Monthly Archives

December 2015

The Right Doctors Can Make All The Difference When It Comes To Treating Cancer.

By | Health Insurance, Health Reform, Life Insurance

Although America indeed has some of the best cancer care in the world, there is no guarantee that any particular patient will receive it.Cancer Treatment

Sharon Begley, currently the senior science writer at STAT, the life sciences publication of the Boston Globe, interviewed dozens of oncologists, pored over published papers, and obtained outcomes data that cancer centers have never before made public.  Her findings made it clear that for many cancers there are indeed significant outcome differences depending where you are treated. “There is clear documentation that not all Americans get the best cancer care, even though it is available,” says cancer surgeon Stephen Edge of Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. “We definitely have wide variations.”

  • First, there are differences between the nation’s top cancer centers and local hospitals and oncologists in private practice—where 90 percent of cancer patients are treated. At top cancer centers, surgeons, oncologists, and radiologists coordinate care smoothly, so patients get what they need right away rather than waiting weeks between scans, diagnoses, and treatment.
  • Second, the newest treatments for cancer may not be approved by insurance companies – leaving the patient the choice between dying or living with financial ruin.
  • Third, Obamacare plans are not accepted by many of the nation’s top cancer treatment centers – once again leaving the patient the choice between dying or living with financial ruin.

So how do you prepare financially for a cancer diagnosis?  By purchasing a living benefits policy that pays out in the event of life-threatening illness.  The proceeds can be used to pay for the best treatment – and provide you with the greatest opportunity to survive physically and financially.

Why You Need a Living Benefits Policy

By | Health Insurance, Health Reform, Supplemental Coverage

Ever wonder what it would feel like to survive a serious illness physically but end up financially devastated?  HowFinancially Devastated From An Illnesscan you protect yourself, your family, your assets, and the quality of life that you have built for them if faced with a life-threatening illness?  What if your doctors recommend a treatment that is not covered by insurance (a REAL possibility in today’s insurance environment)? If you have to go into a nursing home facility because of illness, who will pay for the cost?  Since the terminal illness will impact your ability to work, where will you get the money to pay for your household expenses and other financial responsibilities?

One in five American adults will struggle to pay medical bills this year. A sudden accident or terrifying diagnosis can touch virtually anyone, unleashing an avalanche of bills – even on the insured. In fact, bankruptcies resulting from unpaid medical bills will affect nearly 2 million people this year—making health care the No. 1 cause of such filings, and outpacing bankruptcies due to credit-card bills or unpaid mortgages.

The answer is to have a life insurance policy with a living benefits rider (also known as an accelerated benefits rider).  This benefit provides that all, or a portion of, the policy’s proceeds will be paid to the policy owner when certain events occur, including:

  • Terminal illness, with death expected within a specified period;
  • The occurrence of a specified catastrophic illness or the need for extraordinary medical intervention, such as an organ transplant or continued life support;
  • The need for long-term care due to an inability to perform a number of “activities of daily living,” such as bathing, dressing, eating etc.; and
  • Permanent nursing home confinement.

In today’s high deductible, restrictive insurance benefits environment a living benefits policy is a must-have component of your financial planning.  Click here to get a quote.

Need more proof why Living Benefits are essential?  Read this article and you’ll see why you need a backup to your health plan.  Call us today – 800-257-1723 – let’s protect your family.

Texans Go Naked as Rates Rise Under Obamacare Sign-ups are lagging as Americans opt to drop their coverage and pay a fine instead.

By | Health Insurance, Health Reform, Uncategorized

|Nov. 18, 2015 4:00 pm

So much for the Affordable Care Act being affordable.

Higher insurance premiums are pummeling Texans in the age of Obamacare, and health-care analysts say ever-bigger increases are inevitable.

Now Texans are getting out, opting to pay a penalty instead of digging deeper for coverage.

“The law was never going to work. It’s actuarily unstable. Now the logical consequences are playing out,” said John Davidson, director of the Center of Health Care Policy at the market-oriented Texas Public Policy Foundation in Austin.

Premium costs for Texas’ giant Blue Cross/Blue Shield HMO are going up 18.7 percent. With 700,000 customers, the plan is one of the biggest in the state.

In 2014, the HMO collected $2.1 billion in premiums, but claims were $2.5 billion under Obamacare.

“This is the transfer cost of a mandate onto individual policyholders,” Davidson told Watchdog.org.

Meantime, Humana’s Texas HMO announced a 4 percent premium hike. But the final rate was jacked up to 23 percent when the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services required higher reserves for the 1,000-customer plan.

Other plans in the state are charting increases of 20 percent to 30 percent.

As premiums rise, so is the number of people dropping their health insurance and taking their chances.

With 19 percent still uncovered by health insurance—the most in the nation—more Texans are canceling policies. Individuals can opt out of the insurance mandate by paying a fine—$695 per adult or 2.5 percent of household income in 2016, whichever is higher.

“The more premiums go up, the more affordable it is to pay the penalty,” Davidson notes, even as Washington keeps ratcheting up the tax. The fine was 2 percent of income this year and 1 percent the year before.

The IRS fined more than 7.5 million Americans for not having health insurance in 2014. That was 1.5 million people more than the administration projected.

A breakdown for Texas was not available through the state Department of Insurance or the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. But data from California show that about 80,000 people there went “naked” last year and opted to pay the fine.

Nationally, Obamacare enrollment is deteriorating.

The Congressional Budget Office last summer projected that 20 million people would sign up next year. Now ACA tracker Charles Gaba is predicting just 12.2 million. Gaba, an Obamacare proponent, was nearly spot-on with his 2014 and 2015 estimates.

Government subsidies are not luring Texans at any price. About 1 million residents eligible for discounted coverage under Obamacare have not signed up, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Politico this month reported on one county where only 12 people enrolled in Obamacare plans.

“I hope Obamacare goes down the toilet,” said Brenda Copeland, an uncovered employee at the Coyote County Store and Café in Borden County.

Shikha Dalmia, a senior health-care analyst at the libertarian Reason Foundation, says the oxymoronically named Affordable Care Act is circling the drain for two reasons.

“Risk corridor and reinsurance that were meant to ‘stabilize’ rates in Obamacare’s first few years so that insurers could obtain the right mix of enrollees are set to expire next year,” she said.

In Rube Goldberg-style market manipulation, the risk corridor program imposes a fee on insurers that have lower-than-expected medical losses and compensates those that have more.

The reinsurance program levies a fee on insurance policies and funnels it to insurers with high-risk individuals.

“With these programs gone, the challenge of maintaining a balanced risk pool will become even harder,” Dalmia concluded.

In one of the most sweeping critiques, Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina said during last Tuesday’s GOP debate: “Obamacare is crony capitalism at its worst. Who helped write it? Drug companies, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies—every single one of those kinds of companies are bulking up to deal with big government.”

This article originally appeared at Watchdog.org