by Chris Huckins Google+ Email 


Articles tagged with: los angeles health insurance

26 July 2013

Obamacare Covers All Preexisting Conditions, Even the Bubonic Plague

Posted in Latest News

Obamacare Covers All Preexisting Conditions, Even the Bubonic Plague

    Even if you carry the bubonic plague, which killed nearly 200 million Europeans in the 1300s, no health insurance company can deny, drop, or charge you more for coverage thanks to Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act).  Have any preexisting condition? The law says you can't be turned away by an insurer starting January 1st, 2014. Now the trick is to not get sick until then: easier said than done considering a Los Angeles squirrel tested positive for one of the deadliest viruses in human history this week.

    It's prime time for picnics and some reckless rodent had to ruin it for the rest of us. After a summer of surviving forest fires, a squirrel in the Angeles National Forest sadly succumbed to the human plague virus, trapped on July 16th, tested, and most likely sent back in time to the Middle Ages. No humans are infected so far.

    The Los Angeles County Department of Health summoned all hands on deck, including any inspector currently taping letters of the alphabet on food tricks to shut down the surrounding campgrounds: Broken Blade, Twisted Arrow, and Pima Loops. They may remain closed for at least a week.

    Until reopening, inspectors will dust for infected fleas in squirrel's burrows (without permits of course) and test other animals for infection. Fleas are often the carriers of the bubonic plague and spread the disease from biting host animals. The virus can be killed from sunlight, which is abundant in southern California, but can remain airborne and deadly for up to an hour. What else lasts up to an hour and can kill (of boredom)? Filling out what preexisting conditions you have when applying for health insurance. Starting next year, the process will be more streamlined. Only age, income, and location will affect your insurance prices. In California, smoking status is not a factor.

    The Los Angeles Health Department isn't looking for a repeat of what happened in neighboring states last summer. In June of 2012, an Oregonian welder rescued his choking cat from a mouse stuck in the feline's throat. While removing the rodent, he was bitten and contracted the bubonic plague. His cat died, as did the mouse. Fortunately the man survived, albeit with blacked fingertips and toes, which had to be amputated. In August of the same year, a Colorado girl buried a dead squirrel and was bitten by infected fleas while doing so. She survived the plague after 2 weeks of heavy antibiotics.

    Want to be protected from the Black Death? Two things you'll need: bug spray and health insurance. Get covered in Los Angeles before unwanted hosts of seemingly anachronistic viruses crash your picnic today.


22 July 2013

Will Ferrell's Funny or Die and Oprah Sell Obamacare

Posted in Latest News

    You've seen their movies, tv shows, and/or web series. Now watch celebrities satirize, advertise, and dramatize Obamacare. It's summer and outreach for the healthcare reform law has already began and thanks to some leaks from a White House official, the education campaign will get a lot more entertaining.

    Your friendly, neighborhood Funny or Die creators out of Los Angeles have allegedly started projects to promote Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) on behalf of the White House, just a few months before major healthcare changes begin. Funny or Die, a youtube-like spawn from the mind of Will Ferrell boasted over 70 million views on its first video and is home to many more projects from A-Z list comedians, directors, and actors.

    Celebrities from both sides of the alphabet, from Jennifer Aniston to Zach Galifianakis have appeared in countless videos since 2007, some to promote a political movement. A Jack Black and Neil Patrick Harris musical parodying Proposition 8, which briefly banned gay marriage in California (the prop., not the musical), already has over 7 million views.

    It's worth noting that according to their About section, Funny or Die also has nine around-the-clock lobbyists in Washington with 6 attack helicopters at their disposal. Who in Hollywood has a larger lobbying armada and also outreaches for Obamacare? Oprah Winfrey.

    The Queen of Talk, soon to be usurped by Kris Jenner, actively supported the president during his first presidential campaign but has recently left the spotlight and her daytime talk show, for more intimate interviews with celebrities and to run her new cable network, OWN. While Funny or Die met with White House officials recently, Oprah sent a representative to outline her Obamacare education message for her millions of built-in fans over the summer. As a household name, Oprah Winfrey's stamp of approval may be the deciding factor for many moms who are on the fence about Obamacare.

    Beginning October 1st, marketplaces (in California, known as Covered California) will offer new, affordable health insurance plans for individuals and families whose income is middle to low (100%-400% Federal Poverty Level) and whose employers do not offer affordable health insurance. When buying a new plan, subsidies (tax credits) will help slash the prices for insurance, making it easier for millions of Americans to afford. Months ago, Covered California briefly outlined some ideas to promote Obamacare, separate from Will Ferrell and Oprah. Stay tuned to see which fancy name does it better: thespians or health insurance aficionados.

02 July 2013

Los Angeles Schools Paid to Teach Kids Obamacare

Posted in Covered California

Los Angeles Schools Paid to Teach Kids Obamacare

    Yes, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) will use $900,000 to recruit Obamacare soldiers to sell insurance to their parents. That's how the news is being spun today. Way back in March, Covered California, our state's health Exchange, divvied up $43 million federal dollars to organizations who best outlined their Obamacare education strategies. The goal: to promote the healthcare reform law so the most people sign up for affordable health insurance in 2014. It wasn't until recently, when conservative shock jock and Obamacare opponent, Rush Limbaugh name-dropped Covered California that Angelenos took a closer look at where the money went.

