KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

First Edition: September 21, 2010

In today's headlines, news about major insurers' plans to stop offering child-only health policies in advance of new rules.

Insuring Your Health: Coordinated Care System Helps Physicians Meet More Patient Needs
In her latest Kaiser Health News consumer column, Michelle Andrews writes: "If you get sick at night or the weekend, all too often the local emergency room is the only medical facility with an open door. You may know that your regular doctor could treat your asthma or that nagging cough, but you wind up in the emergency room because your symptoms inconveniently occurred outside regular business hours" (Kaiser Health News).

Few Insurers Provide Coverage For Weight Loss Treatment
Reporting for Kaiser Health News, in collaboration with The Washington Post, Sandra G. Boodman writes: "After her weight hit the obese range, her cholesterol level nudged the danger zone and her doctor urged her to lose weight, Melissa Moss, veteran of a decade of failed diets, decided she needed intensive help. She enrolled in the George Washington University Weight Management Program, which provided behavioral and nutrition counseling, a physician-supervised low-calorie liquid diet and group therapy" (Kaiser Health News). Watch the video. Read the sidebar

Short Of Repeal, G.O.P. Will Chip At Health Law
Republicans are serious. Hopeful of picking up substantial numbers of seats in the Congressional elections, they are developing plans to try to repeal or roll back President Obama's new health care law (The New York Times).

Washington Wire: Senate Democrats Jump On Health Insurance Increases
Senate Democrats are jumping into the fight over a recent round of insurance rate increases – and this time, they are singling out specific insurers (The Wall Street Journal).

Medicare 'Doughnut Hole' Relief Could Be Offset By Higher Prescription Drug Prices
If you've ever seen a sale advertising 50 percent off, you might have wondered if the retail price was ratcheted up to make the discount possible (The Washington Post).

Major Health Insurers To Stop Offering New Child-Only Policies
Some of the country's most prominent health insurance companies have decided to stop offering new child-only plans, rather than comply with rules in the new health-care law that will require such plans to start accepting children with preexisting medical conditions after Sept. 23 (The Washington Post).

Insurers Ending Child-Only Policies
Several of the nation's largest health insurance companies will stop issuing certain children's insurance policies to avoid complying with a new mandate in the Democrats' health care overhaul (Politico).

Health Insurers Drop Coverage For Children Ahead Of New Rules
Health plans in at least four states have announced they're dropping children's coverage just days ahead of new rules created by the healthcare reform law, according to the liberal grassroots group Health Care for America Now (The Hill's Healthwatch).

Blue Cross To Refund $156 Million In N.C.
Health insurance regulators in North Carolina have identified nearly $156 million in refunds owed to Blue Cross policyholders because of changes coming under the nation's new health law (USA Today).

Report: obesity Hurts Your Wallet And Your Health
Obesity puts a drag on the wallet as well as health, especially for women (The Associated Press).

The Case For Less Cancer Screening
A one-time screening for prostate cancer could prevent further, unnecessary screenings for most men, according to a study in the journal Cancer (The Wall Street Journal).

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