U.S. federal research looks into increases in premiums for long-term care

The results of a federal government study have been released in a report that examined the impact of increasing premiums for insurance policies covering long-term care. The report was created by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and looked into the Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP), which is the country’s biggest private insurance program for long-term care. Executive director Jesse Slome, of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance explained that since the FLTCIP is a voluntary plan with regular employees, the group is representative of long-term care insurance…

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Constitutional legality of health insurance mandate headed for the Supreme Court; President Obama is confident in its passing

Mere days after a federal appeals court in Washington declared that the individual insurance mandate posed by the Affordable Care Act was unconstitutional; President Obama has proclaimed his confidence that the Supreme Court would uphold the measure. Several states have questioned the constitutional legality of the Affordable Care Act, but only a handful have sought to fight the federal law in court. The matter will, indeed, be heading for the Supreme Court, but it may be several years before it can be resolved, especially with an election year rapidly approaching.…

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California to receive over $38 million to create state insurance exchange

The Department of Health and Human Services announced on Friday, August 12, 2011, that California would be receiving over $38 million from the $185 in total funds that were being distributed among 13 states and Washington D.C., in order to assist with the development of state health insurance exchanges which are required under the nationwide health reform laws that went into place last year. On the same day, the Department of the Treasury, in conjunction with the HHS, issued the proposed rules that the states would need to follow for…

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Tropical Storm Gert to Brush Bermuda

BOSTON, Aug. 15, 2011 — According to catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide, the seventh named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, Tropical Storm Gert, is approaching Bermuda and is expected to skirt the island before turning back out to sea, away from the U.S. east coast. The tropical depression that is now Gert formed in the Atlantic late Saturday night, and was upgraded to tropical storm status by Sunday afternoon. As of today’s 11:00 AM EDT advisory from the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Gert was located about 95 miles southeast…

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Government doles out millions to help states build health insurance Internet-based marketplaces

The nation continues is slow, arduous trek toward the inevitable establishment of health insurance exchanges. Until very recently, the federal government has been very lax in terms of enforcing the mandate established by the Affordable Care Act that requires each state to erect their own insurance exchange program. Officials with the Department of Health and Human Services had originally wanted to allow time for states to warm to the notion of the exchanges, but have only been met with lukewarm interest. In fact, the rate at which states are building…

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Nationwide posts first quarter profits for 2011, says major storm cut into earnings

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. has released their earnings for the first half of 2011. The acclaimed insurance company posted profits just shy of $400 million, a marked decline from last year in which the company earned over a billion. Profit diminished by 48% in just the first quarter, a fact the insurer is quick to blame on the violent storms and other natural disasters wreaking havoc earlier this year. The company has also released its earnings for the second quarter, reporting further losses due to weather related issues. The previous…

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Michigan Supreme Court rules in favor of insurance company denying coverage for stem cell surgery

Stem cell research is a controversial issue. While the issue is primarily comprised of its uses in medicine, the controversy extends well into the insurance industry. As new methods of treatment emerge, insurance companies must weigh the risks involved with such treatments and what implications could be made to their policies. Most insurers cringe away from covering medical procedures that have a limited history of use, arguing that the risks involved with such things as stem cell surgeries are immeasurable. The fears insurers harbor over the issue may have been…

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Mercury Insurance shows their approval for newly proposed auto discount in California

Mercury General Corp. has just announced its support of an auto insurance initiative comparable to last year’s Proposition 17, which was turned down by voters in June 2010. Supporters of this initiative are thrilled with Mercury’s backing, and are hoping that this second effort will make the difference. Insurance trade group, American Agents Alliance’s executive director, Mike D’Arelli, submitted the proposed initiative’s summary to the California attorney general’s office; taking the first step toward a vote on the initiative. Mercury had previously been a supporter of Proposition 17, having spent…

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Health insurance requirement likely headed to Supreme Court following rejection by appeals court

The panel at a federal appeals court has ruled against the heart of the Obama Administration’s healthcare reform, bringing into question whether or not Americans will actually be required to purchase a healthcare policy. The next step will be the U.S. Supreme Court. The panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals was made up of three judges. They were not unanimous, but ruled that Congress had stepped beyond its authority when they passed what is being called the “individual mandate”. Experts in the healthcare industry are saying that the…

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Do associations truly offer the best insurance rate discounts?

An investigation by Consumer Reports has shown that while some policies that are quoted through associations – AARP, for example – are often cheaper than rates quoted without a membership, many quotes received through associations are more expensive. Although many people automatically assume that they will be receiving a better price by receiving a quote through their membership with an organization, alumni association, or other group, this is not always the case. There may be perks to the membership, but this does not always include cheaper insurance. Consumer Reports gave…

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