HCPro Health Plan Insider - December 17, 2008 | Government Solution to Health Reform Offered View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Government Solution to
Health Reform Offered

Les Masterson, Senior Editor-Managed Care

A public insurance option would compete with private insurers as a way to provide a level playing field to protect Americans without health insurance. The proposal is not a "Medicare for all" solution, according to proponents. [Read More]
  December 17, 2008

Editor's Picks
Fairness of insurance caps is questioned
Rising healthcare costs are forcing many Americans over their lifetime coverage caps. More than half of all employer-based insurance plans in America have lifetime employee limits as a way to afford better benefit to all employees, but critics of the caps say they are unfair. [Read More]
Medicare insurers' profits exceed expectations
Medicare Advantage critics received more ammunition to use against the program with the news that Medicare Advantage paid insurers $1.3 billion more than projected, according to congressional auditors. The Government Accountability Office said that money could have been spent on enhanced health benefits or lower monthly premiums if the companies had been accurate in their projections. President-elect Barack Obama took aim at Medicare Advantage during his successful presidential campaign and U.S. Rep. Pete Stark said he will push for legislation next year that would lower the government's payments to insurers. [Read More]
Aetna Awarded Dubai Health Management Contract
Aetna is expanding its reach into Dubai. The Dubai Health Authority selected the company to provide health management programs and services for outpatient care practices beginning January 1, 2009, as part of the government's plans to mandate primary care next year. Dubai currently offers select health programs to its 1.5 million residents, more than a million of whom are expatriates working in the region. The new system will require residents to register for basic health services. [Read More]
FL governor unveils health insurance option
The 3.8 million uninsured Floridians will have another option starting Jan. 5 as Gov. Charlie Crist announced that the Cover Florida health initiative will include six companies and 25 health coverage packages. The type and cost of the plans vary, depending on the county and whether a person picks a "preventive" or "catastophic" plan. The Cover Florida plans are available to Floridians age 19 to 64 who lose their jobs or are without coverage for more than six months. [Read More]
Word of mouth, physician referrals drive provider choice
Most American adults who are looking for a primary care physician, specialist, or hospital do not go online to consider price or quality information, according to the Center for Studying Health System Change. Half of all consumers rely on word-of-mouth recommendations when selecting primary care physicians, while most listen to physicians when choosing specialists and facilities for medical procedures. [Read More]
Happy Holidays!
From all of us at HCPro Inc., have a happy and safe holiday. Health Plan Insider will not publish next week, but will be back on December 31.
Managed Care Headlines
Insurers seek presence at healthcare sessions
New York Times - December 17, 2008
Survey shows consumerism uptick in health benefits
AP/Yahoo News - December 10, 2008
Can free advice on care lower health costs?
Minneapolis Star Tribune - December 12, 2008
Daschle has his own health plan
Los Angeles Times - December 15, 2008
Beating the insurance Blues
Washington Post - December 17, 2008
Geography has role in Medicare cancer coverage
New York Times - December 17, 2008

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From HealthLeaders Media
Benefit Plans That Limit Everything
But Your Losses

If you're fed up with high-deductible health plans, so-called limited-benefit plans should be making steam come out of your ears. They've been around for a few years, but their growth is accelerating. [Read More]
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