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Health Insurance

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NEWS
July 1, 2010
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama's new health coverage for uninsured Americans with health problems won't be cheap -- premiums averaging $300 to $600 a month in the largest states, according to a government website that went live Thursday. From cheaper to most expensive, premiums will range from a $140 a month to as much as $900, Richard Popper, deputy director of a new insurance office at the federal Health and Human Services department, said Wednesday. The range is so wide because premiums will be keyed to standard individual health insurance rates in each state, which can differ dramatically because of medical costs and the scope of coverage.
OPINION
By THOMAS A. FIREY | January 15, 2013
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (often called Obamacare) is lauded as a broad reform of American health care. In fact, PPACA focuses on only one goal: expanding health insurance coverage. It does this, in part, by subsidizing insurance premiums for lower-income households, and by fining people who don't have coverage and employers that don't provide it to workers. PPACA largely overlooks other, arguably worse, problems such as the high cost of care and insurance, the financial problems of Medicare and Medicaid, the frequency of iatrogenic (doctor-caused)
NEWS
By ARNOLD S. PLATOU | October 19, 2009
Need health insurance? There are a lot of options out there. Lots of big words and long sentences, too, but at the same time, there are some handy guides online to help consumers wade through the information. Many questions You have a job, but your company doesn't offer health insurance. You've just graduated from college and have to go off your parents' insurance policy. You're old enough for Medicare, but you'd like supplemental coverage, too. What's out there, if you have to buy your own?
NEWS
August 10, 2000
County considers consolidating health insurance In an attempt to save money, the Washington County Commissioners are considering consolidating health insurance providers for county employees, including workers in the public schools and at Hagerstown Community College. The commissioners and the School Board discussed hiring a consultant to study the possible move at a joint meeting Tuesday afternoon at the board's central office on Commonwealth Avenue. A final decision has not been made and the commissioners are in the preliminary stages of the discussion, they said.
NEWS
April 10, 2012
Hagerstown will continue to provide health insurance to its employees through a partially self-funded arrangement for fiscal 2012-13, according to city officials. As a way to control costs, no changes to medical or dental coverages are being recommended. The city Health Care Committee will continue to monitor and evaluate cost-effective benefit plans for employees. Under the current union contract, employee and retiree premiums will remain unchanged for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1. The committee also proposed a change to the city's contribution to medical coverage for employees enrolled in the Plus Medical Plan.
NEWS
May 22, 2001
City to vote on health insurance program By DAN KULIN dank@herald-mail.com The Hagerstown City Council is scheduled to vote tonight on a $4.1 million health insurance program that would cost the city about $1 million more than the current program, according to City Finance Department figures. The new insurance program would cost the city's general fund - the only city fund supported with property taxes - almost $2.3 million, about $700,000 more than the current cost, according to city figures.
NEWS
By BRENDAN KIRBY | October 4, 1999
The number of people without health insurance in Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia increased by about 400,000 between 1996 and 1998, despite a vibrant economy, the Census Bureau reported Monday. Hagerstown resident Carol Givens knows all too well the difference between having insurance and not. [cont. from front page ] She had been covered through her husband's insurance plan, but when they divorced, she lost her coverage. Givens said her insurance expired on a Friday four years ago. The following Sunday, she suffered a heart attack.
NEWS
By MARIE GILBERT | marieg@herald-mail.com | November 19, 2011
For most of her adult life, Debra Dieterich has lived without health insurance. She doesn't remember a time when she didn't worry about developing a serious illness, having to have surgery or spending an extended amount of time in a hospital. It's been a roll of the dice. Not because she's a risk taker. She would love to have health insurance, she said. But the Hagerstown woman always has been employed by companies where health insurance wasn't offered or has worked part time and wasn't eligible for coverage.
NEWS
by SCOTT BUTKI | March 12, 2004
scottb@herald-mail.com The Washington County Board of Education's health insurance fund is in much better shape then when it was briefly $254,000 in the red in 2001, Chris South, director of budget and finance, said Wednesday. Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan pointed out the improved financial condition Tuesday during a joint meeting with the Washington County Commissioners. "It is good news," South said during the meeting about getting out of a "deficit situation.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By MARIE GILBERT | marieg@herald-mail.com | August 3, 2013
Francesca Wilson was hesitant four years ago when a friend invited her to attend the Walnut Street Community Health Fair. It was being held on a Saturday, and after a long workweek, the Hagerstown woman had been looking forward to relaxing at home. But Wilson agreed to go along anyway, and spent several hours visiting a variety of stations that offered free screenings, including breast exams. “I had always been taught that annual mammograms were essential to good health,” said Wilson, 56. “But it had been some time since I had been tested, so I signed up.” The results, she admitted, caught her by surprise.
