Daily On Healthcare: Conservative Concerns Said to Grow

Last week, the Washington Examiner’s Daily on Healthcare reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was risking a conservative rebellion by racing healthcare legislation to the floor that was to the left of the House bill. This week’s news is that the difficulty McConnell faces from his right is coming more into focus. On Sunday, Sen. Mike Lee told ABC’s “This Week” that he had “grave concerns” about the direction the Senate bill was heading in. Earlier in the process, Lee, part of the Senate working group, declared that he wanted to see Medicaid grow at a slower rate than the House bill and that he wanted Obamacare’s regulations to be repealed by default, leaving states the ability to “opt-in” if they wanted to keep those regulations. Instead of moving closer to Lee’s position, the bill being discussed would move further away, however. Read the full article at The Washington Examiner.

Early Bird Registration for CAHU September Retreat Still Open
CAHU’s Health Care Retreat, The industry’s largest conference for health insurance agents, will be September 11-13 at Pala Casino Spa Resort in Sacramento. Don’t miss the fantastic break out tracks, important updates on current federal and local legislative issues as well as CAHU’s annual awards ceremony. Visit CAHU’s site for discounted early bird registration.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Team with Lyft
In an effort to address the community effects of social determinants of health, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association announced a first nationwide partnership with Lyft to ensure Americans are not missing vital health care appointments simply because they lack reliable transportation. “Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies have always been committed to local communities – and to solving the most pressing health care challenges facing our country,” said Dr. Trent Haywood, BCBSA chief medical officer and president of the BCBS Institute. “A strategic alliance with Lyft will allow us to positively impact and improve Americans’ health nationwide.” Over the next several months, BCBS will incorporate Lyft services into an innovative service delivery model for select Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies – at no cost to members. The model couples BCBS technology with Lyft’s convenient ride-share services to reduce the number of missed appointments for non-emergency medical care in areas without optimal transportation alternatives servicing health care facilities. “Many Americans live in areas where medical care is beyond the reach of walking, biking or public transportation. As a result, they struggle to access critical health care services, even when they have health insurance,” said Dr. Haywood. “We are committed to addressing issues like transportation that are inextricably linked to health outcomes, yet can’t be tackled through health care resources alone.” Eighty percent of health outcomes are driven by social determinants of health including lifestyle behaviors and environmental factors. Transportation barriers alone result in missed or delayed medical appointments for an estimated 3.6 million Americans. While assistance is available for many who receive Medicaid coverage, millions of Americans are still unable to regularly access care because they lack reliable transportation options. For more info go to BCBSA.

FINANCIAL PLANNING
Good News: Financial Advisors Make Clients Feel Prepared
New findings from Northwestern Mutual’s Planning & Progress Study revealed that Americans who receive guidance from financial advisors feel more prepared for retirement. According to the data:

  • 7 in 10 Americans with advisors said their retirement plan is designed to withstand market cycles compared to 30 percent of those who do not use an advisor
  • Nearly all those with an advisor (92 percent) have discussed retirement with someone relative to just half (51 percent) of those without an advisor
  • People without financial advisors are twice as likely (53 percent) as those with advisors (27 percent) to view lack of savings as an obstacle to financial security in retirement
  • 49 percent of people without an advisor have taken no steps to address the possibility of outliving their savings – three times as many as those with an advisor (15 percent)

These findings are part of Northwestern Mutual’s 2017 Planning & Progress Study, an annual research project exploring Americans’ attitudes and behaviors toward finances and planning. Released in multiple waves throughout the year, the study launched in April with data on debt and the current state of financial optimism, respectively.