Archive for the 'Health News' Category
Multiflexdental.com announced today that their dental insurance indemnity plans were now available in 45 states. Indemnity dental insurance is true insurance and not a discount dental plan that is offered by most of the dental web sites on the internet. The Multiflex dental plans offer the insured good dental benefits while not having to close a network dentist. One can choose any dentist they want said Dr. David Blunt, while offering low monthly premium payments.
For more information see: MultiflexDental.com
After Sen. Harry Reid was able to bribe and cajole 60 Democrat and Independent Senators to vote for “cloture” and pass the Senate version of ObamaCare, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) engineered an “objection to the appointment of the conferees”. What that means is this: The U.S. Constitution, in Article I, Section 7.2, specifies that every bill has to pass both houses of Congress before it can be signed into law. However, it has to be the exact same bill that passes. That usually means that, when a bill is amended in one house (like the Senate amended the House bill, in order to get the 60 votes needed to pass it), a “conference committee” is appointed with members of both houses to “iron out” the differences, and then each house votes on the final compromise bill with no amendments allowed.
That’s what usually happens… BUT NOT THIS TIME!
THIS TIME, Republican Leader McConnell (at the behest of Sen. DeMint) actually objected to the appointment of the conferees — something that’s almost never done. That means that the Senate ObamaCare bill must be amended on the House floor to gain the votes they need to pass it on the House floor. And because of Sen. DeMint’s objection to the appointment of the conferees, there will be no conference, or conference report. Democrats can resort to a fallback: they can propose a motion to appoint conferees, but that motion is subject to filibuster. It would likely require three separate cloture votes just to pass the motion to appoint conferees! So — the Senate bill goes back to the House, which will have to debate it all over again… including amending it.
If the House amends the Senate bill, they then have to send the amended bill back to the Senate — where all the 60 vote margin cloture votes still apply — cloture on the motion to proceed, cloture to end the filibuster, and cloture on any amendment.
And you can bet that the House WILL amend the Senate bill. There are PLENTY of disagreements among Democrats in the House over Harry Reid’s compromise bill, in areas like abortion, the public option, illegal immigrant coverage, taxation of union health care plans, and the degree of subsidy available for purchase of health care. Any ONE of these can SINK Obamacare!
On abortion, the Senate bill contains massive abortion funding by virtue of the Nelson-Reid abortion language in the bill that allows states to force taxpayers to fund abortions with government funds. It also contains the Mikulski amendment, which would allow the Obama administration to define abortion as “preventative care” and force insurance companies to use taxpayers’ premiums to pay for them. The House initially approved its bill on a three-vote margin only because it contained the Stupak amendment to ban abortion funding. Now, with the Senate’s Nelson-Reid language and Mikulski amendment in place, a group of 10-12 pro-life Democrats led by Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan may very well REVOLT on supporting the bill, unless the Stupak amendment is added to the Senate version of the legislation. And if the Stupak amendment is added, that would probably prompt some pro-abortion Democrats to vote against the bill. RESULT: OBAMACARE DIES.
Source: Socialized Health Care Can STILL Be Stopped — Click Below to Tell Congress to VOTE NO on ObamaCare:
Autism: Dental Health Problems
People with autism experience few unusual oral health conditions. Although commonly used medications and damaging oral habits can cause problems, the rates of caries and periodontal disease in people with autism are comparable to those in the general population. Communication and behavioral problems pose the most significant challenges in providing oral care.
DAMAGING ORAL HABITS are common and include bruxism; tongue thrusting; self-injurious behavior such as picking at the gingiva or biting the lips; and pica–eating objects and substances such as gravel, cigarette butts, or pens. If a mouth guard can be tolerated, prescribe one for patients who have problems with self-injurious behavior or bruxism.
DENTAL CARIES risk increases in patients who have a preference for soft, sticky, or sweet foods; damaging oral habits; and difficulty brushing and flossing.
- Recommend preventive measures such as fluorides and sealants.
- Caution patients or their caregivers about medicines that reduce saliva or contain sugar. Suggest that patients drink water often, take sugar-free medicines when available, and rinse with water after taking any medicine.
- Advise caregivers to offer alternatives to cariogenic foods and beverages as incentives or rewards.
