Health

Nurses reject Alberta Health Services’ proposal to again delay labour talks: Finance minister

The United Nurses of Alberta (UNA) has “rejected stability during a pandemic” by demanding labour talks next month, charges Alberta’s finance minister.



Dennis Franchione wearing a suit and tie: Finance Minister Travis Toews.


© Provided by Edmonton Journal
Finance Minister Travis Toews.

Finance Minister Travis Toews in a Thursday afternoon news release said he is “extremely disappointed” with UNA leadership’s rejection of Alberta Health Services’ (AHS) proposal to delay labour negotiations.

But the UNA says enough time has gone by since the leadership agreed to press pause on collective agreement negotiations when the pandemic struck the province in March. Now, it’s asking AHS to resume bargaining talks Nov. 16.

AHS “rejected that proposal, instead suggesting that the two bargaining teams next meet on March 31, 2021,” the union said in a Thursday statement.

“UNA declined the AHS position to delay negotiations until 2021, as well as an offer to delay layoffs until that date. UNA believes that any layoffs should be

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Berkley Accident & Health Launches Needlestick Insurance for Nurses and Other Healthcare Workers

HAMILTON SQUARE, N.J., Sept. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Berkley Accident & Health, a Berkley Company, announced the launch of Vigilance, an Occupational Accident Insurance product built for healthcare workers and students at risk of sharps injuries, bloodborne infections, and workplace assaults.

“Sharps injuries and workplace violence are some of the most common occupational risks that healthcare workers say they worry about most,” said Susan Clarke, President, Berkley Accident and Health, Special Risk Division. “Our goal was to create a product designed specifically for them that addresses these exact risks.”

Vigilance provides coverage for accidental needlesticks, felonious assaults, and occupational HIV, chronic Hepatitis B and chronic Hepatitis C acquired through a covered sharps injury or blood or bodily fluid exposure incident.

“Healthcare workers selflessly dedicate their lives to helping others, and this year, they faced unprecedented challenges as they battled COVID-19 on the frontlines,” Clarke continued. “Now, more than ever, it’s

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Sen. Matt Lesser Releases Statement On Health Insurance Rates

Sept. 12, 2020

Insurance & Real Estate Committee chair Senator Matt Lesser (D-Middletown) is releasing a statement following an announcement made from Insurance Commissioner Andrew N. Mais from the Connecticut State Insurance Department. A decision was made on health insurance rate filings for the 2021 coverage year. As a result of these decisions, approximately 214,600 Connecticut consumers are projected to save $96 million.

“I’m grateful that Commissioner Mais and the Insurance Department rejected the industry’s push for higher rates on individual plans,” said Senator Lesser. “While it’s positive that rates on individual plans aren’t increasing, Connecticut can and should take immediate action to lower health care premiums by following the lead of states like New Jersey and Massachusetts that have strengthened the Affordable Care Act even as they lay the groundwork for more aggressive reforms. Immediate reforms could include expanding Medicaid and providing state level premium support for plans on

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The pandemic shows America can’t afford its dysfunctional health insurance system

For many of the nearly 28 million Americans without health insurance, complying with the CDC guidelines to stay home and in touch with a doctor when Covid-19 symptoms are present is an impossibility.



a group of people on a rock: PLYMOUTH, MA - AUGUST 10: Onlookers watch from the shore as The replica ship Mayflower II comes back into Plymouth Harbor after being rehabbed in Connecticut for the past three years on August 10, 2020 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. This year marks the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims landing in Massachusetts. Festivites around the aniversary were scaled back due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)


© Scott Eisen/Getty Images
PLYMOUTH, MA – AUGUST 10: Onlookers watch from the shore as The replica ship Mayflower II comes back into Plymouth Harbor after being rehabbed in Connecticut for the past three years on August 10, 2020 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. This year marks the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims landing in Massachusetts. Festivites around the aniversary were scaled back due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

As acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during the H1N1 pandemic in 2009, I learned that the agency’s guidelines were only as effective as the public’s ability to follow them. Today, millions of Americans lack the means to do so because

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Takeda to Sell Japan Consumer Health Unit Valued at $2.3 Billion to Blackstone | Investing News

TOKYO (Reuters) – Takeda Pharmaceutical Co said on Monday it would sell its Japanese consumer healthcare business to U.S. buyout fund Blackstone Group, as it aims to focus on developing drugs for unmet medical needs and rare diseases.

