A screenshot from a television ad on Friday for a Medicare Advantage plan from UnitedHealthcare.
Watching the TV ads during the evening news, you would think Medicare Advantage plans were the greatest health insurance bargain ever invented. Consumers should not be fooled, however.
It’s true that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services made it possible for Medicare Advantage (MA) health plans to offer more benefits to seniors enrolled in Medicare. Some of these plans offer coverage for vision, hearing, and gym memberships) while not charging a monthly premium, and some MA plans will even pay for seniors’ Medicare Part B premium, said John Barkett, a senior director of policy affairs at the health care consulting firm Willis Towers Watson. Continue reading
Please welcome these new professional and student members to AHCJ.
All new members are welcome to stop by this post’s comment section to introduce themselves. Continue reading
For Dana Smith, senior staff writer at Elemental, one of the biggest surprises this year has been the anti-science sentiment and the number of COVID-19 disbelievers among readers.
Elemental, a health publication on the Medium platform, invites comments from readers and some of them have posted about a “takeover by scientists” of society or that the threat of the virus is overblown.
“It’s pretty disheartening to see,” Smith said in a new “How I Did It” piece. Continue reading
Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said the U.S. should have a national mask mandate. President-elect Joe Biden is in talks with governors to try to implement one when he takes office in January.
Mask wearing, however, remains a political hot-button. President Trump and many other Republicans have called mandates an overreach of the government and encroachment on freedom. Biden will have lots of work to depoliticize mask-wearing, NPR reports.
So, what is the latest on the science of masks? Continue reading
If you cover anything about health information technology (HIT), then you should know about Karen Groppe, senior director of corporate communications the Healthcare Information and Management System Society (HIMSS), the country’s leading HIT trade group.
I interviewed Groppe about stories journalists should be pursuing in HIT and how HIMSS can help.
She listed four topics that should take you through 2021 and beyond. Continue reading
A multi-partisan discussion of criminal justice reform — among Democrats, Republicans and billionaire philanthropists ranging from the libertarian Koch Brothers to the liberal George Soros, who are financing reform efforts — includes the question of what to do about people with mental illnesses who wind up behind bars, including for minor, non-violent offenses.
In its most recent report, released in 2017, the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that 14% of a yearly count of roughly 2.3 million convicted state and federal prisoners and 26% of jailed pre-trial detainees “met the threshold for serious psychological distress.” By comparison, during that same period, mental illness had been diagnosed in 5% of the U.S. population of comparable race, age and gender of those incarcerated persons. Continue reading