The Rising Price of Health Insurance in the US and How…

first_img Florida gas prices jump 12 cents; most expensive since 2014 TAGSHealth Insurance Previous articleAn Apopka Christmas Tale: How Love saved a senior exercise classNext articleEmbrace technology this Christmas Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter UF/IFAS in Apopka will temporarily house District staff; saves almost $400,000 You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here December 18, 2017 at 10:13 pm 2 COMMENTS Gov. DeSantis says new moment-of-silence law in public schools protects religious freedom Please enter your comment! Reply The VOICE of HealthThere seems to be no end to rising healthcare costs in the US, even as 2018 approaches. Currently, employees with employer-sponsored health insurance are dealing with deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses at a higher rate than wage increases. Time Magazine reports that those with individual health plans are now facing deductibles of at least $1,000. The average deductible for single coverage has increased by 63 percent since 2011, versus salary hikes that only grew by 11 percent. Annual premiums for single coverage, meanwhile, were $6,435 in 2016.It is predicted that in the coming year the cost of healthcare plans will continue to rise. Here in Florida, the Office of Insurance Regulation projects an average hike of 45 percent on monthly insurance premiums. As of now, around 1 million people in the state received a cost-sharing reduction, while another 1.33 million have a separate subsidy that reduced their monthly rates.This is still in line with what The Apopka Voice mentioned in 2016 about federal subsidies for 90 percent of Floridians covered in the individual market. With the predicted increase, most people with the subsidy won’t feel the difference. However, the bulk of the rate hikes will affect 7 percent of the state’s population, as well as those who earn too much to qualify for any financial aid to lower coverage costs.Several reasons contribute to the soaring health care expenses. The main driver is the increase in the price of health services. The past decade has seen technological advances in medical care as well as a healthy variety of services offered.Another reason is that health expenditures are now concentrated on specific conditions, with diabetes and low back and neck pain having the highest spending. The cost of pharmaceutical drugs is a major factor as well, and it has risen in recent years. It is seen as a regulatory problem, especially since the FDA drug approval process makes pharmaceuticals more expensive than they should be.Though there are people who delay the needed health care or abandon treatment entirely for fear of the expenses, there may be better steps to offset the increasing costs. First off, to avoid receiving surprise balance bills, it would be helpful to request a cost estimate from the health provider before receiving medical care. Also, some health care providers offer cash discounts for those with high deductible health plans. Consumers may take advantage of these discounts because they can be significantly less than what they have to pay using insurance.As for health insurance, it’s important to choose a company that has flexible financing options and the capacity to adapt to the patient’s ability to pay. Health IQ suggests finding an insurer that gives value-based policies, where the consumer not only benefits from a financial aspect but the policy takes into account your overall health as well. For instance, a health insurer may lower their premiums if the client makes an effort to improve current health conditions. These seemingly simple details can make a huge difference in the grand scheme of annual healthcare expenditures.The best solution to counter these health costs is still to prevent the need entirely. With these sky-high expenses, it’s now incredibly vital for people in the US to stay healthy and take active measures to improve their physical well-being.center_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply Mama Mia Here is my suggestion for the rising price of health care in the US, and how to counter it….vote those despicable members of Congress that want to do away with the ACA out of office, and those same members who want to do away with the health care for children, those same members who are giving huge tax cuts to the ultra wealthy, at the expense of the remaining people in this country, who aren’t in the 1% of the top wealth level, and next is to vote against Trump, and send him back to his golf resort for good, and pay special attention to how all these Congress people vote, no matter what party they belong to….!!! December 18, 2017 at 10:21 pm I have called before procedures to make sure they were covered, and in network, and that the procedure codes were listed and covered, and then find out later when the bill arrives, that we got charged out of network costs! Reply Please enter your name here Mama Mia Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.last_img read more

Southern labor hosts assembly: ‘Build a workers’ alliance!’

