December 5, 2012 |
Consumers saved nearly $1.5 billion in 2011 as a result of rules in President Obama's healthcare law that limit what insurance companies can spend on expenses unrelated to medical care, including profit, a new analysis shows. Much of those savings -- an estimated $1.1 billion -- came in rebates to consumers required because insurers had exceeded the required limits. The study by the New York-based Commonwealth Fund also suggests that the Affordable Care Act forced insurers to become more efficient by limiting their administrative expenses, a key goal of the 2010 law. In some cases, insurers passed savings on to consumers in the form of lower premiums and higher spending on medical care, the researchers found.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 11, 2000 |
My father had a name before he became a number. In English, his name would have been Nicholas Frumkin, but in Lithuanian he was Mykolas Frumkinas. In Russian, which we spoke at home in Kaunas, Lithuania, he was Nikolay Grigorievich Frumkin, but his friends called him Kolya. And, of course, to me he was Papa--Daddy. Strangers called him, in the East European fashion, "Engineer Frumkin" because he had an engineering degree from a major German university.
September 30, 2011
State law requires insurers to include coverage for autism in comprehensive healthcare policies. Now, lawmakers want to go a step further, requiring coverage of a particular autism treatment: applied behavioral analysis. Insurers are resisting. They don't question the effectiveness of the therapy; they just say it doesn't fit the definition of "medical" treatment. Their position reflects how crucial parts of the healthcare system are wedded to the status quo, regardless of what's best for patients.
February 4, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama's healthcare law will reduce the ranks of the uninsured by about 13 million this year and 25 million once it is fully phased in, but will prompt some people to work less because of the availability of insurance subsidies, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday. The latest projections by the nonpartisan budget analysts inspired new talking points for both sides in the deeply polarized debate over the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.
June 28, 2012 |
The Supreme Court is shaking up the political chessboard today by ruling on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act - a.k.a. "Obamacare" - and there is one player who will win no matter what the decision may be: the insurance industry. When Congress was debating healthcare three years ago, health insurers were no fans of reform. They were making gobs of money with the system just as it was. For years, their lobbyists managed to kill any attempt to tinker with the status quo, and major tinkering, like instituting a Canadian-style single-payer scheme, was out of the question because it would cut them out of the healthcare equation. Also, for sensible business reasons, insurers had never been especially keen on being forced to offer coverage to people with preexisting medical conditions or to pay for preventative care or various other benefits the Democrats and President Obama wanted as part of a healthcare reform package.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 18, 2014 |
SACRAMENTO - A protracted political battle over California's medical malpractice law may be coming to a new front: the voting booth. For decades, trial lawyers and consumer groups have railed against limits on certain damages in malpractice cases, arguing that such restrictions deny victims fair compensation for grisly medical mistakes. Insurance companies, doctors and other healthcare providers have been equally vigorous in defending the law, saying it is crucial to controlling costs and maintaining the availability of care.
January 10, 2014 |
Obamacare's biggest problem isn't the troubled HealthCare.gov website anymore. Consumers are easing up on criticism of government exchanges and turning their frustration and fury toward some of the nation's biggest health insurers. All too often, new policyholders say, the companies can't confirm coverage, won't answer basic questions, and haven't issued identification numbers needed to fill prescriptions or get medical care. Day after day, people say, they contact insurance company call centers waiting hours at a time with no response.
February 27, 2013 |
Money, money, money. So much money. From places only the most sophisticated financial followers truly understand, not that they always agree. Last year Guggenheim Partners formed a group to buy the Dodgers and spent a record $2.1 billion on the purchase. In a remarkably short time, it skyrocketed the team payroll to a baseball record $230 million. They're dropping another $100 million or so on a quick little makeover of Dodger Stadium. Yet exactly where all this money has come from remains something of a mystery, credit going to Guggenheim's sudden explosion on the Wall Street scene and Chief Executive Mark Walter's preference for privacy.
September 5, 2013 |
Here's another item to add to the "That costs more in Los Angeles" list, and it isn't pretty: car insurance. The 10 most expensive ZIP Codes for car insurance in the state of California are all in the L.A. metro area. L.A. County is also the most expensive county in the state, while Beverly Hills wins the honor of most expensive city in the state to insure a vehicle. The findings are from a study commissioned by InsuranceQuotes.com. "Where you live is playing a big role in the rate you're paying," said Laura Adams, senior analyst for the website InsuranceQuotes.
August 23, 2013 |
Victoria Barzilai opened her mouth wide so the doctor could look at her sore throat. Not exactly a remarkable event, except that Barzilai was at home and the doctor was hundreds of miles away. Feeling too sick to drag herself to the school health center, the third-year UC Davis student had opted for a cyber-doctor visit, the 21st century version of a house call. A number of websites offer face-to-face consultations of the virtual kind to anyone with a credit card and access to a webcam-equipped computer.