It is Important to be Informed about Possible Changes for Health Insurance in 2017

“Your Health Care in 2017:  What You Must Know” an in-depth article that appears in “Parade Magazine”dated December 28, 2016, written by Frank Lalli, provides a detailed account of important points regarding the health insurance industry — before and currently under the Affordable Care Act — including Medicare and Medicaid, and the important changes that could lie ahead in 2017.  

This well-researched article offers a great start for a reader to become informed on this subject which affects all Americans in one regard or another.  

Kasich urged to fight Obamacare repeal | The Columbus Dispatch

Warning that nearly 1 million Ohioans could lose health coverage, advocates for the poor and disabled urged Gov. John Kasich to oppose a plan by congressional Republicans and President-elect Donald Trump to repeal Obamacare unless they have a replacement.

Source: Kasich urged to fight Obamacare repeal | The Columbus Dispatch

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My thoughts:

I received a memo from my congressman, David Joyce, yesterday.  Look to what Paul Ryan is pushing; something entitled “A Better Way”

http://abetterway.speaker.gov/?page=health-care

Now, HSAs, health savings accounts, are not going to be helpful for those who have low incomes or little to no incomes. 

Also, currently mammograms, colonoscopies, and prostate screenings are fully covered under insurance plans; I don’t believe that benefit will continue under their “Better Way” plan.

Also, subsidies that are currently in place; I didn’t see that in their plan. 

There are reports of going back to the state run high risk pools where historically there have not been subsidies.

Ohio never could set up their own high risk pool. Check out the reports on that from 2005 when Ann Womer Benjamin was the Director of the Dept. of Insurance and it was discussed where it was stated in a September 26, 2005 report:

“State Sen. Lynn Wachtmann the goal is not to deal with the “masses of uninsured.”

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/midwest/2005/09/26/60166.htm

There is more to consider beyond the guarantee that a person cannot be rejected for getting health insurance due to having pre-existing health conditions.  What about their monthly premiums?  Will their pre-existing conditions work against them to determine what those monthly premiums will be? 

And, then there are the lifetime caps that insurance plans had in place before the ACA was implemented that were eliminated under the ACA.

Folks need to look at all of the individual benefits currently in place in the ACA (AKA Obamacare — yes they are the same — amazingly some folks still think they are not the same!) and then compare to the provisions stated by Republicans and what they are proposing for their replacement plans.  If you don’t see them mentioned, you can’t be sure that they will be part of their plan.  

Those who depend on ACA plans, and it can be anyone who has a low paying job with no employer-sponsored health insurance, need to understand what the changes mean for them.

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For health and dental insurance help in Ohio, please visit:

“Universal Health Care Action Network of Ohio”

http://uhcanohio.org/

Being called “Deplorable” or “Irredeemable” is one thing –But being deemed to be Uninsurable, that is quite another

During the U.S. Presidential election we just experienced, we read and heard the words “deplorable” and “irredeemable” that were used to try to put certain people who supported a certain candidate into a separate category.    

However, there is another word that comes to mind that we haven’t heard or read about in a while that held a category all of its own that no one would want to be included in if they could help it — “Uninsurable” — meaning not eligible to be insured.  

For reasons such as having sinusitis, consulting for a surgery they did not have, or taking an expensive medication, in other words for having non-life threatening health conditions, people were being denied enrollment in health insurance plans in the private market.  They were left with no choice but to become uninsured.

The reason for putting the term “uninsurable” out to pasture, sort to speak, is that the Affordable Care Act (originally named the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act  which was signed into law on March 23, 2010, and was fully implemented on January 1, 2014 when the marketplace exchanges began) made being an uninsurable person obsolete.  

Healthcare.gov  is in place and offers health insurance plan choices so people no longer have to face being an  Uninsurable Person — a truly deplorable category that was a reality for some people who had pre-existing health conditions that precluded their obtaining any health insurance in the private market.

On the news tonight it was reported that over 20 million people are now enrolled in “Obamacare”  — yes “Obamacare” is the Affordable Care Act!  Believe it or not there are some people who still do not understand that they really are one in the same. 

So, please, lets close out 2016 by not being deplorable!  Lets not stand in the way of those who would become uninsurable otherwise without the ACA being in effect in 2017 and beyond.  

Surely in 21st Century America it shouldn’t have to be that if you lose your job, you could lose your health insurance if you are deemed to be an uninsurable person.

 

 

Tarlov Cyst Disease – Not so Rare After All

Untold numbers of people take opioid medications to control pain, real chronic pain. Yes, it does exist in so many forms. Why else would we call these drugs “Painkillers”?

Chronic physical pain can come from many sources and last a lifetime.

Citing one disease that can cause chronic pain for those who live in the shadows with it — Tarlov Cyst Disease that is symptomatic with pain.  It is a largely misunderstood disease, but one that is progressive and affects in a symptomatic form for so many who are struggling to find relief from pain that it causes unless or until doctors can get a better handle on how to successfully treat this disease that is often referred to in MRI reports as “incidental findings” and left at that for the patient to figure out on their own.

Doctors either tell the patient “they don’t cause pain” or “they rarely cause pain.” In order to determine if they cause pain, the patient can be told that nerve blocks have to be performed to determine if the Tarlov cysts are the reason for their pain. The problem is that “needles in the spine” often worsens a patients pain based on reports from so many who are members in several Tarlov Cyst Facebook Groups in America and in other countries.  They have joined these support groups to learn more about what they are living with and where they can go for meaningful help.

The Tarlov Cyst Facebook Pages have been of great help to me for learning what others are experiencing with this disease and the few, very few, doctors who have operated on Tarlov Cysts to not only bring relief from pain for a symptomatic patient, but just as importantly, to stop the erosive progression of the disease.

I would like to share a link to a foundation that is bringing greater awareness to Tarlov Cyst Disease. I have no connection to this foundation.  I do have Tarlov Cyst Disease, and it is symptomatic with me. 

Thank you. 

http://tarlovcystfoundation.org/about_us0.aspx

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Facebook Groups for Tarlov Cysts:

Tarlov Cyst Disease

Tarlov Cyst Disease Awareness

Life Before and After Tarlov Cyst Surgery

Tarlov Cysters

Tarlov Cyst Support

NE Ohio Tarlov Cyst Family

Tarlov Cyst Disease Education and Awareness Page

Tarlov Cyst Society of Canada Page

Websites:

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Wikipedia – Tarlov Cyst

Tarlov Cyst Disease Foundation

National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) – Tarlov Cysts

Rare Diseases – Tarlov Cysts

Yahoo Results for “Tarlov Images”

The Energy and Commerce Committee 21st Century Cures