Insurance

Bright Health acquires Zipnosis, enters telehealth market

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Insurance technology startup Bright Health has purchased Zipnosis, which provides telehealth services. Though details of the new transaction are sparse, the acquisition aims to lower healthcare costs and expand access to quality care.

Indiana’s Medicaid Expansion — Designed by Pence and Verma — Panned in Federal Report

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Indiana’s Medicaid expansion — with its “personal responsibility” provisions that require enrollees to pay monthly premiums and manage health savings accounts — proved no better at improving health and access to care than other state expansions, a federally commissioned study found. Use Our Content It… Read More »Indiana’s Medicaid Expansion — Designed by Pence and Verma — Panned in Federal Report

In California, Blue Shield’s Vaccination Takeover Fixes What Wasn’t Broken

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In California’s Mendocino County, public health officials and community clinics say they have hit their vaccination stride. This story also ran on The Mendocino Beacon. It can be republished for free. Despite the county’s remoteness and its largely rural population spread among wooded mountains, rugged… Read More »In California, Blue Shield’s Vaccination Takeover Fixes What Wasn’t Broken

Becerra Has Long Backed Single-Payer. That Doesn’t Mean It Will Happen if He’s HHS Secretary.

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“Becerra supports Bernie’s government takeover of your health care, eliminating your employer-provided coverage.” — TV ad funded by Cotton for Senate, Feb. 22 This story was produced in partnership with PolitiFact. It can be republished for free. A digital ad running in Georgia and New Hampshire… Read More »Becerra Has Long Backed Single-Payer. That Doesn’t Mean It Will Happen if He’s HHS Secretary.

Oscar Health looks to raise $1B in IPO

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Insurance startup Oscar Health plans to price its IPO between $32 and $34 per share.  The New York-based startup plans to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “OSCR.”

Biden to reopen ACA marketplaces for 3 months

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The Biden administration established a special enrollment period to give uninsured Americans a chance to sign up for insurance on the HealthCare.gov markets. Providers and payers applauded the announcement, but it remains to be seen whether the move will encourage people to get insured.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Long Road to Unwinding Trump Health Policies

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Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Thursday was “health day” in President Joe Biden’s sprint to launch his presidency, and he signed two executive orders addressing health coverage and women’s reproductive rights. The orders will reopen enrollment under the Affordable Care… Read More »KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Long Road to Unwinding Trump Health Policies

Baby Blues: First-Time Parents Blindsided by ‘the Birthday Rule’ and a $207,455 NICU Bill

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In the nine months leading up to her due date, Kayla Kjelshus and her husband, Mikkel, meticulously planned for their daughter’s arrival. This story also ran on NPR. It can be republished for free. Their long to-do list included mapping out their family’s health insurance… Read More »Baby Blues: First-Time Parents Blindsided by ‘the Birthday Rule’ and a $207,455 NICU Bill

Insurtech startup Sidecar Health’s valuation hits $1B  

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The new startup unicorn’s insurance product enables members to shop for medical services and pay directly for care. The company raised $125 million in a recent funding round, boosting its valuation, which it will use to increase its footprint and launch new products.

Health Issues Carried Weight on the Campaign Trail. What Could Biden Do in His First 100 Days?

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Joe Biden ran on an expansive health care platform during his 2020 presidential campaign, with a broad array of promises such as adding a government-sponsored health plan to the Affordable Care Act and lowering prescription drug prices. Perhaps most significantly, he pledged to get control… Read More »Health Issues Carried Weight on the Campaign Trail. What Could Biden Do in His First 100 Days?

Biden’s First Order of Business May Be to Undo Trump’s Policies, but It Won’t Be Easy

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The party split in Congress is so slim that, even with Democrats technically in the majority, passing major health care legislation will be extremely difficult. So speculation about President-elect Joe Biden’s health agenda has focused on the things he can accomplish using executive authority. Although… Read More »Biden’s First Order of Business May Be to Undo Trump’s Policies, but It Won’t Be Easy

Democrats Are Running Hard on Health Care in Georgia’s Senate Runoffs. Republicans? Not So Much.

