We’re doing something a little different this holiday week. Because “Medicare for All” is so much in the news, we’re rerunning an earlier explainer.
Connecticut, with its storefront approach, isn’t the only state looking for clever ways to implement the new Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. As Kaiser Health News reports, some states are taking catchy and unsual steps to popularize the new program.
Consumers are understandably confused after weeks of conflicting pronouncements about the expected cost of plans, for individuals and small groups, to be sold in new online insurance marketplaces under the federal health law beginning Oct. 1.
Federal health officials have proposed that all health plans selling insurance on the new online marketplaces must allow for easy payment options for households without bank accounts or credit cards.
The public has a contradictory view of mental illness, according to a new poll. While most Americans believe people with such ailments are the victims of prejudice and discrimination, a substantial portion of the public say they have qualms about working in the same place or having their children attend a school where someone with a […]
Here is a menu of questions and answers related to Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling. It addresses some of the law’s provisions that are already up and running, as well as major features of what’s to come. I don’t have health insurance. Under the law, will I have to buy it and what happens if I […]
What’s in a name? That’s a question that experts are wrestling with as they prepare to revise the diagnostic manual that spells out the criteria for addiction and other substance-use problems. The catalyst for this discussion is a set of proposed changes to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the reference guide upon which […]
A multi-billion dollar federal initiative to move low-income elderly and disabled people from long-term care facilities into the community has fallen far short of its goals, as many states have struggled to cobble together housing and other services. Launched in 2007 during the Bush administration, the states initially projected placing 35,380 Medicaid recipients in the […]
The three days in March that the Supreme Court devoted to debating the health law didn’t change many minds among the public. But the debate, and related media coverage, appear to have increased awareness about the law and made Republicans more supportive of the justices, according to a new survey. As it has for two […]
In recent years, insurers have tried to cajole consumers into using less-expensive health-care providers by promising lower co-payments and other cost-sharing breaks for members who select those doctors and hospitals. Lately, they’re trying an even more direct approach: cash rewards. Some Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield members in New Hampshire, Connecticut and Indiana can […]
Electronic health records have long been touted by Democrats and Republicans alike as a sure-fire way to lower health spending. When doctors have easy electronic access to a patient’s records, advocates argue, they are less likely to order the duplicative and unnecessary tests that drive up the cost of health care in America. But that […]
States will be given wide latitude to decide what “essential benefits” insurers must offer in their health policies come 2014, the Obama administration said Friday in a move that pushes off final federal rules on the topic until an unspecified date. Essential benefits, which must be offered by insurers in most policies sold to individuals […]
The Department of Health and Human Services today released its final medical loss ratio rule. In it, the administration rejected a National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ recommendation to exclude fees paid to insurance agents and brokers from insurance companies’ allowable administrative costs. You can read the document online. The medical loss ratio refers to the percentage of […]
Cancer often takes a heavy toll not only on people’s bodies but on their finances as well. And just as some types of cancer are more deadly than others, some types cause more financial pain, as recent research from Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center shows. When researchers examined bankruptcy rates in Washington state and compared them […]
The government moved a step closer Friday toward defining what “essential benefits” would be offered by companies selling coverage to millions of Americans in new insurance exchanges. In a 297-page report, the Institute of Medicine, a federal advisory panel, laid out criteria and methods the Department of Health and Human Services should use in developing […]