Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Posts Tagged ‘Texas Department of Insurance’

Checking in on Uber and Lyft in San Antonio

San Antonio City Council will soon be taking up with vehicles for hire issue, and so far things have gone about as smoothly as you’d expect. A proposal from City staff to integrate rideshare companies into the existing Vehicle for Hire Ordinance, and therefore legalizing rideshare operations in San Antonio, was met with unanimous opposition […]

Will we finally get a vote on vehicles for hire this week?

Remember last month when Council was supposed to vote on a vehicles for hire ordinance change to allow Uber and Lyft to operate here in some fashion? It was put off till July 30 to allow for some form of “consensus” to emerge among the stakeholders. How’s that going? Slowly, it would seem. At least […]

Texas insurance enrollment update

Enrollments are up and the number of uninsured are down, though both could have been a lot better. The sky-high rate of Texans without health insurance has dropped only slightly since the launch of the federal Affordable Care Act’s online health insurance marketplace, according to a new report from Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public […]

What’s the health insurance enrollment status in Texas?

The short answer is that we don’t know. The longer answer, as this Express-News story indicates, is that we’ll never really know. Self-sufficiency. Distrust. Desire for flexibility. Those are some reasons many consumers bypassed health insurance plans sold on government-run exchanges and instead chose to buy coverage directly from insurance agents or brokers before open […]

Somewhat less onerous navigator rules published

They could have been worse, but they could still be better. The Texas Department of Insurance on Tuesday issued state regulations for health care “navigators,” the workers who assist people seeking health insurance in the federal marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act. The rules take into account some of the criticism aired recently by […]

Rick Perry doesn’t want people to get health insurance

There’s really no other viable explanation. On a White House conference call on Monday, Texas Democrats criticized Gov. Rick Perry and other Republican state leaders for “getting in the way” of implementing federal health care reform. During the call, which was organized by the White House to tout the impact of the Affordable Care Act […]

Perry keeps asking for the same Medicaid waiver he hasn’t gotten in the past

Same as it ever was. Gov. Rick Perry is preparing for yet another battle in his war against Obamacare. In a letter to the state’s health agency on Monday, the governor laid out his plan to request a federal waiver to reform Medicaid as Texas sees fit — without expanding eligibility. “Seemingly, the president and […]

When is it OK for the feds to intervene in Texas?

When the Affordable Care Act is involved. Though Texas will join 26 other states in defaulting to a federal marketplace for purchasing health insurance — a major component of the Affordable Care Act — it is one of only six that will not enforce new health insurance reforms prescribed by the law. It’s a decision […]

Just a reminder that women’s health isn’t the only thing they don’t care about

In case you needed one. Texas officials have declined to establish a state-based health insurance marketplace, a major provision of the federal Affordable Care Act. So private organizations are working to educate Texans about coverage options through the federal health insurance exchange, which opens on Oct. 1. Of the more than 6.3 million uninsured Texans […]

Like it or not, Obamacare is coming to Texas

The Better Texas blog reminds us that as the Affordable Care Act fully kicks in next year there are things that need to be done in Texas to be compliant [W]hat I hope to see are bills that prepare Texas for 2014 market changes to help keep premiums reasonable, encourage competition, and ensure that the […]

Rick Perry must love federal intervention

He sure does his dangedest to invite it. Perry, a Republican, has vowed not to expand Medicaid and not to create an insurance exchange. Consumer advocates in Texas say the Perry administration has also been dragging its feet when it comes to insurance rate review. To make insurance more affordable, the federal law requires every state to conduct […]

Millions more Texans will have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act

Can’t happen soon enough. The percentage of Texans with health insurance will increase to 91 percent – up from 74 percent today – after the national health care law takes effect in 2014, the state’s Medicaid director told lawmakers Monday. [...] An estimated 2.3 million Texans will still lack health insurance after the Affordable Care […]

Who watches the bounce houses?

As the father of two young children, I’ve been to many places that had bounce houses, from outfits like Pump It Up to back yards with a rented inflatable. As such, this story about the way such things are regulated was fascinating to me. The Texas Department of Insurance is legally responsible for keeping an […]

Tort “reform” is still a scam

I know, I’m as shocked as you are. A national report released Wednesday says the 2003 Texas law that limited damage awards in malpractice suits has caused health care spending to rise and has not significantly increased the number of doctors in Texas. [...] The 24-page report by Public Citizen, “A Failed Experiment,” says that […]

The Affordable Care Act will help millions of Texans

So says the Texas Department of Insurance. Even as Texas leaders rail against the national health care law and call for its repeal, the state Department of Insurance has issued a report that says the law will make it easier for many Texas families to get health coverage. The report also helps make the case […]

Worker’s Comp goes before the Sunset Commission

The worker’s comp battle has moved to the Sunset Advisory Committee, with testimony being given about how the Division of Workers’ Compensation does its business. Elise Hu continues her reporting on the war of words between several former employees of that division and their boss – see a letter one of them wrote in response […]

The Worker’s Comp Commissioner fires back

How can you tell when whistleblowers are having an effect? When the entitiy they blew the whistle on attacks them. As the Division of Workers’ Compensation heads into a public hearing at the Sunset Advisory Commission next week, Commissioner Rod Bordelon is blasting his former employees for their allegations in the Texas Tribune earlier this […]

More on worker’s comp fraud

Elise Hu has a followup to her story from last week about worker’s comp fraud and the lack of investigation of same. It seems she attracted the attention of the Lege. “My primary concern is patients getting improper treatment — things that are going to end up hurting them or getting them hooked on painkillers,” […]

Blowing the whistle on worker’s comp fraud

Really good article in the Trib about worker’s compensation fraud and why so little of it is being actively investigated these days. This is the sort of thing that really ought to get traction, as it has something for all kinds of different political interests. For the budget hawks, there’s “waste, fraud, and abuse” in […]

Who will administer Texas’ health insurance exchange?

As we know, one of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act is the creation of health insurance exchanges for those who are currently uninsured and need assistance in getting it. The states are supposed to operate these exchanges, and that means some kind of action needs to be taken to get it up and […]

Stiffed by State Farm

Those good hands we’re supposed to be in? They’re squeezing the heck out of us. To leading lawmakers and even some insurance industry experts, State Farm hasn’t exactly been like a good neighbor in recent dealings with state regulators. The state’s largest property insurer shows no sign of compromising on its marathon legal battle over […]

Homeowners insurance

An awful lot of attention gets paid to property taxes and the rate at which they rise due to higher appraisals. There are other variable costs to home ownership, however, and one of them is homeowners insurance. As a result of a dramatic increase in mold claims prior to 2003, homeowner insurance rates were pushed […]

So what happens now?

Hell if I know. In a last-minute legislative meltdown, the Texas Senate adjourned Monday night without passing key measures to avert a shutdown of the Texas Department of Transportation and other state agencies, raising the specter of a special session this summer. The sticking point was $2 billion in transportation bond funding that the House […]

We want more regulation!

Here are some words I never thought I’d hear in Texas, at least while the current regime is in charge. Texas regulatory agencies could get as much as $41.2 million more over the next two years to better do their jobs keeping an eye on everything from banks to investment advisers to doctors. The spending […]