Posts Tagged ‘insurance companies’

Who’s to Blame for Rising Healthcare Costs?

Who’s to Blame for Rising Healthcare Costs?

Courtesy of Mish 

Portrait of a male scientist examining two test tubes in lab setting

In response to Another Atlas Shrugs – Small Business Owners Chime In I received still more emails from business owners regarding healthcare costs.

In contrast to the CEO of a healthcare consulting company who blames Obama, a CEO Therapist in New York, says healthcare insurers are the problem.

"Therapist CEO" writes ….

Hello Mish,

I’m a long time reader of you blog. Thanks for keeping some sanity in an otherwise economically insane world.

I’m writing in response to your post regarding small business owners, specifically the letter from “Healthcare CEO”.

I am also a small business owner. I share many of the same difficulties that he discussed. One point he made did surprise me though, when he mentioned that he didn’t “blame the insurers too much”. On that point I couldn’t disagree more.

As a small business owner, I have been feeling the pinch of ever rising healthcare premiums; our premiums went up 26% last November and I can’t imagine what they will be this year when we renew. I have another perspective though. The small business that I am in is physical therapy; I own two outpatient clinics in New York. Over the past year while health insurance premiums have been going through the roof, I have watched insurers do one more thing to help their bottom line. They have shifted payment for healthcare to the patient, in some cases entirely.

As an example, here in New York, there are some Oxford and Blue Cross Blue Shield plans that by contract “reimburse” $50 per physical therapy visit. Here’s the kicker. The patients co-pay has been raised from $15-$25 per therapy visit to $50 per therapy visit, so what the patient pays is all we get. The insurance companies pay nothing additionally.

This is what insurance companies “sell” as insurance for these elevated premiums and I don’t know how that’s even legal. It’s a joke when patients come in and present their insurance card like that provides them any benefit at all. The insurance companies also still have the audacity to require us to submit continued requests for them to authorize care, and in many cases they won’t give us that authorization even though they aren’t paying a dime for the service (yes, we are currently in the process of exiting some of these contracts).


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The Ugly Truth If You’re Looking For Work

Karl’s advice for the unemployed seeking work: if you’re healthy, convey it. (Corollary — try to look good, sound good and radiate a healthful life-style if you make it to an interview. Do not whine about your family history of early heart disease and diabetes, no matter what). – Ilene 

The Ugly Truth If You’re Looking For Work

Woman sitting in office; man sitting behind desk

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker 

A post on the forum jogged me on this Ticker that I was writing months ago and never finished…. and pushed it back to the top of the line.  This is an echo of a topic I’ve raised a couple of times on Blogtalk as well, from my experience as a CEO and the "negotiator in chief" with health insurance companies during that time.

First, let me tell you how health insurance actually works from the employer perspective, because most people simply don’t understand this.

You probably have a line on your pay stub that says something like "Health Insurance: $100" or similar.  You think that’s what it costs on your "group plan."

You’re wrong.

The rules for deductibility of insurance expenses provided to employees are relatively simple but have profound implications.  Specifically:

  • Employers cannot charge differential deductions.  That is, if I am going to hit your check for $50, I must hit everyone’s check for $50.  (I can have two deductions – one for "individual" and one for "family" coverage, but I can’t charge two individuals different deduction rates.)

  • The majority of the actual expense for any particular person must exceed half of the total for the premiums to be deductible by the business from a tax perspective – that is, for the business to pay them with pre-tax dollars.

But in point of fact employees are individually rated.  That is, a 20 year old male with no medical problems – that is, in excellent health – might cost $200 a month in premiums.  The same
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Phil's Favorites

Rebuilding the Caribbean will be pricey, but some are vying to finance its recovery

 

Rebuilding the Caribbean will be pricey, but some are vying to finance its recovery

Courtesy of Masao AshtineUniversity of the West Indies, Mona Campus

If Caribbean governments can’t afford to rebuild their islands, maybe big tech firms can?

