Notes & Links: October 9, 2013

Deadly Disbelief
Kent Sepkowitz writing in Slate helps us revisit AIDS and HIV that many of us may have forgotten. Not what causes it and that it is deadly or that it is being effectively managed thanks to the hard work of the pharmaceutical industry being beaten senseless by AIDS activists before they realized market value. What Sepkowitz gets us to think about are the AIDS denialists who are still there. And the harm they do though is not half as damaging as the anti-vacination foilhat wearing crew.

This is a good read and one we need to perform annually.

Health Insurance Premiums in the Exchanges Pt. 1
Tim writing on Tim’s Stuff just published this post. Got to say what’s there not to love about a self-described boring Mormon economics grad student who is into insurance and health policy. And not to leave out cycling my fav. 

His post Part 1 is rather enlightening just because it speaks not in screaming advocacy or exploding hate about the ACA or ObamaCare depending on where you reside on your ‘I know more than you do scale’ but in quite calm fact based logic. 

There are two reasons why an individual’s insurance premiums might be rising this year. First, your plan may be changing. More likely than not, your plan is becoming more comprehensive. This is to comply with new regulations requiring plans to have an actuarial value greater than or equal to 60%. A plan’s actuarial value is the portion of health care costs the plan will cover for an average individual. Most individual plans currently fall short of the 60% requirement, so people currently holding individual policies will probably see their plans change to qualify, raising the price.1 This price increase does not come without corresponding benefits, however. Not many people are complaining about having to purchase more comprehensive coverage which they probably couldn’t get last year.

Second, new regulations require health insurance premiums to be “community rated.” No, this does not mean that everyone in your community has to go somewhere and rate every health plan. It means that plans can’t charge different people different premiums for the same plan. Now, the law does not require perfect community rating. Instead, it allows health plans to vary premiums by age, geography, and smoking status. Really, it just prohibits charging different premiums based on health status, i.e. a health plan can’t charge a sick person more than a healthy person for coverage via the same health plan.

he above is pretty much it for Part 1 but it opened my eyes. Tim has a bunch more on his site on insurance and health policy. Good reading someone’s got to write this stuff and make it accessible. 

40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World
This link is from Doc Searls Weblog and is brilliant, let me say that again BRILLIANT. One just for the content and execution of these maps but, the fact anyone doing a PowerPoint deck always needs a map. Well here ya go you will find a map just right to make your point dramatic and clear.

Just check this out. Boom that was my mind blowing up. And it is not only maps this site is sick.