Most of us know what a surplus is: When you have more of something than you need. And you’re probably wondering what that has to do with health care? According to a new report by the Consumer Union, seven out of 10 of Blue Cross Blue Shield’s nonprofit plans that were studied in a sample have been stockpiling a surplus of cash, all the while continuing to significantly increase premiums for many consumers in the private market.
The words “doughnut hole” may summon thoughts of a delicious treat to someone under the age of 10, but for people with Medicare those same words represent something scary.
But how can doughnut holes be scary? In our health care system, when seniors and people with disabilities sign up for prescription drug benefits through Medicare Part D, there is a coverage gap that often results in elderly and disabled Americans paying way more than they can afford for prescription drugs. We call this the “doughnut hole.”
Just when you think that all the possible variations of Medicaid cuts have been laid out—straight cuts, spending caps, converting Medicaid to a block grant—something new pops up. This time it’s an idea from the Administration, and it isn’t a good one: It’s what is known as a “blended FMAP.” Yet another acronym in a sea of them, this one is very important to Medicaid—FMAP stands for the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage, the share of Medicaid costs paid by the federal government.
When Avandia entered the market, it was touted as one of the best medicines available to help people with type 2 diabetes. The great potential of this new diabetes wonder drug was proclaimed in an article in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, and Avandia was quickly adopted as the standard of care. Sadly, an important piece of information came out much later. Avandia has an unfortunate and dangerous side effect: It increases the risk of heart attack. A lot.
This post is a guest blog from health care consumer Janet Joy.
Dear Mitt Romney:
A few weeks ago, you told The Columbus Dispatch that even if you’re uninsured “you go to the hospital, you get treated, you get care, and it’s paid for, either by charity, the government or by the hospital. We don’t have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don’t have insurance.” I beg to differ.
We are a huge and diverse country, filled with people of all colors, shapes, and sizes. We have wildly divergent backgrounds and interests. But there are some things nearly everyone in America likes:
What Governor Romney Doesn’t Want People Over 55 to Hear About His Medicare Plan
Part 5: An unstable Medicare and losing your doctor
Republicans are getting a lot of attention these days for trying to starve the Affordable Care Act of funding in order to derail implementation. Behind all the politics, what‘s not getting as much attention is all the good that the Affordable Care Act is doing right now, and how it’s helping Americans in all walks of life.
We were just reminded of that again last week when the Department of Health and Human Services announced more than $621 million in new grants to states through 2016 to help people living in nursing homes move back into the community.
As someone who has been filing insurance appeals on behalf of consumers for fifteen years, I am nothing short of thrilled by the new rules governing consumers’ rights to appeal adverse decisions by insurance companies.
This week, the New York Times ran a powerful op-ed by billionaire Warren Buffett. In the piece, Buffett implores Republican leaders to stop “coddling the mega-rich” and stop trying to balance the budget on the backs of the poor. Instead, the billionaire insists that Congress ask the wealthy to pay their fair share.
So, what prompted Mr. Buffett to call out Republican leaders?