Amazon, DoorDash will keep the controversial tipping policy Instacart just ditched

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Instacart heard the cries of an angered internet and took action. Amazon and DoorDash, on the other hand, seem content to dig in.

It was online anger that led Instacart to change its policy on tips, which were previously used to pay the base wages of the company’s gig-economy delivery workers. As anyone who has ever worked in a service industry will tell you, tips are additive; it’s money you’re paid on top of your base wage.

“Tips should always be separate from Instacart’s contribution to shopper compensation,” Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta wrote in an email to employees.  Read more…

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Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ Live From D.C.: A Look Ahead At Health Policy In 2019

(From left) Tom Miller, Kimberly Leonard, Anna Edney, Joanne Kenen and Julie Rovner(Lynne Shallcross/KHN)

The 2020 presidential campaign has begun and health is a big part of it, with Democratic candidates pledging their support for “Medicare-for-all” and many of its variations.

Meanwhile, Republicans and Democrats are both promising to do something about drug prices and “surprise” medical bills. But whether they can translate that agreement on the broad problem to a detailed solution remains to be seen.

This week’s panelists for KHN’s “What the Health?” are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News and Kimberly Leonard of The Washington Examiner. Joining the panel for this week’s live show was Tom Miller of the American Enterprise Institute.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • The early jockeying among Democrats running for president is likely to overshadow any efforts to make changes to the Affordable Care Act or help stabilize its insurance marketplaces.
  • Legislative remedies for the ACA marketplaces are expected to hit the same roadblock that senators found in 2017: demands by conservatives that plans operating in those insurance exchanges be banned from offering abortion coverage.
  • Although the general idea of expanding Medicare garners high public support, if Democrats agree on a plan to push forward, it could be expected to meet strong opposition from the health care industry.
  • Republicans and Democrats have expressed interest in moving legislation to help lower drug prices. One area where they could find common ground might be revisions to the patent laws to help spur more lower-cost generic drugs.
  • Both parties also say they are concerned about surprise bills that patients receive after receiving medical care. Still, there is no consensus on how to approach the problem, and industry stakeholders are split on what remedies the country should take.

The panelists also discussed Anna Edney’s series on the dangers of generic drugs. You can read her stories here, here and here.

To hear all our podcasts, click here.

And subscribe to What the Health? on iTunesStitcher or Google Play.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Viewpoints: Expanding Public Charge Policy Would Be Detrimental To Immigrants’ Health; Supreme Court Conservatives’ Impatience On Display With Planned Parenthood Case

Editorial pages focus on these health care topics and others.
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A lot of gamers don’t feel as if Bethesda met some standards with the release of Fallout 76, and some gamers who have been attempting to get refunds for the game aren’t being allowed to do so, which has resulted in Bethesda taking a lot of heat over its opaque return policy.


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House Democrats, now in power, will steer health policy, attack drug prices

Democrats will control the House and its powerful health committees for first time since passing Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act.
ABC News: Health

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Fed’s new Vice Chair Clarida backs more rate hikes in first major policy speech

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida, in his first major policy speech since being seated at the central bank, said more interest rate increases are likely warranted as the economy continues to gather strength.
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White House’s Kudlow says Trump not demanding Fed policy change

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said on Wednesday that U.S. President Trump was not demanding a policy change at the Federal Reserve after Trump heaped more criticism on the Fed on Tuesday, calling rising U.S. interest rates his “biggest threat.”


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Consumer sentiment falls shy of expectations, but confidence in economic policy is at a 15-year high

Consumer sentiment in October fell just short of expectations on Friday.
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Paid period leave policy in Australia stirs world debate

A women’s advocacy group in Australia has been offering paid leave for menstrual pain to its employees in the past 18 months. Yet such leave has become a controversial topic worldwide, with some women in support of and some against “period leave” workplace policies. Some countries that already offer period leave are Indonesia, Japan, and South Korea.


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Should You Buy a Low-Cost Health Insurance Policy? Here’s What to Consider

Starting today, Americans can buy lower-cost health insurance policies that can stay in effect for as long as three years — up from the previous three-month limit.

But while the savings in premiums will be attractive to some, critics warn the old adage applies: “You get what you pay for.”

“As the bills from hospitals and other providers start to pile up, many of these folks… would come to realize they’re not really insured at all,” the Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families says. “For the individuals enrolled in these plans, the devastating financial consequences could be real and long term.”

Limitations of Short-Term Health Insurance Policies

The plans are cheaper — as much as one-third cheaper in some cases, according to the Department of Health and Human Services — than those that comply with the Affordable Care Act, which has required coverages. The average monthly premium for one person in late 2016 was about $ 124 compared with $ 393 for an unsubsidized plan that complied with the Affordable Care Act, according to the department.

But many lower-cost plans don’t cover services such as mental-health or substance-abuse treatment or prescription drug coverage, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis.

And none covers maternity care, the same study found. A regular birth costs about $ 32,000 and a cesarean section about $ 51,000, according to a 2013 Truven Health Analytics study of women with health insurance.

Also generally excluded are people with pre-existing medical conditions, who are required to be covered under policies that comply with the Affordable Care Act. An estimated 133 million Americans have a pre-existing condition, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Why Are Short-Term Health Insurance Policies Being Expanded?

Premiums for Affordable Care Act coverage went up about 21% in 2017, putting them out of financial reach for some people — especially those whose earnings are not low enough to qualify for a subsidy under the act, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The Department of Health and Human Services this summer announced that it would allow the lower-cost plans to be purchased for up to a year of coverage and renewed for two years.

The policies originally were limited to less than three months and intended as a stopgap for people who didn’t have health insurance through their employers.

Which Consumers Might Benefit From Short-Term Policies?

They work best for those who are generally healthy, because insurers can drop anyone who becomes sick, according to the Georgetown University Center on Health Insurance Reforms.

The reason the short-term policies are less expensive — the cost varies from state to state — is that they don’t have to meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

That means they can exclude benefits such as emergency services, hospitalization, rehabilitative services and devices, laboratory services, preventive care, chronic disease management, contraceptives, breastfeeding supplies, counseling and pediatric services.

There’s no easy way to determine what services are covered because plans vary widely, as do deductibles, copayments, and caps.

Other possible pitfalls:

  • The Department of Health and Human Services warns consumers that they won’t automatically be eligible to buy insurance through the Affordable Care Act if their short-term policy ends before the open enrollment period begins and they decide not to renew or are dropped by their insurer.
  • Short-term policies don’t meet the requirements to maintain health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, making consumers who buy them potentially liable in 2018 for a penalty of $ 695 per adult and $ 347.50 per child — or 2.5% of household income, whichever is greater. The penalty goes away starting in 2019.
  • Short-term policies generally have limits on the amount paid for services and caps on lifetime payouts. Patients may have to pick up the sometimes-substantial difference between what the insurer pays and what the provider charges.
  • Policyholders can be charged more based on age, sex and health.

The bottom line: These policies may be beneficial to some. But it’s critical to read all disclosures before signing up to avoid finding out later that you don’t have coverage for something you need. What’s cheap up front could end up costing you dearly later.

In short: caveat emptor.

Susan Jacobson is an editor at The Penny Hoarder.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.


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