Friday, November 21, 2014

Immigrants Access To Health Care

Immigrants Here Illegally Will Not Get Access To Health Law But May Get Other Coverage

Poll: Partisans Expect ACA Debate to Continue, Though Public Splintered Over What Congress Should Do
 Many uninsured say that they cannot afford ACA plans.

Risk Stratification to Inform Care Management for Medicare-Medicaid Enrollees: State Strategies

Consumer Reports' ACA Resources
Several useful resources, including on taxes.

Alliance for Health Reform Briefing: Health Insurance Marketplaces, Round II: Results and Expectations


  • If the Supreme Court ACA ruling invalidates subsidies, many could lose access to coverage, not only low-income individuals, said Timothy Jost. However, he added, those with subsidies before the ruling should be able to keep them for the year.
  • Premiums and deductibles will vary by state for 2015, said Sara Collins. She noted that they fell in Colorado, but increased in Minnesota. And, said Timothy Jost, today's second lowest silver plan may not be the same as it was last year, so consumers should shop around.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services has awarded $60 million in navigator grants to 90 organizations for 2015 in an effort to help consumers find the best health plans for them, said Meena Seshamani.
  • Underlying factors impacting premiums include provider consolidation and high-priced prescription drugs, said Dan Durham. States with more market competition have lower premiums, he added.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Selling of Obamacare 2.0

The Selling of Obamacare 2.0 

Maryland health exchange ready for signups, official says
Hope their system works better this time.  I did checkout their site and it seems ok, but that is not entering data yet.  As you may know, you can enroll via the call center starting 11/15, and enroll online on 11/19, with interim steps in between.  
Too High a Price: Out-of-Pocket Health Care Costs in the United States

Obamacare premiums are falling by 0.2% across 48 major cities

New Doctors Site Rates for Experience, Quality

Millions Of Medicaid Kids Missing Regular Checkups Re-Enrollment Could Lead To Pocketbook Surprises For Consumers This article covers a variety of topics in addition to the suggested title. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Low-Income Adults Support Medicaid Expansion

Low-Income Adults Support Medicaid Expansion, View Program Favorably

Challenges for the Next Obamacare Open Enrollment

7 Charts That Prove Obamacare Is Working

The Best Possible Day. An excerpt in the New York Times explains two key lessons of Atul Gawande's new book, Being Mortal.   This article states the issues very well.  Hospice in particular has been a very valuable provider for over 30 years in the U.S. and even longer in some other countries.

The Road to Accountable Care: Building Systems for Population Health Management

Easier Time in Health Marketplace Is Promised

Secret Deficit Lovers   A well written editorial by Paul Krugman on the reduction in the deficit which is being ignored by the deficit hawks.

Will Employers Favor Private Exchanges Over Coverage Sponsorship?   This posting suggest that many will.

U.S. Says Consumers Must Renew Health Insurance Policies  

Determining Household Size and Income for Premium Tax Credits and Medicaid
Presentation Slide Deck

Key Facts You Need to Know About Income Definitions for Marketplace and Medicaid Coverage
This collection of key facts explains Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) and what counts as income in determining eligibility for premium tax credits, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
View Key Facts

Compare the U.S. Health System to Its International Peers with a New Interactive Tool


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Radio Show: Investment Implications of the ACA

On July 30, I participated in 2 radio shows on the URBusinessnetwork.  I know the host, Ray Rondeau, from AAII (American Association of Individual Investors).  These shows were recently posted to the web.  The second show on financial planning is discussed later on this blog. The entire first show which is on the Investment Implications of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) can be listened to at:

The introductory writeup to the first show includes a summary and bio for both shows. This link will take you directly to the broadcast

In the first part of the show, I gave some bio info, an overview of the ACA, some of the myths, some of the latest successes and failures, and related ideas.  This section can be found at

In the second section of that first show, I discussed the investment implications of the ACA.  I will cover this portion in more depth below as I did not have time to discuss all the market sectors that I had in mind.  Here is what I said or planned to say.

Investment Highlights

S+P health care index up 9.7% this year thru 6/30, vs s+p 500 by 3.6% 

Several billionaire investors have invested in drug stocks, and dialysis companies

Excellent article in WashPost – 7/3/14 Jonelle Marte

Cautionary note: Each investor needs to do their own analysis.  The following companies have the potential to do well.   
  •          Health Care Mutual Funds and ETFs

  •          Health insurance companies

United, Aetna, Cigna, Wellpoint  

United is entering many more state markets in 2015.  In the radio show, Rondeau discusses technical aspects of this stock.

  •          Enrollment systems

Deloiite – successfully built Connecticut and Kentucky’s systems.

  •          Electronic Health Records (EHRs)

Cerner, Epic systems, Allscripts, Athenahealth, Nextgen, GE

More EHR standards are being developed which will increase the use of EHR systems.

  • ·          Drugs

Barron’s 7/22 issue has a very positive article on 9 drug stocks.

Here are 3: Merck,  Gilead Sciences, Amgen

In the radio show, Rondeau discusses technical aspects of Gilead stock.Very positive. 

Other stocks mentioned in Barron's are Roche, Vertex, Astrazeneca,


This section was not discussed on radio show due to time limitations

  •        Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs)

                 Caremark, Express Scripts

  •          Retail pharmacies

CVS, Walgreens. Both have retail clinics. 

  •          Shopping tools: Castlight

  •          Telehealth

No specific stocks mentioned

  •          Medical supplies

Bastion, Covider, Johnson and Johnson
  •  Medical Devices  
Medtronics, Illumina, Edward Lifesciences 
  •        For Profit Hospitals

No specific stocks mentioned

  •          Physician Hospital Organizations

No specific stocks mentioned

  •          Home Health Agencies

 Chemed , Almost Family, LHC Group, Lincare holdings, Amedisys, Gentiva Health Services

  •          Nursing Homes

Manor Care , Golden living, HCP, Beverly Enterprises, Mariner Health, Kindred Healthcare

  •         Accountable Care Organizations

Hopkins (not a stock)

  •          Urgent Care


  •         Post acute care organizations

No specific stocks mentioned

  •          Dialysis

 Davita, Fresnius
Here is a link to the second radio show which covered financial planning, asset allocation, limitations in target date funds, and the need for basic investment courses (investment 101). 

This is the background info I provided for the second show

  • Became a serious investor 32 years ago and developed my first financial plan
  • Became a member of AAII in 1998

  • DC Metro Chapter:  Past president and Program Co-chair for past 10 years

  • With National AAII organization: Lead for chapter leaders committee

Relevant Websites:  and