Who are the Health Uninsured In Colorado?
Well, according to Westley Mori, Research Analyst for the Colorado Health Institute, they are low income adults. Here are some of the findings from his work:
About one in five Colorado adults between the ages of 19 and 64 did not have health insurance in 2010. Adults represent the vast majority—about 83 percent—of Colorado’s uninsured.
Digging deeper, CHI finds wide variation within that group of uninsured adults. Findings in “Health Insurance Status of Colorado Adults” include:
•About 640,000 adults were uninsured in 2010, up from about 623,000 in 2008.
•The uninsured rate for adults varies dramatically by region – from a low of seven percent in Douglas County to a high of 27 percent in Adams County.
•Forty percent of the uninsured adults have annual incomes below 133 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), or about $29,000 for a family of four.
•Sixty-three percent of uninsured adults are employed.
Adults without dependent children (AwDCs) with incomes at or below the FPL, about $11,000 for an individual, have an uninsured rate of 41 percent, twice that of the average adult in the state. Within this group, CHI estimates that:
•Six in 10 (about 94,000) are male. In comparison, about 50 percent of Colorado’s adult population is male.
•The vast majority are single.
•More than a third are employed, either full- or part-time.
In my opinion, the Affordable Care Act requirement that all citizens have health insurance, that goes into effect January 1, 2014, will do little to change these numbers. Coverage will still be expensive, rebates using the tax system will be complicated and not timely and the penalties for non-compliance will be low in the begining.
We will see what we will see.
- Published in Individual Health Insurance, Personal Observation
Essential Health Benefits-What Do You Want vs. What Are You Willing To Pay?
The Affordable Care Act requires Americans have access to quality, affordable health insurance. To achieve this goal, the law requires health plans offered in the individual and small group markets, both inside and outside of the Affordable Insurance Exchanges (Exchanges), offer a comprehensive package of items and services, known as “essential health benefits.” Essential health benefits must include items and services within at least the following 10 categories:
- Ambulatory patient services
- Emergency services
- Maternity and newborn care
- Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment
- Prescription drugs
- Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
- Laboratory services
- Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management, and
- Pediatric services, including oral and vision care
The challenge now facing the Colorado Department of Insurance is what additional, if any, benefits they will require the new policies to contain. Each state is empowered to devise their own list.
Here is a partial run down of additional requirements being consider in other states and of course, each benefit has a very active advacacy group pushing for inclusion:
Acupuncture (now a requirement in California)
Pre-vacation visits to travel clinics (whatever this is, apparently it will be required in Colorado)
Bariatric Surgery (stomach reduction)
Each of these services is, of course, very dear to a segment of the population. The question before the Department of Insurance is “is it reasonable to require all health insurance policy holders to pay higher premiums for these benefits, when they may or may not be “”essential””?
Here is an excellent article written by the Washington Post on this subject.
Can’t understand your health insurance? Feds say insurers must give consumers a simple summary
Don’t have the slightest clue what your health insurance covers?
As part of the Affordable Care Act the government intends to take care of that. According to a recent article by the Associated Press “the Obama administration says that’s going to change, starting this year. Officials announced that private health plans will have to provide consumers with a user-friendly summary of what’s covered, along with key cost details such as copays and deductibles.”
“Just six pages long. And no fine print.”
“Officials are calling the summaries a “nutrition label for health care,” trying to capitalize on the name recognition of those information panels found on packaged foods at the supermarket. Consumer groups say the health care version isn’t perfect, but it’s a start.”
“These documents will allow consumers to compare plans on an apples-to-apples basis,” said Medicare chief Marilyn Tavenner, who is also overseeing implementation of President Barack Obama’s health care law. If an insurance plan offers substandard coverage in some respect, they won’t be able to hide it in dozens of pages of text, she added.”
Call me cynical, but judging by past “clarification” efforts by the government on wording to our tax code, federal laws and something called “Plan Descriptions” for present health insurance policies, I am doubtful of anything useful coming out of this venture.
Jogging versus Running
It’s an old joke:
What is the difference between jogging and running?
Answer: Running is my speed and faster, anyone else is just jogging.
I have been running/jogging on a fairly regular basis since I was 25, so that is 40 plus years now.
In thinking about it, the reason I run is split 50/50 between wanting to stay fit and the internal cleansing I feel after a half hour run through the neighborhood. I have often equated running to taking a shower on the inside.
I attempt to go out four times a week, anything more often and I start to feel run-down and lose interest. I try to augment the running with light weight work outs at the local YMCA, but I have never been able to maintain that for longer than a couple of months at a time. Running is so much easier, just change shoes and clothes and you are out the door.
I go out all year long, but avoid the streets when there is snow and ice as I have taken some falls. On those occasions I avail myself of the YMCA indoor track (16 laps to the mile), but that feels more like work than play.
When I used to do a lot of businss travel, I would take my gear with me and try to get a run in in the evening.
I prefer to run the many fairly smooth dirt trails we have here in Boulder. However, I avoid those steep, rock and root strewn tracks along the foothills. On those, I believe it is not a question of if you will fall, but when.
I think about various things when I run and lately I have done some calculating in my head. I believe I am approaching having accumulated enough distance running to have circumnavigated the earth, 25,000 miles.
So, as I grow older and my pace surely slows, I’ll still be running, while those slower will only be jogging.
- Published in Personal Interests, Personal Observation
Money Back From Your Health Insurance Company
One of the little discussed provisions in the new Afordable Care Act (Obamacare) that is going to be very popular with the American public is the requirement called Minimum Loss Ratio (MLR). Starting January 1, 2011, health insurance companies must reimburse their clients for excessive premium dollars collected. Health insurance companies are now required to spend 80% (individual policies) or 85% (group policies) of monies collected on patient care, leaving them with only 15-20% for administrative expenses. Anything left over must be returned to clients by August of the following year.
It is my belief that when these checks start rolling in, the American public will feel a lot more positive about the whole Afordable Care Act.
- Published in Federal Law Changes and Mandates, Personal Observation