Doctors fighting US opioid epidemic say insurance barrier impedes treatment | US healthcare

In the midst of the worst overdose epidemic in US history, addiction medicine specialists say a bureaucratic hurdle is adding to the difficulty of getting people in treatment: an insurance industry tactic called “prior authorization”.

Loathed by doctors of all stripes, prior authorization requires healthcare providers to seek permission from insurance companies before they prescribe a treatment. Doctors in addiction medicine said the requirement is both unnecessarily burdensome and could cost lives.

“We have patients who are having overdoses once a month because of the fentanyl being in the drug supply,” said Dr Alain Litwin, a clinical researcher and executive director of the Prisma Health Addiction Medicine Center in South Carolina. “This is the crisis of our time – overdose rates are rising every year”.

In 2021, the most recent year for which data is available, roughly three-quarters of the 107,000 people who died of an overdose had an opioid in their system, approximately 80,000 people.

An estimated 2.5 million Americans 18 and older are believed to suffer from opioid use disorder, the clinical name for an addiction to opioids, illicit or prescribed. People with opioid use disorder suffer “alarmingly high” rates of death and health conditions, research has found.

That risk of death can be halved with use of the gold-standard therapies: medication-assisted treatment with buprenorphine, methadone or naltrexone. However, four out of five Americans addicted to opioids are still not in treatment.

Prior authorization has targeted buprenorphine in particular. Insurance companies can set qualification criteria that require patients seeking treatment for opioid use disorder to submit to urine drug tests, require pill counts, set dosage limits, and mandate patient education or counseling. It also requires doctors to fill out lengthy forms and wait for approvals. All of which, doctors said, makes patients feel stigmatized and

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Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon won’t seek re-election | Business News

Amid a historic crisis in Louisiana’s property insurance marketplace, Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said Tuesday morning that he will not seek re-election to a fifth full term this fall.

The surprise announcement comes as Donelon, a Republican from Metairie, attempts to sort out a near-collapse of Louisiana’s property insurance market. Since 2020’s Hurricane Laura, a dozen insurers writing business in the state have failed, and more than a dozen others have stopped writing business.

The result has been that the number of policyholders covered by Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp., the state’s insurer of last resort, has more than tripled.

In hopes of reducing Citizens’ rolls, Donelon has revived a plan he implemented after Hurricane Katrina to offer state grants to incentivize insurance companies to begin writing business in the state. He was updating the public on that plan when he announced his impending retirement Tuesday.

Donelon said his age and the demands of responding to the insurance crisis in anticipation of the upcoming session were the two factors in his decision not to run.

At 78, Donelon is the longest-serving commissioner to hold the position that has been tainted by scandal; three of his predecessors were convicted and served time in federal prison.

“One thing that did play a factor is a state campaign takes a lot of time, and I haven’t had any time since late last year to put toward my re-election effort,” Donelon said Tuesday.

Donelon said he last held a fundraiser before the holidays in Baton Rouge.

“And since then I haven’t been able to lift a finger toward my re-election campaign because of the time that this crisis has demanded of me and my staff,” he said.

After Gov. John Bel Edwards convened a special session in February, the Legislature agreed — at

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The Role Of Commercial Truck Accident Lawyers In Seeking Compensation For Victims

commercial truck accident lawyers seeking compensation crash victims attorney


Commercial trucks play a significant role in the transportation industry, carrying goods nationwide. Unfortunately, commercial truck accidents can have devastating consequences, including serious injuries or fatalities. In such cases, victims or their families need to seek compensation. This is where commercial truck accident attorneys come into play. 

What Is A Commercial Truck Accident Attorney? 

Commercial truck accident attorneys are legal professionals who specialize in representing commercial truck accident victims. These lawyers have the necessary skills and expertise to handle complex cases involving multiple parties, including trucking companies, insurance companies, and government agencies. 

The Role Of Commercial Truck Accident Attorneys In Seeking Compensation 

When a commercial truck accident occurs, victims or their families may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. However, seeking compensation can be challenging, especially when dealing with large trucking companies and their insurance providers. Commercial truck accident attorneys can assist victims in the following ways: 

1. Investigating The Accident 

Commercial truck accident attorneys will thoroughly investigate the accident to determine its cause. They will collect evidence such as accident reports, witness statements, and physical evidence from the accident site. This information will be used to build a strong case for the victim. 

2. Identifying Responsible Parties 

Commercial truck accidents often involve multiple parties, including the truck driver, the trucking company, the manufacturer of the truck or its parts, and government agencies. Commercial truck accident attorneys will identify all parties responsible for the accident and hold them accountable. 

3. Negotiating With Insurance Companies 

Commercial truck accident attorneys have experience dealing with insurance companies and their adjusters. They know how to negotiate effectively to ensure that their clients receive fair compensation for their injuries and damages. 

4. Representing Clients In Court 

Commercial truck accident attorneys will represent their clients in court if

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15 practical ways Canadian drivers can lower car insurance premiums

But each province and territory implement different auto insurance systems, which results in varying levels of protection and premium prices for motorists across the nation.