- Encourage independence in daily oral hygiene. Ask patients to show you how they brush, and follow up with specific recommendations. Perform hands-on demonstrations to show patients the best way to clean their teeth. If appropriate, show patients and caregivers how a modified toothbrush or floss holder might make oral hygiene easier.
- Some patients cannot brush and floss independently. Talk to caregivers about daily oral hygiene and do not assume that they know the basics. Use your experiences with each patient to demonstrate oral hygiene techniques and sitting or standing positions for the caregiver. Emphasize that a consistent approach to oral hygiene is important–caregivers should try to use the same location, timing, and positioning.
- Administration on Developmental Disabilities, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
The Administration on Developmental Disabilities ensures that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families participate in the design of and have access to culturally competent services, supports, and other assistance and opportunities that promote independence, productivity, and integration and inclusion into the community.
- American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry
The American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD) is an organization of physicians, dentists, students, and associate members whose collective mission is to work together as clinicians, educators, and advocates in their respective spheres of influence to improve the overall health of children and adults with developmental disabilities.
- American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) is the membership organization representing the specialty of pediatric dentistry. Members serve as primary care providers for millions of children from infancy through adolescence, providing advanced, specialty-level care for infants, children, adolescents, and patients with special health care needs in private offices, clinics, and hospital settings. In addition, AAPD members serve as the primary contributors to professional education programs and scholarly works concerning dental care for children.
- Dental Education in Care of Persons With Disabilities
Dental Education in Care of Persons with Disabilities (DECOD) is a special program of the University of Washington School of Dentistry that treats persons with severe disabilities and prepares dental professionals to meet their special oral health needs.
- Developmental Disabilities Resources for Healthcare Providers
Developmental Disabilities Resources for Healthcare Providers was developed to assist primary care physicians in caring for persons with developmental disabilities. This project was funded by a grant from the California Department of Developmental Services as part of its Wellness Initiative.
- Division of Oral Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Division of Oral Health is the Federal agency with primary responsibility for supporting state- and community-based programs to prevent oral disease, promoting oral health nationwide, and fostering applied research to enhance oral disease prevention in community settings.
- National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities promotes the health of babies, children, and adults and enhances the potential for full, productive living. Work includes identifying the causes of birth defects and developmental disabilities, helping children to develop and reach their full potential, and promoting health and well-being among people of all ages with disabilities.
- National Dissemination Center for Children With Disabilities
The National Dissemination Center for Children With Disabilities serves as a central source of information on disabilities in children and youth; programs and services for infants, children, and youth with disabilities; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the nation’s special education law; No Child Left Behind as it relates to children with disabilities; and research-based information on effective educational practices.
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) is part of the National Institutes of Health, the biomedical research arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The mission of the NICHD is to ensure that every person is born healthy and wanted, that women suffer no harmful effects from the reproductive process, and that all children have the chance to fulfill their potential for a healthy and productive life, free of disease or disability.
- Southern Association of Institutional Dentists
The Southern Association of Institutional Dentists (SAID) is a benevolent group of dental professionals whose mission is to improve the oral health of people with disabilities through service, education, and advocacy. SAID is the only organization in the United States that deals solely with the dental needs of the institutionalized client.
- Special Care Dentistry Association
Special Care Dentistry Association (SCDA) is a unique national and international organization of oral health professionals and other individuals devoted to promoting oral health and well being for people with special needs. SCDA’s goal is to act as a central focus for diverse individuals and groups with a common interest in oral health for people with special needs and to direct its resources accordingly.
- Special Olympics Special Smiles
Special Olympics Special Smiles is an oral health initiative designed to improve access to dental care for people with special needs and to raise the public’s and the dental community’s awareness of the oral health problems faced by many of those with special needs. This initiative works with Special Olympics, an international program of year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with mental retardation.
- University of the Pacific School of Dentistry, Pacific Center for Special Care
The Pacific Center for Special Care at the University of the Pacific focuses on expanding access to care for people with special needs, developing and disseminating guidelines for promoting oral health in this population, and evaluating and improving oral health access and delivery systems at the local and regional level.
Trauma to the jaw or temporomandibular joint plays a role in some TMJ disorders. But for most jaw joint and muscle problems, scientists don’t know the causes. For many people, symptoms seem to start without obvious reason. Research disputes the popular belief that a bad bite or orthodontic braces can trigger TMJ disorders. Because the condition is more common in women than in men, scientists are exploring a possible link between female hormones and TMJ disorders.
