Bloomberg Health reporter John Tozzi has written a terrific “how I did it” essay summing up a yearlong project on Chronicling America’s Uninsured that really delved deeply into who can’t afford health insurance – or chooses not to pay the high cost – and what they experience.
It’s a powerful combination of policy and narrative in a way we don’t often hear. And he showed that health care and insurance isn’t just beyond reach of the poor or working class. It’s a crisis for growing numbers of people much further up the income ladder. Continue reading
For an article on short-term health plans, journalist Nancy Metcalf found an ideal source: Stewart Lamotte, a 64-year-old retired restaurateur from Lawrenceville, Ga.
In a story that Consumer Reports published in December 2017, “Is Short-Term Health Insurance a Good Deal?”, Metcalf explained that when LaMotte shopped for health insurance, he didn’t qualify for a tax credit under the Affordable Care Act. Also, he balked at the $1,000 monthly premium and a deductible of $6,500 that was required for an ACA-compliant health insurance policy. Continue reading
HHS has proposed a new rule that would make it easier for employers to help their workers cover medical expenses by using health reimbursement accounts (HRAs).
The proposal would allow employers to subsidize employees who buy their own health insurance either on or off the Affordable Care Act marketplaces. Employers who cover their workers — and that’s been more stable than many expected under the ACA — could give employees up to $1,800 a year (indexed to inflation) to finance HRAs, which are tax-advantaged accounts. That would go toward out-of-pocket costs. Continue reading
The 2019 ACA enrollment season is getting off to a stronger start – more health plan participation in the federal exchange, lower premiums – than many had expected.
It still faces enormous stresses, with the elimination of the mandate penalty, and the availability of alternative health coverage options that may undermine the markets. But for now, the news is quite good. Continue reading
Andrew Dreyfus, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts announced this week that it is taking the radical step of paying to keep patients out of the hospital.
In a partnership with South Shore Health System in Weymouth, Mass., BCBSM will change the financial reward system so that it will tie payments to health system to its success in collaborating with physicians to improve quality, patient outcomes and costs for the patients they physicians and health system. Under BCBSM’s Alternative Quality Contract (AQC), the health insurer will reward the health system and physicians for their success in doing so, the two parties said in an Oct. 30 news release. Continue reading
We earlier told you about one lawsuit that aims to take down the ACA – or at least wipe out the law’s most popular provisions. A ruling could come at any time. The judge in oral argument seemed quite sympathetic to the conservative states bringing suit, but we won’t know for sure until his ruling, which likely will be appealed.
The question is what will happen if the court does strike all or part of the law, especially with open enrollment beginning Nov. 1 (assuming that decision is not stayed pending appeal). Continue reading