Calif. High Risk Pool May Overflow; Seniors And Long-Term Care Costs

In California, the PCIP exceeds expected costs and small businesses are struggling. Minnesota insurers are worried about long-term care policies and a Michigan pay-to-play probe is opened.

California Healthline: PCIP Enrollment Could Be Capped In Two Months
State officials may need to curtail enrollment in the federally funded Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan in as little as two months from now. ... The threshold for the number of Californians who might participate in PCIP was estimated at about 23,000 people ... [but] after the first year, state officials got their first real claims data to test that estimate, and the amount required by recipients was much higher than expected. That 23,000-person threshold estimate was reduced to 6,800 Californians (Gorn, 11/21). 

KQED/The California Report: Health Coverage A Challenge For Small Businesses
Many small businesses feel pressure to keep their doors open, in part because they feel an obligation to their workers. We check in with Scott Hauge, president and founder of Small Business California and small business owner Janet Hildreth about what businesses have been doing to keep afloat, and to continue offering health insurance benefits during the recession (11/18).

Boston Globe: Partnering Up To Improve Health Care
Deborah C. Enos, 56, has been chief executive of Boston-based Neighborhood Health Plan since 2004. The nonprofit insures more than 240,000 mostly low-income residents across Massachusetts. Last month, it agreed to be acquired by Partners HealthCare System, the state's largest hospital and physicians network (Weisman, 11/20).

Minneapolis Star Tribune: No Insurance Against Price Increases 
Trapped between fast-rising costs for care and weak returns on their investments, insurers have been raising long-term care premiums by double-digit percentages in Minnesota and nationwide…. Some worry that higher premiums will make people less likely to get long-term care insurance -- a potentially serious problem at a time when aging baby boomers' needs for long-term care are about to explode (Crosby, 11/19).

Detroit Free Press: Grand Jury Issues A 4th Subpoena In Wayne County Pay-To-Play Probe
A federal grand jury has sent a fourth subpoena to Wayne County as it investigates a possible pay-for-play scheme in government. ...  Sources have told the Free Press that Michael Grundy, an assistant county executive at the time, pressured a health-care company associated with Health Choice [a county program that offers health insurance for smaller businesses and workers], into sending money to a company incorporated by one of his friends. ... Grundy has not returned calls since it was reported the FBI is investigating his dealings (Schaefer, 11/18).

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