Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
A robust sign-up for flu shots could help head off a nightmare scenario in the coming winter of hospitals stuffed with both COVID-19 patients and those suffering from severe effects of influenza. Plus, no one knows how flu and COVID might interact if a patient got both.
Early in the pandemic, insurers expected the costs of treating COVID-19 would vastly increase medical spending. Instead, non-COVID care has plummeted and insurers have pocketed the result. Still, few industry observers are predicting broad-based premium cuts in 2021, though some health plans have proposed lowering their rates.
Additional guidance issued late last month by the Trump administration added to the confusion. Some consumers may find themselves unexpectedly on the hook for the cost of a test.
KHN’s Midwest correspondent Lauren Weber drills through the vital health care policy stories of the week, so you don’t have to.
In an investigation last year, KHN detailed the rise and fall of Miami businessman Jorge A. Perez’s rural hospital empire, which spanned eight states and encompassed half of the rural hospital bankruptcies in 2019.
After some protests over the death of George Floyd resulted in violence, online discussions raised concerns that health plans might deny medical coverage. Although plans do sometimes make exclusions for “illegal acts” or riots, experts say concerns by people who are protesting Floyd’s death may be overstated.
A dad in Denver tried to do everything right when COVID symptoms surfaced. Still, he ended up with a huge bill from an insurer that had said it waived cost sharing for coronavirus treatment. What gives?
The Supreme Court this week, in an 8-1 decision, ruled that insurers are due the roughly $12 billion that Congress several years ago tried to cut off in payments under the Affordable Care Act’s “risk corridors” provision. And while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage in many places around the country, states are starting to reopen their economies at the urging of President Donald Trump and over objections of public health officials. Caitlin Owens of Axios and Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, Rovner interviews KHN’s Carmen Heredia Rodriguez, who wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” installment about COVID testing that should have been free but was not.
With most nonemergency procedures shelved for now, many health insurers are expected to see profits in the near term, but the longer view of how the coronavirus will affect them is far more complicated and could well impact what people pay for coverage next year.
The former president’s statement highlights a clear difference of opinion that will likely come up often on the campaign trail.
Kaiser Health News gives readers a chance to comment on a recent batch of stories.
Government officials want to focus on fighting COVID-19 instead of recouping overcharges that run into the millions.
Emergency rule changes by the federal government and some insurers have made telemedicine a useful tool.
There are important distinctions between how insurance companies will cover the test and the treatment. This makes the president’s statement an exaggeration, at best.
Even in a solidly blue state where voters were demanding relief from high health care costs, the idea of a government-run public option for health insurance faced a “steam train of opposition.”
Because seniors are at higher risk of cognitive impairment, proponents say screening asymptomatic older adults is an important strategy to identify people who may be developing dementia and to improve their care. But the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force cited insufficient evidence the tests are helpful.