Inside these posts: health insurance reform

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New health insurance spending rules finalized

New U.S. health insurance spending rules aimed at ensuring more customer dollars go toward medical care were finalized on Monday, ending a source of uncertainty for investors in the sector.

Though the limits are mandated in the new health care law, insurers such as Aetna Inc. and WellPoint Inc. did win some concessions from the U.S. government surrounding implementation of the rules and shares of health insurers mostly rose. Get the full story »

Boeing says health care law behind plan price hikes

The big aircraft maker Boeing Co. says “cost pressures” from the new health care law are part of the reason it’s asking employees to pay more for their medical benefits next year.

In a letter mailed to employees late last week, Boeing said deductibles and copayments are going up significantly for some 90,000 nonunion workers.

McDonald’s threatens to drop hourly health plan

Workers at a McDonald's restaurant in Oak Brook. (Tribune photo by Terry Harris)

McDonald’s Corp. has warned federal regulators that it could drop its health insurance plan for nearly 30,000 hourly restaurant workers unless regulators waive a new requirement of the U.S. health overhaul. The move is one of the clearest indications that new rules may disrupt workers’ health plans as the law ripples through the real world. Get the full story »

State fines unlicensed firms selling health insurance

The Illinois Department of Insurance said it has taken steps to prohibit several companies from “marketing and selling non-comprehensive health insurance” in the state without a license. Get the full story »

Health reform sets down ‘care’ coverage

Individuals and small businesses who buy health insurance can count on their  plans spending at least four in five premium dollars on medical care, a key tenet of the health care overhaul signed into law five months ago by President Barack Obama. Get the full story »

Health care reform: Preventive services ignored

The new health care legislation soon will require insurers and employers to fully cover preventive services for workers. But the challenge may be to get employees to take advantage of the benefit, according to a new study.

The Midwest Business Group on Health said workers are not using preventive care programs as much as they should despite an emphasis by large corporations in recent years on wellness.

A key tenet of the health overhaul legislation, known as the Affordable Care Act, will require health plans to cover preventive services by eliminating cost-sharing, such as co-payments or deductibles for services. For example, employees who fork over a $10 co-payment for a blood pressure, diabetes or cholesterol test won’t have to do so after the law kicks in Sept. 23. Get the full story »

Employers to pay 2% more to cover college kids

Employers could see an additional cost increase of up to 2 percent to medical premiums next year under the new health reform law that extends coverage to people up to age 26 through their parents’ health plans.

A new study by employee benefits consulting firm Mercer says the influx of “newly eligible” college-aged dependent children on their parents health plans will on average increase health care costs 0.25 percent to 2 percent. The increase would come on top of premiums for large employers already rising this year 8 to 10 percent by most analysts’ estimates. Get the full story »

Health care: Obama’s plan will cost $950 billion

By Noam N. Levey |
Four days before his planned health summit with
congressional leaders, President Barack Obama on Monday unveiled his
proposal to overhaul the nation’s health care system, building on the
gargantuan legislation developed by Senate Democrats last year.

The proposal, which the White House has posted on its website,
includes all the major provisions backed by congressional Democrats,
including a major expansion in coverage, broad new insurance regulations
and initiatives to make the health care system more efficient.

Get the full story »