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By CARRIE MASON-DRAFFEN and CARRIE MASON-DRAFFEN,NEWSDAY | March 8, 2006
I work for a company with about 100 employees. Health insurance is a contentious issue because of the high costs and few options. The company offers two plans, which cost the same. (One bills $200 per employee weekly, the other $800 a month.) The company pays one-third of the amount, and we pay the rest. I pay the equivalent of one-quarter of my take-home pay under either plan. Do we, as employees, have any rights here, or are we stuck with the high cost of health care? When you begin with the fact that employers don't have to offer health insurance, it's easy to understand that they have a wide latitude in choosing what to offer and how much to charge you for it. "There is no requirement that the contributions required from employees be reasonable or affordable," said New York employment attorney Richard Kass.
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NEWS
August 25, 2012
Here are some questions regarding your recent article about the Maryland Health Connection ("Maryland gets federal health grant," Aug. 24): Maryland has now received $157.4 million from the federal government, but how much has Maryland spent of its own money? What is the annual budget? Rebecca Pearce is the executive director of the state's health exchange, but how employees does it have, what is the annual cost in salary and benefits and what is the cost of facilities and utilities?
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NEWS
By Jill Zuckman and Jill Zuckman,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | May 11, 2004
EDINBORO, Pa. - Promising to lower the cost of health care, Sen. John Kerry embarked on a weeklong effort to chastise President Bush for presiding over a "broken" health care system, with rising premiums and deductibles and more people living without health insurance. "Today, regular checkups are emptying family checkbooks," Kerry told Edinboro University nursing students. "Waiting for a doctor's bill is causing as much anxiety as waiting for a diagnosis." He accused the Bush administration of being "oblivious" to the personal pain of people struggling to cope with the bureaucracy and expense of health insurance.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker | July 25, 2012
Seniors in Maryland have saved $56.5 million on prescription drug costs because of a provision under health care reform that has eased the Medicare donut hole, new government data has found. The savings were achieved with rebates and discounts to ease the burden of the donut hole, when patients reach certain limits that require them to pay 100 percent of their prescription drug costs. The $56.5 million in savings has occurred since health reform was adopted, according to The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
NEWS
By Michael K. Burns | December 5, 1991
The cost of health insurance for Marylanders has tripled over the past nine years, growing at a rate equal to the national average despite a much-praised regulatory system to hold down hospital rates.That was the charge in a report released yesterday by a hospital workers union that is negotiating new contracts with five area hospitals, with health insurance costs for its members a major issue.District 1199E-DC, Service Employees International Union, also announced that it has reached tentative agreement on new three-year contracts with three hospitals covering some 2,150 workers.
NEWS
By Tom Bowman and Tom Bowman,Staff Writer | May 5, 1993
Charging that Maryland's health care reform law could inconvenience patients and hurt the state's business climate, a national conservative group yesterday cited the 16 legislators who had the "courage" to vote against it."There are many problems with today's health care system, and they should be addressed," said Donald Devine, director of the American Conservative Union, a nonprofit lobbying group. "But they only will be made worse with controls such as those enacted in Maryland this year."
NEWS
November 18, 1990
Contract proposals unveiled by the Carroll County Education Association last week called for substantial increases in teacher salaries."We feel that inflation and insurance costs have adversely affected this group," said Harold Fox, chief negotiator for CCEA, which represents about 1,250 teachers in the Carroll school system.Fox, though, said CCEA wasn't prepared to propose a specific amount because a number of factors, including insurance costs, have to be studied.The rising cost of health care insurance is a concern to both the Board of Education and the various associations representing school workers, who include maintenance and custodial workers, cafeteria workers and teachers.
BUSINESS
By M. William Salganik and M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF | May 27, 2000
The cost of health insurance for small employers rose more than 10 percent in Maryland last year -- the largest increase since the state began regulating small-group policies in 1995, according to an annual study by the Maryland Health Care Commission. To keep the policies affordable, regulators "may have to make hard tradeoffs between benefits and costs," John Colmers, executive director of the commission, said yesterday. Among other regulatory duties, the commission oversees small-group health insurance in the state.
BUSINESS
By David Conn and David Conn,Annapolis Bureau | February 13, 1992
ANNAPOLIS -- With little passion, supporters and opponents of a plan to create an employer "play-or-pay" health care system in Maryland ran through their arguments yesterday before a House committee.The plan is the second of three the House Economic Matters Committee is weighing this year to address the high cost of health care and the large number of uninsured people in Maryland.But the lack of zeal the combatants displayed for their task yesterday was partly a reflection of their pessimism about the bill's chances for survival this year.
NEWS
By S. Mitra Kalita and S. Mitra Kalita,SUN STAFF | June 30, 1996
In an effort to improve county health services, Anne Arundel County health care providers are sending surveys to 2,200 county residents, soliciting their opinions on health care issues.Launched as part of the Atlantic Health Alliance, the project aims to address unmet health care needs. The county's Healthier Communities Coalition is overseeing administration of the survey Anne Arundel.The nine-hospital alliance -- which includes North Arundel Hospital and Anne Arundel Medical Center -- is mailing 10,000 surveys at random to households in the greater Baltimore area.
