Do we need health insurance to get health care?

Within the Pennsylvania General Assembly, there are members who seem to think health insurance is unnecessary.  "We're concerned about improving access to health care," they say.  "Getting everyone insured is unnecessary." 

Health savings accounts & high deductible health plans analyzed

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) have received a lot of attention in recent years from policymakers trying to make health care more affordable.

HSAs provide a generous tax incentive for people who save money for medical costs.  The reason for creating this incentive is to give consumers a financial stake in the medical services they purchase.  By making consumers more cost-conscious, it is hoped the medical marketplace will become more price-sensitive and systemwide costs will moderate.

IRS report focuses on business practices of tax-exempt hospitals

A recent report from the Internal Revenue Service includes disturbing findings about nonprofit hospitals.

Over half (58 percent) reported spending 5 percent or less of their revenues on activities that provided general "community benefit".  Most of the community benefit (60 percent) was contributed by only 9 percent of the nonprofit hospitals.

Stimulus law will help laid-off workers afford health insurance

If you have been laid off by an employer with a health plan, you probably know about COBRA.  It is the federal law that gives you the option of staying on that health plan so long as you pay the premium.

Problem is, most laid-off workers can not afford the premium, which for family coverage often exceeds $1,000 a month.

The stimulus bill signed by President Barack Obama includes $25 billion to help unemployed workers afford those health insurance premiums.  The money goes to pay 60 percent of the premium for up to nine months.

Health care included in federal stimulus bill

The final version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the so-called Stimulus Bill) includes important provisions related to health care. Here is a summary of key provisions.