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Showing posts from February, 2011

Anthem Blue Cross CA To Change Premium Payment Options

Anthem Blue Cross CA will be making the following changes to premium payment options for individual & family health insurance plans (including dental and life).

By May 1, Anthem will eliminate the monthly recurring credit card payment option. Those currently on monthly credit card premium payment will be required to change to another option.

Anthem will offer a monthly direct billing option (currently it is only bimonthly or quarterly)and will continue to offer checking account deduction option.

Letters will be mailed from Anthem to subscribers concerning this change and the options available. Those on credit card premium payments will need to make an alternate arrangement to pay premiums for their health insurance policies.

Dave (davefluker.com)

BSE, Mad Cow, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease - Fellow Veterans

Good evening. This particular blog is not really so much about health insurance as about a health issue I only recently discovered. It is directed to my fellow military veterans who served in the UK and/or Europe as well as any of my readers who lived in Europe for an extended period between 1980 and 1996 (between three and six months or more).

I was stationed in Berlin, Germany from 1983-1986 serving with the USAF Electronic Security Command (ESC) as a Cryptologic Slavic Linguist.

We are prohibited from ever donating blood. I had no idea! Apparently anyone who lived or was stationed pretty much anywhere in the UK or most of continental Europe during those years is at risk due to exposure to Mad Cow Disease (BSE) and possible development of vCJD (Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease).

There is no "test" for these so the blood banks and Red Cross take the approach of just refusing to avoid any potential future problems. From my reading, the incubation period for these diseases is basical…

California's Hidden Non-Dependent Tax On Health Premiums

A part of the PPACA (ObamaCare) provides that parents may add children to their employer-sponsored coverage plan up to age 26, whether a dependent student or not.

Turns out California's tax law requires the state to levy taxes on any amount of premium paid by the employer for non-dependent children of employees.

Many California workers added non-dependent children under age 26 to their group health plans in favor of paying premiums for the coverage. According the the Sacramento Bee article, the result is a bump in taxable income to reflect the employer's contribution.

See the article here.

Florida Halts PPACA Implementation

On Monday, Florida US District Judge Robert Vinson declared the PPACA (ObamaCare) unconstitutional. This sets the stage for appeals and eventually the US Supreme Court. Because the 'individual mandate' requiring all Americans under 65 (not insured by an employer or government program) to buy health insurance or face a fine was deemed as unconstitutional and was written as non severable, the mandate itself renders PPACA as a whole unconstitutional (per Judge Vinson).

In the first of what will undoubtedly be several state rebellions, Florida today shut down all further implementation of the PPACA (ObamaCare) in the state and retracted a MLR (medical loss ratio) waiver that had been submitted. 27 States were represented in Judge Vinson's decision (not California)and it might be expected that the remaining states may take similar action in the near future.

Article here

Dave (davefluker.com)

Blue Shield CA Agrees To 60-Day Rate Hold On Individual Plans

Blue Shield of California (and Blue Shield Life & Health) announced this afternoon that the company will abide by the request of Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones and hold the March 1, 2011 rate increase for 60 days so that the rates can be reviewed.

Late last week Blue Shield stated that they were satisfied with the rate increase and would not honor the request of the CA Insurance Commissioner.

For those with Blue Shield CA individual & family health plans who are not in your initial rate guarantee period, your rates will not be increasing on March 1 as projected.

Blue Shield will notify agents as to when, if and by how much the rate increase will actually go into effect.

Dave (davefluker.com)