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Healthcare Articles

How Will Healthcare Reform Affect You?

January 19, 2010 | Healthcare | 1 Comment

The House and Senate are currently working on merging the two Healthcare Bills they recently passed.  In the Senate democrats cannot afford to lose a single vote so it’s likely the bill will entail most of the Senate democrats want.  Although the final bill is weeks or months away, the following is what you may expect:

  1. You must purchase healthcare and file proof with your 2014 tax return or pay a $95 fine to the IRS.  The fine increases to $350 in 2015 and $750 in 2016.
  2. Government-regulated health insurance exchanges for individuals and small businesses will provide affordable plans. Insurers must offer coverage that in 2010 would cost no more that $5,950 for individuals and $11,900 for families.
  3. Out of pocket expenses will be capped based on income. A family of three making $73,240 in 2009, would be required to pay no more than $7,733 in medical costs.
  4. Medicare will cover more people.  Anyone making less than $14,440 and under 65 years old will be eligible.  
  5. People with preexisting medical conditions cannot be denied coverage.  Until this goes into effect in 2014, the government will spend $5 billion to subsidize people deemed high risk with preexisting conditions and have been uninsured for more than 6 months.
  6. Riskier people cannot be charged outrageous premiums.  Older people will pay a maximum of 3 times more than younger people and smokers 1.5 times more than non-smokers.
  7. Kids will stay longer on their parent’s medical insurance.  Dependents are usually cut off after graduation from high school or college.  The age would be extended to 26.
  8. Drug manufacturers must discount brand name drugs by 50% for people spending between $2,700 and $6,154 annually on prescriptions (A.K.A. Medicare coverage gap).
  9. Individuals earning up to $43,320 or families earning up to $88,200 will receive credits throughout the year to subsidize their premiums.
  10. Cadillac plans may be eliminated.  The portion of a premium exceeding $8,500 for individuals or $23,000 for families will be subject to a 40% tax paid by the insurer.  This is done to discourage such plans.

Source: News Week

Senate Approves Bill Extending Unemployment Benefits and Subsidized COBRA

December 19, 2009 | Financial Tips | Healthcare | No Comments

As expected the Senate approved a $626 billion bill to fund the Defense Department for the fiscal year that began almost three months ago.  The bill was approved via an 88—10 vote.  The bill next stop is the White House where President Barack Obama is expected to quickly sign the bill into law.

The bill includes $128 billion for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, $13.3 billion to extend unemployment and COBRA benefits for the long-term unemployed whose benefits would otherwise expire.

House of Representatives Extends Unemployment Benefits and Subsidized COBRA

December 16, 2009 | Financial Tips | Healthcare | No Comments

congress

Good news for those of you unemployed.  The House of Representatives today passed a temporary extension of unemployment benefits and subsidized COBRA health insurance for laid-off workers as part of a $636 billion spending defense bill.  The measure was approved on 395-34 vote.

The Bill extends the COBRA subsidy by 6 months to a total of 15 months where 65% of the premium is paid by the government.  This is for people who lost their jobs through February 28, 2010.  People who lose their jobs after December 31, 2009 are not eligible for the subsidy. The legislation requires employers to notify current COBRA and future beneficiaries of the new 15 month premium subsidy.

Additionally, the new legislation will give beneficiaries whose subsidy expired and who didn’t pay the full premium a second chance to get coverage. For example, a beneficiary whose nine months of subsidized coverage ran out November 30 and who didn’t pay the regular unsubsidized December premium could pay the 35% premium share in January and receive coverage for December.

The Senate should pass its defense bill with the same extensions this Friday.

Keith Olbermann Drive for Public Healthcare Option

October 7, 2009 | Healthcare | Videos | No Comments

Keith Olbermann of MSNBC has been tirelessly supporting the public health insurance option and tonight’s show is bound to be powerful. Keith Olbermann has a goal of getting 50,000 people to take his pledge to watch his hour-long Special Comment on health care reform this Wednesday and to tell 5 of my friends to take this pledge.” Click here to take the Olbermann Pledge.

See the interesting video below of Keith Olbermann stance on the healthcare debate.

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Manage Your Health Information with Google Health

September 25, 2009 | Healthcare | Videos | No Comments

Google has launched Google Health to allow you to store and manage all of your health information in one central place (see video below). It’s completely free and all you need to get started is a Google username and password. With Google Health, you manage your health information, and you can access it anywhere, at any time.

Google Health allows you to:

  • Keep your doctors up-to-date
  • Stop filling out the same paperwork every time you see a new doctor
  • Avoid getting the same lab tests done over and over again because your doctor cannot get copies of your latest results
  • Don’t lose your medical records because of a move, change in jobs or health insurance
  • Share your health information securely with a family member, caregiver, or doctor


Google believes that you own your medical records and should have easy access to them. The way we see it, it’s your information; why shouldn’t you control it?  For more information visit Google.com/health.

Will Ferrell Stands Up For the Real Healthcare Victims

September 23, 2009 | Healthcare | Videos | No Comments

What is the Public Option Per Healthcare Reform?

September 10, 2009 | Healthcare | Videos | 3 Comments

With all the debate lately about Healthcare Reform it seems many people are confused about the Public Option that President Obama is proposing.  Below is a video by Robert Reich that will hopefully clear things up.  Robert Reich was the U.S. 22nd Secretary of Labor and is a professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

Updated Post with Video of Senator Bernie Sanders on Healthcare