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Health Coverage Takes Big Hit With Pandemic-Related Job Cuts | Health News

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter

(HealthDay)

TUESDAY, Oct. 13, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Up to 7.7 million U.S. workers lost jobs with employer-sponsored health insurance during the coronavirus pandemic, and 6.9 million of their dependents also lost coverage, a new study finds.

Workers in manufacturing, retail, accommodation and food services were especially hard-hit by job losses, but unequally impacted by losses in insurance coverage.

Manufacturing accounted for 12% of unemployed workers in June. But because the sector has one of the highest rates of employer-sponsored coverage at 66%, it accounted for a bigger loss of jobs with insurance (18%) and 19% of potential coverage loss when dependents are included.

Nearly 3.3 million workers in accommodation and food services had lost their jobs as of June — 30% of the industry’s workforce. But only 25% of workers in the sector had employer-sponsored insurance before the pandemic. Seven percent lost jobs with employer-provided coverage.

The situation was similar in the retail sector. Retail workers represented 10% of pre-pandemic employment and 14% of unemployed workers in June. But only 4 in 10 retail workers had employer-sponsored insurance before the pandemic. They accounted for 12% of lost jobs with employer-sponsored insurance and 11% of potential loss including dependents.

The study was a joint project of the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research and the Commonwealth Fund.

“Demographics also play an important role. Workers ages 35 to 44 and 45 to 54 bore the brunt of [employer insurance]-covered job losses, in large part because workers in these age groups were the most likely to be covering spouses and other dependents,” said Paul Fronstin, director of EBRI’s Health Research and Education Program.

“The adverse effects of the pandemic recession also fell disproportionately on women,” Fronstin added in an EBRI news release. “Although women made up 47% of pre-pandemic employment, they accounted for 55% of total job losses.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on COVID-19.

Copyright © 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Dentist’s COVID-19 Coverage Suit Sent Back to State Court


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href=”https://www.law360.com/#”>Daphne Zhang

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Law360 (October 8, 2020, 6:44 PM EDT) —
A Texas federal judge remanded a dentist’s COVID-19 coverage suit against Allstate Insurance Co. back to state court, ruling that the insurer failed to show that a claims adjuster was wrongly joined, defeating the suit’s diversity of jurisdiction required in federal court.

U.S. District Judge Richard B. Farrer said Wednesday that Orsatti DDS PC, a dental office of Bexar County, Texas, sufficiently showed that it properly included an insurance claims adjuster in the suit, which lacks complete diversity of citizenship to stay in the district court.

Orsatti suspended business and could operate only for dental emergencies due to government closure orders amid the COVID-19 pandemic in March. The office claimed that it lost income and filed a coverage claim to Allstate. The Illinois-based carrier then assigned commercial property adjuster Blessing Sefofo Wonyaku — a Texas citizen — to investigate the claim.

Allstate subsequently denied coverage, asserting a virus exclusion and a lack of physical damage to Orsatti’s property. In June, the dental office sued the insurer in Bexar County state court before the insurer removed the case to federal court a month later.

Orsatti alleged that the insurer and its adjuster failed to conduct a proper investigation of its claim because they never asked for any documents or information relating to its claim. The office contended that both Allstate and Wonyaku “conspired to delay and deny or underpay its claim”

Allstate had argued that Wonyaku was improperly joined because Orsatti failed to show Wonyaku engaged in any conduct separate from the coverage denial. On Wednesday, Judge Farrer said Allstate’s arguments “lack merit.”

Orsatti “has properly stated a claim against [Wonyaku] for h[er] conduct as an individual adjuster,” and has plausibly alleged that she engaged in “an outcome-oriented investigation” and “unfair settlement,” the judge said.

Judge Farrer pointed out that Orsatti had adequately alleged that Wonyaku never asked “any questions upon learning [the dental practice] had to close business” due to government closure orders but “immediately” sent over a denial letter stating no coverage.

“Had Wonyaku requested additional information, as she was obliged to do, Orsatti’s amended petition suggests that Wonyaku would’ve found the virus exclusion provision inapplicable in this context,” the judge said.

Additionally, Judge Farrer said, although Allstate argued that it was not required to investigate the claim because the policy bars coverage for virus loss and mandates coverage denial, its argument “is more properly an attack on the merits of the claim, rather than an inquiry into the propriety of the joinder of the local party,” the judge said.

