Americans have a reputation in some parts of the world for being lazy with their speech habits, although we like to consider ourselves coolly efficient and unwilling to put up with hoity-toity speech. This cool efficiency means that we feel fine when we use the same pronunciation for different ideas; for example, the pronunciations of the words vane, vein, and vain. I do not feel too bad about those similar pronunciations since, at least, the American rules of spelling and pronunciation support their sounding the same. But there are two words that should not sound the same since they are spelled so differently:
Credible and Creditable
The spelling of the second word, creditable, the term that is important to government-sponsored healthcare regulation like Medicare, should not be pronounced as kre-duh-buhl, as if it were credible. Creditable‘s spelling indicates that it should have 4 syllables during pronunciation, not 3. I offer you this easy-to-say alternative pronunciation: kruh-DIT-uh-buhl, the stress being on the second syllable. Saying it this way, your tongue does not trip; your lips do not suffer irreparable damage. Plus, such pronunciation involves an acceptable amount of cool American efficiency, an amount that we can be proud of. You can tell that just the cool amount of efficiency is there from all the “uh’s” in the pronunciation. Best of all, such a pronunciation easily distinguishes it from credible.
Promote this pronunciation among your friends! I will be grateful that you did.
What do you think? Could we build a social movement around improving the pronunciation of a single word? (Everyone else in the country is building a social movement around a bunch of other trivial ideas, so why not us!)
By the way, this trivial opinion is just mine, not Stone Hill's.—Doug
Subject: 2017 Online MA/PDP Enrollment Links
Dear Valued Medicare Producer,
For the Regence Medicare Advantage online enrollments, agents will have a separate Personal URL link (PURL) to use for the 2017 plans. This gives agents the control to send their client an enrollment link specific to their personal needs based on when they want coverage to begin. This also eliminates the need for clients to indicate a requested effective date prior to seeing the plan information.
**You simply need to change ONE number in your existing 2016 PURL to quote 2017 rates and benefit**
If you have a client who is new to Medicare or qualifies for an SEP and is looking for coverage to begin November or December 1st, you will continue to send them your 2016 PURL. Beginning on October 1st, you will start using your new 2017 PURL to send to clients who are shopping for coverage to begin on or afterJanuary 1, 2017. Please note that you will no longer use your 2016 PURL after November 30th.
The new 2017 enrollment links will have the same look and work the same as the 2016 enrollment links, but will have the 2017 plan information and rates.
Below are instructions on how to access your 2017 link, based on your situation:
I ALREADY HAVE A 2016 PURL
Your PURL will be very similar, the only change being the year – 2016 will be replaced with 2017. You can either:
I DO NOT HAVE A 2016 PURL
There is a 2 step process to set-up your online enrollment link
o Regence Agent Portal: https://regence.isf.io/2017/agent.
o Asuris Agent Portal: https://asuris.isf.io/2017/agent (username and password is the same for both Regence/Asuris)
Here are a few important tips about your online enrollment links:
COMING SOON – Regence/Asuris online Medigap applications will be moved to the same platform soon! With the switch, agents will have one URL link to send to clients instead of two, and clients will be able to shop and compare all Regence Medicare plans in their area using the same link! We will send additional information about this change when we get closer to the launch date.
If you have any questions, please contact your Medicare Sales Executive or call Medicare Producer Support at 1-800-557-0555.
– Your Medicare Sales Team
Ensure a sustainable future – only print when necessary.
Christian Delbert, Shutterstock
SALT LAKE CITY — Rates for health insurance plans on the individual marketplace are likely to rise by an average of 30 percent next year, the Utah Department of Insurance said Thursday.
The second-lowest silver plan — the benchmark plan used to calculate tax subsidies for enrollees on the marketplace — is a SelectHealth plan with premiums of a little over $200 a month, according to insurance department officials.
Nov. 1 marks the beginning of the fourth open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act, which has struggled to win over skeptics as states face another year of rising premiums and insurers pulling out of the individual marketplace.
Jaakob Sundberg, a health actuary with the Utah Department of Insurance, acknowledged the increases are substantial but said it was the first year he has seen rates appropriately priced.
“Yes, the individual rate increase is significant,” Sundberg told lawmakers on the health reform task force at the state Capitol. “But when you consider the rate level relative to the benefits, it was definitely underpriced prior to this.”
