KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

More Coloradans Lose Medicare Advantage Plans, Missouri Lawmakers Push For Doctor’s Order To Buy Common Cold And Allergy Meds

The Denver Post: "Nearly 14,000 Coloradans are losing their form of Medicare Advantage plans next year and will need to choose new options, creating a hardship for 1,700 rural Medicare members who won't find similar plans left on the table. Medicare Advantage carriers such as Humana, Anthem, Secure Horizons and MVP dropped some Medicare Advantage plans in Colorado. … The dropped carriers affect 13,936 beneficiaries in Colorado, including 3,832 in the Denver metro area" (Booth, 12/2). "Common cold and allergy medicines such as Sudafed and Claritin will require a doctor's prescription in Missouri if a proposal backed by Governor Jay Nixon and Attorney General Chris Koster becomes law. The two Democrats announced their support for the proposal in a press conference Tuesday (December 1), calling it the surest way to combat the production of methamphetamine. Meth production and abuse has been a major policy concern for state governments over much of the last decade, as teens and others have become addicted to the drug, leading to crime sprees and serious health repercussions" (Gramlich, 12/1).

The Boston Globe: "A Waltham outpatient clinic that serves people struggling with severe mental illnesses is slashing its outpatient operations this month, leaving 350 patients to find new care providers and 11 clinicians to find new jobs even as other facilities face the same fate. [Ellen Attaliades, chief executive of the Edinburgh Center] and others in the mental health field say the downsizing is symptomatic of a larger trend that's been happening for years" (McKee, 12/2).

The Seattle Times/The Associated Press: "About $5.3 million in monthly grants to community health clinics around the [Washington] state will be suspended through June. About $5.3 million in monthly grants to community health clinics around the state will be suspended through June. Three dozen organizations representing 214 clinics will see the grants suspended beginning Jan. 1. The state Health Care Authority says that could be changed under a supplemental budget approved by the Legislature" (12/1).

The Wall Street Journal: "A union health-insurance fund that dropped coverage for some 6,000 children in New York backed away from previous claims blaming, in part, health-care laws championed by the Obama administration for the decision. A statement issued Tuesday by 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union, restated the union's support for new federal health-care laws. That marked a something of a turnabout from a letter sent to union members in October, which seemed to fault a federal law making children eligible for coverage on their parents' health plans until age 26" (Chernova, 12/1).

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