Health insurance navigators may get more training in Texas

Texas health Insurance companies

Texas could require health insurance navigators to receive an additional 40 hours of training Health insurance navigators in Texas may be required to complete 40 hours of training over the extensive instruction they receive from the federal government. Governor Rick Perry has ordered the state’s Department of Insurance to ensure that navigators receive a minimum of 40 hours of training in order to better serve Texans looking for coverage through the state’s health insurance exchange. Federal health care officials claim, however, that the measure is simply creating more barriers for…

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91% of Texans to be insured by 2014, thanks to the Affordable Care Act

The Texas Medicaid Director, Billy Millwee, spoke to the House Public Health and Insurance committees this week regarding the Affordable Care Act. The director has been tracking the trends and effects that the federal health care law has birthed in the state and has come to a promising conclusion. Currently, 74% of the state’s residents have some form of health insurance coverage. Millwee claims that when the Affordable Care Act is fully enacted in 2014, this will jump to 91%. By that time, only 2.3 million Texans will have no…

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Disaster declaration renewed in Texas as devastating drought persists

Texas Governor Rick Perry has renewed a declaration of disaster regarding the state’s ongoing and costly drought. Last year, the declaration was renewed several times, as the drought showed no signs of relenting. According to the National Weather Service, 2011 was the driest year Texas has ever known and the second hottest. The conditions ignited several wildfires throughout the state that caused damage to hundreds of homes and ruining thousands of acres of land. Insurers have been battling the disaster as fervently as state officials, but there seems to be…

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Texas wildfires wreak havoc on citizens and the insurance industry

Texas is battling a raging wildfire that has broken out in Bastrop, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties. The fires have already scorched more than 100,000 acres of land and burned several hundred homes throughout Central Texas. Many communities have been evacuated as no end is currently in sight for the wildfires. The disaster is expected to add to the financial strain bearing down on the nation’s insurance industry, which is already reeling from two costly flooding disasters stemming from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Insurers are estimating that the…

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Perry may repeal healthcare reforms without alternative in state with highest rate of uninsured

Texas has been named the state with the largest number of residents who do not have health insurance, so they should also be one of the states that could receive the most benefit from the health care reforms made by the Obama administration. However, Governor Rick Perry has halted attempts to lay the foundation for the coverage expansion. That said, one of the solutions that Perry is supporting as an alternative to the overhaul is an untested regional effort that may make individual states responsible for Medicare; a method that…

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Texas governor appoints new head of the state’s Department of Insurance

The Texas Department of Insurance is in for a shakeup as Governor Rick Perry announced Wednesday that a new Insurance Commissioner is on the way. Eleanor Kitzman, once the executive director of the South Carolina Budget and Control Board, has been appointed to the position and will take the reins of the office beginning next month. Her term will span until February 1, 2013, giving Kitzman ample time to affect change in the state’s insurance industry. Kitzman will be replacing former Commissioner Mike Geeslin who held the office for several…

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No more solicitation of crash victims by doctors and lawyers in Texas

New legislation in Texas has now become law, making it illegal for health professionals and lawyers to solicit victims of crashes inside the first thirty days of the crash.  The law was supported by Rep. Todd Smith of Euless, leading House Bill 148 to be approved by lawmakers after having already received Governor Rick Perry’s signature back in 2009.  Though the law has been considered to be a long time coming by many, it was not without its critics.  For example, Christopher Villasana and Donald McKinley are Texas chiropractors who…

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The fate of the Texas state run wind pool still undecided

Texas lawmakers will be convening in a special session of Senate after they were unable to determine the fate of the state’s Windstorm Insurance Association. The state-run insurance program provides coverage to homeowners in coastal areas that are prone to hurricanes. A bill to reform the program was before the state Senate last months, but legislators were unable to reach a compromise regarding the provisions of the bill. Now, the Legislature will be in session until a verdict can be reached. One of the provisions of the bill to reform…

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