Background: Studies evaluating the end-of-life care for longer periods of illness trajectories and in several care places are currently lacking. This study explored bereaved family members’ satisfaction with care during the last three months of life for people with advanced illness, and associations between satisfaction with care and characteristics of the deceased individuals and their family members. Methods: A cross-sectional survey design was used. The sample was 485 family members of individuals who died at four different hospitals in Sweden. Results: Of the participants, 78.7% rated the overall care as high. For hospice care, 87.1% reported being satisfied, 87% with the hospital care, 72.3% with district/county nurses, 65.4% with nursing homes, 62.1% with specialized home care, and 59.6% with general practitioners (GPs). Family members of deceased persons with cancer were more likely to have a higher satisfaction with the care. A lower satisfaction was more likely if the deceased person had a higher educational attainment and a length of illness before death of one year or longer. Conclusion: The type of care, diagnoses, length of illness, educational attainment, and the relationship between the deceased person and the family member influences the satisfaction with care. Full article

^ "The compulsory health insurance in Switzerland: Your questions, our answers". http://www.bag.admin.ch/themen/krankenversicherung/index.html?lang=en. Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), Federal Department of Home Affairs FDHA. 21 December 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 December 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013. External link in |website= (help)
The Commonwealth Fund, in its annual survey, "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall", compares the performance of the health care systems in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and the U.S. Its 2007 study found that, although the U.S. system is the most expensive, it consistently under-performs compared to the other countries.[6] One difference between the U.S. and the other countries in the study is that the U.S. is the only country without universal health insurance coverage.
The final CMS rule is also going to attempt to improve the integrity of the Advanced Premium Tax Credits (APTC) program. It hopes to do this by “implementing stronger checks” that would take tougher measures to verify anyone applying for Advanced Premium Tax Credits earn the income they claim. The new measure is also going to disqualify any applicant who fails to file taxes or reconcile prior APTCs.
The ACA’s individual mandate penalty will be set to $0 starting in January 2019. People who are uninsured in 2018 (and not eligible for a penalty exemption) will still have to pay a penalty when they file their 2018 tax return in early 2019. But people who are uninsured in 2019 and beyond will not face a penalty, unless they’re in a state that imposes its own individual mandate.

Obamacare is hurting American families, farmers, and small businesses with skyrocketing health insurance costs. Moreover, soaring deductibles and copays have made already unaffordable plans unusable. Close to half of U.S. counties are projected to have only one health insurer on their exchanges in 2018. Replacing Obamacare will force insurance companies to compete for their customers with lower costs and higher-quality service. In the meantime, the President is using his executive authority to reduce barriers to more affordable options for Americans and U.S. businesses.
That's the market that was most in need of reform before the Affordable Care Act, and it's the market segment that was most heavily affected by the ACA (the small group health insurance market also saw some significant reforms, but not as much as the individual market). Not surprisingly, it's also been the market that has seen the most change over the last several years and has been in the spotlight each year when rate changes are announced.
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If the subsidies eventually go away or if you are more of the “Fat FIRE” type (the high cost of living early retiree…) and don’t qualify for the subsidies, another option just got cheaper. With the repeal of the mandate, you can now buy what’s known as catastrophic health insurance (aka emergency health insurance or major medical insurance) without having to pay the mandate tax anymore.
As per the Constitution of Canada, health care is mainly a provincial government responsibility in Canada (the main exceptions being federal government responsibility for services provided to aboriginal peoples covered by treaties, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the armed forces, and Members of Parliament). Consequently, each province administers its own health insurance program. The federal government influences health insurance by virtue of its fiscal powers – it transfers cash and tax points to the provinces to help cover the costs of the universal health insurance programs. Under the Canada Health Act, the federal government mandates and enforces the requirement that all people have free access to what are termed "medically necessary services," defined primarily as care delivered by physicians or in hospitals, and the nursing component of long-term residential care. If provinces allow doctors or institutions to charge patients for medically necessary services, the federal government reduces its payments to the provinces by the amount of the prohibited charges. Collectively, the public provincial health insurance systems in Canada are frequently referred to as Medicare.[15] This public insurance is tax-funded out of general government revenues, although British Columbia and Ontario levy a mandatory premium with flat rates for individuals and families to generate additional revenues - in essence, a surtax. Private health insurance is allowed, but in six provincial governments only for services that the public health plans do not cover (for example, semi-private or private rooms in hospitals and prescription drug plans). Four provinces allow insurance for services also mandated by the Canada Health Act, but in practice there is no market for it. All Canadians are free to use private insurance for elective medical services such as laser vision correction surgery, cosmetic surgery, and other non-basic medical procedures. Some 65% of Canadians have some form of supplementary private health insurance; many of them receive it through their employers.[16] Private-sector services not paid for by the government account for nearly 30 percent of total health care spending.[17]
We would be willing to take on a significantly higher deductible in a catastrophic plan. Even $20 – $25k a year deductible in order to keep basic premiums low and pay for most things out of pocket. Depending on the landscape when we retire (whether subsidies still exist), we could COBRA until the end of that year and shop for a low premium plan for the following year. And like the good ole doc, we are beefing up our HSA accounts while we can to fill in gaps if we need to until becoming eligible for Medicare. Hoping to preserve them for later on though.
Vanderbilt University is committed to providing high-quality benefits to serve the diverse and changing needs of faculty and staff. To help faculty and staff make the best decision for themselves and their families, the 2019 health plan options and changes are outlined below. At the end of this article, links to additional tools and information, as well as dates and locations for benefits discussion forums, are provided.

Under Obamacare, these plans were non-compliant which meant they didn’t offer the “essential health benefits” and other qualifications and, therefore, you’d have to pay the mandate tax just like if you didn’t have insurance at all. However, if catastrophic plans fit your needs, some folks have been known to buy them for coverage, elect to pay the tax, and it still being cheaper overall than buying compliant plans on the exchanges.


^ Christensen, L.R.; E. Grönvall (2011). "Challenges and Opportunities for Collaborative Technologies for Home Care Work". S. Bødker, N. O. Bouvin, W. Letters, V. Wulf and L. Ciolfi (eds.) ECSCW 2011: Proceedings of the 12th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 24–28 September 2011, Aarhus, Denmark. Springer: 61–80. doi:10.1007/978-0-85729-913-0_4. ISBN 978-0-85729-912-3.

To clarify a small point, some high deductible (as high as $10,000 for family) plans that would be considered by many as “catastrophic plans” have been available AND Obamacare compliant. The compliance rules relate to the out of pocket maximum and other benefits rather than the deductible per se. furthermore, these plans are not necessarily cheap at all as many will tell you. I would not count on a huge break/savings once the Obamacare rules for Heath plans are no longer in play.


This year’s enrollment period offers good news to many Americans. After two years of carriers leaving markets and steep rate increases, states are seeing carriers re-enter exchanges for 2019 – and average rate increases are smaller than they were in 2017 and 2018.  And, although premium subsidies will be slightly decreased in 2019 (though not in all states), those eligible for cost-sharing reductions will continue to receive them.
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