Archive for the ‘Health Insurance’ Category

Are you receiving Medicaid or other government assistance for the first time?

By Craig Schneider, Public Health Reporter

Georgia is seeing a great jump in the number of people receiving food stamps, Medicaid and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Much of this is due to the hard economy. In turn, many of the new people on these programs are working-class people applying for assistance for the first time.

Jessica McGowan/AJC Special

Jessica McGowan/AJC Special

Some people believe this is reducing the stigma around the issue of receiving public assistance.

What do you think?

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is writing a story on this issue and is looking to speak to metro Atlantans who are receiving such services for the first time. The newspaper is also looking to speak to current and former state eligibility workers who process the applications.

In addition, the newspaper is doing a related story on people who are using Grady Memorial Hospital for the first time, because they have fallen on hard times.

Please contact reporter Craig Schneider at 404-526-5463 or email him at …

Continue reading Are you receiving Medicaid or other government assistance for the first time? »

Have you received your open enrollment forms?

It’s open enrollment time for health care coverage through your employer.

open enrollment

Jeff Janowski/For the AJC

In 2010, more of the burden will fall on workers. A recent Towers Perrin survey found that employee premium contributions, on average, will rise by 10 percent, or just over $200 next year. In 2009, there was a 8 percent increase.

Have you received your open enrollment forms? Are the costs higher? What other changes have you noticed?

Or did your employer decided to stop offering insurance coverage?

We want to hear from you. A reporter may call you back or you can email AJC reporter Shelia M. Poole at:

Continue reading Have you received your open enrollment forms? »

Drop a dime on your doc? Not so fast

Doctors are fighting back against internet sites that allow patients to post reviews of their services and bedside manner.

“Such reviews are becoming more common as consumer ratings services like Zagat’s and Angie’s List expand beyond restaurants and plumbers to medical care…” according to an AP article.

“Consumers and patients are hungry for good information” about doctors, but Internet reviews provide just the opposite, contends Dr. Jeffrey Segal, a North Carolina neurosurgeon who has made a business of helping doctors monitor and prevent online criticism.

He claims reviews are unfairly hurt a doctor’s reputation and focus too little – if at all – on the physician’s skills.

His has formed a company, Medical Justice, to address what he considers a big problem. For a fee, doctors receive a standardized waiver agreement. Patients who sign, agree not to write online reviews or comments about the doctor or treatment.

Do you read online reviews of your doctor? Are they …

Continue reading Drop a dime on your doc? Not so fast »

Got coverage? Many do not.


Losing your job is difficult enough, but losing health insurance doubles the catastrophe. In the past year, nearly 2 million jobs were lost in the United States, and with them, many employer health insurance benefits.

Now, the latest trend is that small businesses across the country are pulling health insurance for employees.

A Kaiser Family Foundation study examined the impact on the newly unemployed and their families.

(Read a previous story about surviving with no benefits.)

There are alternatives, of course. Some of the newly unemployed will use COBRA to fill the gap between jobs, and others will look into individual plans. But according the the Kaiser Family Foundation, half of those looking for work last year did so with no health insurance at all. (Check out the options. You have very few.)

Further surveys by Kaiser found that more people are postponing health care and the filling of prescriptions; putting off elective surgeries and diagnostic tests; and even cutting …

Continue reading Got coverage? Many do not. »