Obamacare & 7 Eleven

7 eleven

Via thehill.com

ObamaCare ads will now appear on 7-Eleven receipts at more than 7,000 stores nationwide as government health officials expand their outreach in the second year of healthcare sign-ups.

Information about ObamaCare sign-ups will appear on the bottom of receipts for anyone using a mobile payment company called PayNearMe, which allows bank-less customers to pay in stores like 7-Eleven and Family Dollar.

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell announced the new partnership with the tech start-up PayNearMe on Thursday at a store in Washington, D.C.

“Putting these reminders at the bottom of PayNearMe receipts will help get health coverage information into the hands of traditionally hard-to-reach consumers,” HHS wrote in a statement.
The partnership will help HHS “reach financially underserved and other cash-preferring consumers,” the statement reads.

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Premium Costs Before and After Obamacare

In analysis published this week, the website HealthPocket.com compared the average premiums people paid in 2013, before Obamacare plans went on sale, to 2014 plan prices. HealthPocket looked at premiums paid by non-smoking men and women, ages 23, 30 and 63, in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

“HealthPocket found that the average health insurance premium increased by double digits for each group examined, though some groups saw a much steeper increase than others,” the report said.

For 23-year-old non-smoking men, the average premium for all plans jumped 78 percent in 2014, the report said. Women of the same age saw a 45-percent hike.

For 30-year-olds, the increases were 73 percent for men and 35 percent for women. Only the 63-year-old age group saw bigger price hikes for women, with females paying 37.5 percent more for insurance on average in 2014, and men paying an average of nearly 23 percent more.

Read the rest at CNBC

Doctors Take on Obamacare

tireddoctor
Ran across this piece at Economic Policy Journal. Disturbing how bogged down our doctors will get in the future.

Dr. Mark Sklar writes:

The push to use electronic medical records has had more than financial costs. Although it is convenient to have patient records accessible on the Internet, the data processing involved has been extremely time consuming—a sentiment echoed by most of my colleagues. To save time, I was advised by a consultant to enter data into the electronic record during the office visit. When I tried this I found that typing in the data was disruptive to the patient visit. My eyes were focused on the keyboard and the lack of direct contact kept patients from opening up and discussing their medical and personal problems. I soon returned to my old method of dictating notes and pasting a print-out of the dictation into the electronic record.

Yet to avoid future financial penalties from Medicare, I must demonstrate “meaningful use” of the electronic record. This involves documenting that I covered a checklist of items during the office visit, so I spend 90 minutes each day entering mostly meaningless data. This is time better spent calling patients to answer questions or keeping updated with the medical literature…

To prevent physicians from prescribing more costly medications and tests on patients, insurers are increasingly requiring physicians to obtain pre-authorizations. This involves calling a telephone number, often being rerouted several times and then waiting on hold for a representative. The process is demeaning and can take 30-45 minutes…

To avoid Medicare penalties, I also must participate in the Physician Quality Reporting System program. Initially, this involved choosing three codes during the patient visit to reflect quality of care, such as blood pressure or blood-sugar control, and reporting them to Medicare. In 2015, the requirement will increase to nine codes.

Coming down the pike, but thankfully postponed from the October 2014 deadline, is something called ICD-10. This is a newer system that will contain about 70,000 medical diagnostic codes used for billing insurance. The present ICD-9 system has about 15,000 codes. The Physician Quality Reporting System and ICD-10 requirements are intended to benefit population research, but the effect is to turn physicians into adjuncts of the Census Bureau who spend time searching for codes—and to further decrease the amount of direct contact with patients.

The practice of medicine in the current environment is unsustainable. The multiple bureaucratic distractions in my day consume so much time that I have to give up what little personal time I have in the morning, evening and on weekends if I want to continue to provide excellent care during office hours.

Indiana “Obamacare” Prices To Rise by Double Digits

Prescription drugs, new federal rules and insurer fees will help drive up healthcare premium costs related to Obamacare “Silver Plans” in Indiana by 16%. Bloomberg Business fills a rather short article with lots of good financial nuggets for readers to absorb. Bloomberg broke down the pricing.

How insurers set prices: Cost of claims, benefit changes, rising prices, risk pools, provider networks, geography, reinsurance, taxes and fees, profit and risk load.

With all that calculated, this is what they got for various states:

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