Category: Cost of Healthcare

Category: ACA and Policy, Cost of Healthcare, Government Programs, Health and Wellness, Health Insurance

Podcast #9 | Don’t Delay Care, Payments to Hospitals, Elective Procedures

Welcome to our first podcast in the age of COVID-19. In this podcast, Mike and his producer, Lindsey, talk about what has changed at Blue Cross (about 90% of our employees are working from home), along with how we’ve adjusted programs and services for our members. And, he talks about what hasn’t changed — our commitment to continue serving our customers.

Mike explains why it’s vital to continue seeking treatment for regular health concerns. Emergencies like heart attacks and appendicitis don’t stop in the face of a public health crisis, but more Americans are delaying care for them, at a great risk. Mike discusses how telehealth can help you figure out if and when you need to head to the hospital. Read more

Category: Cost of Healthcare, Health Insurance

The Forecasting Process: Louisiana and Blue Cross After COVID-19

As healthcare economist for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, I figure my job looks pretty mundane to most people. Above all things, my job is studying, understanding, reporting and predicting, in that order.

I spend the vast majority of my time reading. Over the past 15 years, I’ve cultivated sources via journals, email blasts, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs that help me keep track of trends in healthcare and our economy, both here in Louisiana and nationally, if I think it has ramifications for our state.

The real key to my process is to quickly identify things that could affect all of us, and our healthcare in Louisiana. Read more

Category: Cost of Healthcare, Health Insurance

The Government Is Trying Hard to Keep Your Business Open

It’s hard to imagine a bigger financial disruption for our state’s businesses than we are seeing right now. Between federal and state orders to stay at home because of the COVID-19 health threat and a global glut of oil happening at the same time demand is dropping, leading to VERY low oil prices, nearly every sector of Louisiana’s economy is being beaten up pretty badly.

As a business owner, especially if you have a small business (which the federal Small Business Administration defines as a business with fewer than 500 employees), what can you possibly do to take care of your employees and keep your enterprise ongoing?
Read more

Category: Cost of Healthcare, Health and Wellness, Health Insurance

What Can Blue Do for You in the Face of COVID-19?

The changes we’ve all faced in the past few weeks have been really stressful. It’s important to me that we keep you all on top of what we are doing at Blue Cross to make sure the healthcare system, now so vital to our continued good health outcomes here in Louisiana, is strong and has the resources it needs.

Even before COVID-19, Blue Cross was paying for around $300 million a month in healthcare services for our members here in Louisiana. And with the current emergency around COVID-19, we could do even more. Here’s a few things that we have implemented to make it easier to protect your health. Read more

Category: ACA and Policy, Cost of Healthcare, Health Insurance

Podcast 8 | HIT tax, stopping the bleeding and what happens if the ACA falls

In this episode of the Straight Talk podcast (23:32), Mike sits down to answer some questions from readers.

Mike takes on your tough questions, including how the Health Insurance Tax is affecting your premiums (hint: they are taking a hit, but there are other factors that can cause your rates to go up. Mike spells them out).
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Category: Cost of Healthcare, Health Insurance

How Do You Feel About Surprises?

Let me ask you a hypothetical question. Would you rather:

  1. Pay a $500 bill that you were totally expecting, or
  2. Pay a $300 bill that was a total surprise?

As the person who keeps track of bills and payments due for my family, I say there is NOTHING worse than a bill you weren’t expecting. No matter how much I owe, if I know about it up front, I can plan, estimate, maneuver, borrow or do whatever I have to do to pay that bill on time.

If I get ambushed, though… Grrrrr!!!! Don’t like it. Much more stressful. Read more