Is HackerCare real health insurance?

Posted April 14, 2014 By Kevin Knauss
HackerCare is a membership association, not health health insurance.

HackerCare is not health insurance. HackerCare is a membership based association that offers group insurance through a carrier named Starmark. If you want to purchase the Starmark group health insurance, you have to join HackerCare. No one should ever be forced to join a fee based membership organization in order to purchase health insurance.

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The journey of a Nigerian transgender man.

Occasionally we all need a reminder that our lives are not the center of the universe and our neighbor’s journey may have had challenges that would make most us wilt. Rizi Timane’s ebook “An Unspoken Compromise” is a short but illuminating account of his journey from young Nigerian girl to adult man. As a transgender man, the unspoken compromise allows the author to maintain a silk thin connection with his fundamentalist Christian parents as he finally transitions in the United States.

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How income and household changes can affect ACA health plans.

Individuals and families who have enrolled in health plans through Healthcare.gov, or a state exchange like Covered California face new challenges as they report income and household changes. Families reporting changes to household size and income may also be triggering changes to their health plan. These changes may result in the entire family becoming eligible for Medicaid, being shifted into a different Enhanced Silver plan or losing the Advance Premium Tax Credit all together.

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Health Net stretches ACA open enrollment

Posted April 3, 2014 By Kevin Knauss
2014 Open Enrollment extended for Covered California and Health Net

Just as Covered California will continue to let Certified Insurance Agents enroll individuals and families in the new ACA health plans, Health Net of California will also accept new applications for enrollment. Applications for both Covered California and Health Net must be submitted by April 15th for a May 1st effective dates. This is only for new enrollments and not for plan changes between carriers.

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The hidden costs of dental, vision and supplement plans

Posted April 1, 2014 By Kevin Knauss
The hidden fees of VSP, Delta Dental and AARP insurance plans.

When searching for supplemental health benefits like dental and vision insurance, be cautious of paying additional fees or joining membership associations tied to the insurance. VSP vision insurance, Delta Dental and AARP all have marketing agreements that mandate the purchase of an association membership or one-time fee. These associations may offer little value to the member and only serve as another revenue stream for the issuing company.

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PCIP

Consumers who were unable to create an online account or start their online application because of technical difficulties can contact a Covered California Certified Insurance Agent to explain that they attempted to get through on March 31 and experienced difficulties. Those consumers will have until 11:59 p.m. April 15 to work with the Certified Insurance Agent to complete their application and choose a plan.

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Home brew citrus flavored water

Posted March 30, 2014 By Kevin Knauss
Powdered hibiscus give the citrus flavored water a cranberry color.

I’ll admit that I’m addicted to flavored water. For years I have been buying Aquafina Flavor Splash and recently started purchasing Mio Orange Tangerine Liquid Enhancer concentrate. When I looked at the ingredients of these two products I realized that I could make a similar concentrated to flavor water at home. While my home brew chemical mixture isn’t quite as perfect as the store bought products, it tastes good and it’s fun to tinker with the ingredients.

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Sony Vaio Fit 15E fails at wi-fi

Posted March 29, 2014 By Kevin Knauss
Sony Vaio Fit 15E failed wi-fi connection.

I was visited by everyone’s worst nightmare; a computer that crashes in the middle of a vital project. As I browsed the local computer store, I decided to lean on the old adage of “you get what you pay for” and decided to pay the extra money for a Sony Vaio Fit 15E. Much to my surprise, I got less than what I paid for as this Sony notebook computer fails at the critical task of maintaining a wireless or wi-fi connection for more than a couple of minutes.

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Blue Shield Gender Reassignment Surgery Criteria

Posted March 28, 2014 By Kevin Knauss
Transgender health insurance transition surgery

Solid information is hard to come by when it relates to what health insurance plans will cover for gender reassignment surgery in California. In response to the Insurance Gender Non-Discrimination Act passed by California in 2013, some health plans have created detailed medical policies for transgender health benefits. For a variety of reasons the health insurance companies don’t make their policies readily available to the general public. I was able to locate two detailed outlines issued by Blue Shield of California relating to gender reassignment surgery.

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Greedy doctors kick patients out of their practices

Posted March 24, 2014 By Kevin Knauss
Doctors kick the soccer ball patients out of their practice.

California doctors, upon finding that the new Covered California health plans may not reimburse them enough to maintain their vaunted lifestyle, are kicking existing patients with the new health insurance out of their practices. These doctors are the epitome of the maxim “Putting profits before people.” Most of these greedy doctors haven’t exercised the common decency to notify their current patients before their appointments that unless they have the right color of health insurance, they won’t be served.

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