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: Health and Wellness

What Does Success Against COVID-19 Look Like?

I love to travel. As I’ve gotten older, I’m getting more and more interested in how people in other countries live today and how they cope with life, and I’m less concerned with seeing their old buildings and monuments. It’s the people and their cultures that are starting to get my attention when I go someplace new.

In the era of COVID-19 we are in now, I haven’t done ANY traveling. I don’t think I’ve been more than 30 miles from my house since March 5, when I was in New Orleans at a conference. I’m lying low. But, I am reading a lot about other countries, other lands and other ways of doing things, especially countries that were just as devastated by the first outbreaks of COVID-19 back in March and April as we were here in the U.S. Read more

Category: Health and Wellness

The Time for Skepticism is Over. COVID-19 Is a Real Threat.

I get it, I really do.

Science, as the media reports it, which affects what we hear, see and read, can be inconsistent. Just in my lifetime, the simple hen’s egg has gone from being considered an important part of everyone’s diet, to being considered really, really bad for your diet, then to not so bad and now, back to being considered an important, healthy source of protein again. It’s like “science” can’t make up its mind. So, I get it. It’s confusing to know which reports are “correct.” Read more

Category: Health Insurance

Guest Blog | Blue Cross’ Commitment to Service Across the State

EDITOR’S NOTE: Mike is out this week, and he’s given the Straight Talk floor to another Mike – Michael Tipton, that is. Michael is president of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation and head of Community Relations. This week, he’s sharing details on the great work he and his team are leading at Blue Cross. 

Hello, Straight Talkers! I’m delighted to be a guest blogger for Mike this week to share news about Blue Cross’ and its Foundation’s responses to COVID-19, particularly related to grant making and charitable investments.

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Category: Health and Wellness

Straight Talk: It’s Time to Go Back to Your Doctor

A few weeks ago, I started to notice some changes in the vision in my left eye. Black specks, flashes of light; everything I read about it said I might be getting a detached retina, which is a pretty big deal. I immediately called my eye doctor, who referred me to a retina specialist. Now, I hadn’t been to a doctor’s office since January so I really didn’t know what to expect, and I was, frankly, a bit nervous about it.

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Category: Health and Wellness

Podcast #10 | Re-opening Louisiana

Louisiana is opening back up. In this podcast, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Healthcare Economist Mike Bertaut talks about the adjustments we are all making and why we can’t let our guard down. Mike also discusses the strong safety net Louisiana currently has for residents who lose their jobs and their health insurance during this pandemic.

Mike talks about the remarkable number of telehealth claims Blue Cross is processing right now, and goes into details about about Blue Cross’ data-sharing partnership with the State of Louisiana, including details on a presentation that Blue Cross’s Chief Analytics & Data Officer, Somesh Nigam, led this week, during the federal Department of Health and Human Services’ Data Science CoLab Demo Day.

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