Federal Employees’ Health Premiums To Rise An Average 7.4%
The increase is the largest in five years. Some state government employees are also seeing increases, according to reports from Kansas and Connecticut. Fueling a big part of those increases is the rising cost of drugs.
The Washington Post:
Federal Health-Care Plan Costs To Rise By Most In Five Years
The enrollee share of premiums in the health insurance program for federal employees and retirees will rise by 7.4 percent on average in 2016, the largest increase since 2011, the government announced Tuesday. (Yoder, 9/29)
Kansas Health Institute:
Premium Increases Ahead For State Employee Health Plan
Most Kansans who work for the state are facing increases in their insurance premiums next year, especially if they have their spouse and children on the state employee health plan. As the open enrollment period for 2016 nears, information about employee options published online this week showed hikes of 23 percent and 19 percent for families in the state’s two low-deductible plans and 166 percent and 152 percent for families in the two high-deductible plans. (Marso, 9/29)
Specialty Drug Prices Threaten Health Care Affordability
Reining in health care costs for state employees sometimes feels like shoveling water from a flooded basement while the water is still pouring in, state Comptroller Kevin Lembo said. The state employee health plan has tailored its design to encourage people to manage chronic conditions, get preventive care and avoid emergency room visits. But those savings have been eaten into by the rising expense of specialty drugs for conditions including Hepatitis C, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and cancer, Lembo said. (Levin Becker, 9/29)
Is Profit Or Innovation Driving The Rising Costs Of Drugs?
Turing Pharmaceuticals sparked outcry when it raised the price of a single pill from $13 to $750. Judy Woodruff discusses the rising costs of prescriptions drugs with Dr. Peter Bach of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Dr. Thomas Stossel of Harvard Medical School. (9/29)
Kaiser Health News:
Think Health Prices Are High Near You? Maybe Yes — And No
A long-established belief about health costs is that some areas of the country, like McAllen, Texas, are expensive, while others like San Francisco are cheap. But an analysis released Wednesday provides evidence that prices can be exorbitant for some medical services and bargains for others—all in the same place. (Rau, 9/30)