Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
California legislators resume their work Monday after more than a month off. While the coronavirus pandemic has shifted the state’s priorities, many lawmakers say they still intend to push non-COVID health care bills to tax soda, ban vape flavors and more.
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.
The volunteer medical providers at the Tree of Life Free Clinic in Tupelo, Mississippi, give crucial health care to the uninsured in the best of times, drawing crowds who line up for hours. Amid the current COVID pandemic, clinic staffers were advised to close. Instead, they chose to adapt — even without critical N95 masks to protect themselves — as the economic crisis intensifies the need for free care.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires private insurers to pay for certain services related to coronavirus testing at no cost to the patient. But gaps in the protections expose patients to unexpected medical bills.
Her doctor worried she had COVID-19 but couldn’t test her for it until she ruled out other things. That test cost a bundle.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has asked lawmakers to pare down their legislative wish lists and focus on the state’s coronavirus response. But state Sen. Jim Beall plans to forge ahead with his mental health care proposals, including a measure to create a state mental health parity requirement.
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.
This week on “An Arm and a Leg,” a front-line physician wonders if the health care industry’s drive for “efficiency” has robbed the system of surge capacity, leaving the nation underprepared to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Politicians pledged to stop providers from charging for video appointments or telephone calls, but some patients are being charged $70 or $80 per virtual visit.
Illinois is moving thousands of children into its Medicaid managed-care program. Proponents say the approach can cut costs while increasing access to care. But after a phase-one rollout of the new health plans caused thousands to temporarily lose coverage, some question whether it’s the right move.
Many Americans order drugs from Canada and other countries because they are cheaper, but U.S. authorities appear to be cracking down on the practice.
“An Arm and a Leg” is back sharing stories about the ways COVID-19 intersects with the cost of health care. To tackle a listener’s question about health coverage, Dan Weissmann spoke with one of the country’s top insurance nerds.
Newsletter editor Brianna Labuskes wades through hundreds of health care policy stories each week, so you don’t have to.
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.
Kaiser Health News gives readers a chance to comment on a recent batch of stories.
In the first round of emergency relief, some states will get more than $300,000 per COVID-19 patient, while hard-hit New York gets just $12,000 per patient.
As part of the federal response to the coronavirus crisis, Medicare is offering to give hospitals and doctors accelerated payments.
The spread of COVID-19 is prompting changes in pricing, coverage and other health care issues that have been subjects of political debate for years. But the politics remain polarized. Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, for extra credit, the panelists suggest their favorite health policy stories of the week that they think you should read, too.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom charged into 2020 with ambitious — and expensive — proposals to increase health insurance coverage, reduce homelessness and tackle drug prices. Then came COVID-19.
“An Arm and a Leg” is back — sooner than we expected — with stories about how COVID-19 intersects with the cost of health care, and how we can all respond. So we’re calling it SEASON-19.