Allstate failed to demonstrate that

Walgreens Launches Find Rx Coverage Advisor to Help Customers Navigate Health Coverage Options

Find Rx Coverage Advisor builds on Walgreens efforts to support patients in maintaining affordable access to medications as health insurance shifts for many

At a time when millions of Americans face unemployment and the loss of health insurance, Walgreens has launched Find Rx Coverage Advisor, a new resource providing personalized guidance to customers seeking information on available health and prescription drug coverage options. With Medicare Part D and individual marketplace open enrollment approaching, Find Rx Coverage Advisor connects eligible customers directly to health plan partners who can assist with questions about enrollment.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201008005277/en/

Walgreens Launches Find Rx Coverage Advisor to Help Customers Navigate Health Coverage Options (Photo: Business Wire)

“Shifts in health insurance coverage because of job loss, life events or as you qualify for Medicare Part D can be a complicated maze of options,” said Rick Gates, senior vice president of pharmacy, Walgreens. “As champions of patient choice and prescription affordability, Walgreens collaborates with and accepts a wide range of health plans and benefits. This allows us to provide our customers with trusted resources to help find the right health insurance option for them.”

Customers can access a personalized report from Find Rx Coverage Advisor by answering a few questions to identify health coverage options. Results include available health plans in their area, including Medicaid, marketplace health plans, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans, as well as additional prescription savings resources based on the information provided. In the next month, reports can be emailed to customers for additional research or follow-up needs.

The launch of Find Rx Coverage Advisor builds on Walgreens efforts to support patients in maintaining access to medications. Earlier this year, Walgreens announced lower prices on hundreds of medications available through the company’s Prescription Savings Club, which offers savings of up to 80 percent off cash retail prices to all customers on thousands of medications.* Anyone can join the Walgreens Prescription Savings Club for an annual fee of $20 per individual or $35 per family. Customers can search for savings on medications through the Prescription Savings Club look up tool, and will now also save over 20 percent off the cash retail price for flu shots, where the Prescription Savings Club is available.

Members of Walgreens Prescription Savings Club have saved over $164 million off the cash retail price on prescriptions and immunizations since relaunching the program nationwide.* This adds to a number of efforts to ensure patients have access to affordable medications and health services prior to and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic including:

  • Expanding services like 90-day refills, early refill authorizations and waiving fees for one-to-two day delivery on eligible prescriptions during shelter-in-place orders.

  • Saving qualifying patients $375 million in out-of-pocket costs on medications since the beginning of the year by connecting patients with prescription assistance programs and manufacturer coupons.

  • Providing 200,000 flu vouchers for immunizations at no cost to those in need during the upcoming flu season.

  • Partnering with manufacturers to

UN chief: Pandemic shows need for universal health coverage

The United Nations chief says the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the “utterly inadequate health systems” around the world and he argues that universal health coverage is essential for nations to deal with future health crises

He said the failure to respond adequately to the outbreak has claimed more than 1 million lives, infected over 30 million people in 190 countries, wiped out 500 million jobs and is costing the global economy $375 billion a month. Indicators of human advancement and well-being are going in reverse for the first time since the U.N. started measuring them in 1990, he added.

Guterres said in a video message and policy briefing that COVID-19 has shown the need for universal health coverage, strong public health systems, and emergency preparedness for communities and people everywhere.

“At least half the world’s people do not have access to the health services they need,” he said. “Some 100 million people are driven into poverty each year by catastrophic health care costs.”

The secretary-general noted all countries agreed in 2015 on U.N. goals for 2030 that include working toward universal health coverage, “but we cannot wait 10 years.”

“We need universal health coverage, including mental health coverage, now,” Guterres said.

According to the new policy paper, “health is a fundamental human right, and universal health coverage is a critical tool for achieving health for all.”

“Universal health coverage is defined as a situation where all individuals and communities receive the health services they need without undue financial hardship,” it says.

“The report is not linked to the electoral calendar here in the United States,” Dujarric said. “It is targeted at every country, and I think we see the world over the issues that arise when people don’t have access to health care.”

The policy paper also calls for urgent efforts to control further transmission of the coronavirus, including universal provisions for testing, isolating, contact tracing and care, and the protection of other health services during the pandemic.

