When you purchase coverage during open enrollment, the effective date will be January 1, 2019. If you already have an individual market plan and you’re picking a different one during open enrollment, your current plan will end on December 31 (assuming you continue to pay all of your premiums when they’re due) and the new plan will take effect seamlessly the following day.
Employer-sponsored group health insurance plans first emerged in the 1940s as a way for employers to attract employees when wartime legislation mandated flattened wages. This was a popular tax-free benefit which employers continued to offer after the war’s end, but it failed to address the needs of retirees and other non-working adults. Federal efforts to provide coverage to those groups led to the Social Security Amendments of 1965, which laid the foundation for Medicare and Medicaid. These government-sponsored health plans continue to provide care to those left out of employer-sponsored group health insurance plans. As national health expenditures have climbed past 15 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), the Affordable Care Act of 2010 substituted a nationwide mandate that each taxpayer join a group plan for the sort of single-payer solution that has faced stiff opposition since the 1930s.
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.
Humana individual dental plans are insured or offered by Humana Insurance Company, HumanaDental Insurance Company, Humana Insurance Company of New York, The Dental Concern, Inc., CompBenefits Insurance Company, CompBenefits Insurance Company, CompBenefits Company, CompBenefits Dental, Inc., Humana Employers Health Plan of Georgia, Inc., Humana Health Benefit Plan of Louisiana, Inc., or DentiCare, Inc. (DBA CompBenefits). Discount plans are offered by HumanaDental Insurance Company, Humana Insurance Company, or Texas Dental Plans, Inc. For Arizona residents: Insured by Humana Insurance Company. For Texas residents: Insured or offered by Humana Insurance Company, HumanaDental Insurance Company, or DentiCare, Inc. (DBA CompBenefits).

 An important note about Avera Health in South Dakota. Avera Health declined to renew our contract to offer their ACA plans in 2019. When we inquired as to why, we received this reply on 10/18/18: “RVers… I am sorry, but a narrow network product does not fit well for the members. We want to be able to take care of our members when they have an accident or illness. We do not have any providers or facilities outside of SD and NW Iowa, which makes us not the best fit for RVers.” While we agree that their plans are not a great fit for RVers, it seems it should be left to the members to decide if they are willing to risk traveling with their coverage. Nevertheless, it looks like RVers are not welcome to enroll with Avera Health for 2019.

When the cost of the benchmark plan in a given area increases, premium subsidies in that area have to increase as well in order to keep the net premiums at an affordable level. But when the cost of the benchmark plan decreases, premium subsidies decrease too, since the subsidy doesn't have to be as large in order to get the benchmark plan's net premium down to an affordable level.
Health insurance is insurance that covers the whole or a part of the risk of a person incurring medical expenses, spreading the risk over a large number of persons. By estimating the overall risk of health care and health system expenses over the risk pool, an insurer can develop a routine finance structure, such as a monthly premium or payroll tax, to provide the money to pay for the health care benefits specified in the insurance agreement.[1] The benefit is administered by a central organization such as a government agency, private business, or not-for-profit entity.
Employers and employees may have some choice in the details of plans, including health savings accounts, deductible, and coinsurance. As of 2015, a trend has emerged for employers to offer high-deductible plans, called consumer-driven healthcare plans which place more costs on employees; some employers will offer multiple plans to their employees.[60]

With regular health insurance plans, you could face considerable out-of-pocket expenses which is why having a critical illness insurance plan can be beneficial. Unlike traditional health insurance, which reimburses the insured or provider for covered claims, critical illness insurance pays you directly if you're diagnosed with a covered critical illness and there are no copays or deductibles. Your insurer typically makes a lump sum cash payment for serious medical issues such as a heart attack, stroke, and cancer.