November 20 marked the end of the Atlantic hurricane season, but for the Caribbean, it’s only the beginning of a painful recovery process.

In early September, Hurricane Irma largely destroyed Barbuda and several neighboring Lesser Antilles islands. Two weeks later, Maria took a final fatal...



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Zero Hedge

Bahamas Prime Minister Blasts US Cable News

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Over the weekend, Bahamas Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis addressed the Third Annual Press Club Awards Banquet, where he blamed the collapse of journalism standards on 24-hour cable news shows in the United States. He said, the declining of standards “would not have been allowed in previous times” and urged local journalist not to be  “champions of any political party, business, group or interest in a country”.

...

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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin: An Unknowable Bubble?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

"Whatever [Bitcoin] is, I missed it... It looks and smells like all the bubbles I have seen throughout history." - billionaire investor Jim Rogers

Authored by Constantin Gurdgiev via True Economics blog,

There is a much-discussed in the crypto-sphere chart making rounds these days, plotting Bitcoin price dynamics against the historical bubbles of the past:

...



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Insider Scoop

8 Stocks To Watch For November 22, 2017

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related CRM 9 Stock's Moving In Tuesday's After Hours Session Salesforce Falls Despite Q3 Beat The Vetr co...

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Chart School

Russell 2000 and Semiconductor New Highs / S&P Breaks

Courtesy of Declan.

The S&P broke higher to confirm a 'bear trap' and also closed at a new all-time high. Volume climbed to register an accumulation day but there were further losses in relative performance and continued losses in the MACD.


The Nasdaq posted a gap-driven 1% gain to bring it ever closer to channel resistance. It hasn't yet tagged resistance but it looks well placed to do so by the end of the week. Technical are all bullish.

...

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Biotech

The two obstacles that are holding back Alzheimer's research

Reminder: Pharmboy and Ilene are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

The two obstacles that are holding back Alzheimer's research

Courtesy of Todd GoldeUniversity of Florida

Family members often become primary caregivers for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease. tonkid/Shutterstock.com

Thirty years ago, scientists began to unlock the mysteries regarding the cause of Alzheimer’...



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ValueWalk

Robert Mugabe Under House Arrest, Military Takes Control Of Zimbabwe

By Andjela Radmilac. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Zimbabwe’s head of state, 93-year-old Robert Mugabe, has been placed under house arrest after what seems to be a military coup took place in the nation’s capital.

By U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jesse B. Awalt/Released [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsRobert Mugabe is safe

Following numerous reports on social media late Thursday night about the increased military presence in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, the country’s military took...



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Members' Corner

An Interview with David Brin

Our guest David Brin is an astrophysicist, technology consultant, and best-selling author who speaks, writes, and advises on a range of topics including national defense, creativity, and space exploration. He is also a well-known and influential futurist (one of four “World's Best Futurists,” according to The Urban Developer), and it is his ideas on the future, specifically the future of civilization, that I hope to learn about here.   

Ilene: David, you base many of your predictions of the future on a theory of historica...



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Mapping The Market

Puts things in perspective

Courtesy of Jean-Luc

Puts things in perspective:

The circles don't look to be to scale much!

...

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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

NewsWare: Watch Today's Webinar!

 

We have a great guest at today's webinar!

Bill Olsen from NewsWare will be giving us a fun and lively demonstration of the advantages that real-time news provides. NewsWare is a market intelligence tool for news. In today's data driven markets, it is truly beneficial to have a tool that delivers access to the professional sources where you can obtain the facts in real time.

Join our webinar, free, it's open to all. 

Just click here at 1 pm est and join in!

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Brazil; Waterfall in prices starting? Impact U.S.?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below looks at the Brazil ETF (EWZ) over the last decade. The rally over the past year has it facing a critical level, from a Power of the Pattern perspective.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

EWZ is facing dual resistance at (1), while in a 9-year down trend of lower highs and lower lows. The counter trend rally over the past 17-months has it testing key falling resistance. Did the counter trend reflation rally just end at dual resistance???

If EWZ b...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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