There is no scientific proof that clicking sounds in the jaw joint lead to serious problems. In fact, jaw clicking is common in the general population. Jaw noises alone, without pain or limited jaw movement, do not indicate a TMJ disorder and do not warrant treatment.
The roles of stress and tooth grinding as major causes of TMJ disorders are also unclear. Many people with these disorders do not grind their teeth, and many long-time tooth grinders do not have painful joint symptoms. Scientists note that people with sore, tender chewing muscles are less likely than others to grind their teeth because it causes pain. Researchers also found that stress seen in many persons with jaw joint and muscle disorders is more likely the result of dealing with chronic jaw pain or dysfunction than the cause of the condition.
Because more studies are needed on the safety and effectiveness of most treatments for jaw joint and muscle disorders, experts strongly recommend using the most conservative, reversible treatments possible. Conservative treatments do not invade the tissues of the face, jaw, or joint, or involve surgery. Reversible treatments do not cause permanent changes in the structure or position of the jaw or teeth. Even when TMJ disorders have become persistent, most patients still do not need aggressive types of treatment.
Because the most common jaw joint and muscle problems are temporary and do not get worse, simple treatment is all that is usually needed to relieve discomfort.
There are steps you can take that may be helpful in easing symptoms, such as:
- eating soft foods,
- applying ice packs,
- avoiding extreme jaw movements (such as wide yawning, loud singing, and gum chewing),
- learning techniques for relaxing and reducing stress,
- practicing gentle jaw stretching and relaxing exercises that may help increase jaw movement. Your health care provider or a physical therapist can recommend exercises if appropriate for your particular condition.
For many people with TMJ disorders, short-term use of over-the-counter pain medicines or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen, may provide temporary relief from jaw discomfort. When necessary, your dentist or doctor can prescribe stronger pain or anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, or anti-depressants to help ease symptoms.
Your doctor or dentist may recommend an oral appliance, also called a stabilization splint or bite guard, which is a plastic guard that fits over the upper or lower teeth. Stabilization splints are the most widely used treatments for TMJ disorders. Studies of their effectiveness in providing pain relief, however, have been inconclusive. If a stabilization splint is recommended, it should be used only for a short time and should not cause permanent changes in the bite. If a splint causes or increases pain, stop using it and see your health care provider.
The conservative, reversible treatments described are useful for temporary relief of pain – they are not cures for TMJ disorders. If symptoms continue over time, come back often, or worsen, tell your doctor.
Botox™ (botulinum toxin type A) is a drug made from the same bacterium that causes food poisoning. Used in small doses, Botox injections can actually help alleviate some health problems. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Botox for the treatment of certain eye muscle disorders, cervical dystonia (neck muscle spasms), and severe underarm sweating, as well as for limited cosmetic use. Botox has not been approved by the FDA for use in TMJ disorders. Research is under way to learn how Botox specifically affects jaw muscles and their nerves. The findings will help determine if this drug may be useful in treating TMJ disorders.
Irreversible treatments that have not been proven to be effective – and may make the problem worse – include orthodontics to change the bite; crown and bridge work to balance the bite; grinding down teeth to bring the bite into balance, called “occlusal adjustment”; and repositioning splints, also called orthotics, which permanently alter the bite.
Other types of treatments, such as surgical procedures, invade the tissues. Surgical treatments are controversial, often irreversible, and should be avoided where possible. There have been no long-term clinical trials to study the safety and effectiveness of surgical treatments for TMJ disorders. Nor are there standards to identify people who would most likely benefit from surgery. Failure to respond to conservative treatments, for example, does not automatically mean that surgery is necessary. If surgery is recommended, be sure to have the doctor explain to you, in words you can understand, the reason for the treatment, the risks involved, and other types of treatment that may be available.
Surgical replacement of jaw joints with artificial implants may cause severe pain and permanent jaw damage. Some of these devices may fail to function properly or may break apart in the jaw over time. If you have already had temporomandibular joint surgery, be very cautious about considering additional operations. Persons undergoing multiple surgeries on the jaw joint generally have a poor outlook for normal, pain-free joint function. Before undergoing any surgery on the jaw joint, it is extremely important to get other independent opinions and to fully understand the risks.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) monitors the safety and effectiveness of medical devices implanted in the body,including artificial jaw joint implants. Patients and their health care providers can report serious problems with TMJ implants to the FDA through MedWatch at www.fda.gov/medwatch or telephone toll-free at 1-800-332-1088.
