Michelle Andrews

With Federal Nod, Consumers Could Lose The Boost They Get From Drug ‘Coupons’

KHN Original

The proposal being weighed by federal officials would allow employers and insurers to decide that drug companies’ assistance doesn’t count toward their members’ deductible or out-of-pocket maximum spending limits. If plans opted for that approach, only payments made by patients themselves would be included in the calculation toward reaching those limits.

California Surprise-Billing Law Protects Patients But Aggravates Many Doctors

KHN Original

A California law, which took effect in July 2017, protects consumers who use an in-network hospital or other facility from surprise bills when cared for by an out-of-network doctor. But physicians say the law has allowed insurers to shrink networks, limiting access to those doctors who have contracted with the patients’ insurance plans.

Employers Are Scaling Back Their Dependence On High-Deductible Health Plans

KHN Original

Firms are offering more traditional plans alongside or instead of the plans with sky-high deductibles that may have been the only option in the past. The change comes as employers are finding that workers like the predictability of a traditional plan and that providing more generous plans can help with recruiting in a tight labor market.