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Insurance News 12/2013



Legislators push health insurance parity for substance abuse
Getting insurance companies to regard mental health and substance abuse like they regard other illnesses is perhaps the most important step local lawmakers are advocating to stem Berkshire County's opiate abuse problem. Despite 2008 legislation ...

Insurance agents need to add products to survive
Just as travel agents have suffered from the arrival of online travel sites, insurance agents are finding that more drivers turn to the Internet to shop for insurance or call an insurer's toll-free number — instead of an individual agent — for help ...

Debate over insurance money, PACs dominates Hightower-Wilcox House runoff ...
Debate over insurance money, PACs dominates Hightower-Wilcox House runoff ...

Health-insurance exchanges limit costs, choices
As Americans have begun shopping for health plans on the insurance exchanges, they are discovering that insurers are restricting their choice of doctors and hospitals to keep costs low, and that many of the plans exclude top-rated hospitals. The Obama ...

Travel insurance doesn't always make sense, consumer group says
The 114-year-old National Consumers League concluded recently that travel insurance is usually a bad deal because most policies are riddled with exceptions that allow insurance companies to reject claims for payoffs. Most insurance companies won't ...

Letter: Condo insurance rules wrong
I have tried for years to get FEMA, banks, mortgage lenders and other lending institutions to understand the way they are writing flood insurance policies for condominiums is incorrect. I understand that condominiums are but a small part of the ...

Senators say they'll press Iran sanctions as 'insurance'
Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, suggested additional sanctions would provide an “insurance policy” over the next six months as the interim agreement between Iran and six world powers, including the United States, ...

Insurer in Arizona renews canceled health-insurance plans
The insurer's pre-emptive strike comes as many consumers have received notices that their existing health-insurance plans will be canceled because they don't meet the standards of the nation's health-care law. Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, health-insurance ...

How Utahns can get the most from health insurance
As more Utahns enroll in health coverage via the federal portal HealthCare.gov the question becomes: Now that I have insurance, how do I milk it for all it's worth? It's a new challenge for the chronically uninsured, for fresh-faced college students ...

Sumitomo Life Buys BNI Insurance Unit Stake for $354 Million
Sumitomo Life Insurance Co., Japan's fourth-biggest life insurer, agreed to buy a stake in PT Bank Negara Indonesia's (BBNI) life insurance unit for about 36.2 billion yen ($354 million) as it expands abroad. Sumitomo Life will buy about 40 percent of ...

White House Confident Insurance Website Is Working Better
In this, the first week of December, the Obama administration says it has met its self-imposed deadline of fixing the troubled healthcare.gov web site. And it says people should be able to sign up for health insurance. So, is it fixed and when will we ...

California's health insurance exchange: 5 things to watch in December
It had 1,836 certified counselors as of Nov. 23 and 4,307 more people are still waiting to get through the process. The state has made more progress certifying insurance agents who can help enroll people. Nearly 7,500 agents have completed state ...

Associated Industries of Massachusetts survey finds huge variability in health ...
Associated Industries of Massachusetts survey finds huge variability in health ...

Group Uses Quirk Of Michigan Law To Push Abortion Insurance Restriction
Basic insurance coverage for abortions could soon be banned in Michigan, even without support from Republican Governor Rick Snyder. A petition seeking to enact a law that would restrict abortion coverage was certified Monday. Spearheaded by the No ...

Health Insurance Exchanges: What You Need To Know Before You Buy
But while he knows the insides and outsides of the Affordable Care Act, and appreciates that he can get access to the same insurance as his friends without asthma (a pre-existing condition), he is having a hard time making the commitment to enroll in a ...

Government says it fixed bug slowing insurance sign-up
WASHINGTON — A software bug that caused 80% of the problems with information forms insurers received from the HealthCare.gov website has been fixed, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced Monday. "That bug has been fixed and ...

