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preventive care

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Oscar is coming to San Francisco

Oscar is coming in 2017. No, not that Oscar.

A new health insurance carrier will offer plans both on- and off-exchange, in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties. A little surprising it took this long, considering they are Google-funded, and we’ve heard them described as “great software – with health insurance attached.”

It appears their Bay Area rates and network will be middle-of-the-pack (current word is no Sutter Health/PAMF, though that could change). Will their customer service and user experience be enough to consider Oscar as a viable choice? Stay tuned.

Will new breast cancer screening guidelines affect your insurance coverage?

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Monday’s report by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force — which recommended increase the starting age from 40 to 50 for women to get regular mammograms — touched off controversy from all angles, and is generally being met with skepticism, writes Jennifer Steinhauer (NY Times).  In today’s L.A. Times, Noam Levey writes about how this issue may affect the current health care debate.

The thought that immediately came to my mind was whether insurance carriers would use these recommendations to change their preventive care benefits.  MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) Florida discuss this in the video clip above.  I don’t think we will be seeing anything immediate, but if/when Congress passes health care legislation, I do expect the carriers to adjust and react.  We will keep an eye on this issue and post additional information as it becomes available.

The folks at Newsy.com do a great job compiling multiple video sources to provide an objective view:

What now? (U.S. News & World Report, 11/18/09)  Anger and shock at the new guidelines (SF Chronicle, 11/18/09)