What the Health?
Latest News in Health and Medicare
ProtectHealth, Las Vegas, June 21, 2021
The Supreme Court today upheld The Affordable Care Act against the Republican challenge led by Texas, the GOP challengers focused on the ObamaCare tax penalty meant to require the purchase of health insurance by most Americans. They argued that Trump’s 2017 tax cut, which zeroed out the penalty made that provision unconstitutional. The justices ruled 7-2 that the GOP challengers lacked standing to sue.
Unless Congress passes a law that reinstates the penalty for not having health insurance, it’s likely that at a Federal level, there won’t be one. Since the penalty was struck down states like California added in their own penalty for individuals who didn’t carry health insurance, however, many other states were waiting for SCOTUS to make a decision on this case before implementing a state-based penalty.
Most of those states will likely move forward now and implement those penalties on the state tax returns for individuals like CA did when the penalty was originally struck down by the Supreme Court. States that don’t have income tax have said they would likely attach the penalty to the Department of Motor Vehicles and require you to have health insurance when you get your drivers license or license plates or pay a penalty. Some have even said they could potentially suspend automobile registration until proof of insurance could be shown, similar to how all states currently ensure the people carry auto insurance.
Now if you’re saying to yourself, I’m not worried, I life in one of the nine states that have not income tax, don’t get too excited. In Nevada, Washington, and Hawaii some drafts of such legislation to asses DMV penalties have already been floating around. In other states like South Dakota, Texas, Tennessee, Wyoming and Florida, no such discussions have taken place, however, like auto insurance mandates, most states usually fall in line shortly after one does. At some time in the not-so-distant future, you’ll likely have to show proof of auto and individual health insurance at the DMV every year in order to register your car.
If that sounds bad, it’s not even the worst part. If someone doesn’t have insurance, we already know that the Emergency Rooms are required to treat people no matterr what. Since the mandate changed in 2017, medical faclities have treated people more extensively than they might normally do, simply because of the insurance situation. Doctors and specialists were providing larger cash pay discounts, and agreeing to see poeple without insurance. Even emergency rooms were offering more care, and admitting more people without insurance.
Very soon this will likely all be changing back, and emergency rooms around the US will begin to return to a “Treat them, street them” mentality. They will return to doing only what is required to make sure you’re not in emergent danger, then release you with a referral to a specialist outside the hospital. The real problem is, this will start becoming increasingly harder to do without insurance as well because most doctors and specialists will start to refused patients who have no insurance. Many won’t have a choice, as their medical malpractice insurance will likely prevent them from doing so.
The really good news here is that President Biden signed the American Resuce Plan Act in March, and those changes are now part of the health insurance purchase process. More than half of the US population now pays under $50 a month for their insurance, and over 30% pay a $0 premium. If you’re still not insured, now is the time to do so. The ARPA Enrollment Period is open until August 15. Don’t miss your chance, click CONTACT US at the top, and talk to a broker today about becoming insured.
Democrats in Congress have long been considering various proposals to enhance the ACA’s premium subsidies and make more robust coverage more affordable. Last month, Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.) introduced the Health Care Affordability Act (H.R. 369) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) introduced the Health Care Improvement Act of 2021. Both bills include the basic health care provisions that President Biden has proposed as part of his American Recovery Plan.
One of the most important aspects of these pieces of legislation is a fundamental change in the formula for calculating premium subsidies. Under these bills, the subsidies would become more generous, allowing more Americans to purchase coverage with minimal or zero premiums, and capping premiums at no more than 8.5 percent of income, regardless of a household’s income. At ACA Signups, Charles Gaba has created graphics that will help you visualize after-subsidy premiums as a percentage of income under the status quo versus H.R. 369, as well as a previous piece of federal legislation and California’s state-based subsidy system.
LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nearly 82,000 Nevadans signed up for health coverage through Nevada Health Link before last Friday’s 11:59 p.m. deadline.
That’s nearly 6% higher than last year’s number, with almost 4,500 more Nevadans purchasing a health plan.
Having health insurance is crucial during the pandemic, and while Open Enrollment has ended, it’s important to remember that certain qualifying life events can make you eligible for a special enrollment period.
More and more people are beginning to research and trust the COVID-19 vaccines on their own, but there’s still a large percentage of people, typically referred to as “Anti-Vaxxers” who simply say they won’t ever change their minds. Sure there are your fringe groups out there who believe the vaccines are some part of government control, or even some who believe there’s a tracking chip, but I’m simply referring to the people who are more scared of the vaccine than the disease. Even with that number shrinking somewhat, it’s still too high. The purpose of this post is to help you talk to a person in your life, help you educate them properly and perhaps even convince them that getting vaccinated is the right thing for them, and more importantly, for others.
