Health Care Enrollment and Wellness Fair

This Saturday, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas is hosting a Health Care Enrollment and Wellness Fair at Fair Park in Dallas. The event will provide free enrollment assistance, healthcare screenings and groceries to all attendees.

Saturday, December 13, 2014 | 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Fair Park – Embarcadero Building| 1229 Admiral Nimitz Circle
Enter Gate 3 off Parry Ave. | Mention the Countdown to Coverage event for FREE PARKING

Registration is free and our free services include:

·      Free health care enrollment assistance
·      Fun family activities
·      Info about the new health care law
·      Free medical screenings and flu shots
·      Free bag of fresh produce
·      Free turkey giveaway (first 150 people)

Call Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas at 866-427-7497 or visit EnrollYouTx.com to learn more.

AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

Walgreen Moves Health Coverage To Private Exchange

Walgreen Co. is joining a growing push from big businesses to shift more responsibility for finding insurance onto their employees as health care costs continue to climb.  The nation’s largest drugstore chain said Wednesday that it will send workers to a private health insurance exchange where they will pick from as many as 25 plans instead of having the company give them two to four options.  Employers normally pay most of the coverage cost, and Walgreen’s contribution toward the benefit won’t change. It said the move will give its workers more choices and help them become better consumers.  “I think the only way to drive down costs in the health care space is to have the consumer buying the health care be knowledgeable and educated and understand what they are buying, “ said Tom Sondergeld, Sr. Director of Health and Well-Being.

Employers have struggled for years with health care costs that climb faster than inflation and consume growing portions of their budgets. More are starting to veer from the decades-old practice of offering workers only a plan or two with benefits the employee might not want.

Walgreen shares hit an all-time high of $55.73 Wednesday before closing up 71 cents at $55.63. Since November 2012, the stock has risen 75 percent.

Taken from the Dallas Morning News

http://www.dallasnews.com/business/headlines/20130918-walgreen-to-have-its-employees-do-the-shopping-for-health-coverage.ece
http://www.dallasnews.com/business/headlines/20130918-walgreen-to-have-its-employees-do-the-shopping-for-health-coverage.ece
Workplace Wellness Programs

The Affordable Care Act creates new incentives to promote employer wellness programs and encourage employers to take more opportunities to support healthier workplaces. Health-contingent wellness programs generally require individuals to meet a specific standard related to their health to obtain a reward, such as programs that provide a reward to employees who don’t use, or decrease their use of, tobacco, and programs that reward employees who achieve a specified level or lower cholesterol. Under final rules that take effect on January 1, 2014, the maximum reward to employers using a health-contingent wellness program will increase from 20 percent to 30 percent of the cost of health coverage. Additionally, the maximum reward for programs designed to prevent or reduce tobacco use will be as much as 50 percent. The final rules also allow for flexibility in the types of wellness programs employers can offer. For more information and to view the final rules, visit www.dol.gov/ebsa.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas awards $100,000 to the American Diabetes Association of North Texas

The $100,000 grant is for the ADA’s Coordinated School Health Approach to Childhood Obesity Prevention and Intervention in multiple Independent School Districts in Texas including: Dallas, Fort Worth, Garland, Palestine, Richardson, and Wichita Falls. It will provide diabetes awareness to 46 schools in Regions 9-11 Service Centers and is a collaboration with Education Service Centers Region 10 through Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas’ Healthy Kids, Healthy Families initiative.

From left to right are: Wally Gomaa, ADA board chairman; Margaret Jarvis, Senior Manager, Media and

Public Relations, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas; Quin Neal, executive director ADA North Texas.

Personal Responsibility Coverage Requirement

Questions & Answers About Health Reform, Diabetes and the Personal Responsibility Coverage Requirement

We wanted to share with you a new PHP advocacy document on the personal responsibility coverage requirement under the ACA.   We had received requests to have a document that explains ADA’s view on the individual mandate and we worked with the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society to produce this. Click this link to view the document:  AHA~Patient Protection~0511 (3)

Click this link for the references: References Patient Protection report

M. Claire Borelli MSPT, MPH
Manager, Health Policy
American Diabetes Association
Tel: (703) 549-1500 (Ext. 1723)

cborelli@diabetes.org

Have you ever heard of health insurance premiums falling?

A government-administered insurance plan for Texans with pre-existing disabilities or illnesses will slash its premiums by 24 percent on July 1.

The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan makes comprehensive health care coverage available to people who have been unable to buy or afford it because they have a medical condition.

The new monthly premium for the plan’s standard option will range from $133 to $426, depending on your age.

Eligibility has also been streamlined. Beginning July 1, you can apply by simply providing a letter from a doctor, physician assistant or nurse practitioner saying you now have or have had a disability, illness or medical condition.

Previously, people had to wait on an insurance company to send them a letter saying they had been denied coverage.

As long as you meet the program’s other rules – that you’re a citizen or legal resident and that you’ve been uninsured for six months – you’ll be able to sign up.

To find out more, visit the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan’s website, at www.pcip.gov, or call 1-866-717-5826. The Texas Consumer Health Assistance Program can also help, at www.texashealthoptions.com or 1-855-839-2427.

By DR. RENARD L. MURRAY/Southwest Regional Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services