Choice in the Health Insurance Exchanges

I have posted frequently on the ACA and narrow networks (here and here). How narrow are the networks plans available in the health insurance exchanges? How does provider choice differ between standard commercial insurance plans and those in the exchanges? A study by Avalere finds: …exchange plan networks include 42 percent fewer oncology and cardiology…

Cholera and Haiti

Cholera has been a huge problem for Haiti. The excellent investigative journalist and author Rose George reports: Five years on, cholera has killed nearly 9,000 Haitians. More than 730,000 people have been infected. It is the worst outbreak of the disease, globally, in modern history. In 2014, Cholera was on the verge of being eradicated from Haiti:…

“Affordable” Care Act

Is the Affordable Care Act making health insurance more affordable?  Generally, the answer is yes.  More individuals are insured due to Medicaid coverage expansions in some but not all states and the implementation of health insurance exchanges.  However, there is one worrying trend in affordability: increasing patient cost sharing. A paper by Hempstead et al. (2015),…

Rate hikes in 2016

The Affordable Care Act may turn out to be not so affordable.  From the New York Times: Health insurance companies around the country are seeking rate increases of 20 percent to 40 percent or more, saying their new customers under the Affordable Care Act turned out to be sicker than expected. Federal officials say they…

Measles death in the US

Vox reports: We started 2015 with one of the worst measles outbreaks in recent history, which originated at Disneyland in California. And today, the US just recorded its first measles death in a dozen years. According to a news release from the Washington State health department, the (still unidentified) woman was probably exposed to the…