For those living in British Columbia and Manitoba, car insurance is regulated by government-owned organizations, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) and Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI). Auto insurance in Saskatchewan is also run by a Crown corporation, Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI), but motorists can purchase additional coverage through private insurers. 

In Québec, the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ), another public institution, handles minimum limits for bodily injury, while private companies offer third-party liability, property damage, and additional protection. Drivers in the remaining provinces and territories can purchase car policies from private carriers.

Read more: Where can you find the cheapest car insurance rates in Canada?

What does car insurance cover?

Provinces and territories have their own rules and regulations when it comes to mandatory coverage, but there are similarities. These are:

  • Third-party liability: This covers the cost of lawsuits if a motorist is responsible for an accident that causes bodily injury, death, or property damage. The minimum amount varies depending on the location but is typically pegged at $200,000.
  • Uninsured automobile/motorist: This coverage kicks in if the policyholder or their passenger is injured or killed by an uninsured driver or in a hit-and-run incident. It also covers damages to the vehicle.
  • Accident benefits: This pays out for medical treatment and income replacement if the policyholder is injured in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. It also covers funeral expenses should the driver succumb to their injuries.
  • Direct compensation property damage (DCPD): Applicable in Ontario, Québec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, this policy covers damages to the vehicle and its contents resulting from
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This is Why Your Car Insurance is So High (Plus Tips to Save Money on Your Policy)

If you’re looking at a recent bill and wondering why your car insurance is so high, you’re not alone. Although auto insurance rates naturally tend to increase from year to year (the motor vehicle insurance index recently increased 4.1%), there are other reasons car insurance costs can go up too.

In order to help you wrap your head around the reasoning for these seemingly random changes, we’ve compiled this list of the 16 factors that affect car insurance rates — plus we’ve included details on how to save money on car insurance, including shopping around for the best auto insurance policy.

Because car insurance premiums are mostly based on risk, many of the factors that go into determining the cost of your auto coverage has to do with how risky an insurance provider believes you to be. Surprisingly, this sometimes has less to do with your actual driving record and more to do with your profile — things like how long you’ve been driving, where you live, how much you drive, etc.

So whether you’re a new driver shopping for car insurance or just looking to save money on your car insurance, here are 16 of the top factors insurance companies look at when determining what they charge you.

6 Genius Hacks All Costco Shoppers Should Know

1. Age

Unfortunately, age isn’t just a number when it comes to auto insurance companies. Older drivers with more experience tend to get into fewer accidents. So the older you are, the less you’ll likely pay for coverage. The same can be said in reverse. Very young drivers or adults sharing a policy with drivers under the age of 25 can expect to pay higher premiums on their auto coverage.

If you’re a young driver or plan to add one to

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With current car insurance rate increases, it may be time to double-check your coverage

InvestigateTV – The most recent Consumer Price Index (CPI) reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) shows motor vehicle insurance rates have risen 10.3% over the last year.

With this increase in rates, it’s important to make sure that your policy is providing you with enough coverage.

Cate Deventer, a licensed insurance agent and a writer and editor for Bankrate.com, explained that the rise in rates by insurance companies is to cover the increased cost of parts for repairs and replacement of now more expensive vehicles.

“What that means is that car insurance companies are paying out a lot more in claims and then they have to raise rates to make sure that they have the excess funds in their claims reserves to pay out those claims,” Deventer said. She also said that higher costs do not necessarily provide you more coverage.

If you do need to use your insurance coverage and haven’t raised your limits, it is possible that your existing policy may not cover all of your expenses.

Deventer said now is the time to call your insurer and revisit your policy. You want to make sure it covers today’s prices for repairs or replacement.

Deventer also had four tips for lowering your insurance rates:

Shop around: If you have been with your current provider for a long time, you may get better rates from a competitor

Take advantage of any discounts: Ask your insurer if there are discounts for bundles or multi-car families.

Ask if your insurer provides a discount for telematic devices: These devices plug into your car and track your driving habits. Good drivers may get a discount.

Keep your driving record clean: No tickets make for a lower bottom line.

Many states offer free resources on motor vehicle

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3 Things Everyone Should Know About Homeowners Insurance

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  • I made two homeowners insurance claims in five years: for my roof and for some water damage.
  • My insurance company dropped me after the second claim because it considered me “high risk.”
  • If I had known, I would have paid out of pocket. I know now that I should have asked more questions.

I have been a homeowner for more than 10 years, and I’ve had my fair share of eye-opening experiences regarding homeownership: one being around homeowners insurance.

Homeowners insurance protects you in the event of damage to your house or property. Like car or other property insurance, when you file an insurance claim, you have to pay a deductible before the insurance pays to fix the damages. As the deductible decreases, the insurance premium increases.

As new homeowners, my husband and I chose a low deductible option of $1,000, which slightly increased our monthly premiums. But we were more than happy to pay the difference if it meant that we would only have to pay $1,000 in expenses in case anything happened.

