Blue Shield of California is taking additional steps to remove barriers and help its members receive the health care they need during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, announcing today it will cover members’ coinsurance, copayments and deductibles for COVID-19 medical treatments through May 31, 2020.
Health Care Insurane Coverage
Posts related to coverage, prescription medications, benefits and providers under health insurance plans.
The FAQs released today detail existing federal rules governing health coverage provided through the individual and small group insurance markets that apply to the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19. The FAQs clarify which COVID-related services, including testing, isolation/quarantine, and vaccination, are generally currently covered as EHBs in these markets. The purpose of the FAQs is to provide guidance to Americans enrolled in individual or small group market health plans, including HealthCare.gov consumers. As questions and issues continue to come to CMS, they will be addressed and added to these FAQs.
The Cease and Desist Order prohibits Aliera and Trinity from immediately transacting insurance in California, including advertising or receiving any money, commission, fee, rebate, payment, remuneration, or any other valuable consideration whatsoever, in connection with any insurance transactions.
For most tax payers, the income they estimated on their application for health insurance will not be exactly the same amount as their final Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) on their 2019 federal tax return. Part II of form 8962 compares the subsidy you received (column f) to the amount of subsidy you are entitled to (column e) from data supplied by the market place exchange on form 1095-A.
If you want to keep either UCLA or Hoag in your Oscar health plan, you will have to enroll in an off-exchange Oscar plan that is designated with the Circle network. The Circle network that includes UCLA and Hoag will only be available in the metal tier plans of Bronze and Silver.
Kaiser is unique in that because they manage their own pharmacies, we can get a look at the ordering habits of opioids, and by extension, the prescribing of those opioids by Kaiser doctors. With a pharmacy like Costco, that has a higher ordering rate for higher strength doses of hydrocodone, it is hard to pinpoint which doctors or medical groups are prescribing the stronger drugs. It may not even be a doctor in Sacramento County.
If you take a nasty spill on your skate board in San Francisco, and have to have your ankle X-rayed at Kaiser, it will cost $102. But if you break your finger poking your political opponent in the chest, that finger X-ray will cost $111. These costs are lower in Southern California where they have more skate boards and finger poking. An ankle X-ray in Southern California will be $71 and the finger at $78. They don’t mention if there is a discount X-ray cost for both if you poked someone and then fell off your skate board.
By the time I had all the fun in the urologist’s office, the prostate pain had virtually disappeared. My PCP and I had theorized before the PSA test that the new mountain bike I bought, with the knife-like seat, may have traumatized the pudendal nerve, a common problem among cyclists. I had stopped riding my new bike and the pain gradually subsided. The next PSA test result was a 4, confirming that I needed to buy a new bike seat.
The single payer proposals I have read deal mainly with the consumer side regarding access to care and reduced patient costs. What seems to be missing is recognition that medical groups and hospital have built their budgets around the existing health insurance plan reimbursement rates. There is no mechanism in the single payer proposals to limit the costs such as the cost of labor (nurses) which is a significant financial element for hospitals. Until we get a handle on the cost of health care, health insurance rates will continue to rise and a viable single payer proposal, where you have more than one or two hospitals participating, will only be a dream.
The goals of Prop 8 sound good: better patient care and lower costs. Basic economic theory suggests that artificially regulating prices lower leads to shortages. We cannot force the current dialysis clinics to become nonprofit organizations. Just like large retailers close under-performing brick and mortar stores, I would expect no less from the CEO of a dialysis company to close those locations whose primary insurance payer were on the lower end of the reimbursement scale such as Medi-Cal or Medicare.