Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Making health reform work at the local level

In anticipation of federal health-insurance reforms that will fall partly on the states to enact, Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler is convening a "realization committee" to gather ideas and input for implementing the federal reforms.

Staring in November 2009, the 15- to 20-person committee will solicit recommendations from opinion and community leaders across the state.

For more details on the group, click here.

The group is similar in scope and objective to Kreidler's "local leadership councils," which tapped more than 120 civic-, business-, community and health care leaders for their thoughts on health care reforms. They looked at five state legislative proposals (including one from Kreidler). I'm trying to get a copy of the recommendations; will post more on that later.

Insurance news: toddler denied insurance for being too small, the public option lives on, and credit scoring in TX

The Huffington Post picks up another strange denial out of Colorado. Parents of small children watch out:

The parents of a two-year-old girl in Colorado are unable to attain health insurance for their daughter because the insurer, United Healthcare Golden Rule, claims she is too small. In a letter sent to the family of the child, Aislin Bates, United Healthcare Golden Rule writes, "we are unable to provide coverage for Aislin because her height and weight do not meet our company standards."
And just when you thought it was dead, the public option lives on thanks to independents and senior citizens. According to the Washington Post, a new poll shows a clear majority of Americans now support creating a government operated health plan to compete with private insurers:

On the issue that has been perhaps the most pronounced flash point in the national debate, 57 percent of all Americans now favor a public insurance option, while 40 percent oppose it. Support has risen since mid-August, when a bare majority, 52 percent, said they favored it. (In a June Post-ABC poll, support was 62 percent.)
A news analysis of the impact of credit scoring on minorites comes out of Texas:

A Dallas Morning News analysis of rates that major insurers filed with the Texas Department of Insurance indicates that drivers and homeowners in the northern
part of the state with poor credit ratings pay on average at least 35 percent more for insurance than people with good credit, even when other factors, such as driving records and recent damage claims on homes, are the same.

Read the full story here.