I know you're into US healthcare law, so I was wondering if you could explain to me why various insurance plans (including state-offered ones) have open enrollment dates and limit when people can sign up. It seems from the outside it's just so they can make peoples' lives more difficult, but is there an actual reason for this?
It is not a Bona Fide Healthcare Reason, and it’s…..not even a very good one, but essentially, it makes the math easier if you’re dealing with a finite and unchanging risk pool.
Remember that under the US health system, every time you see a healthcare professional, someone has to pay for everything they do. (Every test they run, every drug they prescribe, every blood draw and every needle and also the visit itself.) If that someone is you and you alone, a doctor’s visit could run you thousands of dollars out of your own pocket. However, if you have a good insurance plan and
pay your monthly premium, the insurance company foots the bill, and will charge you only a portion of those costs.
Which means that in order for insurance companies to make any money, they have to create favorable risk pools. If 20 people sign up for plan ABC, they all pay the same premium. But if 5 ABC beneficiaries go to the doctor every week, they cost the insurance company a huge amount of money—probably more than their monthly premiums, and maybe even more than the amount of money everybody’s monthly premium brings in.
If I’m an insurer, I’m panicking—I can’t drop them from my plan just because they’re sick (thanks, Affordable Care Act!) but I also need to make a profit. Therefore, I need to figure out ways to offset the costs.
Which means insurance plans in general run on just….a crap ton of math.
How many healthcare dollars does the average person utilize in a year? Where are they allocated (e.g. emergency services, pharmaceuticals, ambulatory care, etc.)? What if the average person has diabetes, how many additional dollars will they spend? Are there alternative therapies (like wellness plans or generic drugs) that do the same for less money? Are there partnerships the company can enter into that will bring those costs down? (This is where we get in-network and out-of-network stuff, as well as drug formularies.)
If people can jump onto plans and off again, or only buy insurance after they’re diagnosed with a chronic disease, it threatens the stability of the risk pool and ruins all the math. Additionally, when a company is offering its plans on the ACA marketplace, the government offers a subsidy—basically, they promise that if insurance companies lower the costs to the consumer, the government will make up the difference.
So much goddamn math, a lot of money changing hands—lawmakers and insurance compromised and decided it was much less complicated to have a single enrollment period, get everybody on the books, and manage the costs from there.
Which sucks for people who just……missed the deadline to enroll, or find themselves needing a different plan in mid-July. It also discourages a lot of shopping around for plans. (Which could itself lower insurance costs, though I have no faith in the free market to lower costs.)
That’s a long walk for a pretty short answer (”money and paperwork”) but I think it’s always helpful to know what’s really going on behind decisions corporations and legislators make.
An Internist's Perspective - Why RepubliCare is Scary
People often forget that “ObamaCare” has a real name. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) often gets demonized by people referring to it as “ObamaCare” or even as the “Affordable Care Act”.
They neglect, what I as a physician, feel is the most profound part of the bill - the PATIENT PROTECTION part. The PPACA established critical and innovative standards, forcing our insurance system to be accountable to patients. I’ll be the first to admit the health exchanges were not entirely successful and that there is lots of work to be done in that realm. However, focusing on the failure of the health exchanges delegitimizes the astounding protections the PPACA has created for patients.
For the first time, insurance companies were required to adhere to essential health benefits. For the first time, all health plans had to offer a critical number of services including women’s health screenings, mental health services, addiction services and more.
Furthermore, the PPACA, through placing actuarial value on different health plans, standardized what percentage of a patient’s care each insurance plan had to pay for. For example, if you paid your monthly premiums, your insurance company couldn’t also force you to pay more than 30% of the cost of the medical bill through high deductibles and copays.
RepubliCare’s goal is to slowly chisel away all these protections. Let’s forget the defunding of Planned Parenthood, a proposal so outlandish it warrants its own thesis. RepubliCare isn’t just bad for women, it’s bad for ALL patients.
While RepubliCare claims it keeps essential health benefits in place, the truth is more sinister. The proposed GOP bill would repeal the “actuarial value” placed on insurance plans by the PPACA. This means that a plan could theoretically meet all the essential health benefits required by the ACA, but then if you get your substance abuse treatment at your local clinic, your insurance company could decide to make you pay for 90% of it out of pocket.
