The Takeaway: Health Insurance Denials; Ranch Home Rising; More GOP Debate

300-insurance-refusal-rates-twenty-percentRejected: It’s hard enough to afford health insurance, but many Americans face another barrier to coverage: Insurer denials. More than 20 percent of those who apply for individual coverage are rejected, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis. The likelihood of whether you get approved for a policy depends not just on your health status but which state you live in and which insurer you choose, too. In Georgia, for example, Aetna’s denial rate is 15% compared with 47% for Kaiser Permanente; meanwhile, Kaiser Permanente denied 32% of applications in Maryland but 17% in Colorado. 

The difficulty involved in buying individual coverage is one of the major issues the 2010 health care reform law sought to address; staring in 2014, insurers will be banned from denying individual policies based on health status.

GOP Debates Again Tonight: The 2012 Republican presidential contenders are set to go at it again this evening, with a televised debate on CNN in which Mitt Romney and Rick Perry are expected to resume their vigorous Social Security discussion. But do either men have new ground to cover on the Social Security front, or can we just expect more The-Sky-Is-Falling/Oh-No-It’s-Not rhetoric?

“All eyes will be watching the manner in which GOP candidates tackle the issue of Social Security-and walk the fine line of support while not defending the status quo.” -Republican strategist Scott Reed in Politico

Home, Home In the Ranch: The classic ranch house is gaining ground once again, and boomers are leading the trend. The one-story ranch home started as a starter house for returning WWII vets and their families, but soon came to connote elderly inhabitants within. These days, however, “the ranch has come into its own,” notes the Chicago Tribune, beloved by “a mix of empty-nesters who are tired of climbing stairs every time they need to fetch something from the bedroom and young couples who like having everything within reach while they juggle children, laundry and office emails.” The National Association of Home Builders uses the term ‘one-story’ to describe these homes, while in different parts of the country they’re also known as ramblers, Florida houses or patio homes.

Monday Quick Hits: Cliff Robertson, who won an Oscar for his role in the movie Charity and played Uncle Ben in ‘Spiderman,’ is dead at 88 … The FDA backs stronger cautions on popular bone drugs for women … President Obama is expected to send his new jobs plan to Congress tomorrow … New book and audio shows Jacqueline Kennedy post-Camelot, pre-publishing days, “dry-eyed and determined to set down her thoughts for history” … And organizers have set a new date, October 16, for dedicating the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., after Hurricane Irene forced postponement of the even in August.

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(Photo: Roy Hsu/Getty Images)