In a recent poll by Kaiser Family Foundation, 7% of Americans said they decided to marry so they could get health insurance benefits via their spouse. It shows how paying for health insurance is reflected not only in family budgets but in life decisions.
Autism Health Insurance
Coverage for autism treatments is still far from common, but it is improving. Some large employers offer policies that cover treatment, and 15 states have passed laws mandating at least some autism health insurance coverage. In addition, Maine and New Hampshire both have legislation pending that could pass soon. But as for why autism isn’t covered in the first place, the industry insists that behavioral therapy is an educational measure, not a medical one, and therefore not its bailiwick.
If you do have coverage, watch for limitations. Because treatment for autism is so individualized, there are few uniform standards or protocols for insurance companies to follow. That means parents often have to argue that a certain therapy or treatment is necessary. Also, be sure to check any caps on treatment, Mr. Sell warns. What may look generous — say $36,000 a year — can be spent quickly. Or there may be limits on how many sessions of a particular type of therapy will be paid for each year.
The Office of Personnel Management is being sued by a woman married to a woman because it is blocking her wife from receiving federal health insurance benefits available to spouses.
OPM has refused to obey a federal judge’s administrative order telling the agency to rescind a directive to Karen Golinski’s health insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield, that said her spouse is not eligible to receive family health insurance benefits.
Health Savings Accounts, tax-advantaged medical savings accounts available to taxpayers in the United States, will become a more popular health insurance option in 2010 as consumers will be able to deduct more of their contributions to these accounts.
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) were created by the Medicare bill signed by President Bush on December 8, 2003 and are designed to help individuals save for future qualified medical and retiree health expenses on a tax-free basis. Though HSAs have expanded steadily since their introduction, they remain relatively rare.
Obesity Health Insurance
Charging obese policyholders more is a hot topic among private health insurers. The rationale is twofold. First, fat people are more likely to develop expensive health problems. Second, fat can be avoided or reduced through exercise and healthy eating. If we charge fat people more for health insurance—or charge thin people less, which amounts to the same thing—people will improve their habits.
Insurers have been moving aggressively in this direction. But there are two different ways to implement such “wellness incentives.” Some employers reward workers just for participating in wellness programs. Others peg their rewards to the bottom line. Hit the weight target, or you don’t get the discount.
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Overweight Health Insurance
Did you know that being overweight can reduce your chances for health insurance? The reasoning is simple: overweight individuals cost the company more in health insurance costs.
So you’re in perfectly good health, but you say to yourself, “I should get some health insurance.” If you’re fat, most insurers will turn you down. “That’s illegal, isn’t it?” you say. “Can they do that?” Well, they can and they do. You can be declined for the insurance on the basis that you are outside their accepted weight limits.
The underwriters use a system for determining your height and weight calculations to determine acceptable ranges. The correlation of the two defines a number called the BMI or ” body mass index” and gives the underwriters an estimate of body fat.