Under the PPACA, the Medicaid expansion allowed millions of low income Americans to access insurance and care for the first time. RepubliCare strikes against that expansion, aiming to roll it back, and also roll back how much money the federal government gives to states to cover Medicaid expenses. Currently in the US, more than 70 MILLION people rely on Medicaid for essential health services.
These are OUR patients. These are the sick and the vulnerable. these are the people who need and deserve access to care. We, as a system, lose if we fail to provide essential primary care services to those who need it.
Yes, our system is broken. No, repealing taxes and giving insurance companies more freedoms is not the answer.
First off let me start by saying I don't work for SAI nor am I associated with them in any form or shape. Second, I do not own any salient "products" nor do I lust for their stuff. I hear SAI does not disappoint. why do you consider them a "shit" company? I'd consider a company shit when their stuff is not to spec and have horribly reputation with quality and performance. Sure they're expensive AF, but can you really be mad at Ferrari for not making a budget friendly car? I'm just curious.
Buckle up Anon, I’m about to go on for a while.
The high price their products command is not the issue I have with Salient Arms.
The shoddy build quality, gimmicky modifications, questionable reliability, and appalling customer service while charging premium prices is the issue I have.
One example of this horrible customer service is the ordeal that YouTuber EDCGunsandGear and his attempt to purchase Salient’s in-house pistol, the BLU.
Now his is not the only story of borderline customer abuse I’ve heard of Salient committing, just the most recent and most easily included in this post. Do some searching and you’ll see countless stories of lies, excuses, delays, lack of communication, and generally shitty behavior from Salient Arms.
And while I can’t argue that they make some nice (though gaudy and ostentatious for my tastes) guns, they also cut corners, add in gimmicks, and sacrifice reliability and durability for cool factor.
Boresight Solutions is one of the best and most respected stipplers/frame modifiers for Glocks and similar pistols out there, and I don’t think Travis Haley needs much of an introduction. Here’s what they have to say about what they’ve seen from SAI products:
This is not to mention things like the fact that they’ve had a website “coming soon” for over 4 fucking years. Salient seems to be too busy moving to Nevada, creating flashy shit for SHOT and having their guns put in Michael Bay movies to bother actually operating as a business and delivering products that their customers paid for months and months ago.
Now, I’ve never owned a SAI gun, and I’ve never handled one. I’m sure many of them are very nice, and I’m not saying the owners of those guns should throw them in the garbage or anything silly like that. I’m just saying, that from what I have seen over the years, they are a shitty company to deal with, and their products aren’t really any better than products you can get from competing companies that actually care about pleasing their customers.
Agency Arms is the most obvious example, they’ve built up a loyal following in the past year or two, and their Glock modifications seem to be both more durable and practical than most of Salient’s. They also consistently meet their quoted lead times and seem to place a large priority on ensuring the customer is happy both with the product and the transaction. If you don’t like Agency’s way of doing things, companies like Boresight Solutions, SSVI, Blown Deadline, ZEV, and ATEi (among others) all do incredible work that can fit anyone’s request.
There are countless top-quality 1911 gunsmiths out there that will provide an equally (if not better) well-made product with less gimmick, (and without turning your gun into a billboard) such as Wilson Combat, Nighthawk, Les Baer, etc.
As for their AR15s, their gas system is interesting, but nothing that hasn’t been done by premium companies before, their Jailbreak system is ugly as fuck and does the same thing as other blast deflectors, just in a bigger package, and you can get BCGs with slick coatings from damn near every company under the sun - including Cryptic, which is very popular. The SAI offers nothing you can’t get from KAC, Warsport, or other top-end AR manufacturers, usually at a lower price.
Like I said, I’ve never even handled an SAI product, so take everything here with a grain of salt. But I would never give Salient my money, and I’d never recommend anyone else do so either.
Sony may Announce a small, but Premium Xperia XZ1 at IFA 2017
Sony is prone to updating its range of smartphones every six months, but it has been almost a full year since we’ve seen a small yet premium handset from the company and rumors suggest the Xperia XZ1 Compact will be the next in line and announced at IFA 2017. It’s expected Sony will announce the Xperia X1, Xperia XZ1 and the Xperia XZ1 Compact at its August 31 show, with the latter of those devices being released soon after. A post on the Esato Forums – supplied by a source called josephnero who has been consistent on Sony mobile rumors in the past, including the release of the Xperia XA1 at MWC 2017 – suggests the XZ1 Compact will be available just 10 days after the announcement.