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This story is from a reporting partnership that includes WABE, NPR and KHN. It can be republished for free. Vice President Mike Pence was the clear celebrity draw at a Nov. 20 campaign event for Georgia’s two incumbent U.S. senators, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue.… Read More »Democrats Are Running Hard on Health Care in Georgia’s Senate Runoffs. Republicans? Not So Much.

With Becerra as HHS Pick, California Plots More Progressive Health Care Agenda

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SACRAMENTO — President-elect Joe Biden didn’t back “Medicare for All” during his campaign. Yet his choice of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to serve in the nation’s top health care post is fueling California lawmakers’ most progressive health care dreams, including pursuing a government-run single-payer… Read More »With Becerra as HHS Pick, California Plots More Progressive Health Care Agenda

Xavier Becerra en sus propias palabras: “La atención de salud es un derecho”

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El presidente electo Joe Biden nombró al fiscal general de California, Xavier Becerra, para dirigir el Departamento de Salud y Servicios Humanos (HHS) de los Estados Unidos. Becerra, quien sería el primer secretario latino del HHS, ha tomado algunas posiciones innovadoras en atención de salud,… Read More »Xavier Becerra en sus propias palabras: “La atención de salud es un derecho”

ACA could help millions of uninsured gain free coverage

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Millions of Americans without healthcare insurance could be eligible to get coverage for free, or nearly free, through financial assistance offered under the Affordable Care Act. But many who recently lost their employer-based coverage may not be aware of the options available to them.

Were You Notified About Missing Tax Forms for Your ACA Subsidy? Blame COVID.

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The notice from the federal health insurance marketplace grabbed Andrew Schenker’s attention: ACT NOW: YOU’RE AT RISK OF LOSING FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE STARTING JANUARY 1, 2021. As he read the notice, though, the Blacksburg, Virginia, resident became exasperated. Schenker, his wife and their teenage son have… Read More »Were You Notified About Missing Tax Forms for Your ACA Subsidy? Blame COVID.

KHN on the Air This Week

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KHN Midwest correspondent Lauren Weber discussed COVID-19 surges in Wisconsin with Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Central Time” on Nov. 13. Click here to hear Weber on Wisconsin Public Radio California Healthline correspondent Angela Hart and editor Emily Bazar discussed how the Supreme Court case about the… Read More »KHN on the Air This Week

Surprise Federal Drug Rule Directs Insurers to Reveal What They Pay for Prescription Drugs

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Health insurance companies will have to give their customers estimated out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs and disclose to the public the negotiated prices they pay for drugs, under an unexpected new Trump administration rule. The administration said those requirements, part of a broader rule issued… Read More »Surprise Federal Drug Rule Directs Insurers to Reveal What They Pay for Prescription Drugs

‘An Arm and a Leg’: For Your Next Health Insurance Fight, an Exercise in Financial Self-Defense

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Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. A listener asked: ‘How do I remain cool when calling insurance companies?” So we called veteran self-defense teacher Lauren Taylor for advice. She leads Defend Yourself, an organization that works to empower people against violence and abuse. … Read More »‘An Arm and a Leg’: For Your Next Health Insurance Fight, an Exercise in Financial Self-Defense

KHN on the Air This Week

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Columnist and California Healthline senior correspondent Bernard J. Wolfson discussed the start of open enrollment for health care plans in California with KPCC’s “Take Two” on Monday. Click here to hear Wolfson on KPCC Read Wolfson’s “It’s Open Enrollment. Here’s What You Need to Know.“… Read More »KHN on the Air This Week

If They Sweep on Election Day, Dems Still Face a Challenge Meeting Health Promises

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Democrats are favored to win both chambers of Congress after years of campaign-trail promises about health care. But with a pandemic, a more conservative Supreme Court and lingering disagreements between progressives and moderates, it could be difficult for Democrats to turn those promises into law.… Read More »If They Sweep on Election Day, Dems Still Face a Challenge Meeting Health Promises

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: As Cases Spike, White House Declares Pandemic Over

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Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said this week that “we’re not going to control the pandemic,” effectively conceding that the administration has pivoted from prevention to treatment. But COVID-19 cases are rising rapidly… Read More »KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: As Cases Spike, White House Declares Pandemic Over

App-Based Companies Pushing Prop. 22 Say Drivers Will Get Health Benefits. Will They?