But on the other hand, people who do that may find themselves between a rock and a hard place if they do end up getting seriously injured or ill, as there are numerous drawbacks to the less-regulated plans. In particular, the ACA's essential health benefits don't have to be covered, which means there could be gaping holes in the coverage (things like prescription drugs, maternity care, mental health care, etc. might not be covered at all, depending on the plan).
With the easily navigable data of the Best States platform, see why Hawaii and others have ranked so high. See where other states face ongoing challenges. Compare your own state with other states, and see what all might have to learn from one another. And pull some quick, clear charts to share with anyone interested in how some states stand out more than others.
As the year comes to a close, I’m reflecting on the past summer and one of the initiatives Healthcare Ready supported that aimed to promote equity in local emergency management policy. We worked with the Baltimore Office of Sustainability on the 2018 update of their Disaster Preparedness and Planning Project (DP3), a comprehensive plan that fulfills a federal requirement that cities must have an All-Hazards Mitigation Plan.
Some of the factors that cause rate increases are unrelated to recent government intervention, including things like general increases in the cost of medical care and prescription drugs. But throughout 2018, we've been hearing about how Congress and the Trump Administration were causing premiums to be higher for 2019 than they would otherwise have been. And that's true, despite the fact that overall average premiums are only increasingly slightly. 
Over the last few years, there has been considerable public concern (and plenty of outcry from critics) about “narrow networks” — provider networks that have been downsized by insurance carriers as they attempt to control their bottom lines. And it is true that narrower networks could mean that your doctor or your health care facility might no longer be on your current plan’s network for the coming year
^ Bump, Jesse B. (19 October 2010). "The long road to universal health coverage. A century of lessons for development strategy" (PDF). Seattle: PATH. Retrieved 10 March 2013. Carrin and James have identified 1988—105 years after Bismarck's first sickness fund laws—as the date Germany achieved universal health coverage through this series of extensions to minimum benefit packages and expansions of the enrolled population. Bärnighausen and Sauerborn have quantified this long-term progressive increase in the proportion of the German population covered by public and private insurance. Their graph is reproduced below as Figure 1: German Population Enrolled in Health Insurance (%) 1885–1995.
 Important Note:  We do not have anyone that can assist with ACA enrollments in Florida or South Dakota. All carriers in SD have said they will not cover RVers and Florida Blue will not work with out of state independent brokers like us. You are welcome to continue to use our HealthSherpa link to enroll though! Of course, we can still assist in FL or SD with any of the other options below.
AARP, the nation's largest advocate for older Americans, used 2018 marketplace premiums to calculate what that would mean for 60-year-olds who buy a silver plan — the second-lowest cost option — through an ACA exchange. Under that scenario, the average yearly premium increase would be $2,000, although the range would be about $1,000 to $4,000, depending on the state.
Consider adding an Accident, Hospitalization or Indemnity policy to whichever option you choose if you have a high deductible or don’t have nationwide coverage. An ACI plan can help cover first-dollar expenses if you have an accident or specified illness. This is a particularly good idea for ACA plans with high deductibles and/or lacking nationwide coverage. Click Here for details.
Background: Aim of study was to assess impact of deformable registration of diagnostic MRI to planning CT upon gross tumour volume (GTV) delineation of oropharyngeal carcinoma in routine practice. Methods: 22 consecutive patients with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma treated with definitive (chemo)radiotherapy between 2015 and 2016, for whom primary GTV delineation had been performed by a single radiation oncologist using deformable registration of diagnostic MRI to planning CT, were identified. Separate GTVs were delineated as part of routine clinical practice (all diagnostic imaging available side-by-side for each delineation) using: CT (GTVCT), MRI (GTVMR), and CT and MRI (GTVCTMR). Volumetric and positional metric analyses were undertaken using contour comparison metrics (Dice conformity index, centre of gravity distance, mean distance to conformity). Results: Median GTV volumes were 13.7 cm3 (range 3.5–41.7), 15.9 cm3 (range 1.6–38.3), 19.9 cm3 (range 5.5–44.5) for GTVCT, GTVMR and GTVCTMR respectively. There was no significant difference in GTVCT and GTVMR volumes; GTVCTMR was found to be significantly larger than both GTVMR and GTVCT. Based on positional metrics, GTVCT and GTVMR were the least similar (mean Dice similarity coefficient (DSC) 0.71, 0.84, 0.82 for GTVCT–GTVMR, GTVCTMR–GTVCT and GTVCTMR–GTVMR respectively). Conclusions: These data suggest a complementary role of MRI to CT to reduce the risk of geographical misses, although they highlight the potential for larger target volumes and hence toxicity. Full article
The federal government still isn’t funding cost-sharing reductions (CSR), but insurers and state regulators figured out a workaround last fall, and its use will be even more widespread for 2019. The details are explained here, but the short story is that the cost of CSR is being added to silver plan premiums in most states, and the CSR benefits themselves continue to be available in every state.

State-run marketplaces / exchanges have more flexibility in terms of when they make new plans available for browsing. For example, Your Health Idaho, the state-run exchange in Idaho, debuted window-shopping for 2018 plans on October 2, 2018, nearly a month before the start of open enrollment, just as they did the year before. And Covered California is starting their open enrollment period (not just window shopping) two weeks early, on October 15. This will be the schedule they use in future years as well.
In 2005, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled, in Chaoulli v. Quebec, that the province's prohibition on private insurance for health care already insured by the provincial plan violated the Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and in particular the sections dealing with the right to life and security, if there were unacceptably long wait times for treatment, as was alleged in this case. The ruling has not changed the overall pattern of health insurance across Canada, but has spurred on attempts to tackle the core issues of supply and demand and the impact of wait times.[18]
But on the other hand, people who do that may find themselves between a rock and a hard place if they do end up getting seriously injured or ill, as there are numerous drawbacks to the less-regulated plans. In particular, the ACA's essential health benefits don't have to be covered, which means there could be gaping holes in the coverage (things like prescription drugs, maternity care, mental health care, etc. might not be covered at all, depending on the plan).
Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) is the least amount of coverage that is required by Obamacare for an individual to be considered “compliant” and to avoid having to pay the Individual Mandate penalty if it were to be enforced. All ACA Marketplace plans and most major medical health insurance plans are considered MEC. Since the individual mandate tax penalty is gone as of January 1, 2019 it is unlikely that stand-alone MEC plans will have a significant roll in 2019.
While improved mealtime practices can reduce agitation, improve quality of life, and increase food intake for people in aged care, the degree of implementation of these strategies is unknown. This study describes food service practices in residential aged care facilities, focusing on units caring for people with dementia. An online survey was distributed to residential aged care facilities for completion by the food service manager (n = 2057). Of the 204 responses to the survey, 63 (31%) contained a dementia-specific unit. Most facilities used adaptive equipment (90.2%) and commercial oral nutritional supplements (87.3%). A higher proportion of facilities with a dementia-specific service used high-contrast plates (39.7%) than those without (18.4%). The majority of facilities had residents make their choice for the meal more than 24 h prior to the meal (30.9%). Use of high contrast plates (n = 51, 25%) and molds to reform texture-modified meals (n = 41, 20.1%) were used by one-quarter or less of surveyed facilities. There is a relatively low use of environmental and social strategies to promote food intake and wellbeing in residents, with a focus instead on clinical interventions. Research should focus on strategies to support implementation of interventions to improve the mealtime experience for residents. Full article

Many consumers face unaffordable premiums – perhaps because they’re in the coverage gap or because their incomes make them ineligible for subsidies. Even consumers planning to buy an ACA-compliant plan during open enrollment may have to wait up to two months for the new plan to take effect. If they’re currently uninsured, a short-term plan can bridge that gap.

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