first_imgCharlotte, N.C. — Over 300 Southern workers, trade unionists and community allies gathered for the Southern Workers Assembly on Sept. 3, Labor Day, the opening day of the Democratic National Convention. The Wedgewood Baptist Church was packed and supporters had to stand beside the pews. There was a feeling in the air that Southern labor was uniting to forge a historic new direction, towards rank-and-file-led social justice trade unionism, particularly to challenge right-to-work (for less) laws and combat racism.“Southern workers cannot wait for the Democratic Party and certainly not the Republican Party, to enact some progressive labor laws before we can begin a serious effort to organize ourselves into a labor movement,” stated Saladin Muhammad, director of the United Electrical Workers Union’s Southern International Worker Justice Campaign, in his opening remarks. “Unfortunately, this has been a serious error on the part of the U.S. labor movement for too many years.”Donna Dewitt, retired former president of the South Carolina AFL-CIO, also helped co-host the meeting and added some remarks.The Democratic National Convention was being held in North Carolina, the least unionized state in the country, and one of only two states that outright denies public workers the right to collectively bargain. Many in the union movement, particularly those from northern and more unionized states, have been saying that the convention should have never been held in a right-to-work state. In return, labor did not invest the millions of dollars of funds that they typically make available for the DNC. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the AFL-CIO organized a major counter rally in Philadelphia in August, yet there was little to no discussion about a strategy to unionize the vastly unorganized Southern region.Ashaki Binta, who organizes public workers with the United Electrical Workers union in North Carolina, and Justin Flores, organizer with the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, gave opening presentations. They focused on four main obstacles that work to impede the struggle against racism, sexism and working-class exploitation in the South and that also severely inhibit the growth of unions: 1) the Taft-Hartley Act, which directly undermines the growth and consolidation of unions, 2) the fact of the U.S. South being the number one region in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), 3) the prohibition of collective bargaining rights for public sector workers and 4) the unjust Immigration policies targeting undocumented workers.They pointed out that 32 million workers in the U.S. do not have collective bargaining rights. Additionally, they noted that the Southern states incentive packages offer companies, domestic and foreign, a nonunion environment. The Southeast has received the highest dollar amount of foreign investment of any region. The Southern states’ tax policies have changed within recent years to impact FDI decisions.A clarion call for solidarityThe powerful lineup of speakers included three panels. The panel of workers who represent labor formations excluded by the National Labor Relations Act included Baldemar Velazquez, president of FLOC; Victor Alvarez, with the National Day Labor Organizing Network currently on a cross-country tour with the Undocubus; and a formerly incarcerated man from All of Us or None, speaking on ex-felons having the right to a job.The panel addressing private sector workers included Lisa Cline, a food service worker and president of UNITE-HERE Local 23 at the Charlotte airport; Jim Wrenn, an autoworker and president of Carolina Auto and Aerospace Workers Union, UE Local 150, from Rocky Mount, N.C.; Leonard Riley, a longshore worker and member of the International Longshoremen’s Association Local 1422, Charleston, S.C.; Harry Whitaker Sr., a meatpacking worker at a Smithfield plant and shop steward, United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1208, Tar Heel, N.C.During the open discussion following this panel, Clarence Thomas, an executive board member of the International Longshore and Warehouse Workers Union Local 10 from Oakland, Calif., made very stirring comments referencing Harry Bridges, an Australian-born leader of the ILWU and notable as a leader in the fight against racism on the docks.Thomas also asked panel member Riley about the ILA’s East Coastwide contract negotiations, which are currently taking place. It appears that the negotiations may be reaching a standstill around the technology questions relating to automation that could eliminate thousands of jobs on the ports. Thomas called for support for the ILA brothers and sisters. Saladin Muhammad then stood up and addressed the crowd, calling for a resolution to be passed to support the ILA. The assembly adopted the proposal unanimously.The final panel, which addressed conditions faced by public sector workers, included Angaza Laughinghouse, a state government worker and president of UE Local 150, N.C. Public Service Workers Union; Tom Anderson, a university worker and president of Campus Workers United — Communication Workers of America, from Tennessee; Nathanette Mayo, a city waste water treatment worker and recording secretary of the Durham City Workers Union, UE150; Donna Morgan, UE Local 170, West Virginia Public Service Workers Union; and Eleanor Bailey, retired American Postal Workers Union member and a leader of the 1970’s postal workers strike that resulted in collective bargaining for postal workers.During the intermission and during dinner, cultural performances by Jaribu Hill from the Mississippi Workers Center; the Fruit of Labor Singing Ensemble; the band from the Undocubus; and Sergio Sanchez, son of a farmworker, helped keep energy high.The UFCW brought a powerful delegation of between 20 and 30 workers from the Smithfield plant, who brightened the room with their yellow shirts. UE also brought about 20 workers from North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland.Earlier in the day before the assembly, a few dozen FLOC supporters went as a delegation to a Kangaroo gas station that sells RJ Reynolds-produced cigarettes. This action was to continue to keep public pressure on the company. FLOC is currently engaged in organizing a major campaign to win collective bargaining for migrant farmworkers who pick tobacco for the RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company across North Carolina.After the panels, workers convened breakout sessions to discuss how to concretely build towards a Southern Labor Alliance. One of the tactics discussed was using a Rank-and-File Workers’ Bill of Rights to help unite certain sectors and win better working conditions. UE150 has done this in North Carolina and was able to unite state mental health workers into a major campaign that drew in many allies over the last three years and got a bill introduced to the state Legislature.“The Mental Health Workers Bill of Rights gives a core of standards to provide us a safe working condition, benefits and all things that impact us as workers,” stated Larsene Taylor, a healthcare technician at Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro, N.C. and Vice President of UE local 150. “It is like a binding contract without collective bargaining.”UE150 is also fighting for the passage of a Municipal Workers’ Bill of Rights for city workers across the state. This most recently has helped tie together Charlotte city workers that have struggled for union recognition for the past six years and have been leading a weekly picket, the last four weeks, in the buildup to the DNC.The United Campus Workers-CWA have also recently followed suit and created a Campus Workers’ Bill of Rights that has helped them to establish a political fightback program for their members, even without a union contract.Workers vowed to meet again at the Southern Human Rights Organizing Conference at the ILA union hall in Charleston, S.C. on Dec. 7-9 to continue to develop the Southern Labor Alliance. Additionally, workers have vowed to publish a quarterly newsletter to help report on campaigns and struggles of Southern workers to help develop consciousness and tie struggles together. To learn more, visit http://southernworker.orgThese states were represented at the Assembly: Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and West Virginia.The writer is a UE150 organizer and facilitator of the Southern Workers in the Private Sector panel.WW photos by Bryan G. Pfeifer and Monica MooreheadFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this Tom Smith and Eleanor Bailey Donna Dewitt and Justin Flores Undocubus musicians. Southern Workers Assembly, Sept. 3. Ashaki Binta Jaribu Hilllast_img read more