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App-based driving services such as Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and Instacart are bankrolling California’s Proposition 22, which would keep their drivers classified as independent contractors, not employees. Leading into the Nov. 3 election, the ballot measure — which has become the most expensive in state history… Read More »App-Based Companies Pushing Prop. 22 Say Drivers Will Get Health Benefits. Will They?

Even With ACA’s Fate in Flux, Open Enrollment Starts Soon. Here’s What’s New.

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Facing a pandemic, record unemployment and unknown future costs for COVID-19 treatments, health insurers selling Affordable Care Act plans to individuals reacted by lowering rates in some areas and, overall, issuing only modest premium increases for 2021. “What’s been fascinating is that carriers in general… Read More »Even With ACA’s Fate in Flux, Open Enrollment Starts Soon. Here’s What’s New.

Nebraska gets approval to add work requirements to Medicaid expansion

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After Nebraskans cast their vote for Medicaid expansion in 2018, the state is finally expanding coverage to more residents. As part of the state’s rollout, it split its expanded Medicaid plans into two tiers, with work and other requirements to access dental and vision coverage.

Fighting for Patient Protections While Attacking ACA — Hard to Have It Both Ways

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Throughout the 2020 election cycle, candidates’ positions on health care have been particularly important for voters with underlying and often expensive medical needs — in short, those with preexisting conditions. It’s no surprise, then, that protections for people who have chronic health problems like diabetes… Read More »Fighting for Patient Protections While Attacking ACA — Hard to Have It Both Ways

KHN on the Air This Week

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KHN senior correspondent Sarah Jane Tribble appeared on Newsy’s “Morning Rush” on Thursday to discuss rural hospital closures and KHN’s brand-new “Where It Hurts” podcast. Click here to watch Tribble on Newsy Tribble hosts “No Mercy,” the first season of “Where It Hurts.” Click here… Read More »KHN on the Air This Week

Biden’s in the Ballpark on How Many People Have Preexisting Conditions

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The first minutes of Tuesday’s presidential debate immediately turned to how President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg could undo the Affordable Care Act and its protections for people with preexisting conditions. “There’s 100 million people that have preexisting conditions,”… Read More »Biden’s in the Ballpark on How Many People Have Preexisting Conditions

GOP Senate Ad Misrepresents Mont. Governor’s Stance on Rural Hospitals, Public Option

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An attack ad, which was released in mid-July, states that Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democratic candidate for the Senate, supports a government-run health care program that would wreak havoc on the state’s health care infrastructure. “Bullock’s health care plan will force rural hospitals to… Read More »GOP Senate Ad Misrepresents Mont. Governor’s Stance on Rural Hospitals, Public Option

Big profits put insurers on awkward footing 

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During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, all of the seven largest commercial insurers saw their profits rise, with some seeing their profits double. Will they have to pay some of it back? 

Whistleblower lawsuit accuses Cigna of Medicare Advantage fraud

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A recently unsealed whistleblower case filed by the Department of Justice accuses Cigna of fraudulently overbilling for its Medicare Advantage plans. Allegations claim the company submitted unsupported diagnoses that resulted in “billions” in overpayments.

Medicaid Mystery: Millions of Enrollees Haven’t Materialized in California

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The predictions were dire: Coronavirus lockdowns would put millions of Americans out of work, stripping them of their health insurance and pushing them into Medicaid, the health insurance program for low-income people. In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration projected that the pandemic would force about… Read More »Medicaid Mystery: Millions of Enrollees Haven’t Materialized in California

Must-Reads of the Week

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The Friday Breeze Want to read the best and most provocative stories from the week? Welcome to the Friday Breeze, where we compile them all — so you’re set with your weekend reading. While you, loyal reader, wait for a wonderful new permanent Friday Breeze… Read More »Must-Reads of the Week