Japan’s largest pharmaceuticals company has been selling

its over-the-counter (OTC) assets worldwide as it seeks to refocus its business and reduce debt following a $59 billion acquisition of Shire Plc last year.

Takeda CEO Christophe Weber said via an online briefing the company had decided to sell the Japanese OTC unit because it would be difficult for Takeda to keep investing in OTC businesses while trying to develop new drugs for more serious diseases.

“My responsibility is to make sure that we don’t destroy value (for OTC businesses) but create value, and to create value we need to grow businesses and it’s not good to keep business and not invest sufficiently into

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SAG-AFTRA Members Complain of Changes in Health Insurance

More than 8,500 people have signed a petition asking the health plan of SAG-AFTRA, the American union for professional film and television actors, to reverse changes that will result in some members no longer qualifying for health insurance.

The health plan said in an email it sent to members on Wednesday night that it would raise the floor for eligibility from those earning $18,040 a year to $25,950, effective Jan. 1. Premiums will also increase.

“The Trustees of the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan have taken a difficult but necessary action to address financial deficits facing the plan,” the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) Health Plan said in a statement.

At a time when film jobs are scarce and live theater is almost completely shut down because of the pandemic, many actors have seen their income slow to a trickle or disappear entirely.

“Every actor in America

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Jack Haskins column: How a change in health insurance threatens those with chronic diseases | Columnists

CAAPs allow insurers not to count copay assistance toward our annual deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. Patients still can use this assistance, but when it runs out, patients are on the hook for paying for their medications out of pocket. That means they will be hit with a major financial obligation mid-year after their copay assistance is exhausted.

For instance, my annual out of pocket maximum is $4,500. Before my employer instituted a CAAP, I could use copay assistance to help me reach this threshold, at which point my insurance, which I pay for through premiums, would kick in to cover subsequent costs.

Insurers argue that CAAPs incentivize patients like me to choose less expensive generic medications. But around 90% of drugs covered by copay assistance have no generic alternative.

For instance, I use a specialty biologic with no generic equivalent to treat my autoimmune disorders, including psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

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State employees to pay more for Georgia health insurance

State employees in Georgia will be paying an extra $135 next year for health benefits after the Board of Community Health approved a premium rate hike.

The board voted unanimously Thursday to increase the employee premiums by an average of 5 percent.

Members of the plan can expect to pay an average of $11.33 more per month, said Jeffrey Rickman, Georgia Department of Community Health executive director. The premiums vary based on the available plans to each member.

The employee contribution rate to the plan remains about 29.5 percent, which the board also unanimously voted to maintain Thursday.

The plan provides health care coverage for Georgia legislators, teachers, school employees, other state employees and certain retirees.

The premiums will cover new perks for members, including a case management program for employees with rare conditions. The program will extend pharmacy care for state employees with ALS, cystic fibrosis and Parkinson’s

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New Hampshire Insurance Department – Consumer, Health Insurance

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Consumer Health Insurance Guides

Getting Health Insurance:

Navigating the System:

If You Have Problems With Your Coverage:

Managing Your Costs:

Senior Services (Including Medicare and Long Term Care)

COBRA and New Hampshire State Continuation Coverage

Self-Funded Employer Plans:

  • If your plan is a “self-funded” benefit plan offered by an employer or bona fide union trust under a union contract, state insurance departments have no jurisdiction. Instead, you may file a complaint with the US Department of Labor Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration at 866-444-3272 or 617-565-9600.
  • If you are uncertain which type of benefit plan you have i.e., fully insured, self-insured, or self-funded you should contact your human resource department or your insurance carrier for clarification.

Government/Church Plans:

If your health plan is self-funded but offered through a government or church employer, follow the appeals

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