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A Matter of the Heart

Last week, the Texas House of Representatives Public Education Committee voted unanimously to pass a bill requiring students to undergo EKG screenings before participating in UIL events, The bill leaves the burden of paying for the testing up to the parents, and under our current system an EKG can cost hundreds of dollars. But how much does an EKG really “cost,” anyway?  Adapted from my upcoming book, Your Money AND Your Life, or American Healthcareonomics: “THAT one, Daddy,” said my daughter, pointing to a glossy black, ultramodern bedroom set. I didn’t agree with her choice, but it was her 12th birthday and for months, she had complained about the embarrassing
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Glenn Beck Agrees With Me ;)

A couple of weeks ago I got tickets to be a part of the audience for the Glenn Beck TV show, and let me say that I got a lot more than I bargained for. After everyone arrived I was surprised when we were met by Glenn himself, who gave us a tour of Mercury Studios. He was funny, personable, and taller than I thought he’d be. But it got even better when we all sat down for the show, and Glenn announced that that particular episode was going to be an unscripted, interactive session between himself and the audience. Man, I
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Would You Trust This Guy?

Recently I searched YouTube for “health insurance,” and this video popped up near the top of the list. Meet Joe Simonds (rhymes with diamonds): author, digital marketing maverick, and guru of the Retirement Think Tank. Now I’m sure Joe knows a thing or two about how to save for the golden years, but early on in his presentation he proves that he doesn’t know much about health insurance – after just 4 seconds he says he’s talking “about healthcare, or Obamacare, or whatever you want to call it.” It’s health insurance, Joe. You’re talking about health insurance. Anyway, the message Joe wants to send his viewers
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Gruber the Goober – ObamaCare Architect Thinks Voters are Stupid…

Jonathan Gruber is an MIT Economist who was paid $400,000 for his help in designing ObamaCare. Recently, a couple of videos were posted of him calling American voters “stupid.” This isn’t the first time he’s insulted a group of (not so stupid after all) people.  Here’s a clip I found of “him” as a grad student back in the 80’s:
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Regain Control of Health Insurance Choices

COLLEYVILLE, TEXAS – With the national uncertainty about rising health insurance premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket maximums, Kevin Wacasey, M.D., is on a mission to provide answers with the launch of Healthcareonomics. This groundbreaking radio show, podcast and website highlight the difference between the costs versus charges of health care and introduce The Wacasey Equation, a simple and practical way to compare the value of different policies when buying health insurance. Dr. Kevin Wacasey outlines his revolutionary plan at Healthcareonomics.com, and he hosts a half-hour radio show on 570 KLIF in Dallas, Texas. It airs every Sunday at 4 p.m. (CST),
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Trick? or Treat?

Sara Horowitz is a “genius.” Oh, don’t take my word for it; she was awarded that title, as well as a grant, by the MacArthur Foundation in 1999. She’s received all kinds of awards and been placed on various lists of up and comers since then. And in a couple of recent articles from Slate and Forbes, her accomplishments are laid out very nicely. So how did she earn such accolade? For starters, in 2003 she formed a non-profit organization for disenfranchised workers who are given a paycheck, but no other job-related benefits. Her motivation for doing so came when
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The Good, The Bad, and The Bronze

Ahhhh, marketing. A good definition of marketing can be found at Wikipedia: “the process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers, for the purpose of selling that product or service.” Actually that description would be a lot better if an adjective like “supposed” were placed in front of the word value. Let me explain. A marketing consultant once told me a story about a project he did for a software retail chain in the late 1990s. He was tasked with improving sales of a program that claimed to make dial-up Internet connections faster. So he re-designed the
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To pay, or not to pay? That is the Question…

To pay, or not to pay…I’ll admit it, I’ve never been great with math. Except for subtracting from my bank account, as my CPA likes to remind me. But I am pretty fair at addition. And when I took keyboard and mouse to five local school districts’ open enrollment info, I found that my previous assertions about health insurance still hold true. Less equals more. A lot more. Because it turns out that no matter what, by some strange, as-yet undiscovered law of mathematics, the common denominator in every case is that it makes the most economic sense to buy the lowest-priced, highest
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Affordable Health Insurance?!?

Affordable health insurance?!?  In keeping with the Texas educators theme, last fall I spoke with a local high school teacher who told me that she and her high school coach husband were paying $1,540 a month for the Active Care 3 family policy which I detailed in the last few posts. I did the math and quickly figured that for 2014, these folks will pay $18,480 – out of their own pockets – in premiums just to have health insurance coverage for themselves and their two children. I wanted to paraphrase an old chili commercial and say “Neighbor, how much are you paying for
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Managing Risk, Part 3 – Which Is Better?

Let’s focus on managing risk.  Here are the health insurance plans that were offered to the employees of a local school district at open enrollment in August, 2013: I think it’s pretty obvious which policy is the best. Add up the In-Network Deductible and the Co-Insurance Maximum Out-of-Pockets and you’ll see how much you could expect to spend if you were say, hit by a train during the course of the year. On healthcare. That’s in addition to those pesky premiums for your health insurance. So with the Active Care 1-HD plan you could be on the hook for $6,250. Pretty scary, huh? Which is
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