Who Really Pays For Health Care Might Surprise You

KHN Original

Implementation of the health law has renewed discussions of who wins, loses and gains access to health insurance. But questions persist. Here’s a corrective to common misconceptions about who pays for health care.

Biggest Insurer Shocked With Hepatitis C Costs

KHN Original

UnitedHealth Group spent $100 million on hepatitis C drugs in the first three months of the year, much more than expected, the company said Thursday. The news helped drive down the biggest insurance company’s stock and underscores the challenge for all health care payers in covering Sovaldi, an expensive new pill for hepatitis C. “We’ve […]

Hospital Visits Fell When Seniors Got Drug Coverage

KHN Original

Eleven years ago Bob Bennett, then a Republican senator from Utah, made a fiscal sales pitch for including prescription drugs in Medicare coverage for seniors. “Medicare says if you go to the hospital and run up a bill of however many tens of thousands of dollars to stay that many days, we will pay for […]

Insurers May Get Cost Break Thanks To Rocky ACA Rollout

KHN Original

The Obama administration keeps changing the rules on implementing the Affordable Care Act. Insurance companies keep complaining. But they’re unlikely to grouse about the latest adjustment. On Tuesday the Department of Health and Human Services signaled its intention to temporarily give insurers a break on the portion of premiums they must spend on medical care […]

Survey: Employers Less Confident Of Future Health Benefits

KHN Original

Big employers are pretty sure they’ll keep offering workers health care coverage. But they seem a lot less sure than they used to be, according to a survey released Thursday. Only one large company in four recently surveyed by Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health is confident it will provide medical coverage […]

Co-Ops Report Early Enrollment Successes And Expansion Plans

KHN Original

The Affordable Care Act’s nonprofit co-op health plans, which see themselves as the rebel alliance battling established insurers, have signed close to 300,000 members and are set to expand into three new states next year, officials say. Starting from zero in October, New York’s Health Republic Insurance has enrolled more than 50,000 policyholders, said John Morrison, who […]

Humana ACA Enrollees Younger Than Expected

KHN Original

Here’s more fodder for the debate over whether older, sicker members will swamp insurance plans created by the Affordable Care Act. Insurers have wondered whether enough younger, healthier “invincibles” would sign up through online exchanges to subsidize folks with poorer health. The worry was that, without their premiums, expenses for older folks would drive up average […]

WellPoint Discloses Big Sign-Ups Through Health Exchanges

KHN Original

The biggest player in the Affordable Care Act’s online insurance marketplaces delivered encouraging news to Obamacare supporters Wednesday. After weeks of uncertainty about how many people have been applying for coverage that started Jan. 1, their age spread and whether or not they’re paying premiums, WellPoint disclosed higher-than-expected early membership growth and said it expects to make […]

WellPoint Optimistic On Exchanges Despite Slow Start

KHN Original

WellPoint Inc. and its Anthem Blue Cross plans made one of the biggest bets on selling insurance to individuals and families through the health law’s online exchanges. No regrets, CEO Joseph Swedish said Tuesday, despite the balky beginning. “Despite the near-term uncertainty, we believe exchanges will be growing as a big part of the market […]

Detailed Report Delivers Good News On Health Costs, But Will It Last?

KHN Original

Definitive 2012 numbers show continued, historically low increases in medical prices and the use of medical services. Health spending rose 3.7 percent, up slightly from 2011 but far below the 8 percent increases of the early 2000s, according to figures released Monday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Health spending has grown faster than incomes and […]

Maryland Plan Offers Retroactive Coverage Due To Sign-up Problems

KHN Original

Dr. Peter Beilenson may be the only health insurance CEO who picks up the phone when reporters call. So Kaiser Health News bothers him a lot. We caught up with the boss of Maryland’s Evergreen Health Co-op late last week to learn how one insurer moved from Obamacare theory to Obamacare practice. “They have their […]