State Programs in Action: Ohio
School-based sealant programs in Ohio began in 1984, with a single demonstration program in one city. By 2000, 34 of Ohio’s 88 counties had programs. These programs target children who are at high risk for tooth decay and least likely to receive dental care.
As the program has expanded, the statewide percentage of 8-year-olds who have dental sealants has increased steadily, from 11% in 1987–1988, to 30% in 1998–1999, and most recently to 43% in 2007. Although this percentage still falls short of the Healthy People 2010 objective of 50% of the state’s 8-year-olds having sealants, children from all demographic groups in schools with sealant programs have achieved or exceeded the objective.
The Ohio program has shown that school-based programs could potentially reduce or eliminate racial and economic disparities by reaching children at high risk for tooth decay.
For more information and references supporting these facts, please visit www.cdc.gov/nccdphp.
Dental caries (i.e., tooth decay) is an infectious, multifactorial disease afflicting most persons in industrialized countries and some developing countries (1). Fluoride reduces the incidence of dental caries and slows or reverses the progression of existing lesions (i.e., prevents cavities).
Although pit and fissure sealants, meticulous oral hygiene, and appropriate dietary practices contribute to caries prevention and control, the most effective and widely used approaches have included fluoride use. Today, all U.S. residents are exposed to fluoride to some degree, and widespread use of fluoride has been a major factor in the decline in the prevalence and severity of dental caries in the United States and other economically developed countries (1).
Although this decline is a major public health achievement, the burden of disease is still considerable in all age groups. Because many fluoride modalities are effective, inexpensive, readily available, and can be used in both private and public health settings, their use is likely to continue.
Read the CDC Report: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5014a1.htm
Will sealants replace fluoride for cavity protection?
No. Fluorides, such as those used in toothpaste, mouth rinse, and community water supplies also help to prevent decay, but in a different way. Sealants keep germs and food particles out of the grooves by covering them with a safe plastic coating. Sealants and fluorides work together to prevent tooth decay.
- Although dental caries (tooth decay) is largely preventable, it remains the most common chronic disease of children aged 6 to 11 years (25%) and adolescents aged 12 to 19 years (59%). Tooth decay is four times more common than asthma among adolescents aged 14 to 17 years (59% compared with 15%).
- Once established, the disease requires treatment. A cavity only grows larger and more expensive to repair the longer it remains untreated.
- Fewer than 1 in 3 children enrolled in Medicaid received at least one preventive dental service in the past year. Many states provide only emergency dental services to Medicaid-eligible adults.
- Many adults also have untreated tooth decay—28% of those aged 35 to 44 years and 18% of those aged 65 years and older.
Plenty has changed since 2006, the latest year that the uninsured of California was counted by the U.S. Census. But even then, many months before the current recession hit, the percentage of people living without health insurance in our state was startling.
This week, the Sacramento Bee laid out the statistics, finding quite a disparity between those with health insurance and those without. Just in the five-county region The Bee covers, Yolo County posted an uninsured rate of 22 percent of people under 65, while the more prosperous Placer County — with more employment-based coverage — posted a 13.7 percent rate.
That’s quite a disparity, and the article by Phillip Reese and Anna Tong is worth reading. But the Bee doesn’t limit information to its circulation area, it also posts online a comprehensive rundown of each of California’s 58 counties’ uninsured rate, along with an interactive map of the state and rollover charts.
Here’s a sampling of what the authors wrote:
“The uninsured present an immense fiscal and public health challenge: 18,000 Americans die each year because they aren’t covered, according to the Institute of Medicine, a nonprofit research organization. This is because having insurance is closely tied to health outcomes: The uninsured won’t see a doctor regularly, and if they seek care it is likely to be inadequate or too late.
Moreover, the uninsured are a cost for society: One economist recently estimated the tab at $56 billion per year, 75 percent of which is paid by governments. In cash-strapped California, that cost is critical: 6.6 million residents went uninsured in 2007, more than in any other state, according to the California Health care Foundation.”