Long-term care insurance: Peace of mind at a price
If you ask what most people fear most in retirement, it's being a burden. Long-term care insurance can alleviate that fear, but it doesn't come cheaply. About 70% of all retirees need long-term care at some point, although that includes help from ...

State health insurance exchange aims to enroll 7000 small firms
Trying to stem a steady erosion in employer health coverage, California's insurance exchange said it's looking to enroll 7,000 small businesses next year as part of the federal healthcare law. At an event in Los Angeles on Monday, officials with ...

Travel insurance offers 'very little real value,' consumer group says
The 114-year-old National Consumers League concluded recently that travel insurance is usually a bad deal because most policies are riddled with exceptions that allow insurance companies to reject claims for payoffs. Most insurance companies won't ...

Zurich Insurance Seen Cutting Profitability Goal at CMD
Zurich Insurance Group AG (ZURN) Chief Executive Officer Martin Senn will probably reduce a profitability target after Switzerland's biggest insurer said it may struggle to meet some goals set in 2010. Zurich Insurance could cut its plan for return on ...

Insurance a good gamble
How is insurance gambling? Well, let's start with the easiest example to explain, life insurance. When you pay your life insurance premium every year you are saying, “I bet I'm going to die this year.” This is a bet, however, that I am sure you want to ...

California's Small Business Insurance SHOP Opens, A Contrast To Feds
Just a few days after the federal government delayed online enrollment, California announced better news for small businesses who want to buy health insurance. Businesses with up to 50 employees can begin signing up online for coverage through the ...

Illinois extends deadline for retiree insurance audit
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. • A deadline has been extended once more for some Illinois state retirees who need to submit certain health insurance documents. The deadline has been extended twice because of the federal government shutdown this fall. Recipients of ...

Doomsday prepper: Obama readies insurance 'bailout'
DOOMSDAY PREPPER: OBAMA READIES INSURANCE 'BAILOUT' - President Obama kicks off a re-re-launch today of his signature health entitlement program. Obama had campaigned for weeks ahead of the crash landing of his law on Oct. 1. He tried ...

Even With Website Fixes, Troubles Persist in Applying for Insurance
Melissa Godwin, 42, a former schoolteacher from Atlanta, said she had tried at least 15 times since early October to get through the application process on HealthCare.gov, the online insurance marketplace. On Monday, she was hoping things would be ...

Children of rape offer support for Michigan abortion insurance bill: 'We are ...
Children of rape offer support for Michigan abortion insurance bill: 'We are ...

Nonprofits Challenge Missouri Licensing Law For Insurance Guides
In the first lawsuit of its kind, several nonprofit groups that received federal grants to help people sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act are suing the state of Missouri. The Missouri law requires health insurance helpers called ...

Obama to urge 'young invincibles' to buy health insurance
WASHINGTON — President Obama will urge young people to sign up for health insurance at a White House forum aimed at mobilizing a demographic that is crucial to the success of his signature healthcare law. Wednesday's youth summit at the White House ...

5 tips for signing up for insurance on Healthcare.gov
Even though several glitches have been fixed, Healthcare.gov still has its quirks -- on both the front end and the back end, where insurance companies are complaining about having received information that's either incomplete or inaccurate. But now ...

Insurance Agent To Forbes 400 Concedes Understating Taxable Income By $50 ...
Insurance Agent To Forbes 400 Concedes Understating Taxable Income By $50 ...

Families face coverage gap amid insurance cancellations, ObamaCare website ...
Families face coverage gap amid insurance cancellations, ObamaCare website ...

First MNsure insurance invoices mailed; some have 'potential issues'
With less than a month before new health insurance policies are supposed to kick in, it's time for consumers buying coverage through Minnesota's new exchange to start paying for their policies. Trouble is, the bill might not be there yet -- but ...

After Obamacare, ObamaCar Insurance?
Between 1989 and 2010, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) reported a national average increase of 43.3% in auto insurance rates. (By the way, the new NAIC CEO -- essentially a lobbyist job -- is former Nebraska Senator Ben ...

