Two months ago we wrote about the estimated impact of an exciting new consumer protection that ensures that the money we pay for health coverage is put to good use. The final numbers are in, and nearly 13 million Americans whose insurers spent too much on non-health-related costs will be getting their money back.
For millions of Americans, having health coverage can be the difference between life and death. The uninsured are less likely to have a usual source of medical care, and, as a result, are more likely to forgo preventive care or delay treating an illness. Without access to preventive screenings and care, many uninsured Americans suffer premature and preventable deaths-they are literally dying for coverage.
Father's Day is the time of the year that we celebrate some of the most important men in our lives—and, it's a great time to think about how we keep these men healthy. Women have outlived men for as long as we've been keeping track, and it's not just because we are better than they are at most things.
Applying for health insurance can be a tough process. You might have to fill out complicated applications or go to a local office for an in-person interview to figure out which coverage programs you qualify for. You might have to wade through lots of fine print and confusing acronyms to estimate the costs of plans offered by different insurers. You may be on the phone for hours trying to determine if your current health care provider is part of a plan's network.
During the extensive coverage of the Supreme Court hearings on the Affordable Care Act, the health reform law, ObamaCare, or whatever you want to call it, many attempted to pin down what they thought was the core feature of the law. Justice Scalia claimed that the individual responsibility provision, otherwise known as the individual mandate, was the "heart" of the law. The Republican opposition claimed it was the "unprecedented" government overreach that defined it.
It's the end of the school year, and students across the country are getting their report cards. But term papers and final exams aren't the only things being graded. In a recent study published in Health Affairs, a team of researchers evaluated insurance plans based on the new guidelines in the Affordable Care Act. Many plans did not make the grade.
On April 13, 2012, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) published a report on the private market for long-term care insurance. The purpose of the report was to explore the reasons why people don't purchase long-term care insurance, but it also served as a reminder of how important Medicaid is for people who need long-term care.
In 2009, 11 million Americans bought their own health insurance. If the Affordable Care Act had been fully implemented then, they would have spent less on their care. According to a new study, provisions of the Affordable Care Act would have saved these Americans an average of $280 a year between 2001 and 2009.
Not a week goes by without another report reminding us that the United States spends more on health care than any other country in the world, yet has worse health outcomes than most. How do we solve this problem and get more for our money? We need to focus on getting each person the right care at the right time.
By, Gene Lewit and Lian Wong, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Posted May 15, 2012