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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Zero Hedge

BBC Claims Iranian Government Is Lying About Outbreak: Real Death Toll Is 210, Not 34

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Given the Iranian regime's recent history of brazenly lying to the public despite its obvious culpability, we were certainly intrigued when a local lawmaker in Qom told reporters that at least 50 people had died from the coronavirus in his city alone.

Iranian authorities denied these ...



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Phil's Favorites

Don't fear a 'robot apocalypse' - tomorrow's digital jobs will be more satisfying and higher-paid

  Don't fear a 'robot apocalypse' – tomorrow's digital jobs will be more satisfying and higher-paid

Tomorrow’s good jobs will require digital skills like programming. alvarez/Getty Images

Courtesy of Christos A. Makridis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

If you’re concerned that automation and artificial intelligence are going to disrupt the economy over the next decade, join the club. But while policymakers and academics agree there’ll be significant disruption, they differ about its impa...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Financial Crisis Deja Vu: Home Construction Index Double Top?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Most of us remember the 2007-2009 financial crisis because of the collapse in home prices and its effect on the economy.

One key sector that tipped off that crisis was the home builders.

The home builders are an integral piece to our economy and often signal “all clears” or “short-term warnings” to investors based on their economic health and how the index trades.

In today’s chart, we highlight the Dow Jones Home Construction Index. It has climbed all the way back to its pre-crisis highs… BUT it immediately reversed lower from there.

This raises concerns about a double top.

This pr...



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Insider Scoop

A Peek Into The Markets: US Stock Futures Plunge Amid Coronavirus Fears

Courtesy of Benzinga

Pre-open movers

U.S. stock futures traded lower in early pre-market trade. South Korea confirmed 256 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, while China reported an additional 327 new cases. Data on U.S. international trade in goods for January, wholesale inventories for January and consumer spending for January will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The Chicago PMI for February is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET, while the University of Michigan's consumer sentime...



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Biotech & Health

Could coronavirus really trigger a recession?

 

Could coronavirus really trigger a recession?

Coronavirus seems to be on a collision course with the US economy and its 12-year bull market. AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

Courtesy of Michael Walden, North Carolina State University

Fears are growing that the new coronavirus will infect the U.S. economy.

A major U.S. stock market index posted its biggest two-day drop on record, erasing all the gains from the previous two months; ...



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The Technical Traders

SPY Breaks Below Fibonacci Bearish Trigger Level

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our research team wanted to share this chart with our friends and followers.  This dramatic breakdown in price over the past 4+ days has resulted in a very clear bearish trigger which was confirmed by our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system.  We believe this downside move will target the $251 level on the SPY over the next few weeks and months.

Some recent headline articles worth reading:

On January 23, 2020, we ...



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Promotions

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Feb. 26, 1pm EST

Click HERE to join the PSW weekly webinar at 1 pm EST.

Phil will discuss positions, COVID-19, market volatility -- the selloff -- and more! 

This week, we also have a special presentation from Mike Anton of TradeExchange.com. It's a new service that we're excited to be a part of! 

Mike will show off the TradeExchange's new platform which you can try for free.  

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Chart School

Oil cycle leads the stock cycle

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Sure correlation is not causation, but this chart should be known by you.

We all know the world economy was waiting for a pin to prick the 'everything bubble', but no one had any idea of what the pin would look like.

Hence this is why the story of the black swan is so relevant.






There is massive debt behind the record high stock markets, there so much debt the political will required to allow central banks to print trillions to cover losses will likely effect elections. The point is printing money to cover billions is unlikely to upset anyone, however printing trillions will. In 2007 it was billions, in 202X it ...

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Members' Corner

Threats to democracy: oligarchy, feudalism, dictatorship

 

Threats to democracy: oligarchy, feudalism, dictatorship

Courtesy of David Brin, Contrary Brin Blog 

Fascinating and important to consider, since it is probably one of the reasons why the world aristocracy is pulling its all-out putsch right now… “Trillions will be inherited over the coming decades, further widening the wealth gap,” reports the Los Angeles Times. The beneficiaries aren’t all that young themselves. From 1989 to 2016, U.S. households inherited more than $8.5 trillion. Over that time, the average age of recipients rose by a decade to 51. More ...



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Digital Currencies

Altcoin season 2.0: why bitcoin has been outgunned by crypto rivals since new year

 

Altcoin season 2.0: why bitcoin has been outgunned by crypto rivals since new year

‘We have you surrounded!’ Wit Olszewski

Courtesy of Gavin Brown, Manchester Metropolitan University and Richard Whittle, Manchester Metropolitan University

When bitcoin was trading at the dizzying heights of almost US$2...



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ValueWalk

What US companies are saying about coronavirus impact

By Aman Jain. Originally published at ValueWalk.

With the coronavirus outbreak coinciding with the U.S. earnings seasons, it is only normal to expect companies to talk about this deadly virus in their earnings conference calls. In fact, many major U.S. companies not only talked about coronavirus, but also warned about its potential impact on their financial numbers.

Q4 2019 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Coronavirus impact: many US companies unclear

According to ...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

 

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

Courtesy of  

The repo market problem isn’t the problem. It’s a sideshow, a diversion, and a joke. It’s a symptom of the problem.

Today, I got a note from Liquidity Trader subscriber David, a professional investor, and it got me to thinking. Here’s what David wrote:

Lee,

The ‘experts’ I hear from keep saying that once 300B more in reserves have ...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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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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