Health insurance applications picking up in Wisconsin
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, 136 people completed applications for a health insurance plan sold by Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative. The number of completed applications — almost as many as the health insurer received in all of October — is a ...

Insurance may be disrupted for 10000 Hoosiers
The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration has sent two rounds of letters to 10,631 people telling them they no longer qualify for the Healthy Indiana Plan, an affordable health insurance program for low-income adults, because the state says ...

New Obamacare "Work Around": Pay Insurance Companies Through Guessing
Now, because the payment system isn't built or working properly for people trying to enroll in Obamacare through the federal exchange, insurance companies will be billing the government for subsidies based on "guesses" of how much the government owes ...

Mobile Car Insurance App Maker Snapsheet Raises $10 Million, Hires Industry ...
Mobile Car Insurance App Maker Snapsheet Raises $10 Million, Hires Industry ...

29000 sign up for insurance on improved HealthCare.gov site
About 29,000 people signed up for health insurance on the federal government's HealthCare.gov website during the first two days of December — more than during the whole month of October, a source familiar with the numbers says. The source, who is ...

Genworth Stays In Long-Term Care Insurance, But Seeks A New Premium Design
After an intense internal review, the nation's dominant long-term care insurance company has decided to continue selling policies. However, Genworth Financial Genworth Financial Inc. is making major changes in the way it plans to manage its future ...

Michigan Likely to Pass Abortion Bill Democrats Dub 'Rape Insurance'
Michigan is poised to enact a stringent proposal that would ban health insurance coverage for abortion even in cases of rape, incest, or if the mother's health is at risk, even though the governor has vetoed the law and polls show the majority of ...

Obamacare Signups Surge As 29000 Enroll For Health Insurance On Sunday ...
Obamacare Signups Surge As 29000 Enroll For Health Insurance On Sunday ...

5 tips for signing up for insurance on Healthcare.gov
Even though several glitches have been fixed, Healthcare.gov has its quirks -- on both the front end and the back end, where insurance companies are complaining about having received information that's either incomplete or inaccurate. But now that the ...

Reid exempts some staff from having to buy insurance on ObamaCare exchange
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is allowing some staffers to keep their health insurance instead of making them buy it through an ObamaCare exchange, although he was one of the strongest Capitol Hill supporters of the 2010 law. The Nevada Democrat is ...

84% buying health insurance eligible for federal subsidy
Those eligible for insurance federal subsidy slow to apply. President Barack Obama meets with healthcare industry executives and administration officials in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Washington, D.C., November 15, 2013. UPI/Martin Simon/ ...

Some flood insurance rates rise in Douglas County
The federal government's decision to phase out subsidized insurance in special flood hazard areas will increase costs for 168 property owners in Douglas County. Most of the property is along the Kansas and Wakarusa rivers. Andy Megrail of the Federal ...

California poll shows young and healthy more likely to seek medical insurance
They've been dubbed the "young invincibles," people in their 20s and 30s who must sign up for medical insurance in droves to ensure the success of the new health care law. But a new California poll indicates that perhaps they should be called the ...

Just because you've picked an Obamacare insurance policy doesn't mean you ...
Just because you've picked an Obamacare insurance policy doesn't mean you ...

The GOP says Obamacare will cancel 80-100 million insurance plans. Nope.
Obama said that "if you are among the hundreds of millions of Americans who already have health insurance through your job, Medicare, Medicaid, or the VA, nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you ...

Dems look to jam GOP on unemployment insurance
“Yes indeed, we are making a very clear statement that we cannot, cannot support a budget agreement that does not include unemployment insurance in the budget or as a sidebar in order to move it all along,” she said at a hearing she held on ...

Georgia insurance commissioner: It's 'your fault' if you have a pre-existing ...
Georgia insurance commissioner: It's 'your fault' if you have a pre-existing ...