We didn’t file any insurance claim for the first five years in the house. But, in year five, a hailstorm damaged our roof. So, we filed a claim, paid the $1,000 deductible, and our insurance covered the additional $2,500 for the repairs.

The following year, we filed another claim after our dishwasher water line broke, causing

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California to require insurance discounts for property owners who reduce wildfire risk

Laguna Niguel, California May 11, 2022- Firefighters battle the Coastal fire at Coronado Pointe in Laguna Niguel Wednesday.  (Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times)

Firefighters battle the Coastal fire at Coronado Pointe in Laguna Niguel in May. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

California will become the first state in the nation to require insurance premium discounts for owners of homes and businesses that are made safer from wildfires.

New rules mandate that insurance companies reward consumers who take wildfire safety and mitigation actions under the state’s Safer From Wildfires framework, the Department of Insurance announced Monday. The framework includes a list of expert-recommended actions that home and business owners can take to better protect themselves from fires.

The regulation is largely a response to skyrocketing insurance costs for residents in wildfire-prone areas, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara said. Currently, fewer than half of the insurance companies doing business in California provide such discounts.

“Protecting Californians from deadly wildfires means everyone doing their part, including insurance companies by rewarding consumers for being safer from wildfires,” Lara said in a statement.

The regulation arrives as residents grapple with larger, faster-moving and more frequent fires fueled by climate change. Fifteen of the state’s 20 most destructive wildfires on record have occurred since 2015, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire protection, and entire towns — including Paradise and Greenville — have been leveled by flames.

Yet, ratepayers in recent years have complained that companies have been unwilling to credit them for steps taken to lower the risk of loss and damage, such as clearing combustible vegetation from properties or installing fire-resistant roofs.

in a 2020 hearing on the matter, dozens of people told the Department of Insurance that their rates had become untenable, with some seeing quotes of as much as $20,000 a year. One El Dorado County resident, Chris Swarbrick, said that his premiums had increased by 430% in two years, and

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Meet America’s Best Insurance Companies 2023

Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit our shores in early 2020, the insurance industry has experienced a digital transformation. Customers’ ability to avoid face-to-face meetings, file claims online, and generally “do-it-themselves” has been disruptive for those lagging in tech adoption.

“Claims-filing through apps has been the biggest technological change of recent years,” said Michael Barry, chief communications officer at the Insurance Information Institute, an industry-funded consumer education organization.

Companies prepared for the transformation have been rewarded with high marks from their clients.

USAA, the San Antonio-based provider of insurance to veterans and their families, received top marks in all five industry categories of the second annual Forbes/Statista survey of America’s Best Insurance Companies.

Click here for the full list of America’s Best Insurance Companies.

More than 15,000 participants evaluated their auto, renters, homeowners, term-life and permanent-life insurance providers. Permanent life insurance includes companies offering whole and universal life policies, which include savings element and death benefit. The companies were rated on overall satisfaction in the categories of financial advice, customer service, transparency, digital services, price/performance, damage/benefit and whether respondents would recommend the company to friends and family.

With companies winning in multiple categories, 77 insurers were honored with 145 awards.

USAA ranked in the top three in all of the industry categories, taking first place in homeowners and renters. Erie Insurance
ERIE
won awards in all five categories. The Pennsylvania company, which was founded in 1925, started out pioneering the auto insurance business and encouraged its customers to call collect by for claims and policy problems. Today it has 6,000 employees and six million customer offering policies in 12 states. Its

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Canada’s 10 largest insurance companies ranked

Read more: Revealed – world’s largest insurance companies

A separate report from Deloitte shared a similar outlook, predicting “strong growth” for Canada’s insurance industry throughout the year.

The accounting giant surveyed about 80 insurers across the country split evenly between specialists in the property and casualty (P&C) and life and health (L&H) segments and found that while companies expected “the pandemic and its impacts to continue for some time,” many were optimistic of a gradual recovery in 2022.

“The P&C insurers believe that premiums will increase as part of a broader business recovery and more people will return physically to their work environments, while L&H insurers say that heightened consumer awareness around COVID-19-related risks will increase demand for their products and services ,” Deloitte wrote in the report.

The firm added that both groups identified key trends that will shape the industry this year, including continued investments in digital technology, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the insurtech space, greater customization of products, increased attention on creating and meeting environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals, and challenges in attracting top talent, especially in IT and cybersecurity.

But despite the positive prediction, the report cautioned that there are “challenges that insurers should keep top of mind.”

“[A]t the conclusion of 2021, 77% of insurance company leaders expected inflation to increase in 2022 and 85% anticipated higher interest rates,” the study noted. “Given the current interest rate environment, insurers will need to continually review their cost of settling claims to optimize pricing and profitability relative to changing market conditions.”

Read more: Global insurance industry could hit new high in 2022

Revealed – Canada’s 10 largest insurance companies

The nation’s 10 biggest insurers hold combined assets of more than $2.6 trillion in 2021, up almost 8% from the previous year. Of these, slightly over

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