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

Meet the new 'renewable superpowers': nations that boss the materials used for wind and solar

 

Meet the new 'renewable superpowers': nations that boss the materials used for wind and solar

Blue Planet Studio / shutterstock

Courtesy of Andrew Barron, Swansea University

Imagine a world where every country has not only complied with the Paris climate agreement but has moved away from fossil fuels entirely. How would such a change affect global politics?

The 20th century was dominated by coal, oil and natural gas, but a shift to zero-emission energy generation and transport means a new set of elements will become key. Solar energy, for instance, still primarily uses silicon technology, for which the major raw material is the rock quartzite. Lithium represe...



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Zero Hedge

North Korea Bailed At The Last Minute On Secret Meeting With Pence

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Two weeks ago, followers of geopolitics couldn't help but speculate about the chances of a clandestine meeting between North Korea and the US when the news first broke that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's younger sister, Kim Jo Yang, would be attending the Winter Games in PyeongChang.

After all, US Vice President Mike Pence was already confirmed to be stopping by South Korea during the beginning of the Games as part of a five-day Asia tour. But the White House was quick to repudiate this chatter, announcing that there were no plans for diplomatic talks, though both US and North Korean rhetoric since then has left the door open for such a meeting.

But as it turns out, just as the White House was denying it, plans for talks were being set in motion...



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Chart School

Sellers Come In But Semiconductors Gain

Courtesy of Declan.

Markets were set up for sellers with most indices experiencing broad selling. However, the one index which looked set up best for shorts - the Semiconductor Index - actually managed to gain.  Anyone taking up Friday's short in the latter Index will have been stopped out but another shorting opportunity may have presented itself. Technicals haven't returned to becoming net bullish but only the ADX remains to shift.


The S&P eased a little lower but didn't return below what was channel support. Te...

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ValueWalk

Bill Nygren's Stock Picks

By VW Staff. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Bill Nygren, Harris Associates U.S. equities CIO and Oakmark Funds portfolio manager, shares his top stock picks and long-term investment strategy.

H/T Dataroma

]]> Get The Full Seth Klarman Series in PDF

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Bill Nygren's Stock Picks

Pro: Three hot stocks to watch from ...



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Insider Scoop

Stifel Sees Reboot Opportunity For Chipotle, Upgrades From Sell To Hold

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related CMG Benzinga's Top Upgrades, Downgrades For February 20, 2018 The Market In 5 Minutes: Albertsons-R...

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Digital Currencies

As Bitcoin Nears $11,000, Here's A History Of Its Biggest Ups And Downs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

The cryptocurrency rebound off Feb 5th's bloodbath lows (below $6,000 for Bitcoin) has been impressive, as a 'mysterious' massive buyer 'bought the dip' and momentum took care of the rest.

With Bitcoin now nearing $11,000 (almost a double off the lows), ...



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Biotech

What is 'right to try,' and could it help?

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

 

What is 'right to try,' and could it help?

In this March 18, 2011 photo, Cassidy Hempel waved at hospital staff as she was being treated for a rare disorder. Her mother Chris, left, fought to gain permission for an experimental drug. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Morten Wendelbo, Texas A&M University and Timothy Callaghan, ...



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Mapping The Market

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

Via Jean-Luc

How propagandist beat science – they did it for the tobacco industry and now it's in favor of the energy companies:

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

The original tobacco strategy involved several lines of attack. One of these was to fund research that supported the industry and then publish only the results that fit the required narrative. “For instance, in 1954 the TIRC distributed a pamphlet entitled ‘A Scientific Perspective on the Cigarette Controversy’ to nearly 200,000 doctors, journalists, and policy-makers, in which they emphasized favorable research and questioned results supporting the contrary view,” say Weatherall and co, who call this approach biased production.

A second approach promoted independent research that happened to support ...



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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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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.

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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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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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