Cigna Target of Class-Action Lawsuit Alleging Discrimination

Major Providers As Obamacare Insurance Co-Ops Struggling With Cash Flow

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MIAMI — A consumer advocacy group has filed a class-action lawsuit against Cigna saying a new policy discriminates against people with HIV and AIDS and violates the federal health law by requiring them to get their medications from its mail-order pharmacy.

Consumer Watchdog filed the lawsuit Monday in South Florida federal court. It says sending the drugs through the mail puts privacy at risk because packages could end up at the wrong address or be seen by others. It also says the mail is not a reliable way to ensure people get their medications on time and prevents them from interacting in person with a pharmacist. Patients who do not obtain their medications by mail must pay full price.

The group alleges that the policy also violates the Afforda...

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FEMA to Review Every Sandy Flood Claim

Sandy-Second Summer Buyouts

Wayne Parry/APIn this 2014 photo, heavy machinery tears at the roof of a house in Sayreville N.J. that was damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

TRENTON, N.J. — Federal Emergency Management Agency officials have agreed to reopen and review every flood insurance claim filed by Superstorm Sandy victims.

The review will involve approximately 144,000 claims and not limit corrective action to 2,200 that are currently in litigation.

The announcement comes following allegations of fraud involving the way some insurance companies assessed damage.

Sens. Robert Menendez and Cory Booker of New Jersey and Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York met with FEMA administrator Craig Fugate on Wednesday.

Those who filed claims will receive letters from FEMA about the new review process...

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Get Aid After Superstorm Sandy? FEMA May Want It Back

Superstorm FEMA

John Minchillo/APGary Silberman holds a copy of letter that identifies himself as a tenant outside his parent’s home that was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy in Lindenhurst, N.Y. After receiving nearly $17,000 in assistance from FEMA, the agency is demanding a return on the funds.

NEW YORK — After Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast nearly two years ago, the federal government quickly sent out $1.4 billion in emergency disaster aid to the hurricane’s victims.

Now, thousands of people might have to pay back their share.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is scrutinizing about 4,500 households that it suspects received improper payments after the storm, according to program officials and data obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request...

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If You Thought Taxes Were Bad This Year, Just Wait

Tired woman holding her head having strong headache at work.

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No one looks forward to tax season. Even the people who make money from preparing returns grit their teeth because they know the stretch from January to April 15 will be long and hard. But it could be worse, right?

Actually, it’s about to be, and that comes straight from the officials at the top. Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen said that 2015 “will be one of the most complicated filing seasons we’ve ever had,” as the Journal of Accountancy reported.

It’s not that you will own more money, although you might very well. The main driver of the pain will be factors making filing far more complicated than usual...

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Economic Impact From Hurricane Sandy Won’t Derail Economy

Hurricane Sandy damage
WASHINGTON (AP) – Airlines have canceled thousands of flights, stranding travelers around the globe. Insurers are bracing for possible damages of $5 billion. Retailers face shrunken sales.

Hurricane Sandy took dead aim at New Jersey and Delaware on Monday, with sheets of rain and wind gusts of more than 90 mph knocking out electricity and causing major disruptions for companies, travelers and consumers. But for the overall economy, damage from the storm will likely be limited. And any economic growth lost to the storm in the short run will likely be restored once reconstruction begins, analysts say. Americans may even spend more before the storm when they stock up on extra food, water and batteries.

Preliminary estimates are that damage will range between $10 billion and $20 billion...

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Seven Insurance Policies That Aren’t Worth the Money

Insurance experts warn against bad insurance dealsInsurance isn’t meant for the little hassles in life, but for the big events that can derail you financially.

“Insurance is meant to protect against the really big stuff that rains down upon you,” insurance agent Alan Canton tells .

But even Canton, and a handful of other insurance agents spoke with, know that not all insurance policies are created equally. Here are seven policies they say aren’t worth the money:

“Mini-Med” Insurance

These “limited benefit” health insurance plans have been blasted by Congress for offering very little coverage to policyholders. Often, these policies are sold to people who can’t afford major medical insurance, such as part-time or migrant workers...

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Insurers Ease Obamacare Deadline

Health Overhaul Consumers

Don Ryan/AP

WASHINGTON — Trying to head off a new round of consumer headaches with President Barack Obama’s health care law, the insurance industry said Tuesday it will give customers more time to pay their premiums for January.

America’s Health Insurance Plans, the main industry trade group, says the voluntary steps include a commitment to promptly refund any overpayments by consumers who switched plans and may have gotten double-billed by mistake.

Though the HealthCare.gov website is working far better this year, the industry announcement highlights behind-the-scenes technical issues between the government and insurers that have proven difficult to resolve. Last year’s enrollment files were riddled with errors, and fixing those has been a painstaking process...

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Adults Aren’t Grinning Over the Cost of Braces

Dentist and Patient customer satisfaction

Alamy

NEW YORK — Danielle Faust, 33, is six weeks into wearing braces to fix her crooked teeth and is pretty happy about the process, but not the price. While the $5,000 for Invisalign clear aligners in South Florida where she is a freelance writer is $1,000 less than a friend is paying in New York, she is kicking herself because she missed out on a Groupon that would have saved her even more.

Parents often blanch at the price tag of braces for their children but count it as a known cost of raising offspring. When it comes to their own teeth, however, adults are a lot more cautious about the money involved. Using braces to fix dental problems such as crooked teeth or bite problems can cost between $3,000 and $7,000, depending on the treatment options and where you live.

The number of Ame...

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5 Times When Senior Citizens Still Need Life Insurance

Couple Sitting on Dock

Alamy

As you get older, it may seem less and less prudent to carry life insurance. You could be retired, own your home outright and have kids who are self-sufficient. While for most people insurance is intended to protect you and your loved ones if you die prematurely, there are some financial situations where you may still need to consider if you need life insurance, how much life insurance you need and what your policy costs regardless of your age. Before you let your policy lapse or stop making payments, consider the reasons you might still need life insurance as a senior.

1. If You’re in Debt or Still Working

If you are still making payments on real estate deals, student loans or credit card debt, it’s a good idea to consider whether you still need life insurance...

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Maria Bartiromo’s Book Is a Fly on the Wall During Lehman’s Fall

Lehman BrothersSept. 15 marks the two-year anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy and the extraordinary events that not only shook Wall Street to its core but altered its landscape forever.

In her newly released book, (Portfolio/Penguin, $26.95), author and CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo skillfully describes the fateful events that took place during the weekend of Sept. 12, 2008. Bartiromo gives the reader a fly-on-the-wall view of the discussions and phone calls that determined the fate of Lehman Brothers, the esteemed 158-year-old investment bank, as well as the fate of many other Wall Street firms, from Merrill Lynch to Morgan Stanley (MS) and Goldman Sachs (GS).

Bartiromo’s access to movers and shakers from Wall Street to Pennsylvania Avenue is impressive, and it affords her an eyewitness account f...

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