Category Archives: Insurance

5 factors that could sway insurance prices in 2015

Customers who bought health insurance on the overhaul’s public exchanges can expect a flurry of reports about big price hikes and some decreases for 2015 as insurers finalize their rates over the next few weeks. But they shouldn’t give much weight to any of this.

The actual change in a person’s policy will depend mostly on factors particular to their market and the other people covered by their plan. Here are five variables that could affect the prices you will see when you shop for 2015 coverage starting next fall.

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$25 Million Raised To Defeat Measure On Regulating Health Insurance Costs

The ballot measure would allow the California insurance commissioner to reject health plan rate increases considered excessive.

The fight over a ballot measure to regulate the price of health insurance in California is shaping up to be a David vs. Goliath affair.

The initiative on the November ballot would require health insurers to justify premium rate hikes. Under the measure, the state insurance commissioner could reject increases they found excessive.

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Silicon Valley billionaire buys record life policy

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An unnamed Silicon Valley billionaire has purchased the world’s most valuable life insurance policy.

The man who cobbled the deal together said Saturday that it took seven months and 19 insurance companies to put together a deal that surpasses a $100 million policy sold to Hollywood mogul David Geffen in 1990.

“No one company can afford to take a $201 million hit,” said Dovi Frances, the financial adviser who represents who he calls a “well-known billionaire.”

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Personal Finance: New federal health care mandates kick in starting Oct. 1

obamacare

Love it or hate it, the launch date for the country’s sweeping new health care mandates is just around the corner. In 10 days, the essential piece of the federal government’s Affordable Care Act kicks in, allowing everyone across the country to sign up for health care coverage.

Starting Oct. 1, you’ll need to make some choices, whether you’re currently covered at work, have been buying health insurance on your own, or never had it in the first place.

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CalPERS will start coverage of gay marriage spouses

Photo of Jeffpw wedding ceremony in the Nether...

In response to last month’s historic gay-marriage rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court, CalPERS’ health plan is holding a special open-enrollment period for same-sex couples who were previously married.

The enrollment period, which began this week, is for gay couples who had gotten married before the court decisions but shied away from the CalPERS coverage because of provisions in DOMA, the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Because of DOMA, gay employees on CalPERS’ health plan were allowed to enroll their spouses but had to pay federal taxes on their partners’ benefits.

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The State Worker blog: CalPERS committee unveils health premium rates for 2014

A CalPERS committee today recommended 2014 health insurance rates that collectively increase premiums by 3.03 percent, the lowest benefit increase since 1998.

The Pension and Health Benefits Committee’s recommendations include an average increase of nearly 6 percent for some plans while lowering prices for some Medicare coverages by almost 9 percent.

Premiums for the fund’s Basic HMO coverage will increase by a combined average 3.81 percent next year while Medicare HMO plans will see a 5.76 percent hike.

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CA pol wants to bar Anthem from health exchange

Anthem Blue Cross-Blue Shield office in Denver.

California’s insurance commissioner wants to exclude Anthem Blue Cross from the state’s new health exchange for small businesses, saying it’s made excessive rate hikes.

Dave Jones says three increases this year – including one of nearly 18 percent – were unreasonable. However, under state law he couldn’t block them.

The state-run exchange stems from the federal health care overhaul. Small businesses owners are expected to buy insurance for some 200,000 workers.

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Calif. Health Exchange Plans, Rates Announced

The state’s largest health insurers, including Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield and Kaiser Permanente, will be among 13 plans competing to provide coverage to millions of Californians through the state’s new health exchange, officials announced Thursday.

Covered California, the state agency running the health insurance marketplace, detailed plans and prices to be offered by private insurers when the exchange begins enrolling customers in October.

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Measure To Reverse Medi-Cal Pay Cut Advances

Escondido’s Palomar Medical Center.

SAN DIEGO — Momentum is building in the state legislature to reverse a looming 10 percent cut in the rate Medi-Cal pays doctors and hospitals. The pay cut is scheduled to take effect on June 1st.

Lawmakers originally approved the cut two years ago when the state was in financial trouble.

Doctors say the Medi-Cal rate is already so low, that itdoesn’t even cover their costs. They argue cutting it by 10 percent will dissuade doctors from treating Medi-Cal patients.

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Q&A: Obamacare’s Effect On Insurance Rates, Medi-Cal Eligibility

Q: I work at a family-owned restaurant and my boss has cut back my insurance coverage. I have to pay a lot more out of pocket on top of my monthly premium. Can I find a better deal on insurance under health reform?

A: How’s this for a definitive answer: Possibly. You may be able to find a more affordable option later this year at a new state-run marketplace for health insurance called Covered California.

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