Category: Health and Wellness

A Tale of Two COVIDS (with apologies to Charles Dickens)

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times in the Bertaut household, and, oddly enough, both times were happening simultaneously.

On Wednesday, Oct. 7, I started feeling a bit puny. Sinus-y and a little fuzzy around the brain. Over the next couple of days, those symptoms stayed about the same and I started feeling fatigued. On Saturday, Oct. 10, my daughter, who lives with us, started feeling bad and had a fever. She got tested for COVID-19. Her result was positive. My wife and I decided to go get tested. I was positive; she was negative. Read more

Category: Cost of Healthcare, Government Programs, Health Insurance

No Health Insurance? Don’t Wait, the Time is NOW and You’ve Got Affordable Options!

Note from Mike: Yeah, I know there was an election this week. We are waiting for the final results and I’ll be back soon with my take. In the meantime, remember that, no matter the outcome, health insurance for 2021 is not changing. Read the post below for more on your options next year.

You ever wake up and feel like you’ve got a bullseye on your back? Like there’s so much going against you that the most prudent course of action would be just to get back under the bed covers. Like, life’s going to just gang up on me again today so why bother? Read more

Category: Health and Wellness

Another Reason Not to Use Tobacco? COVID-19 in Louisiana

It’s not that often I go after a specific, single behavior, but today I’m in a mood. And I just went through COVID-19, so I’m especially fired up.

Blessedly, my symptoms were not that severe, and I’ve recovered well. But while I was sick, I read a LOT about the impact of tobacco use on people trying to recover from COVID-19, and the news there is not good, especially for Louisiana. I’ve got several pre-existing conditions that could have made my bout with COVID-19 worse, but thankfully tobacco use is not one of them.

Read more

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.

Read more

Category: Cost of Healthcare, Health Insurance

WHERE DID YOUR MONEY GO? The Latest on How Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Spent Your Money

One of the things I’ve always enjoyed about working here at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is the freedom we enjoy as a not-for-profit company. I spent some time in the for-profit, Fortune 500 world earlier in my career, and although I could probably have made more money there, I could never enjoy the freedom to act in the best interest of LOUISIANA that I have here.

In a typical publicly traded company, where everybody is hyper-focused on the stock price, constant consultation goes on between the company’s leaders and their “advisers” on Wall Street. In those situations, analysts and well-meaning outsiders have a huge amount of influence on the way companies behave, and at the end of the day, their primary responsibility is to their shareholders, not to their customers or employees. Read more

Category: Health and Wellness

Tracking Louisiana’s Progress Against COVID-19, Part 3: Death Rate by Age

I was so blessed growing up. I was a small-town boy (Morgan City was a city in name only!), an oldest child with four brothers and sisters, and had an incredibly talented, hard-working mom who stayed home with us until I was in high school. I was raised with a hard-working, strong moral character of a dad who had a job that allowed him to spend two out of every four weeks at home. And just for a little spice, his mom, a hard-charging, widowed “Maw-Maw,” lived two blocks away and worked well into her 70s. My Paw-Paw, her husband, passed away three years before I was born, when she was in her 40s. She never remarried.

Read more