No Exception Can Be Taken To Constitution Of PM CARES Fund; But Still Open For Anyone To Contribute To NDRF : SC [Read Judgment]

first_imgTop StoriesNo Exception Can Be Taken To Constitution Of PM CARES Fund; But Still Open For Anyone To Contribute To NDRF : SC [Read Judgment] LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK18 Aug 2020 6:25 AMShare This – xThe Supreme Court on Tuesday observed that “no exception can be taken to the constitution” of PM CARES Funds to meet the emergency situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic.The top court made this observation while disposing of a PIL filed by Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) seeking to transfer the funds from PM CARES to National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) created under…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Supreme Court on Tuesday observed that “no exception can be taken to the constitution” of PM CARES Funds to meet the emergency situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic.The top court made this observation while disposing of a PIL filed by Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) seeking to transfer the funds from PM CARES to National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) created under the National Disaster Management Act, 2005.The Court noted that the guidelines in existence with respect to NDRF and State Disaster Response Fund – which were framed in 2015- 16 – did not cover biological or public health emergencies.It was only by notification dated March 14 that COVID-19 was treated as notified disaster for the purpose of providing assistance under SDRF. “Outbreak of COVID-19 in India, as well as other countries of the World, required immediate enhancement in the infrastructure of medical health and creation of fund to contain COVID-19. At this need of the hour, no exception can be taken to the constitution of a public charitable trust, namely, PM CARES Fund to have necessary financial resources to meet the emergent situation”, observed the judgment authored by Justice Ashok Bhushan.The bench, also including Justices R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah, observed, “It is not open for the petitioner to question the wisdom of trustees to create PM CARES fund which was constituted with an objective to extend assistance in the wake of public health emergency that is pandemic COVID-19.”No Occasion For CAG Audit Of PM CARES Fund As It Is A Public Charitable Trust: SC [Read Judgment] Still open for any individual to contribute to NDRFThe Court rejected the arguments of Dushyant Dave, Senior Advocate who appeared for the petitioner, that contributions to NDRF are now barred.The argument of the Dave was on the ground that after the framing of the new guidelines for NDRF with effect from financial year 2015-16, it was not possible for anyone to contribute to NDRF.In this regard, the Court said :”New guidelines contain the same heading, i.e., “Contribution to the NDRF” and guideline 5.2 provides “Funds will be credited into the NDRF in accordance with the provisions of the Section 46(1)(a) & (b) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.” The above guideline 5.2 specifically referred to Section 46(1)(a) & (b) and Section 46(1)(b) expressly provides that any grants that may be made by any person or institution for the purpose of disaster management shall be credited into the NDRF. The submission that after the new guidelines, it is not possible for any person or institution to make any contribution to the NDRF is, thus, misconceived and incorrect. According to the statutory provisions of Section 46 as well as new guidelines enforced with effect from financial year 2015-16 any person or institution can still make contribution to the NDRF”The Court also rejected Dave’s submission that NDRF guidelines were amended to benefit PM CARES, as those guidelines came into force with effect from 2015-16.”Any contribution, grant of any individual or institution is not prohibited to be credited into the NDRF and it is still open for any person or institution to make contribution to the NDRF in terms of Section 46(1)(b) of the Act, 2005″, the Court said. The Court also clarified that : there is no statutory prohibition for the Union of India utilizing the NDRF for providing assistance in the fight of COVID-19 in accordance with the guidelines issued for administration of NDRF; there is no statutory prohibition in making any contribution by any person or institution in the NDRF as per Section 46(1)(b)of the Act, 2005.Next Storylast_img read more