In the last few days before Medicare open enrollment ends for the year, Making Sen$e Medicare Maven Phil Moeller takes a question from a reader of a certain age who’s not sure whether he should choose one of his employer’s new United Healthcare plans or move to Medicare. Continue reading
Many medical groups, led by the Association of American Medical Colleges, say there’s little doubt. “We think the shortage is going to be close to 130,000 in the next 10 to 12 years,” says Atul Grover, the group’s chief public policy officer. But others, particularly health care economists, are less convinced. “Concerns that the nation faces a looming physician shortage, particularly in primary care specialties, are common,” wrote an expert panel of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in a report on the financing of graduate medical education in July. “The committee did not find credible evidence to support such claims.”
The second year of open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act is now underway. This year, more insurers are participating in health insurance marketplaces, and if evidence from last year is any indication, increased competition should result in lower premiums. That’s according to a new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, co-authored by MIT economist Jon Gruber. Continue reading
“The vast majority of people coming to the site were able to get on and do what they were intending to do,” Health and Human Services Secretary Sylva Burwell said Sunday on NBC’s Meet The Press, adding that 500,000 people had signed onto the website. Continue reading
Haven’t thought about the health care law for a while? Now’s the time.
Passed in 2010, the law requires most Americans to have health insurance or pay a fine. While many Americans get health coverage through their employers, starting Nov. 15 consumers who currently have insurance through the federal or state online marketplaces, or exchanges, set up by the law can reenroll. In addition, people who still need health insurance can sign up. Subsidies are available to help many people afford coverage, and some states have expanded their Medicaid programs as part of the law. Continue reading
If your current Medicare Advantage plan will no longer be offered next year, you should have received a notice to that effect. And you should have read it. Maybe you did and maybe you didn’t. Making Sen$e Medicare Maven Phillip Moeller isn’t taking names; he’s here to fill you in. Continue reading
Specialists at the Dartmouth Healthcare Atlas maintain that one of the main drivers of this phenomenon is quantity: people end up in hospitals here so often, they say, because this region simply has a lot of hospital beds. Continue reading
Unfortunately, once someone with autism turns 21, “they fall off a cliff,” says Lorri Unumb, vice president of state government affairs at Autism Speaks, an advocacy organization. “It’s the next big frontier that’s got to be addressed.” Continue reading
While both critics and supporters of the Affordable Care Act are likely to find fodder for their positions, the report portrays 2014 as a relatively stable year for employer coverage, with little change in the type of plans offered or their costs. The percentage of firms offering health benefits (55 percent) and the percentage of workers covered at those firms (62 percent) were statistically unchanged from 2013, despite predictions of the law’s critics that many firms would drop coverage.
Last year, many consumers who thought their health plans would be canceled because they didn’t meet the standards of the health law got a reprieve. Following stinging criticism for appearing to renege on a promise that people who liked their existing plans could keep them, President Barack Obama backed off plans to require all individual and small group plans that had not been in place before the health law to meet new standards starting in 2014. The administration initially announced a transitional policy that, with state approval, would allow insurers to renew plans that didn’t comply with coverage or cost standards starting in December 2013 and continue doing so until October 2014. Then in March, the administration said it would extend the transitional policy for two more years, meaning that some people will be able to hang onto their non-compliant plans through 2017. Continue reading