Monday, January 3, 2011

Back to the Grind Edition

Well, it was a nice week. Too short, of course, but I almost didn't work. Not feeling great, but hopefully that will pass. Let's see what's up with the rest of the world?

Secretary Sebelius says 2010 was a banner year for health care. However, in 2011, there will be a vote to repeal health reform in the House of Representatives. If it's not repealed in one fell swoop, they'll try to repeal it piece by piece. Expect repeal to start before the State of the Union. It won't pass the Senate and the President would veto it, so we all know it's symbolic. But symbolic of what? You want pre-existing condition exclusions to apply to kids under age 19? You don't want your kids to stay on your policy to age 26? You like lifetime and annual limits on benefits? I could go on, but you get the point. These and other consumer protections take effect today for many people whose plan year begins on January 1. Here's more on the changes. And here's a list of 9 ways health care may affect you in 2011. Some changes were effective on the first day of the plan year after 9/23/2010, and for many, that's today. But others take effect in 2011, like cutting the Medicare doughnut hole in half. And states will be working hard on getting ready for 2014 full implementation.

And under the new law, more small businesses are offering insurance, too.

And for those of you who oppose government subsidized health care, did you know that Medicare is heavily subsidized? Yup, and here's more. I'm guessing you don't want to give that up, do you? But once the baby boomers all surge onto Medicares rolls, how do we pay for it? Meanwhile, there's a new website that helps you find a doctor enrolled in Medicare.

What happens when we help you get free meds? Well, you had to figure somebody would pay.

When health insurance pays discounts for things like stopping smoking, is that a fair and reasonable way to reward good behavior?

Meanwhile, the trend towards online appointments grows.

And that's just for starters. It's going to be a busy year! Jennifer

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