Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Welcome to the 115th Edition of the Cavalcade of Risk: The "Open Enrollment" Edition

Good morning, Cavalcaders! How appropriate that I have a doctor's appointment this afternoon-time to break in a shiny new season of enrollment in a health care plan WITH NO CO-PAYS! That's something I have to get used to, since I go in for preventative care only (so far)--same health plan I've always had, but with new twists.

On with the show.

This morning, I'm going to start off with Health Care issues in honor of Open Enrollment Season.

Disease Care Management Blog sends us this warning: Coming Between You and Your Doctor--The Obama Administration Gets Into the Pre-Approval Business. I'd say the Progressive Democrats are also getting between you and your doctor, and they would rather have you take the shortest route to a funeral home so they don't have to come up with Universal Health Care money to cover you. I'm all for preventative care, but when I need a hip replacement, I don't want a bureaucrat choosing a wheelchair and lifetime pain for me because it's cheaper than a hip replacement--especially when I have my own coverage.

Dr. Jaan Sidorov adds this: "In this post, Dr. Sidorov points out that meddling in the decision making between a doctor and a patient isn't necessarily a bad thing and that managed care organizations have been doing it for years. Guess what: so is the FDA. The Disease Management Care Blog heartily welcomes the Obama Administration to the activity, despite their naive campaign slogans."

Political Calculations (I love this site!) asks this question: How Much Should You Stash Away in Your FSA? The web page contains a calculator for you to use (I love his calculators--in the past, he had one to tell whether or not you'd be better off dropping insurance and paying the penalty--I benefitted by paying the penalty).

Ironman adds: "The benefits of having a health-care Flexible Spending Account can pretty attractive, but you definitely don't want to be left on the hook if you don't spend every penny you set aside in any given year. Ironman at Political Calculations presents a tool for working out how much you should stash in your health-care FSA so you can get all the benefits without so much exposure to the risks."

The Healthcare Economist warns us of the fraud dilemma when it comes to Medicaid and long-term care insurance, and asks: "Should Medicaid prosecute fraudulent long-term care providers? The answer may not always be yes if the government runs the RISK of throwing helpless seniors out on to the street?"

Speaking of long-term care insurance, Hank of InsureBlog asks if LTCi Rate Hikes are Outrageous or Responsible?, and adds: "Long Term Care insurance continues to be an important risk management tool. InsureBlog's guest blogger Herman Bruns (an LTCi expert) explains why, even in the face of substantial rate hikes. "

I suppose that since we're living longer, the costs associated with living (or preserving life) should increase as well--especially when you throw in the coming inflation. I'm one of the millions of people denying the need for LTCi, simply because it's hard to wrap my head around the fact that I might need it.

Free Money Finance sends us this article with a rather funny name (to me, a layman): Toileting and Retirement--Should I Purchase Long-Term Health Care Insurance? Part 1, and adds: "Comprehensive (and scary) series on long-term-care insurance."

Okay--I'm reading. Can't wait for Part 2.

At first, I thought White Coat at TheNotWithstandingBlog was sending me an article about a new swear-word phrase (WTFM), but upon closer inspection, the post is titled RTFM and has a whole different meaning! This RTFM story deals with a hospital in Tennessee that is slated to lose Medicare payments because of violations of the participation agreement between the hospital and the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services (CMS).

What violations, specifically? You'll have to read the post for yourself. :)

Okay...let's take a break from all this health stuff--we need a vacation!

Wanderlust Journey asks "is vacation trip cancellation is worth it?" I remember Clark Howard saying something about travel insurance, but Wanderlust says it's expensive, and only needed if there's a greater than 5% chance the trip isn't happening for you.

As a former Navy wife, I don't plan to go on a cruise any time soon--I've had my fill of ships in my life, usually ones with Hubby going away for 6 months at a time. If I could've paid 5% to get him back home, I'd have done so (and so would many other Navy wives).

Speaking of cruise ships and sinking, Equally Happy sends us this article on the sunk costs idea, and says "Sunk costs are a a highly misunderstood concept and one which has caused numerous bad decisions. In this article I try to clarify the concept a bit."

Now for the various types of other insurances.

Insurance Coverage Law in Massachusetts sends us this news bulletin: Jury awards $12 million against car owners who removed driver from their auto insurance policy. It's a sad tale of how an uninsured member of the family hopped into a car, caused an accident which left the victims severely hurt, and racked up one hell of a bill for his grandparents (car owners) for letting him have access to the keys. Simply leaving your keys out on a table or on a hook somewhere could cost you BIGTIME!

Jeff Rose of Good Financial Cents says "You Never Know When It Might Rain, Better Have Your Umbrella (Policy) Handy." He adds: "Personal umbrella insurance policies are often misinterpreted by consumer and are surrounded by myths. Here are some important facts you need to know."

That concludes this edition of the Cavalcade of Risk. Join us next time at Workers Comp Insider for the October 20th edition.


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