Category: Government Programs

Category: ACA and Policy, Government Programs, Health Insurance

The ACA Goes to Court, Part 237!  (Ok, I’m not really counting)

A little over 10 years ago, I was sitting in a tiny hotel room in Washington, D.C., waiting for a phone call from a friend who is a lobbyist for our Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. It was Christmas Eve 2009, and we were awaiting the final vote of the U.S. Senate on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). I remember very clearly thinking that there was nothing to stop the then-Democratic majority from passing the ACA. Certainly, they had put a ton of work, time and effort into the law. But — they put much less time into gaining the trust of the opposition.

I also remember thinking, “Are they really going to redirect 20% of the nation’s economy and create millions of new winners and losers on a straight party-line vote, without a single compromise to bring some of the opposition into the tent?”

Well, they did. And at that moment, a quote from the Roman Orator Cicero jumped into my head unbidden: “Endless monies form the sinews of endless warfare.” And it did. Warfare through the courts, apparently. Read more

Category: Government Programs

Counting America: How Did We Get Here?

Update: A late night ruling on Sept. 24 in U.S. District Court has ordered the federal government to extend counting for the 2020 Census for one more month, until Oct. 31. However, experts expect the ruling to be appealed.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana urges Louisianians to complete the census by the original Sept. 30 deadline. Being counted helps Louisiana get our fair share of federal funds, Congressional seats and electoral college votes.

I was watching a young mom the other day in my neighborhood, trying to get her kids to come inside for dinner. She got so mad, she started counting! “I’m only go

 

ing to give you to THREE, and then you’re gonna get it!”

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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: Government Programs, Health Insurance

What’s “Special Enrollment” on Healthcare.gov and How Do I Qualify?

Sometimes, dealing with a big bureaucracy with a ton of rules can be really, really frustrating. Dealing with lots of rules and regulations often makes folks want to tear their hair out. Life can be pretty complex on its own, without tons of rules to follow.

Every now and then, though, having a bunch of rules and regulations is a good thing. Like the many different ways you can trigger a Special Enrollment Period on healthcare.gov. Many of these also work for seniors who are Medicare eligible. We’ll talk about each of those and their options for healthcare coverage. 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: Government Programs, Health and Wellness, Health Insurance

Even More Adjustments to Help Our Members Deal with the COVID-19 Pandemic

As the COVID-19 outbreak and our responses continue to evolve, it is very important to us at Blue Cross that you know the resources we have available to help you make it through this crisis.

We are continuously updating our COVID-19 webpage, and posting important information on additions or changes to Blue Cross services, programs or benefits to help our members during this crisis. We also include links to the agencies in charge, like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and Louisiana Department of Health.  Please check www.bcbsla.com/covid19 out often to see the newest news from us.
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