You can bet that, with massive layoffs and small businesses closing since that Census count, the number of those among us — members of our communities — who are going without health insurance is a great deal larger. Factor in the Governor and Legislature’s cuts in health and insurance programs for lower-income Californians, their children and the elderly, and you get an unimaginable sum of fellow Californians without access to affordable, quality health care — notably, preventative health care, with better outcomes.
This is what the conversation about health care reform boils down to, not pumped-up talking points and hyper-emotive protests based on misinformation. This is not a partisan issue. It is a people issue. And the bottom line is that the majority of Americans have already voted — for substantive change for a better future for our country.
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Insurance companies do their best to ensure that their policyholders understand their plans and benefits, but it is up to an individual to make sure that they are making informed choices. The differences in the various plans you can choose from are:
The type of third party funding the plan.
Methods of selecting a dentist.
Compensation of the dentist’s services to you.
The calculations of benefits and payments.
Understanding these differences will enable you to make an informed decision when selecting a dental plan that is best for you or your family. It will also help you understand the insurance companies really do care about your dental health and want you to be informed of your choices.
Keep in mind the dentist is a reflection of the insurance company. They both are here to help you keep that pretty smile healthy.
Side effects of chewing tobacco are many but since we are talking about your teeth here are the side effects retlaided to just your mouth.
1) Stained teeth
2) Bad breath
3) Sores on the gums and in the mouth that are stubborn to heal
4 ) Some of the effects on dental health are escalated by the sugar that is added to the tobacco during processing to improve the taste.
5) Risk of developing oral cancer
If you can you may wish to rethink chewing even just if as you said it is not every day. I say the risk is not worth taking.
You should brush your teeth at least two times and floss once. Though if you eat something that leaves a film on your teeth you may want to brush after eating.
By doing a search on your question I can fine many people that have the same issue as you but no real answers as to why. So the best I can advise you to do is one of two things. Ask your dentist or your family doctor they should be able to advise you the reason why you have these blisters.
Today’s Health Blog jargon of the day is rescission, the California insurance industry’s practice of revoking individual insurance policies because of health-related mistakes or omissions on the application for coverage.
The companies say this is a key step for fighting fraud, but they’ve come under criticism in California by those who accuse them of going over applications with a fine-tooth comb after members who’ve been enrolled for a while get sick or injured and start submitting claims.
Now it looks like the push-back against rescission may be spreading. Henry Waxman, a Democratic California Congressman, held a hearing on the subject yesterday and said his oversight committee plans to investigate the issue nationally.
“I understand that California insurance companies need to protect themselves from fraud,” Waxman said in his opening statement. But “insurers are using technicalities or trumped-up ‘misrepresentations’ to rescind policies after individuals get sick and accumulate hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills.”
The health insurance industry supports third-party review, established by the states, for rescission decisions, Stephanie Kanwit, special counsel to the trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans, said at yesterday’s hearing.
Kanwit said the practice is very rare. And, she said, collecting accurate information on applicants’ health history is essential for the insurance market to function. “When individuals wait until they are ill before purchasing health insurance, costs are increased for other policyholders who pay into the system on a regular basis,” she said.
Meanwhile, back in California, the industry’s rescission problems are rolling on. The state’s Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield yesterday agreed to pay the state $13 million in fines and to offer new coverage to more than 2,200 Californians the companies dropped after they became ill, the Los Angeles Times reports. As part of the agreement the companies didn’t admit wrongdoing.
And earlier this week, Los Angeles’ city attorney announced a lawsuit against Blue Shield over the rescission issue. The city attorney launched an investigation into the issue earlier this year, and has already filed lawsuits against a few other insurers.
ABC’s liberal medical editor, Dr. Tim Johnson, appeared on Wednesday’s “Good Morning America to boost Barack Obama’s universal health care plan and critique the more market oriented proposals of John McCain. Co-host Robin Roberts began the segment by seriously asserting, “We’re not endorsing one plan over the other. We’re just showing the differences between the two.”
But after she mentioned Obama’s assertion during Tuesday’s presidential debate that health care is a right, Johnson marveled, “But, I’m struck by the language of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Without good health, and that usually means without good health care, it’s hard to have those other rights.” Johnson, despite being a doctor, adopts the standard, liberal positions of most journalists and has a 15 year-plus history of advocating universal health care, including once asking if Republicans who opposed the policy were “immoral.”