He said the individual marketplace should see more stability in future years, despite some lawmakers expressing skepticism.
Health reform advocates reminded people to shop around if they want to avoid price hikes.
Jason Stevenson of the Utah Health Policy Project pointed out that 87 percent of Utahns on the marketplace get subsidies that lower the cost of their monthly premium by an average of 69 percent.
Those who shop around can expect their premiums go up slightly by about 8 to 10 percent, he estimated.
“Most people are not going to see a 30 percent increase,” Stevenson said.
Utahns who do not qualify for subsidies are likely to bear more of the brunt from the rate increases.
Small group plans will also see rate hikes of about 10 percent on average, according to insurance officials.
Stevenson said he believes rate hikes will continue for the next few years and said the success of the president’s health care law depends on factors like Medicaid expansion and competition.
The Utah Legislature has debated Medicaid expansion for years.
A small-scale Medicaid extension proposal passed last year is still under review by the federal government.
State Medicaid officials said on Thursday that the proposal — which is aimed at helping the poorest of the poor — will likely miss its hoped-for January deadline.
Nate Checketts, who oversees the state’s Medicaid and CHIP programs, said Utah officials were “hoping to get a sign” from federal officials by September that they were likely to approve Utah’s proposal. That “sign” hasn’t come.
“I think Jan. 1 would be a really hard thing to hit right now,” he said.
Lawmakers also heard updates on the cost of full Medicaid expansion based on a new report from the Legislature’s fiscal analysts.
Previous estimates put the cost of expanding Medicaid through the governor’s Healthy Utah plan at $78 million in return for hundreds of millions in federal funds.
The new analysis predicts that higher-than-expected enrollment and premium costs may push that figure closer to $92 million.
Utah would save $10 million in payments to the federal government if it expanded Medicaid and would receive roughly $100 million in return, according to the report.
Rep. Jim Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville, said the new analysis was “very helpful,” although he later clarified that he “is not saying (Medicaid expansion) will be brought up this session.”
But he pointed out that the state is already receiving more funds from the federal government — mostly due to individuals on the exchange receiving premium subsidies and cost-sharing benefits — than the state is sending back in taxes, fees and penalties.
“For people to say we need to expand to get our dollars back — we already have our dollars back,” Dunnigan said. “There might be other reasons to expand, but we’re not leaving other money to the feds.”
The analysis, which relied on rough estimates of how many Utahns would enroll in health insurance if the state were to fully expand Medicaid, will be updated further.
Utahns shopping for health insurance on the individual exchange next year can also expect to see fewer options, with the total number of plans dropping from 120 to 52 next year.
The marketplace in Utah lost one insurer after Humana pulled out earlier this year.
However, two other carriers are expanding their territory. Molina is expanding into Box Elder County, and University of Utah Health Plans will offer plans in Cache, Duchesne, Grand, Iron, Rich, Uinta and Washington counties, according to the insurance department.
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a. Names of individuals and relatives
b. Postal addresses
c. All elements of dates, like birthdates
d. Telephone and fax numbers
e. E-mail addresses
f. Social Security and Medicare numbers
g. Medical Record numbers
h. Account numbers
a. Administrative safeguards refer to policies and procedures created to manage and maintain security measures to protect protected health information.
b. Minimize the risk of unauthorized access to PHI by following physical security practices in a workplace.
c. Keep PHI out of clear view from the public (desks, copiers/fax machines) and stored in secure areas.
d. Dispose of documents and electronic media containing PHI in secured containers or by shredding.
e. Physically secure a laptop and other mobile equipment in locked drawers or by other appropriate means.
f. Never leave a laptop or smart phone unattended in a car or when traveling. Treat a laptop or smart phone like cash.
g. Keep office doors and cabinets containing PHI locked.
h. Do not allow anyone to follow you into a secure location.
i. Only discuss PHI in private settings to avoid eavesdropping.
j. When accessing, storing, and/or transmitting PHI on computers, smart phones, USB drives, and other electronic devices, follow procedures related to:
i. Accessing only secured networks.
ii. Encrypting e-mail and files containing PHI.
iii. Using strong passwords.
iv. Avoiding sending PHI in the clear (to a public email boxes like Gmail, MSN, Verizon).