Businesss Archive

Is it time for health agents to organize?

Posted April 23, 2014 By Kevin Knauss
Is it time for health agents to organize a guild to advocate for reforms?

As the date for the ACA open enrollment approached, most health insurance agents were nervous about what to expect and what role they might play in helping clients enroll in the new health plans. This anxiety was enhanced by the cold shoulder given them by Covered California and the health insurance companies in terms of training and information. At the end of open enrollment, many agents felt as if they had been abandoned by the carriers and Covered California while trying to help their clients. This has left some agents wondering if now is the time to organize into a guild and work for better training, enrollment tools and fair compensation for the assistance they provide to their clients.

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Starbucks turns drought water into big cash flow

Posted April 20, 2014 By Kevin Knauss
Even in drought, Starbucks finds great cash flow from Folsom Lake water.

How much is water worth? For Starbucks, they are able to take $0.66 worth of Folsom Lake water and convert it into $11,668.80 dollars. The San Juan Water District, who treats and delivers drought depleted Folsom Lake water to residential and commercial customers, is asking homeowners to use less water and pay more for it while company’s like Starbucks generate handsome revenues from residential conservation. The current and proposed Stage 3 Water Warning rate structure continues to have residential customers pay more per unit than Starbucks and other commercial uses who use the water to create revenue and profits.

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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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Blogging for entertainment and information

Posted March 7, 2014 By Kevin Knauss
The Internet is either for entertainment or information.

People turn to the Internet for two things: entertainment and information. If you’re not producing content focused on one of those two areas, you may not be getting that much traffic to your website. If you want to get visitors to your blog or website you need to create content that is either entertainment or information oriented.

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Covered California SHOP is a Flop

Posted March 5, 2014 By Kevin Knauss
Covered California SHOP broken.

With no website and no functioning customer service, Covered California’s SHOP for small groups has ceased to exist. There may be a glimmer of hope for a return, but it is painfully apparent that SHOP is wrestling above its weight class. Whether their total melt-down is a function of poor vision and management from Covered California executive management and Board is anyone’s guess. That is a moot point when small groups that earnestly wanted to support and participate in the ACA have been handed plate of food contaminated with mold and weevils.

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Blue Shield exposes Social Security numbers on public web page

Posted February 23, 2014 By Kevin Knauss
Blue Shield Covered California Binder Payment

Blue Shield of California sent notices to their appointed insurance agents that the agent’s Social Security number had been displayed during the course of member’s online payment. The letter from Blue Shield, dated February 18, notifying agents of the breach to their private personal information does not mention how many agents had their Social Security number’s compromised. While I was not shocked to receive the letter informing me that my personal information was displayed, I was angry that Blue Shield let this happen.

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Covered California’s SHOP not ready for occupancy

Posted February 13, 2014 By Kevin Knauss
Covered California SHOP removes enrollment website.

The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) from Covered California has unfortunately proved itself to be just as inept at processing enrollments as the individual and family plan side. What promised to be a stream lined and easy process for small employer groups to offer health insurance to employees through Covered California is beset with a dysfunctional enrollment website and poorly trained support staff. They make Anthem Blue Cross’ decision not to offer plans through SHOP absolutely prophetic.

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Blue Shield set to acquire GEMCare of Bakersfield

Posted January 7, 2014 By Kevin Knauss
Blue Shield set to acquire GEMCare Health Plan

Blue Shield has introduced a very competitive Medicare Advantage plan in ten select counties through out California. With the acquisition of GEMCare, Blue Shield will be able to more easily offer a version of their Blue Shield 65 Plus HMO plan in the GEMCare service area. While some Medicare Advantage plans seem to be reducing plan benefits and dropping counties, Blue Shield has been selectively increasing their MA-PD footprint in California.

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WordPress text and image widgets call to action

Posted December 26, 2013 By Kevin Knauss
Telephone assistance with Covered California applications

As a novice WordPress user I have been relatively happy with the traffic my blog posts have generated. But as a commerce site the other measurement that my site is really connecting with my audience is the number of people who email or call with questions. I was able to generate more “person to person” interaction after I added some simple invitations to my website.

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Paper applications threaten family health insurance coverage

Posted December 7, 2013 By Kevin Knauss
Will I have health insurance if I filed a paper applications?

Covered California had high expectations for 21st century e-commerce technology but agents and consumers have resort to 19th century pen and paper. There has been an avalanche of paper applications into Covered California significantly slowing down the verification and enrollment process. The sluggish processing of applications means that some families may not have insurance coverage on January 1, 2014 as promised.

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