Straight Talk by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana

Facts on the ACA and Rising Costs

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Changing the Narrative

Changing the Narrative

As a healthcare economist working for you, one of my jobs is to try to understand how healthcare and health insurance are going to change long before the changes actually happen.

I often find myself sorting through all the narratives coming from policy people and politicians as they talk up changes they want to […]

By |January 18th, 2017|Bertaut's Blog, costs|0 Comments

Instability = Uncertainty = Expense: Health Insurance marketplaces need immediate attention

One thing you learn if you work around insurance for a while is that instability and unpredictability drive everybody’s costs up. A lot. And it turns out it doesn’t matter if that’s car insurance, homeowners insurance, life insurance or health insurance.

We’ve Seen This Before

I was training with a major life insurance carrier in the mid-1980s […]

By |January 10th, 2017|Bertaut's Blog|0 Comments

Questions Answered: Bertaut talks ACA, rate increases and more

Hear Straight Talk’s Mike Bertaut talk about the healthcare economy, including possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act, why many rates have increased, how much the ACA is to blame and more.

He appeared on the Jim Engster Show on Jan. 3, 2017, to take questions from callers.

By |January 4th, 2017|Bertaut's Blog, costs|0 Comments

Can You Afford Your Deductible?

One of the real puzzles the designers of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) had to solve back in 2010 was this:

“We want people to be able to afford to pay their health insurance premiums, and we’re going to give them money (advanced tax credits) to help cover the premium cost. But the insurance we want […]

By |December 19th, 2016|Bertaut's Blog, costs|0 Comments

Personalities Matter! (Even at the Federal Level)

Now that we have a new President-Elect, Donald Trump, a pretty huge amount of uncertainty has filtered into the healthcare (and health insurance) business.

While a president may have some ideas and give direction about how healthcare policy is run, and the federal government manages almost $1.1 trillion in healthcare spending directly, the president doesn’t run […]

By |December 14th, 2016|Bertaut's Blog|0 Comments

So, THAT was a surprise! With President Trump, What Happens to My Health Insurance?

I have been pummeled with many, many different reactions since the Nov. 8 election and more questions than I can shake a stick at. I suspect my next few blog posts will be about roughly these same topics. But, before we dive into the questions, let me tell you a bit of what I’ve figured […]

By |November 22nd, 2016|Bertaut's Blog, costs, Medicaid|0 Comments

The Federal Role in Benefit Design in Individual Health Insurance: Are You Better Off?

Note from Mike: I’m sifting through the information coming out about the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, Medicare and healthcare in a Trump presidency. I’ll be back soon to offer my take on it, but in the meantime, see this Q&A on what Blue Cross is doing right now.

In my last blog post, I gave details […]

By |November 15th, 2016|Bertaut's Blog, costs|0 Comments

The Plain and Ugly Truth about Rate Increases

Open Enrollment is upon us, social media has come alive, and I think it is CRITICAL to our mission here at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana (“To improve the health and lives of all Louisianians”) that we are as transparent as possible with you about why rates are going up in 2017.

Since […]

By |November 7th, 2016|Bertaut's Blog, costs|0 Comments

What’s the Deal with Medicare

Today, 50 years after it was signed into law, what we call “Medicare” may be the most misunderstood program the government has. Since the annual “Open Enrollment” for the Medicare Advantage (MA) market just began, I thought this was a great time to review a few things about Medicare.

In the interest of protecting the health […]

By |October 26th, 2016|Bertaut's Blog, costs, Medicare|0 Comments

Obesity Bias and Health Outcomes: Will Losing Weight Cure Everything?

One thing I’ve learned after 55 years on this planet is that we all walk around every day with biases that color our decision making. Some of these biases can be safety-related (“I really don’t want that wild snake in my home, even though I can’t tell a poisonous one from a safe one!”) or […]

By |October 4th, 2016|Bertaut's Blog|0 Comments