of ComTon Inc., added “Employers and their employees need access to tools and information to become empowered medical consumers and take control over their healthcare spending. We’re excited to be able to offer the MyMedicalShopper solution to our clients and help them get proactive about driving down their costs.”

    MyMedicalShopper provides a comprehensive platform for employers that wish to arm their employees with a tool that makes shopping for medical care as easy as a Google search.

    MyMedicalShopper's Employer Dashboard is a robust claims analytics package that empowers employers with actionable insights about their group’s healthcare utilization. It provides unprecedented intelligence and identifies opportunities to educate employees and drive behavior change.

    About MyMedicalShopper (
    MMS Analytics, Inc. dba MyMedicalShopper™ is a big data company on a mission to revolutionize healthcare. The founders started the company out of the need to bring transparency to consumers and the companies who provide healthcare benefits to their employees—providing the leverage needed to make solid decisions on their healthcare and improve their quality of life. Consumers previously unaware of price variations in procedures and testing can 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. MyMedicalShopper aims to transform the healthcare industry into a fair market for consumers.

    About ComTon Inc. (
    Founded in 1998 by Rob Commisso and Greg Singleton, ComTon Inc. provides comprehensive benefits packages in a cost-effective and efficient manner. Our company is a broker and third-party administrator serving businesses across Upstate New York. We specialize in working with companies with 200 employees or more. Together with our co-founders, our close-knit team provides clients with all of the services of a national insurance agency. We take a customer-focused approach to ensure both the employer and employee’s needs are met. Reported by PRWeb 2 days ago.

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    Making new decisions about health insurance during open enrollment may be a headache, but the right choices could save you thousands of dollars.

      Reported by 2 days ago.

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    A special alert from the National Pediculosis Association advises parents to halt chemical head lice removal attempts at the first sign of failure, recommending combing as the safest and most effective approach.

    MIAMI (PRWEB) October 29, 2018

    Miami Beach, Florida: A special alert from the National Pediculosis Association warns against repetitive attempts at eliminating head lice through the use of chemical solutions. If a chemical treatment fails once, it is recommended that parents not repeat the treatment or follow up with a different brand or prescription.

    In light of the recent head lice epidemic in Florida, parents are frantically trying to find a treatment that is guaranteed to take care of the head lice problem once and for all. That leads many to the drugstore aisles or the doctor’s office for a potent pesticide treatment that promises to knock out the bugs.

    However, despite doctor endorsements and outlandish marketing claims, these chemicals have been proven to be largely ineffective in wiping out an infestation of head lice. Similar to how bacteria grow resistant to antibiotic medications; the bugs have grown increasingly resistant to these toxic pesticides over the decades. While some of the bugs may perish, many are going to be left behind ready to keep the infestation going and growing.

    According to the National Pediculosis Association, “There are health risks inherent with the use of pesticides on children and these risks increase dramatically when you follow one chemical treatment with another. The NPA advises parents to discontinue the use of any treatment at the earliest sign of failure and to avoid using other chemicals. Manual removal is the best option whenever possible, especially when treatment products have failed.”

    The NPA has been vocal about the ineffectiveness and high risk of chemical treatments, especially when used in succession, or when one chemical is followed by a different, stronger treatment. As stated, combing is the best option.

    This is why professional lice removal services like Lice Troopers, now with multiple treatment centers in the South Florida area—including Coral Gables, Coral Springs, Plantation, Miami Beach and more—relies completely on this method, rejecting all kinds of chemical approaches.

    Skilled professionals work quickly and thoroughly to comb through the hair of affected children, removing all head lice and nits as mentioned in their Lice Free Guarantee.

    “Safety has been our priority since the very beginning. We have tried and tested out various methods and have found our lice removal method to be the most effective in getting rid of the parasites in a single sitting. We never use any harsh chemicals or pesticides to treat the infestation, but instead rely on our 100% natural, organic and toxin-free treatments to eradicate the bugs once and for all,” responded Arie Harel, owner and operator of Lice Troopers, in an interview when asked about what makes the company different.

    Keeping citizens of South Florida head lice and chemical-free, Lice Troopers promises guaranteed lice eradication with their at-home and in-clinic lice removal services. Also providing screenings for schools and camps, the company also conducts home inspections and cleanings to lessen the chances of a re-infestation.

    About the Company
    Lice Troopers is the all-natural, guaranteed Head Lice Removal Service™ that manually removes the head louse parasite safely and discreetly in child-friendly salon settings, or other chosen location. Providing safe solutions for frantic families, the Lice Troopers team has successfully treated thousands of families nationwide, with services widely recommended by pediatricians and reimbursed by many major health insurance carriers, flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts.

    Contact Information
    Postal Address: (Miami Beach) 1005 Kane Concourse, Suite 212, Bay Harbor Islands, FL 33154
    Phone: 1.800.403.5423
    Working Hours: 8:00AM-9:00 PM (Open 7 days/week) Reported by PRWeb 2 days ago.

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