    Just this week Rush called out Covered California for awarding LAUSD nearly a million dollars to train teenagers to school parents on the Affordable Care Act. He referred to Covered California's website, where each grantee briefly described how the award money would be spent. Check out LAUSD's synopsis below, which is all the information we have to go by so far:

    Assuming this outreach begins when school resumes this fall is all we can do at the moment. No adult in his right mind would imagine teens lining up for Obama's Summer School, after all.  Next year,  teenage messengers may be force-fed healthcare reform during school hours or sign up for after school programs by their own free will: who knows? Will some students be shocked to see Obamacare 101 on next year's schedule? Will practice health insurance applications replace homework? It's just too early to say. So why react when we lack the syllabi?

    Extracurricular activities that empower kids might actually achieve Covered California's goal. Students may find out that their families qualify for subsidies (tax credits) to lower the cost for health insurance if they buy plans offered by Covered California. Did you know if your income is roughly between $11,000 and $43,000 you could get assistance paying for your coverage? Your tax dollars may very well be teaching others how to save money on health insurance next year. Don't you want to copy their homework so you can save too?

21 June 2013

Counting on Young Invincibles: A Gamble for Obamacare

Posted in Latest News

Counting on Young Invincibles: A Gamble for Obamacare

  Los Angeles weathermen predicting the first day of summer would be sunny is childsplay compared to the daunting duty of Obamacare officials forecasting how many young invincibles will enroll in health insurance by October 1st, 2013.

    The health reform law also known as the Affordable Care Act depends on younger people signing up for coverage to offset the high cost to take care of older, sicker ones. If everyone plays nicely, Obamacare will succeed and in turn so will most Americans, who will benefit from lower insurance prices and better care. Now for some charts to understand how risky the government is playing.

   A Kaiser Family Foundation poll this June shows what makes young invincibles tick. 77% of 18-25-year olds believes having health insurance is important but nearly the same percentage gripes about the high costs: a fair complaint. But how many know the benefits to Obamacare?

    Since 2010, new benefits to Obamacare, such as the option for kids (and young invincibles) up to age 26 to stay on their parents' health insurance plan have helped over 425,000 in California maintain coverage. There's even good news after you turn 26, so don't feel bad about your age.

    Department of Education statistics from 2010 show the average income for age 25-34 meets the standard to receive subsidies. For individuals roughly earning $11,000 to $43,000 a year, tax credits aka subsidies will help pay for coverage if you purchase new plans offered by Covered California, the state's Exchange.

    Over the summer, Covered California grant awardees: healthcare providers, religious organizations, universities will reach out to young invincibles to showcase the benefits to having coverage. Just in case you think you're immune from the outreach, check to see if you fall into the 45% of Americans who knew nothing about Exchanges prior to today's article. And speaking of which, thanks for reading! And you thought you avoided summer school.

To see if you qualify for subsidies to lower your health insurance cost, call us at 818.251.5000!

20 June 2013

Covered California Is Choosing Wisely To Save on Healthcare

Posted in Latest News

Covered California Is Choosing Wisely To Save on Healthcare

    Have the common cold? Get antibiotics! Get minor headaches from Los Angeles traffic? Time for a CT scan! Tiny pains in your rear? Pay $1100 for a colonoscopy! If this sounds like your doctor's recommendations, then Obamacare has something to say about it: choose wisely.

    To put things into perspective, Covered California, the federally-funded organization that will offer new health insurance plans beginning October 1st, 2013 announced its partnership with Choosing Wisely, under the guidance of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM). Their goal? To educate Californian physicians and patients on how to receive better, more effective care without overspending. This outreach aims to keep healthcare spending low: the vision of Obamacare (Affordable Care Act).

    What must we choose wisely as the name suggests? Morpheus from the Matrix has the idea: the blue pill or the red pill (or Choosing Wisely which treatment to buy). An ABIM survey concluded 30% of American healthcare costs are due to waste, duplicated tests that offer no added benefits, and unnecessary treatments that cost more than they're worth. Since December of 2012, Choosing Wisely has discussed this out-out-control spending with 20 million consumers and 725,000 physicians across the country. Or have you not been reading your emails and handouts. In turn, 72% of readers have changed their opinions on which treatments to buy and 82% opened new dialogue with their doctors to spend their dollars more wisely.

    What highlights did the ABIM and Choosing Wisely find in their study on frivolous and often expensive treatments? Colds don't always need antibiotics. In fact, the more you take, the more you encourage growth of bacteria and antibiotic-resistant infections. Ask for other options first. Instead of receiving random allergy tests that cost up to $300, try over-the-counter drugs that your doctor recommends. For minor head injuries, rather than accept CT scans that increase future cancer risks, ask first for a clinical observation. These are just a few recommendations on their website.

    To know a little bit about more about Choosing Wisely, it's recently been funded by the US's largest philanthropist, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (As in the Johnson & Johnson family's RWJ) that specializes in healthcare education. For 28 months, RWJF will provide $2.8 million to increase awareness of overspending. Gotta spend money to save money, I suppose! That makes me want to cry happy tears, but thanks to No More Tears shampoo, I'm coming up dry.   

    To learn more about Covered California and Obamacare, continue reading our blogs. To learn more about health insurance or for a free quote, click below or call 818.251.5000!