New California laws bring promising changes to the state’s insurance industry

California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a number of health care legislations this month. Many of the laws were designed to bring affordable health insurance to those in greatest need. The new legislations are expected to make some major changes to the state’s health insurance industry as they introduce stiffer regulations concerning rates and practices. Small businesses in the state will be afforded a number of benefits from the laws in the hopes of ensuring employees are able to keep their insurance benefits. Of note, Senate Bill 51 will…

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Vermont adopts single-payer health system

The state of Vermont is edging closer to a single-payer health system. The new system would have state residents transition into a publicly funded insurance program that would be responsible for paying hospital bills and other medical expenses. The system has received approval from the state Legislature and is to be built as soon as possible. Vermont is the first state in the U.S. to adopt a single-payer health system. Legislators will have to iron out the specific regulations that will govern the system before anyone can begin using it.…

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New health insurance survey reveals an alarming rate of uninsured Americans

A new health insurance survey shows that more than 9 million adults lost their health insurance coverage due to job loss in 2010. The Commonwealth Fund 2010 Biennial Health Insurance Survey, which was released Wednesday, estimates that 57% of people in the country become uninsured because of the recession. It paints a grim picture for millions of families reporting who have been stricken by job loss. The ailing economy had made it difficult to find work, particularly employment that offers benefits. Despite a recovering economic climate, families are still at…

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Health Care Reform Update: New waiver proposal for industries and citizens

The Department of Health and Human Services has proposed several new waiver rules that will give states more control of their own health care systems and regulations. Backed by the Obama administration, the waivers will provide states with more flexibility. If the proposal is successful, states will have more freedom in creating their own systems that will support federally mandates health insurance exchanges. Additional legislation is being proposed to make the waivers available by 2014 instead of 2017. States may apply for “Innovation Waivers” that will allow them to come…

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Americans uninsured on the rise

An epidemic has swept across our nation. The number of people who are uninsured is over 13 million. There are about 1500 community care clinics across the United States. Many of those clinics will have their funding cut; if they even get government aid; many are funded on donations or private grants. Where do you turn when you’re ill and have no insurance? At last count, there were 43 states that made Medicaid unavailable for adults with no children. Even if you didn’t have a dime to your name; without…

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Proposed Texas state run health insurance program in the forefront

Texas may be establishing a state-run health insurance exchange, should legislation proposed by Rep. John Zerwas come to fruition. The bill would create a simplified insurance market for the state and serve as its exchange as dictated by the federal health overhaul passed the previous year. Under the plan, consumers can choose from plans that are eligible for federal subsidies, of which all will be state-regulated. Though opposed to the health care reforms proposed by the Obama administration, Zerwas ascribes to the “connector concept,” a middle-ground for state and federal…

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Pensylvania health care for low income families in danger

The low-cost health insurance program for Pennsylvania is on shaky ground today.  Providing coverage for more than 40,000 adults, the program is in deep danger of being shut down due to dwindling funds.  In a recent announcement, Governor Ed Rendell office stated that money for this program will run dray by the end of February. Governor-elect Tom Corbett is encouraging the state’s nonprofit health insurance providers to allow enrollees into “Special Care” plans, funded by insurers. On Tuesday, spokespeople for Highmark and Independent Blue Cross said that the subsidized Special…

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