All the doctor’s tricks were failing him. He’d tried neck massage, pressure to the eyes, ice on the face. But an hour in, Ashish Jha still couldn’t slow his racing heart.
Medical Billing Blog
UnitedHealthcare’s decision to quit insurance exchanges in about 30 states next year has patient advocates concerned that fewer options could force consumers to pay more for coverage and have a smaller choice of network providers.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a proposed rule to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that would create more options for annual health plan eligibility redeterminations in the Exchanges, (both Federally-facilitated and state-based) as well as add more requirements for re-enrollment notices. If enacted, the rule would impact consumers who are re-enrolling in a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) during the 2015 open enrollment period (November 15, 2014 – February 15, 2015).
About 10.3 million Americans have gained insurance coverage since the full implementation of Obamacare last year, according to an analysis published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study, done by Harvard researchers and published by the NEJM, was based on Gallup polling and data from the Department of Health and Human Services. It also estimated that the uninsured rate declined by 5.2 percentage points in the second quarter of 2014, or from 21 percent in September 2013 to 16.3 percent in April 2014. In particular, it found jumps in the insurance rates for Hispanics, blacks and young adults.
According to three new studies, the health law has in its first year reduced the number of uninsured adults by between 8 million and 11 million, and the majority of enrollees report satisfaction with their plans. The numbers don’t all match, and health care experts say they’re not precise enough to give more than a general idea of the trend. However, millions of people who didn’t have health insurance before the Affordable Care Act have gained it since last fall.
If you offer it, will they come? Insurers and some U.S. senators have proposed offering cheaper, skimpier "copper" plans on the health insurance marketplaces to encourage uninsured stragglers to buy. But consumer advocates and some policy experts say that focusing on reducing costs on the front end exposes consumers to unacceptably high out-of-pocket costs if they get sick. The trade-off, they say, may not be worth it.
Nearly six in 10 Americans who bought insurance for this year through the health law’s online marketplaces were previously uninsured—most for at least two years, according to a new survey that looks at the experiences of those most affected by the law.
Health care spending rose at the fastest pace since 1980 as the new health insurance law prompted many more Americans to seek medical treatment. “Following several years of decline, 2013 was striking for the increased use by patients of all parts of the U.S. health care system,” Murray Aitken, executive director of the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, said in a statement. Health care expenditures climbed at a 9.9% annual rate last quarter, mostly because of increased spending at hospitals, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said last week. That's the biggest jump since 1980's third quarter, and it followed a 5.6% increase in the fourth quarter of 2013.
The Obama administration on Friday announced updates to model notices informing workers of their eligibility to continue health-care coverage through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, or Cobra. The updates make it clear to workers that if they are eligible for COBRA continuation coverage when leaving a job, they may choose to instead purchase coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
On Tuesday, March 4, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the President’s budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015. This budget is not a binding document and will likely result in no real action. The President’s budget is considered an indication of the President’s priorities for the upcoming fiscal year. It is important to understand the budget because certain provisions of it may be included in future proposals and legislation.