At a time when many Democrats are calling for a single-payer health insurance system, are the drug companies inadvertently driving the system on a course to that end? Consider this. The longtime political firewall against a single-payer system has been the satisfaction consumers have had with their employer-sponsored health insurance. Most voters have had no interest in giving up their affordable and attractive employer health benefits for the uncertainty of a one-size-fits-all government-run plan. Employer-sponsored health insurance covers 140 million people—by far the largest part of the under-age-65 health insurance system. Most of these people are in the politically all-important middle class. But in recent years, the employer share of premiums and out-of-pocket costs has been exploding (Willis Towers Watson, November 2018): The unemployment rate is 3.7%—the lowest since 2000. But, corrected for inflation, wages are up only 2% since January 2015—about … [Read more...] about Is the Drug Industry an Existential Threat to the Private Health Insurance Business?
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Health insurance enrollments through Colorado's exchange ended slightly up compared to last year, led by a rush of people seeking federal tax credits to ease their monthly insurance premiums.Across Colorado, 169,672 people signed up for health insurance through Connect for Health Colorado during the most recent 2½-month open enrollment period, which ended Tuesday. That represented a 2 percent increase from last year's enrollment, when 165,777 people signed up for medical plans.Among those who signed up for coverage were 12,482 El Paso County residents, an 8 percent jump from 2018."We thought we'd be doing well to hit last year's mark and came in a little better than 2 percent ahead, so we're very pleased," said Luke Clarke, spokesman for the exchange.About 77 percent of Colorado enrollees received tax credits that cut down the cost of their monthly premiums — up from 69 percent last year and 61 percent in 2017. The value of those tax credits increased for most … [Read more...] about Health insurance enrollments in Colorado, El Paso County up slightly for 2019
Many middle-aged folks nearing retirement have serious concerns about their health insurance coverage, a new survey shows. Nearly half of people aged 50 to 64 say they have little or no confidence they'll be able to afford health coverage once they retire, according to findings from the National Poll on Healthy Aging. More than one in four are not even confident they'll be able to afford health insurance over the next year, the survey found. "That poll confirmed what we have been seeing and hearing, that people are nervous," said Lina Walker, vice president of health security for the AARP Public Policy Institute. "Health insurance is a very important issue for older Americans. As you get older, you're more likely to experience health conditions. Health insurance not only provides you the services you need, but also provides you financial protection," she added. Based on these fears, many are playing it safe career-wise as they near retirement. One out of five people aged 50 to 64 … [Read more...] about Many Middle-Aged Americans Worried About Health Insurance: Poll
About Joseph Burns Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at [email protected] View all posts by Joseph Burns → For patients and physicians, many aspects of the health care and health insurance systems are frustrating and appear to be needlessly complex. One of the most frustrating processes is prior authorization, the mother-may-I approach health insurers use to ensure that procedures, medications and even certain care processes are appropriate and worthy of coverage. In a new tip sheet, we explain that for health insurers, providers and patients, prior authorization is not only complex but also highly controversial. The prior-auth process itself goes by several names including preauthorization, prior approval, precertification, prior notification, prospective review and prior review. As might be … [Read more...] about Prior authorization rules: Yet another way the health insurance system frustrates physicians and patients
POLITICS 08/01/2018 07:02 am ET Some Americans will buy "short-term" plans and save money — unless they get sick. By Jonathan Cohn The Trump administration on Wednesday finalized yet another set of new health insurance rules as part of its ongoing effort to roll back the Affordable Care Act’s consumer protections and restore the kind of market conditions that existed before the law took effect. The new rules affect so-called short-term, limited-duration insurance plans, which typically cover far fewer services than comprehensive policies and aren’t available to people who have pre-existing conditions. The plans, which because of Obama-era restrictions are currently available for only three months at a time, have historically served as a stopgap for people who have temporary lapses in coverage ― say, because they are between jobs. Now the Trump administration is undoing the Obama regulations and putting new ones in place. Under the Trump … [Read more...] about Horrible Health Insurance Now Legal Again, Thanks To Trump