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NEWS
BY HOLLY SHOK | holly.shok@herald-mail.com | July 10, 2013
Maryland's new health insurance “marketplace” is expected to enroll 180,000 of the state's approximately 800,000 uninsured residents through private insurance and 100,000 more through Medicaid within the first year of enrollment, which begins this fall, officials said Wednesday. The state-based exchange, called Maryland Health Connection, is an online portal, where individuals, families and small businesses can compare health insurance options, determine eligibility for tax credits and cost-sharing reductions, and enroll in private insurance or public programs, according to the connection's Danielle Davis, director of communications, outreach and training.
NEWS
By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com | April 18, 2013
Franklin County residents are losing ground on some very important health-related issues, according to a study released by Summit Health Thursday. Summit Health, in cooperation with the Penn State Institute of State and Regional Affairs, released the results of its 2012 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) of Franklin County and Shippensburg, Pa., at Green Grove Gardens near Greencastle. After wading through a sea of data over the course of a year, Summit's 30-member advisory group pinpointed four priorities - education, nutrition, access to health care and mental health.
NEWS
April 3, 2013
The Washington County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved several contracts for group health insurance for the coming year, electing to stick with several incumbent providers and switch to one new carrier for vision coverage. Karen Luther, the county's purchasing director, and consultant Rebecca Mowen Lewis of the firm CBIZ Benefits & Insurance Services Inc. went before the five commissioners to present a proposal drafted by the coordinating committee, which unanimously agreed on the recommendations.
NEWS
March 29, 2013
Senior citizens enrolled in medical and prescription plans through a Florida-based health insurance company will not see a gap in their Medicare coverage, despite the company's contracts being terminated April 1, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Those terminations affect residents of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia. CMS “will ensure continuous medical and prescription coverage for beneficiaries enrolled in Universal Health Care Medicare health plans,” according to a new release issued Friday afternoon.
NEWS
By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com | March 22, 2013
At a time when the U.S. Postal Service is recommending cutting Saturday service, it is actually adding outlets for customers in the form of village post offices such as the one at May's Service Center at 8708 Sharpsburg Pike, where a grand opening ceremony was held Friday. May's Service Center is the 200th village post office to open since the USPS introduced the idea in 2011. “As our financial situation at the Postal Service has changed, it has become more and more important for us to find ways to be relevant in the communities we serve, and not just have our own brick-and-mortar solution,” said David Fields, the vice president of the service's Capitol Metro Area.
OPINION
By TOM FIREY | February 13, 2013
Some supporters of the nation's new health care law insist that its critics are motivated solely by politics and have no good reason for their opposition. In fact, serious critics have raised many legitimate concerns about the law, which is formally called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and more commonly called Obamacare. I've wanted to write about those concerns for some time, but health care policy is complex and such a discussion can't be condensed into a single column.
NEWS
By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com | February 13, 2013
Figuring out how to improve access, maintain quality and keep down the cost of health care are challenges facing hospitals as more provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act go into effect, Meritus Health System President Joseph P. Ross told those attending a Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce breakfast Wednesday. “Not all Americans enjoy access to health care and that drives long-term costs,” said Ross, who was named to head Meritus in 2011.
NEWS
By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com | February 12, 2013
Two school-based health centers, now run by Meritus Health, re-opened Tuesday at South Hagerstown High School and Western Heights Middle School. Jesus Cepero, the vice president of nursing at Meritus Health and Melissa Nearchos, the senior grant manager for the county's Office of Community Grant Management, told the Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday that the centers, which were closed at the end of the 2011-12 school year, had re-opened that...
NEWS
February 6, 2013
The Rotary Club of Long Meadows donated $3,000 in January to the Community Free Clinic of Washington County. “This will pay for 10 patients to get one year of care,” said Robin Roberson, executive director of the clinic. The clinic serves about 15,000 patients per year, and 30 local physicians donate their services to the clinic. Clients of the clinic are people who earn too much to qualify for public assistance, but not enough to be able to afford health insurance. Rotary Clubs serve their communities by raising funds for causes such as the free clinic.
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