One of four working-age U.S. adults experienced a gap in health insurance coverage during 2011, often because they lost or changed jobs, according to a new Commonwealth Fund study released today.
About seven of 10 survey respondents who went through a period without health insurance lacked coverage for a year or longer. More than half were uninsured for two years or more, according to the 2011 Commonwealth Fund Health Insurance Tracking Survey of U.S. Adults.
Major provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that will go into effect starting in 2014 are expected to help bridge coverage gaps and make insurance more affordable, according to the study’s authors. These include an expansion in eligibility for Medicaid, subsidies for purchasing private plans through new health insurance exchanges, and rules preventing insurers from denying coverage or charging more based on gender or a preexisting condition.
Washington Post: Two of the five most profitable industries in the United States — the pharmaceuticals industry and the medical device industry — sell health care. With margins of almost 20 percent, they beat out even the financial sector for sheer profitability.
The American Academy of Pediatrics; American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees; Easter Seals; Families USA; the March of Dimes; the Spina Bifida Association; and other groups said in a joint statement on an amendment proposed by Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., that would allow employers to deny any insurance benefit to employees that they deem immoral
(from the National Journal)
As the wealth gap continues to grow in the United States, so does the divide in health coverage and access to health services.
Health insurer Blue Shield of California provides a breakdown for consumers of how each dollar they pay in health care premiums is being spent.
A provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009 (also known as the federal health care reform law) requires large employer health plans to spend at least 85 cents of every one of your premium dollars on direct medical costs. This ratio is called the “medical loss ratio,” or MLR for short. The new regulation took effect in 2011 as an effort to curb unnecessarily high profit margins and administrative costs, including executive salaries, overhead and marketing.
Read more about the medical loss ratio at healthcare.gov.
CNN’s health correspondent Elizabeth Cohen explains issues surrounding the federal health reform law as President Barack Obama’s “individual mandate” section of the Affordable Care Act heads to the Supreme Court.
Picking a health plan: Getting more for your money
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