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By Darrell J. Gaskin | October 20, 2013
Recently, the Maryland Health Connection - the online health insurance marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act - announced premiums as low as $114 a month for a bronze plan for a 20 year old and $260 for a silver plan for a 50- year old. Other state exchanges are announcing similarly low premiums. These affordable premiums in the individual market for health insurance by state health exchanges are tributes to the scholarly work four decades ago of George Akerloff. Mr. Akerloff is a Nobel laureate economist who published a seminal paper, "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism" in The Quarterly Journal of Economics in August 1970.
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NEWS
By Justin George, The Baltimore Sun | August 12, 2013
A company that insures bail bonds is suing Maryland's District Court for being too lenient on its own industry. What gives? Lexington National Insurance Corp. says the playing field on which it's competing with rival companies is not level. The Cockeysville company alleges in a lawsuit filed last month that the state courts have thrown away as much as $3 million by defying state law and not making competitors pay up when defendants jump bail or miss their court dates. Lexington National says in its lawsuit that the practice puts them "at a distinct competitive disadvantage" with noncompliant insurance companies because it regularly pays forfeited bail bond bills, as required by a 2011 law. Representatives for the District Court and Chief Clerk Roberta L. Warnken, who is listed as a co-defendant, declined to comment on the lawsuit.
NEWS
October 27, 2013
Obamacare's penalty/tax from individuals and businesses who do no purchase health insurance should not go to the government to spend, instead it should go to the insurance companies involved, proportionately, to help offset future rate increases. This might also forestall the coming of universal single payer health insurance. Ed Kafes, Baltimore
NEWS
February 14, 2012
Over the last few days, it has been interesting and almost comical to watch President Barack Obama handle the growing opposition regarding the decision of his administration to mandate coverage of contraceptives in the national health care reform benefit package. The president has "compromised" by saying that these insurance plans will no longer be required to cover contraceptives. However, the insurance companies will be required to provide these products to the benefit plan members at no charge (including co-pays or co-insurance)
NEWS
February 5, 2011
Republicans in Congress are wasting time and energy in dismantling President Obama's accomplishments of the past two years. Instead of getting their hollow heads together and draft a plan to create more jobs, they are just trying to destroy what is already done. That's called "self-annihilation. " We, the American people, are watching. I'm a senior citizen. As such, I completely oppose the Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The act provides seniors with the freedom to get the care we need, including preventive care, lower cost prescription drugs, and Medicare that we can count on. The act frees Americans from the fear of insurance companies raising premiums by double digits with no recourse or accountability.
NEWS
July 20, 2012
In his recent op-ed, Professor James Burdick of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine writes that the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the ACA was a step toward universal care for all ("Universal care on the horizon," July 13). However, I find this assertion ironic because we are now further entrenched in a market system that does not embrace the idea of health care as a right. Dr. Burdick claims the inevitability of universal care, stating that partisan arguments will have to subside and that ultimately, the ACA reduces costs through cutting over-utilization.
NEWS
March 13, 2012
Regarding Susan Reimer 's column on contraceptives and politics ("Women will remember in November," March 12), I'm sad to say but yes, women will remember. Even more sad is that the women have reacted to a disguised cause. Women's health is not the real issue here. Why did President Barack Obama choose to proclaim 100 percent coverage for just women's contraceptive? Why did he insist that the Catholic Church cover women's contraceptives in their affiliated institutions? Why not cover all women's medications at a rate of 100 percent?
NEWS
August 18, 2011
Susan Reimer highlights several positive steps that insurance companies are taking (with a nudge from the federal government) to enhance the physical and emotional well-being of women in this country ("Big step forward for women's health," Aug. 15). Included among the preventative care measures is a mandate that counseling for domestic violence victims be provided without a co-pay or deductible. Yet while this provision is to be applauded, it does not ensure that similar services are available for male victims of domestic violence.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann, The Baltimore Sun | February 24, 2011
The alleged extortion scheme outlined by federal prosecutors this week seemed to benefit both auto accident victims, who avoided paying towing fees and insurance deductibles, and Baltimore police officers, who got kickbacks for making referrals to a car repair shop. But insurance industry representatives warn that the money accident victims saved on the front end of this arrangement will be made up later with higher premiums. Inflated towing and storage fees are the second-most common type of fraudulent claim, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
NEWS
By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun | April 17, 2012
A seventh Baltimore police officer was sentenced Tuesday for his involvement in a towing kickback scheme, prosecutors said. Jhonn Corona, 33, of Rosedale, was given 2.5 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for directing cars from auto accidents to a particular towing company, Majestic, whose owners were paying police officers for each referral, according to a statement Tuesday from the Maryland U.S. Attorney's Office....
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