“COVID-19 is indirectly killing people with heart disease and cancer, as well as those it infects,” Guterres said. “And access to mental health services and sexual and reproductive health programs cannot be compromised.”

He also called for a huge expansion of access to new rapid diagnostic methods and treatments, and ensuring that future coronavirus vaccines “are a global public good with equitable access for everyone, everywhere.”

The lessons learned from the pandemic “call for universal health coverage

Negative coverage on steroids: Trump’s victory lap angers the media

President Trump, as always, has an uncanny knack for giving his journalistic detractors plenty of ammunition.

But man, much of the media are acting like it’s a national tragedy that an ailing president was released from the hospital.

My eyeballs are hurting from watching all the negative coverage.

MSNBC’s Joy Reid called Trump’s appearance on the Truman Balcony a “Mussolini moment.”

CNN’s David Gergen, usually the most mild-mannered of men, said he’s “practically feeling like we’re in the grips of a madman.”

WHITE HOUSE PHYSICIAN SAYS TRUMP ‘MAY NOT ENTIRELY BE OUT OF THE WOODS YET’ IN FIGHT AGAINST CORONAVIRUS

CNN morning host John Berman, when a producer ran B-roll of the Trump balcony appearance, complained: “Take it off, please, don’t even put it on the screen! Please take it off, because that’s gonna kill people.”

I know this sounds insane in the current environment, but shouldn’t the country be pleased that a sick president has improved to the point that he could leave Walter Reed? Couldn’t the pundits at least pay lip service to the notion that this is better than him taking a turn for the worst?

When CNN’s Jim Acosta says on Twitter that Trump is the “Coronavirus-in-Chief,” there really isn’t much attempt to hide the instinctive opposition to him.

And yet Trump hasn’t done much to help himself since he walked out of the hospital, presumably with the backing of the medical team.

The video made by the president was, for starters, all about himself. This, according to several reports, conflicted with his staff’s hope that having the virus would enable him to show some empathy for those who are affected.

Instead he said: “I learned so much about coronavirus. And one thing that’s for certain, don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it. You’re gonna beat it. We have the best medical equipment; we have the best medicines — all developed recently — and you’re gonna beat it.”

He went on to say he feels “better than 20 years ago…Don’t let it take over your lives. Don’t let that happen.” And he again compared it to the flu.

Well, as journalists have pointed out, the average person doesn’t have access to a world-class battalion of doctors and state-of-the-art equipment the way a president does, or have a medical unit in their home. “You’re gonna beat it” must ring hollow to the families of the 210,000 Americans who have died. And the virus can cause long-term damage to some of those who survive. It sounded once again like the president was minimizing Covid-19.

SUBSCRIBE TO HOWIE’S MEDIA BUZZMETER PODCAST, A RIFF OF THE DAY’S HOTTEST STORIES

There was a new line of argument for those who believe Trump and many of his top aides contracted the virus by not wearing masks, not practicing social distancing and attending packed White House events: “I knew there’s danger to it, but I had to do it. I stood out front; I led.”

What drew even more visceral

Low cost Dental Plans Vs Dental Insurance coverage

Teeth will not be just for chewing. When the stays of foods and drinks usually are not effectively cleaned from teeth, they function food for the bacteria answerable for tooth decay The plaque begins to develop 20 minutes after we eat, so it is very important wash instantly after the primary meals.

Left untreated, periodontal could cause vital bone loss, smooth tissue loss alongside the teeth roots and the gums to recede typically causing enamel to loosen, making tooth extraction the one possibility to restore oral health and forestall neighboring tooth from additionally being affected.

The most obvious issues are the amount of concern in the debate, the distortion of easily checked details (especially concerning the general quality of healthcare which is comparatively poor within the US by all reliable stats), the mistrust of Governments and the all the flag waving.

After years of significant tooth decay and direct restoration, fillings which today are made out of amalgam, composites, porcelain and different blends of materials together with gold, the affected person approaches the dentist with the option of indirect restoration, implants.

A beauty dentist can shave away parts of your teeth that are ill-aligned and might fit your needs for a set of veneers that may straighten your teeth in just some office visits, versus the months and even years it may take for traditional orthodontia.…