NEWS
By Gene Ransom | February 9, 2012
At a time when physicians and policymakers alike are being asked to reduce health care costs without sacrificing quality care, it's crucial that we unleash the enormous potential for savings that could come from exciting new advances in health information technology. There's no better example of the revolution under way in medical care than electronic medical records and electronic prescribing systems, which not only allow doctors to generate prescriptions and orders electronically and transmit them directly, but provide instant access to drug reference information and a patient's complete medical history.
NEWS
January 4, 2010
E veryone makes mistakes. Despite their best efforts, doctors, hospitals and other health care providers make their share. So do government bureaucrats. But there's a big difference between an error and a deliberate act of fraud. Those who knowingly and deceptively create a false medical claim in order to bilk the government out of large sums of money deserve no sympathy whatsoever. That's why one of the bigger errors made by members of the Maryland General Assembly last year was to reject a bill that would have helped the state crack down on Medicaid fraud.
NEWS
October 9, 2009
Harris offers wrong fix for health system Dr. Andy Harris has made a misdiagnosis of the underlying problem in U.S. health care, and his suggestions for treatment are off ("Reform, not overreach," Oct. 6). He's shared a misconception that competition among insurers would bring down the cost of health care insurance. That was the original concept before the industry went to a for-profit model. Since that time, the annual cost of care for individuals and families has risen steadily. The 2009 Kaiser Family Foundation's annual survey of health benefits notes that despite these hard economic times and the focus on health insurance costs, the average annual premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance are $4,824 for single coverage and $13,375 for family coverage - a 5 percent increase from last year alone.
NEWS
By Thomas A. LaVeist and Darrell J. Gaskin | September 28, 2009
The health-care reform bills making their way through Congress have focused on improving access to care for millions of uninsured Americans while slowing rapidly rising health-care costs. But there is another side to the health-care crisis that has been mostly neglected. A study that we performed for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a Washington-based think tank, found that, between 2003 and 2006, 30.6 percent of medical care expenditures for African-Americans, Asians and Hispanics were excess costs that were the result of inequities in the health of these groups.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,larry.carson@baltsun.com | June 28, 2009
Brian England was still so excited the morning after spending a Wednesday evening in the White House, shaking hands and speaking to President Barack Obama, that he had trouble remembering his own age. The long-established Columbia businessman finally settled on 63, as he related the details of his and his wife Jennifer's adventure as two of 164 people invited to a televised town hall meeting on health care reform organized by ABC news. "She was extremely nervous," England said about his wife, but he said after spending hours, first waiting in the hot sun to enter, enduring the security screening, and finally for the show to begin, "the adrenaline wore off and you just feel numb."
BUSINESS
By Hanah Cho and Hanah Cho,hanah.cho@baltsun.com | August 26, 2008
Adrienne Summers left a job this month to focus on running her floral shop full time in Frederick County. But the decision meant losing health insurance for her and her two children. Seeking affordable options, Summers stumbled onto an attractive offer: A new state program that would help provide coverage for employees and their families at small businesses, like hers, that don't provide insurance. Under the Health Insurance Partnership, a business that has fewer than nine full-time employees with an average wage below $50,000 is eligible for subsidies to cover up to 50 percent of premiums.
BUSINESS
By M. William Salganik and M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF | May 20, 2005
The cost of health insurance for small employers broke through the state's affordability cap last year, triggering a process that will lead to reduced benefits or higher out-of-pocket charges for the 450,000 Marylanders covered by the policies. The Maryland Health Care Commission, which received the data yesterday, will conduct public hearings and receive actuarial reports before deciding, probably in November, how to adjust coverage. Changes would go into effect in July 2006. This is the first time that the cost of health coverage per worker - $4,335 - has topped the affordability guideline, which is 10 percent of the average wage, or $4,258 last year.
NEWS
By THOMAS DiLORENZO | May 25, 1993
The Maryland state legislature has stolen the Clintons' health-care thunder by enacting a new law that creates a more bureaucratically planned health- insurance industry. The new law provides for price controls, mandated benefits and bureaucratic micro management by a new ''Health Care Access and Cost Commission'' and is widely touted as a model of ''managed competition,'' the theme of the Clinton administration's health-care reform package.The law focuses on small businesses, since that is where there are supposedly thousands of uninsured or underinsured workers.
NEWS
By Peter J. Pitts | June 24, 2007
As its costs continue to spiral upward, most people now agree that America's health care system is broken. And as the race for the White House heats up, politicians on both sides of the aisle are clamoring to propose ideas that rein in health spending. Unfortunately, the policies offered thus far are misguided. As counterintuitive as it may sound, the answer to America's health care woes won't be found by harping over the price of care. Consider prescription drugs. Americans now take more drugs - and spend more on them - than ever before.
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