KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Conn. Seeks To Learn From Other States’ Efforts To Control Health Care Costs

Consultants hired by the state will examine what some other states have done and make recommendations to Connecticut officials. Meanwhile, in Columbus, Ohio, officials are grappling with increased health care costs for city workers.

The Connecticut Mirror: CT To Study Other States To Target Health Costs, Market Changes
Massachusetts created a health policy commission that sets a cap for annual health care cost increases and reports which providers exceed it. Rhode Island’s insurance department has pushed insurers to increase funding for primary care and sought to limit hospital payment rates, while the state’s governor initiated an effort to develop a health care spending cap for the state. Maryland has for years set rates for hospitals, and now gives them a set budget to care for their patients .... Could Connecticut embrace a similar model to try to contain health care costs that are widely seen as unsustainable? Consultants hired by the state will be studying that and other questions in the coming months, with an eye toward recommending specific options to legislators by Dec. 1. (Levin Becker, 1/12)

For individuals, planning for covering the cost of long-term care is important —

Kiplinger's Personal Finance: Tactics To Make Long-Term-Care Coverage Affordable
No matter how carefully you plan for retirement, if you don't have long-term-care insurance, a catastrophic illness could wipe out your savings. The average private room in a nursing home costs $250 per day -- or $91,250 per year -- according to Genworth's 2015 Cost of Care study. The median cost of assisted living is now $43,200 a year, and the cost of hiring a home-care worker is $20 per hour, or more than $41,000 per year for a 40-hour week. (The average length of care is about three years.) Medicare provides little coverage for long-term care, and Medicaid kicks in only after you've spent almost all of your money. (Lankford, 1/13)

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