Some States Slow Health Law Implementation Pace
Much of this slow down is related to the creation of health exchanges, as some states are wondering if they should hold tight until the high court's decision is made. In other news, media outlets detail some of the specifics of the measure's preventive benefits as well as rate review processes.
Politico Pro: Some States Slow Exchange Plans For Court
For state governments, the coming Supreme Court ruling on health reform isn't an abstract argument about the U.S. Constitution. It's a highly practical question about whether, when, and how to proceed with one of the health law's most important and complicated pieces: setting up health insurance exchanges. Already facing political strife over implementation of health reform, some states are wondering if they should sit tight on exchange decisions until the court rules, probably in June (Millman, 11/28).
WBUR: When Is Preventive Care Free And When Do You Pay?
The still-relatively new federal health care law makes dozens of preventive tests free for patients. Doctors or hospitals are not supposed to charge patients for annual check-ups, most screening tests and a dozen other services such as tobacco cessation. This provision began taking effect more than a year ago, but there is still confusion about how it works. ... If you go in for an annual check-up the visit won't cost you anything but you will still have a charge for the lab work your doctor orders. And some tests may start off as a preventive screening, but then switch to a diagnostic test if a doctors finds a problem (Bebinger, 11/28).
Related, earlier KHN story: Under Health Law, Colonoscopies Are Free — But It Doesn't Always Work That Way (Meyer, 4/25).
Modern Healthcare: Myopic Watchdog?
Are insurers primarily obligated to maintain solvency and provide some profits to their investors or are they susceptible to public shaming for excessive profit-seeking? The Obama administration aims to answer that question and arrest years of double-digit health insurance rate increases through a new rate review process that calls out insurance company plans deemed "excessive" and "unjustified" (Daly, 11/28).