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Posts Tagged ‘PPACA’

Speculation about which way the Supreme Court would rule regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) ended Thursday morning when the high court ruled the reform law constitutional.

In a 5 to 4 vote, the high court also clarified that while the Medicaid expansion is constitutional, the federal government cannot withhold existing Medicaid funds from states for non-compliance with the President Obama-championed ACA.

The goal of ACA is that healthcare coverage will be extended to about 32 million people, a goal to be achieved through new mandates for individuals and employers, subsidies for people who can’t afford coverage on their own, consumer-friendly rules clamped on insurers, tax breaks, and marketplaces to shop for health plans.

That was the objective the ACA launched, and now that the law has been upheld, stake holders like Randy Holloran, president of Charlotte, N.C.-based Cirrus Medical Staffing, sees the ruling as a positive decision for the healthcare traveling industry. In the simplest terms, he says, more insured Americans will create a demand for healthcare services, spurring a demand for temporary healthcare staffing.

“This means there will be more people with insurance, more people getting medical procedures,” he says. “Ultimately, this will put a bigger strain on supply (of qualified clinicians).”

Cirrus provides staffing services for nursing and allied health travelers including physical therapists, occupational therapists, respiratory therapists, and speech language pathologists.

Within the majority, the five justices agreed that the penalty someone must pay if one refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power on.

The ACA’s most far-reaching changes don’t kick in until 2014, including a requirement that most Americans carry health insurance — whether through an employer, a government program or their own purchase — or pay a fine. That will require tax credits to help cover the cost of premiums. Medicaid also will be expanded to cover more low-income people.

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Photo: dbking via Flickr.com

On Monday, March 26, the U.S. Supreme Court began hearing arguments regarding the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that every American purchase health insurance. Luckily, most staffing companies offer travelers employer-sponsored medical insurance. Still, that’s only one kind of insurance policy.

With auto, home, and renter’s insurance policies available for purchase, there are many types to protect you and your belongings.

For some insight into the finer points of insurance, and how to cater certain policies to a mobile lifestyle, insurance expert Valerie Vollmer offers the following advice.

Automobile

Driving to assignments every few months means spending more time behind the wheel than the average car owner. Vollmer suggests carrying full, comprehensive theft and vandalism, as well as collision with a low deductible. The more time your auto is out and about, the greater risk something could happen — like dings or accidents.

However, don’t neglect bodily injury and property damage liability. This not only covers you, the person you hit, and his/her passengers if they are injured in an accident, but having higher limits also protects your assets in the event that the other driver files a lawsuit against you. The damage element also reimburses others for any destruction of their property you caused.

Vollmer recommends travelers look for policies that provide a temporary rental car so you won’t be out of commission even if your vehicle is. These policies often include roadside services, too.

Recreational Vehicles

If you travel in a recreational vehicle or motor home, then you’re talking about another type of insurance altogether. Vollmer says to ask your agent about certain specifics, like what personal items are and are not covered. Are there comprehensive limits? Does it include breakdown services? Also, find out if a loss-of-use clause compensates you for temporary living accommodations.

Homeowner’s & Renter’s

If you own a home, you’re in luck. Homeowner’s insurance policies protect your belongings even if you are thousands of miles away on assignment. A notable exception is if you’ve turned your home into a rental property. If that’s the case, or if you don’t own a permanent residence, Vollmer suggests taking out a renter’s insurance policy at each new location. Generally speaking, this will replace items damaged or destroyed by burglary, water, smoke, and loss of use.

Travelers may also want to consider a personal article policy insuring valuables such as jewelry, cameras, and computers. However, cell phones, tablets, and e-readers aren’t usually covered.

Did you know that some carriers are dropping dog bite liability from homeowner’s policies? Other companies will exclude that coverage after the first incident. So before taking Fido on assignments, it’s important to know what is and isn’t included in your policy.

Stay tuned

Watch for the second half of this post next month, including tips on how to shop for insurance companies. Special thanks to Valerie Vollmer of Vollmer Insurance Services in Agoura Hills, Calif.

Anne Baye Ericksen has written for Healthcare Traveler since 1996. She resides with her family in Simi Valley, Calif. 

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