A week and a half ago, on a Saturday Night, my friend Jenny Chumbley Hogue, a Texas-based health insurance broker, gave me a heads up about a rather concerning and suspiciously-timed notice regarding Oscar Health of Florida:
Hello agent, please view the below information in reference to Oscar. We have received this information from Oscar and are passing it along to you.
Beginning at midnight Monday, 12/12/2022, (00:00 am Tuesday morning), Oscar in Florida will cease all new sales for IFP. All previously enrolled members and auto-enrolled members can keep their current plan by paying for January coverage. If members need to make a plan change, they need to do so by this time, midnight Monday.
...With this announcement, in addition to the previously announced market exits, Bright HealthCare will not offer Individual and Family health plans in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Nebraska, North Carolina, Texas, and Tennessee after 2022(1), or Medicare Advantage plans outside of California and Florida. This focused footprint reduces Bright Health’s overall regulated capital need and is expected to release excess regulated capital of approximately $250 million upon settlement of all medical liabilities and approval from state regulators.
Florida state law gives private corporations wide berth as to what sort of information, which is easily available in some other states, they get to hide from the public under the guise of it being a "trade secret."
In the case of health insurance premium rate filing data, that even extends to basic information like "how many customers they have."
MICHIGAN: Another One (Mostly) Bites The Dust; 12th CO-OP Drops Off Exchange, May Go Belly-Up
It appears that East Lansing-based Consumers Mutual Insurance of Michigan could wind down operations this year as it is not participating in the state health insurance exchange for 2016.
But officials of Consumers Mutual today are discussing several options that could determine its future status with the state Department of Insurance and Financial Services, said David Eich, marketing and public relations officer with Consumers Mutual.
Consumers Mutual CEO Dennis Litos said: "We are reviewing our situation (financial condition) with DIFS and should conclude on a future direction this week.”
While Eich said he could not disclose the options, he said one is “winding down” the company, which has 28,000 members, including about 6,000 on the exchange.
The FDA’s independent vaccine advisers voted unanimously Wednesday to recommend the agency authorize two Covid-19 vaccines for babies, toddlers and preschool-age children, putting the country’s youngest age group one step closer to immunizations nearly two-and-a-half years into the pandemic.
Florida is the only state in the union that did not preorder COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 4 and under, according to a report from the Miami Herald.
The nation’s third-largest state missed Tuesday’s deadline to preorder the doses from the federal government, which the Herald reports could delay delivery to Florida’s pediatricians, clinics, pharmacies and pediatric hospitals.
Throughout the 2 1/2 years of the pandemic, there have been numerous accusations of "cooking the books", "hiding deaths" and so forth thrown around at various administrations at the state and federal level. Some of these have proven to be false, others to be accurate, and many to be somewhere in between, depending on your perspective.
Perhaps no state-level administration has been subjected to as many accusations of "hiding data" as that of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. In my own case, the biggest data discrepancy I've written about regarding Florida was the massive vaccination rate outlier status of Miami-Dade County...a discrepancy which, at least in that case, turned out to be more about the legal residence of those vaccinated rather than whether the vaccinations actually took place or not.
HOWEVER, there's one major outlier over the 65% threshold...Miami-Dade County.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Miami-Dade has fully vaccinated 68% of their entire population (1.84 million out of 2.72 million residents). I use the slightly lower official 2020 U.S. Census popualtion count for Miami-Dade County (2,701,767), which makes the vaccination rate slightly higher still: 68.24%.
And yet, somehow the 10th-largest county in the United States, which has the 6th highest vaccination rate of any county over 1 million residents, also has the highest new case rate of any county over 1 million residents.
At the time, it was Miami-Dade's massive outlier status in terms of COVID cases since the beginning of July which had tipped me off; it looked like this:
States will have an additional year to use American Rescue Plan funds to strengthen the home care workforce and expand access to services
Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), is notifying states that they now have an additional year — through March 31, 2025 — to use funding made available by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to enhance, expand, and strengthen home- and community-based services (HCBS) for people with Medicaid who need long-term services and supports. This policy update marks the latest action by the Biden-Harris Administration to strengthen the health care workforce, help people receive care in the setting of their choice, and reduce unnecessary reliance on institutional care.
Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved California, Florida, Kentucky, and Oregon actions to expand Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage to 12 months postpartum for a total of an additional 126,000 families across their states, annually—supporting 57,000; 52,000; 10,000; and 7,000 parents, respectively.