Category Health Insurance Plans

Health Insurance Mergers: Increased Profit, Not Better Care

By Joseph Valenti, MD, FACOG
Past Chair, Council on Socioeconomics, Texas Medical Association

Think back to your last airline flight. After paying a premium price for your ticket you probably waited in a long check-in line, paid hefty baggage fees, dealt with delays—and spent hours in a cramped, narrow seat. (I assume, like most of us, you fly in economy.) Commercial flying has become increasingly miserable in recent years. But as travelers, most of us feel pretty powerless; if we want to fly, we have no choice but to take what the airlines are offering.

We can trace the unpleasant state of airline travel to one overriding cause: industry consolidation. In the past 12 years, 10 major U.S. airlines have merged into four mega-carriers—and they have all the power.

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The Pro’s and Con’s of High Deductible Health Insurance Plans

Are you familiar with the term “high deductible health insurance plan” (HDHP)? This type of coverage saves you money on monthly health insurance premiums in exchange for higher deductibles—the annual upfront amount of covered health expenses you must self-pay (out-of-pocket) before your plan pays for medical expenses. Read today’s post to better understand if these plans are right for you.

Autumn brings a change in the weather, the onset of fall colors, and for many, it signals the annual rite of choosing a health insurance plan for 2015. Employers are increasingly offering HDHPs to their employees. In fact, according to a National Business Group on Health survey, of the 136 large companies studied, almost 33% offer HDHPs to their employees. These plans are also available from the health insurance marketplace for individuals and families who do not receive their health insurance through employers.

Before deciding on whether or not this plan is right for you and your family, it is wise to evaluate your own and your family member’s mental health care needs.

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Can Medicaid Managed Care Programs Deliver on the Promise to Improve Outcomes?

Heather O’Donnell
Vice President of Advocacy and Public Policy, Thresholds

Autumn ushers in a time to evaluate your current health insurance plans. Over the next few weeks, CFYM will provide information on Medicaid, employee-sponsored plans, and ACA marketplace plans. In today’s post, Heather O’Donnell provides guidance about moving to a Medicaid managed care plan.

As the Affordable Care Act is implemented across the country, Illinois, like most states, is making changes to its Medicaid program. As the largest insurer of Illini living with a mental health condition, this program has a responsibility to

  • improve health outcomes
  • reduce preventable hospitalizations
  • reduce costs.
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Will Your New Insurance Plan Do a Better Job Covering Your Mental Health Care?

Gretchen is optimistic that hers will.

The federal government is in shutdown mode but the health insurance marketplaces are open for business. People with mood disorders and their families have the opportunity to explore the pros and cons of different insurance plans that become effective in January 2014. Mental health care must be covered, but will the different levels of plans pay for the services you need? What will you need to pay for yourself?

Gretchen, who lives with a mental health condition, is hopeful that her new insurance will cover her preferred therapist and psychiatrist...

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