It appears in most cases the issue is just simple fear of the vaccine. The majority is really not those fringe groups I mentioned before. If there’s somebody in your life that believes in fringe disinformation or misinformation , there’s really no use in trying to convince those people otherwise. Doing so will more likely create friction in your friendship or in your family and it’s simply not worth it for you or for them. As millions more people become safely vaccinated, these people will learn that there was no huge conspiracy, and we just have to hope that they are not affected by the virus before that happens.
The people you can help and can talk to are your family members and friends who are “on the fence” about getting vaccinated. It’s likely you’ve already tried to talk to these people but experienced push-back when you try to discuss facts and statistics. Don’t be surprised; that’s actually human nature at work. Quoting facts can cause the reverse of the effect you are looking for, because it’s likely that the misunderstanding of those facts is what led to the initial trepidation and fear of the vaccine. So how do you talk to someone about it? How do you make them understand how important it is to you and them that they get vaccinated? Easy. You simply understand.
First try asking them why they are hesitant and before you respond, seriously think about their answer and try to put yourself in their shoes. Don’t just simply respond with facts to dispute their hesitation. You will alienate them, and offend them, and you will only work to further yourself from helping them. Instead, try acknowledging their fear or anxiety, and if you can’t feel the empathy behind their reasoning, ask them to be more specific and let them know you’re really trying to understand.
Once you have what you think is a clear understanding of why they feel the way they do, ask them “If there were a magic wand, what would alleviate your concern about that?” Try to get them to help you understand, not the other way around. Once you have their reasons, and you understand what their biggest apprehension is, simply ask them if it would be OK if you sent them an email with some information you found. Don’t give them details about facts and stats, just ask if you can send it. Draft an email or text, and start with “Here’s that info I promised you, I really hope this helps” and then send it and shut up and wait for them to read it. It may take some time, but most people will read it if they trust you. Hopefully what you just did helped create even more trust.
So, I know the next question is, where do I get this info? Well, to make things easier I’ve pasted some great, non-technical links below you can pass on. You should read these yourself first so you know what you’re sending, but this is concise, clear, and easy to follow.
Late last month, before President Joe Biden took office and proposed his pandemic relief plan, Congress passed a nearly 5,600-page legislative package that provided some pandemic relief along with its more general allocations to fund the government in 2021.
In every state except Idaho, a COVID-related enrollment window will be open by next week — in a few states, they’re already open. (Connecticut announced a COVID-related enrollment window after this week’s Scoop was published, leaving Idaho as the only state without one.) During these enrollment windows, consumers can sign up for ACA-compliant health coverage without a qualifying event…(read more…)
The Silver State Health Insurance Exchange (Exchange), the state agency that connects Nevadans to qualified health plans compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through the online State-Based Exchange (SBE) known as Nevada Health Link, announces a 90-day Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for uninsured Nevadans, starting… (read more)
Democrats in Congress have long been considering various proposals to enhance the ACA’s premium subsidies and make more robust coverage more affordable. Last month, Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.) introduced the Health Care Affordability Act (H.R. 369) and Sen. Mark...
LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nearly 82,000 Nevadans signed up for health coverage through Nevada Health Link before last Friday’s 11:59 p.m. deadline. That’s nearly 6% higher than last year’s number, with almost 4,500 more Nevadans purchasing a health plan. Having health...
Amid a slew of cuts attempting to mitigate projected budget shortfalls in a state largely dependent on tourism and gaming for revenue, state employees are protesting proposed changes that would reduce health care coverage options provided by the state. The proposed...
Nearly 82,000 Nevadans signed up for health insurance in 2020 through the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange open enrollment period. The 81,903 newly covered people aren’t a record, but they do represent an increase of nearly 6% over 2019. Exchange Executive...
More and more people are beginning to research and trust the COVID-19 vaccines on their own, but there's still a large percentage of people, typically referred to as "Anti-Vaxxers" who simply say they won't ever change their minds. Sure there are your fringe groups...
Late last month, before President Joe Biden took office and proposed his pandemic relief plan, Congress passed a nearly 5,600-page legislative package that provided some pandemic relief along with its more general allocations to fund the government in 2021. While the...
In every state except Idaho, a COVID-related enrollment window will be open by next week — in a few states, they’re already open. (Connecticut announced a COVID-related enrollment window after this week’s Scoop was published, leaving Idaho as the only state without...
The Silver State Health Insurance Exchange (Exchange), the state agency that connects Nevadans to qualified health plans compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through the online State-Based Exchange (SBE) known as Nevada Health Link, announces a 90-day Special...
Most people who already get Obamacare premium subsidies will receive more under the new law. That’s because Congress is changing the way subsidies are calculated and lowering — across the board — how much consumers are expected to pay, based on their annual income.