That would mark September 10 as the release date for the Xperia XZ1 Compact. Where exactly the device will be released on that day is unclear. It may be that only the US or Europe get the device at that time or it may be a release limited to Sony’s home market of Japan. What’s also unclear at the moment is the name of the device in question. Recent leaks and rumors suggest the phone will be called the Xperia XZ1 Compact, but there was never a Xperia XZ Compact with the last premium but small phone from Sony called the Xperia X Compact.
Collaborating with third parties hasn’t just been useful for Ninja Theory – they told us the relationship has also been helpful for Viacom because it’s meant they’ve been able to experiment with new technical things together: Some of the tech being used to create Hellblade really is at the cutting edge, particularly in the area of facial capture.
“Operating independently as we do we can be really flexible with these things. The presentations at GDC and Siggraph, these things came about because we could say ‘let’s just go for it’ and really push the tech. I think despite starting off as an innovative way to save costs we’ve actually been able to push the technology even further.” While flying to Serbia just to get an image of a face may sound like an expensive hassle, it certainly sounds more time- and cost-efficient than the process that came before it.
In order to effectively track Melina’s face using Cubic Motion’s head rig, the team had to fly out to Serbia to see 3Lateral, whose technicians used more some 100 cameras to take photos of Melina’s face performing more than 100 expressions. From these they were able to create a perfectly accurate 3D image of Melina’s face, the files of which could be used in conjunction with Cubic Motion’s tech to capture a real-time performance.
I've just gone thru my legal name change! :D I'm wondering if you know of any comprehensive lists of what I need to change my name on, like documents or accounts, and in what order? I've done social & license but I don't want to forget anything.
Here is a list of people you must contact after obtaining your deed poll (of course many things listed here does not apply to everyone):-
• Inland Revenue for tax and NI records
• Driver & Vehicle Licensing Authority (driving licence and vehicle registration document)
• HM Passport Office (to apply for a new passport)
• Building Society
• Mortgage provider
• Utility companies (water, sewerage, electricity, gas)
• Telephone company
• Mobile telephone company
• Local authority (council tax and register of electors)
• TV Licensing office
• Credit card and store charge-card companies
• Finance/loan companies
• Premium Bond office
• Investment companies
• Companies you have shares in
• Pension company
• Insurance companies (e.g. motor, medical, life, endowments, buildings, contents, extended warranties etc)
• Mail-order companies
• Motoring organisations
• Professional institutes and bodies
• Clubs, societies and associations
• Internet Service Provider
• Social media websites
• Police (if you have any criminal actions against you or are on the Sex Offenders’ Register)
Slow Down for @mrjonkane’s Silently Scintillating Loops
To see more of Jon’s s moving images, follow @mrjonkane on Instagram.
Can you stir the senses in a fraction of a moment? With his cinemagraphs and video loops, Jon Kane Houldsworth (@mrjonkane) is finding success. “Whether it’s the subtle movement of water flowing or that feeling of a breeze blowing through someone’s hair, it stimulates that memory,” Jon says. Inspired by the natural beauty of New Zealand and his professional work as brand manager for a premium tea company — a perfect pour can appear motionless except for wisps of steam — Jon’s silently scintillating works are all about experiencing more by slowing down. “It’s just tuning in to the unnoticed little moments of life — the difference between looking and seeing,” Jon says. The process of sharing what he finds has its own reward: “Once you start creating cinemagraphs, you actually start seeing those moments more.”
For-profit health care has billions in profits. Their incentive is to make money. Rising premiums is mostly drug companies charging more. It’s their greed.
If you’re thought is, “if premiums rise, we better get rid of rules that protect consumers”, that is what getting rid of Obamacare would accomplish.
Corporations will never lead us to lower costs. You need more people contributing, more young and healthy people in the contribution pool. Single-payer is the future and Obamacare is the pathway to covering everyone, as a right, through expanding Medicare.
Why burden employers with having to provide health care when you can just expand what more than half the population is doing now: using government-managed health care.