Regarding Senator McCain’s idea to give people the opportunity to buy individual plans, even if they don’t have an employer, Johnson criticized, “That’s a difficult thing to do because there are so many different plans marketed.” Accentuating the negative, he added, “So, you’ve got to do a lot of work on your own and read the fine print. It’s a very difficult job for an individual.”
Johnson found no such criticisms for Senator Obama’s proposal. After describing the various health insurance plans the Democrat would offer, he approvingly observed, “But these plans will have been vetted by the government, just like they do for federal employees…But you know they’ve been vetted for basic care and coverage and that the cost is fair.”
Early this morning, the California Legislature approved a budget proposal for fiscal year 2008-2009 that avoided some cuts to health care and other programs, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Democrats widely opposed the proposed cuts (Zapler, San Jose Mercury News, 9/16).
The proposal does not eliminate dental services for adult Medi-Cal beneficiaries or impose new restrictions on Medi-Cal services for undocumented immigrants. Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program (Halper/Rau, Los Angeles Times, 9/16).
Beyond those already introduced by Senate Democrats, the budget agreement does not include cuts to California health care, human services or education programs, according to information Ventura County officials received from the California State Association of Counties (Biasotti, Ventura County Star, 9/16).
Healthy Families, Medi-Cal
The budget retains a provision to increase monthly premiums for Healthy Families, California’s version of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (Los Angeles Times, 9/16).
The proposal would restore most of the 10% cut in Medi-Cal payments to health care providers beginning in March 2009 (Lin, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 9/16). California’s Medicaid reimbursement rates will remain the lowest in the U.S. even after the cuts are restored, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Thousands of California children could lose health insurance coverage in the coming months as a result of changes in Medi-Cal rules and decreased funding for local efforts that have provided coverage to children, the Los Angeles Times reports. Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program.
State lawmakers will require parents of children enrolled in Medi-Cal to renew their enrollment every six months.
The administration of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) projects that the requirement will contribute to a drop in Medi-Cal enrollment over the next two years of about 196,000 children.
State lawmakers also have increased monthly premiums for Healthy Families, California’s version of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, by $2 to $3 per child.
As a result, the state estimates that the parents of 19,000 children no longer will receive coverage through the program by July 2009.
The changes to Medi-Cal and Healthy Families were approved as part of a larger effort to address the state budget deficit.
Beyond changes to Medi-Cal and Healthy Families rules, children also could lose coverage because of funding challenges faced by local initiatives operating in 30 counties. The efforts target children who are ineligible for Medi-Cal or Healthy Families because of income or citizenship requirements.
The initiatives are funded largely by private philanthropies and local First 5 commissions, which disburse funds from a state tobacco tax for early childhood health care and education efforts.
Wendy Lazarus, co-president of the advocacy group Children’s Partnership, estimates that enrollment in the efforts has dropped by 8,000 over the past two years.
Click here for your free California health insurance quote now!
Seeking to salvage two years of efforts to completely remake California’s health insurance system, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic legislators are nearing deals intended to rein in costly, meager medical insurance policies sold directly to individuals.
In the final weeks of the legislative session, they are negotiating measures that would limit insurer profits on California individual insurance plans, require plans to provide a minimum set of benefits and restrict insurers’ ability to cancel policies retroactively.
The new focus reflects how far Schwarzenegger remains from his original healthcare goal: to orchestrate medical insurance for the 5 million Californians who lack it. Despite a year of strenuous campaigning for his vision, which garnered attention nationwide, the state Senate rejected that $14.9-billion plan in January.
Many of the concepts now under discussion were included in that proposal. Although most California insurers supported the governor’s broader effort because it would have created millions of new customers, the industry is uniformly resisting the current push to circumscribe some of its most lucrative products.
Three million Californians buy health insurance on their own rather than through employers. Insurers keep health insurance premiums low — and profits high, their critics say — on some individual policies by limiting the services they cover. Such plans may exclude prescription drugs and maternity services, for example; others may cover only hospital visits.
Many of the policies have big deductibles and require patients to pay large portions of their expenses, costing them much more than coverage obtained at workplaces.
Click here for your free California health insurance quote today!
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