Why your health insurance premium went up

Insurance carriers increase their rates once a year, usually on January 1. Over the past five years, premiums have increased an average of 11% annually, nationwide. We've done our best to keep the rates for our health plans as low as possible, which means that our average is less...


Health insurance questions answered

Here's a new recommendation for a resource: Health Insurance 411 is a Q&A blog, where proprietor Bob Vineyard offers advice and expertise to readers. The result is a useful compendium of info that's worth checking out--and of course, you can write in with your own question and...


Mass. health care model to spread?

Today's Boston Globe highlights the recent interest other states have shown in Massachusetts's new health plan. For those who aren't familiar with the proposal, in 2007 the state will require all residents to have health coverage, whether through an employer, by qualifying for Medicaid, or by purchasing...


Results from the Citizens' Health Care Working Group

''Employer-based coverage is melting away like a Popsicle on the sidewalk in August."
-Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)

Senators Wyden and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) have a proposal for universal health coverage by 2012. The new plan would eventually detach health insurance entirely from the employer-employee relationship. Ultimately, employers would pay into...


High premiums, middle incomes, and low rates of insurance

56% of Americans who can't afford health insurance make too much for public programs, according to a new report from Health Affairs (via Kaiser Network). This is the forgotten middle class. The study doesn't track specifically how many of these people are independent workers, but we'd bet...


Consumer-directed health plans, HSAs, and catastrophic coverage

"Consumer-directed" is the buzzword in health coverage these days, but most people probably couldn't tell you what, exactly, it means. What does it have to do with catastrophic plans? And is an HSA the same thing as an MSA (or even as FSA)? Today, the New York Times has...


Who needs more life insurance than a mob boss?

Mike Brady, Architect vs. Tony Soprano, Mafioso

When Americans were surveyed about which TV dads need the most life insurance, Tony Soprano came out way ahead of Mike Brady. But, according to Marshall Loeb's MarketWatch column, that's based on an erroneous assumption. How much life insurance you need really has nothing to do with...


Health Care System Unlikely to Change?

According to the Christian Science Monitor, no matter who controls Congress after the midterm elections, it looks like the healthcare system won't change much. The Kaiser Network sums up the Monitor's piece succinctly: most Americans don't trust the government to administer a national system, and business interests...


National Payroll Week: workers want health benefits


The American Payroll Association released the results of a new survey: 54% of Americans would rather have health benefits than a raise. (Via InsureBlog.)


Most Americans lack health literacy

According to a new report from U.S. Department of Education, only 12% of Americans have a "proficient" level of health literacy. Dr. R. Craig Lefebvre writes about the findings on his blog, On Social Marketing and Social Change.

These results are particularly disturbing, because health literacy is lower among...