Category: Cost of Healthcare

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

SHOW ME THE MONEY!

One of the more interesting things the Affordable Care Act did to the private health insurance business was to tell health insurance companies that the Feds were now in control of their profit margins. What does that mean?

Imagine you are the CEO of your own health insurance company. In fact, let’s call it Your Own Health Insurance Company, or YOHIC for short! How do you think you would feel if YOHIC collected $1 billion in premiums over a year, but only had to pay out $500 million in healthcare costs? Sounds like YOHIC is doing really well, turning a 50% profit. Does YOHIC get to keep the rest of the premiums for its own payroll and profits?

Since 2010, the answer to that question is a resounding NO! Read more

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

Turning 26 Is Like Landing on an Alien Planet

It’s the eve of your 26th birthday, you must take your first steps into this alien world alone. For 25 years, you’ve lived in safety on the Mother Ship, er, your parents’ health insurance plan. PPOs, HMOs, cost shares and deductibles weren’t even on your radar.

What should you (or your kid who is turning 26) do? Healthcare Economist Mike Bertaut explains your options. Read more

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: 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, Government Programs, Health Insurance

My Son Just Turned 26 and He’s Off My Insurance! What Do I Do Now?

Legislation, both state and federal, has a unique way of imposing rather artificial life transitions on us. When I turned 15 years old in the mid-70s, I was immediately eligible (after taking a VERY simple test and paying $5) to drive a car, alone, anywhere I wanted to go. No auto insurance was required, by the way. At my 18th birthday, I was legally able to join the military, vote, and buy and drink alcohol. I was dubbed by society at that point a fully featured “adult.” In the 70s.

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