Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
The Biden administration this week announced it would let the covid-19 public health emergency lapse on May 11, even as the Republican-led House was voting to immediately eliminate the special authorities of the so-called PHE. Meanwhile, anti-abortion forces are pressuring legislators to both tighten abortion restrictions and pay for every birth in the nation. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Rachel Roubein of The Washington Post, and Victoria Knight of Axios join KHN’s chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Hannah Wesolowski of the National Alliance on Mental Illness about the rollout of the national 988 suicide prevention hotline.
In a surprise decision, U.S. officials yield to insurance industry demands — at least for now.
KHN has released never-before-seen details of federal audits as the government weighs action against dozens of Medicare Advantage plans.
Facing rare scrutiny from federal auditors, some Medicare Advantage health plans failed to produce any records to justify their payments, government records show. The audits revealed millions of dollars in overcharges to Medicare over three years.
The lawsuit was filed three years ago to learn about vast overcharges by the popular health plans that are detailed in audits the government refused to release to the public.
The Biden administration has decided to try to fix the so-called “family glitch” in the Affordable Care Act without an act of Congress. The provision has prevented workers’ families from getting subsidized coverage if an employer offer is unaffordable. Meanwhile, Medicare’s open enrollment period begins Oct. 15, and private Medicare Advantage plans are poised to cover more than half of Medicare’s 65 million enrollees. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these topics and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read.
President Joe Biden, in an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes,” declared the covid-19 pandemic “over,” stoking confusion for members of his administration trying to persuade Congress to provide more funding to fight the virus and the public to get the latest boosters. Meanwhile, concerns about a return of medical inflation is helping boost insurance premiums even as private companies race to get their piece of the health pie. Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, and Lauren Weber of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, for extra credit, the panelists suggest their favorite health policy stories they think you should read, too.
The Government Accountability Office and the Health and Human Services inspector general’s office say seniors enrolled in the program are suffering and taxpayers are getting bilked for billions of dollars a year.
The unprecedented early leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn the landmark abortion-rights ruling Roe v. Wade has heated the national abortion debate to boiling. Meanwhile, the FDA, after years of consideration, moves to ban menthol flavors in cigarettes and cigars. Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, Shefali Luthra of the 19th, and Jessie Hellmann of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, Rovner interviews KHN’s Paula Andalo, who wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about a family whose medical debt drove them to seek care south of the border.
Congress is in recess, so the slower-than-average news week gives us a chance to catch up on underreported topics, like Medicare’s coverage decision for the controversial Alzheimer’s disease drug Aduhelm and ominous new statistics on drug overdose deaths and sexually transmitted diseases. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Joanne Kenen of Politico and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.
Many Medicare Advantage plans send caregivers to the homes of seniors periodically to help with housework and provide companionship. But the workers may also prod seniors into activities that boost the plans’ Medicare ratings and federal reimbursements.
Private and public employers are increasingly using the government’s Medicare Advantage program as an alternative to their existing retiree health plan and traditional Medicare coverage. As a result, the federal government is paying the “overwhelming majority” of medical costs, according to an industry analyst.
Funcionarios federales dicen que están aumentando las quejas de personas mayores engañadas para que compren pólizas sin su consentimiento, o atraídas por información cuestionable, que pueden no cubrir sus medicamentos ni incluir a sus médicos.
Medicare officials say complaints are rising from seniors lured into private plans with misleading information or enrolled without their consent. In response, officials have threatened to penalize the private companies selling Medicare Advantage and drug plans if they or agents working on their behalf mislead consumers.
Some insurers pocketed ‘eye-popping’ overpayments, billing records show.
As lawmakers weigh new spending provisions to cover dental, hearing and vision services for Medicare beneficiaries, a group supporting Medicare Advantage plans is airing commercials that raise concerns about the funding for those private plans.
The feds’ civil suit links exaggerated patient bills to “tens of millions” in overcharges.
As the delta variant continues to spread around the U.S., the Biden administration is taking steps to authorize covid vaccine boosters, require nursing home workers to be vaccinated and protect school officials who want to require masks despite state laws banning those mandates. Meanwhile, the U.S. House is returning from its summer break early to start work on its giant budget bill, which includes a long list of health policy changes. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
When the program began half a century ago, backers believed the benefits would expand over time, but politics and concerns about money have stymied most efforts. Now congressional Democrats are looking to add vision, dental and hearing care.
Insurers voluntarily set the charges aside earlier in the pandemic — but that means those same health plans can decide to reinstate them.