Michelle Andrews

As Workers Struggle With Pandemic’s Impact, Employers Expand Mental Health Benefits

KHN Original

Many job-based health plans broadened their mental health and substance use coverage to make sure workers had the support they needed this year as pandemic stress lingered, the annual KFF survey finds. Also, the proportion of employers offering health insurance to their workers remained steady, and increases for premiums and out-of-pocket health expenses were moderate.

Unvaccinated? Don’t Count on Leaving Your Family Death Benefits

KHN Original

Some front-line workers who die of covid-19 have been considered eligible for accidental death benefits because it is presumed their infection was contracted on the job. But some employers now suggest that if the workers didn’t follow established safety protocols, such as getting vaccinated, those benefits may be denied.

Student Nurses Who Refuse Vaccination Struggle to Complete Degrees

KHN Original

The Biden administration is requiring workers at health care facilities that accept Medicare and Medicaid payments to be vaccinated. For the minority of nursing students who have refused a shot, the new policy could mean they can’t get the training they need in a hospital or other health care venue.

Biosimilar Drugs Are Cheaper Than Biologics. Are They Similar Enough to Switch?

KHN Original

Biologic drugs, made from living organisms, and the cheaper biosimilar drugs that mimic them are more complex than chemical drugs and their generic counterparts. The Food and Drug Administration says biosimilars are as safe and effective as the biologics, and doctors agree — but they are cautious about changing the treatment regimen of patients doing well.

Contraception Is Free to Women, Except When It’s Not

KHN Original

The landmark federal health law required most commercial health plans to cover a comprehensive list of birth control methods approved by the Food and Drug Administration free of charge to female patients. But health plans don’t have to cover every option, and newer methods are not included in the federal list of covered services.