Health Insurance Exchanges: Important decisions lie ahead

Representatives from nearly every state are deeply torn over the proposed health care reform. With strife growing in Congress, it seems that the only provision of the new law that can be agreed upon is the provision for insurance exchanges. Almost all states are making moves to implement exchanges, the only ones lagging behind doing so simply are because of lack of appropriate funds. Making the changes necessary to facilitate an exchange program are somewhat demanding. Many states have seen downsizing in their staffing and the workload often piles up on…

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North Carolina Republican panel supports health care reform challenge

The assembly voted to include the state into a nationwide lawsuit aimed against mandatory health insurance. This feature of the new health care reform, set to take place in 2014, requires Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a fee. The House vote was 23 to 16 in the latest provision aimed to block imposed health insurance by the Republican Party. “This is designed to protect the vast majority of our citizens from what we believe is an unjustified incursion of government power,” said House Majority Leader Paul Stam, R-Wake, who sponsored…

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Politicians demand for flood peril to be defined by insurance companies

Insurers in Australia have been confronted with their share of controversy since the floods in Queensland and are now hard pressed to come up with answers. The Minister of Employment and Economic Developement, Andrew Fraser, states there is no obvious difference in damages caused by storm, flash flooding or riverine flooding, and that the clean-up after such damages is indistinguishable. He takes issue with the fact that many insurance policies can draft clear definitions regarding the damage. The issue lies in many insurers refusing, or being unable, to pay for damages…

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Newly proposed crash tax spreading throughout the U.S.

The Sacramento City Council, on Thursday, approved a new city ordinance, known as a “crash tax”, affecting out of town drivers. The tax will be levied against visiting drivers that get into accidents and the funds will be given to the fire department’s response services. The fee would only apply in the non-resident driver was found at fault by insurers. Business owners that live outside of the city but still have property within its limits would be exempt from the crash tax. The ordinance has strong opposition and many are…

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Mayor of Roselle’s third term campaign clouded by claims of insurance fraud

Garrett Smith, mayor of Roselle in Union County NJ, announced Tuesday that he would be seeking a third term. Reasons cited by Smith include his belief in what they are doing and the feelings that his campaign is “stronger than ever.” He found significant support from the residents of Roselle. On Wednesday, Mayor Smith was indicted for fleeing the scene, insurance fraud and the filing of a false police report. If found guilty, Smith could face up to ten years in prison as well as being unable to hold public…

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New bill for Florida could mean higher property premiums

Lawmakers in Florida are looking to create new restrictions on policyholders who submit property insurance claims. A bill, known as SB 408, contains more than 20 provisions that could enable insurers to raise premiums for homeowners in residences close to the coast as well as inhibit damage claims in an effort to combat fraud. The bill is similar to one proposed a year ago by then Governor Charlie Crist, which was vetoed. State law allows for a discount on insurance if a homeowner were to fortify their property and meet…

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Insurance agents oppose Federal Insurance Office study

Members of The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) are unsettled about a federal insurance study. They feel that the study is biased and will not produce accurate results. If the law is based on these inaccuracies, they feel this could be devastating to the insurance industry. Currently, the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) has been called upon to report the potential risks and benefits of federal regulation in the insurance industry. The current authority over insurance belongs to each individual state, preventing the FIO from regulating the insurance industry. PIA…

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Nevada in dire straights

Unemployment insurance is in dire straits in Nevada as the state continues to borrow money from the government to keep its unemployment benefits afloat. The situation is so severe that the benefit fund is not expected to recover until 2018. Reports suggest that the problem shows no sign of abatement as Nevada continues to experience jumps in its unemployment rate since November, 2010. The Employment Security Council raised unemployment tax on business by .77% in 2010, bringing the tax rate to 2% in an effort to offset the deficit. While…

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Insurers profit from medicare funds

Private insurance plans tailored to accommodate Medicare recipients are making massive profits by using advance government payouts. The Medicare program regularly sends money in advance, much of which has no immediate need, and insurers are using the funds to secure investments, according to an investigation report by the Department of Health and Human Services. Those in the  financial world are familar with this practice called, “playing the float”. The HHS inspector general estimated that private Medicare plans obtained some $380 million from these investments with money used from the government advances. These…

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New report shows that more than half of America is sick

A study released by the Department of Health and Human Services, released today, declares that some 129 million Americans under the age of 65 suffer from preexisting medical conditions that could hinder their ability to obtain coverage or send their premiums skyrocketing. The study comes as the House of Representatives begins hearing a proposed bill to repeal the health-care overhaul of 2010. According to the old rules, insurers could deny applicants based on whether they had a preexisting condition, whether that is a birth defect or cancer, and if not…

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