How much does a Medicare Advantage plan really cost?

Posted September 15, 2014 By Kevin Knauss
Medicare reimbursing MA-PDs less in California.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid released their reimbursements rates for Medicare Advantage plans by each county in the United States. Commonly known as the capitation rate, the table shows what Medicare pays to a private Medicare Advantage plan each month for each beneficiary enrolled in the health plan. The lowest reimbursement is in San […]

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Comparing hospital outpatient, labs, and imaging costs

Posted September 8, 2014 By Kevin Knauss
Pratter medical cost transparency

For years we have been told that the way to put the brakes to sky rocketing health insurance premiums was to let consumers shop and compare costs. While this pricing mechanism certainly works in markets where consumers have access to good comparative information, when it comes to shopping for health care services based on priced, your […]

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Do we have a moral obligation to conserve water?

Posted September 7, 2014 By Kevin Knauss
My low tech way of transferring water from a gutter flooder to my dying lawn.

What would you do if you learned the business you worked for had their revenue drop by 20% every month for the past year? If nothing else, you’d probably be concerned about your job and if the company was going to stay in business. Then, what if you learned your company was asking customers not […]

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Covered California immigration verification

If you purchased health insurance through Covered California brace yourself for a bevy of letters and notices arriving in your mail box this summer and fall. Covered California will be sending out marketing material, renewal notices, letters asking you to create an online account, reminders to verify your income, and requests for immigration documents. Create […]

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Adjusting income is a qualifying event for Special Enrollment Period.

Covered California and the IRS have been encouraging individuals and families that have purchased health insurance through the state or federal exchange to update their household income whenever there is a change. The simple act of reporting this change of income through Covered California is considered a qualifying event for a Special Enrollment Period. Once […]

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Anthem Blue Cross Health Insurance

In the proposed rate increase filing with California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) on August 1, 2014, Anthem Blue Cross included 79 health plans that they would be terminating at the end of year. Titled Exhibit P – Terminated Plans, effective 2015, Anthem Blue Cross lists 39 pre-ACA and 40 post-ACA individual and family […]

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Anthem Blue Cross relaxes guidelines for victims of the Napa earthquake.

Anthem Blue Cross announced that they were temporarily revising some of their health insurance guidelines for residents in Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties impacted by the Napa earthquake. Important for Anthem Blue Cross members in these counties is that they can see any physician for necessary health care, urgent care and emergency room services even […]

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Covered California 2015 rates by region and plan comparison

Posted August 25, 2014 By Kevin Knauss
2015 Covered California rates will vary by plan within each region.

How health insurance companies and health plans determine premium rate increases is a little bit of a mystery. Covered California didn’t add to the consumer’s understanding of this process when they released their 2015 health insurance booklet. The plan rates booklet is mostly marketing material and fails to provide specific rates by region, carrier, and […]

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Covered California leans against supporting rate regulating Prop. 45

In a presentation by Executive Director Peter Lee to the Board of Covered California on the potential effects of the health insurance rate regulation proposal to go before California voters in November, known as Prop. 45, it was clear the passage of the California Department of Insurance supported proposition could present significant challenges to the […]

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Robin Williams would still be alive if he had been homeless

Posted August 15, 2014 By Kevin Knauss
Why don't homeless men commit suicide like Robin Williams?

We see them across the United States. Homeless men and women, filthy, pushing shopping carts, diving in dumpsters, sleeping in tents and suffering from mental illness and substance abuse. Short of becoming a mercenary, they have sunk almost as low as any human being can and still be considered somewhat civilized. Yet, through all the […]

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