Nearly 98% of American adults with type 2 diabetes have at least one comorbid condition and nearly 90% have two comorbidities, with the burden increasing with age and more prevalent in men, recent study findings show.
The average monthly premium for people buying health insurance through HealthCare.gov rose by 8%, or $30, in 2016, according to a report released April 12 by the Department of Health and Human Services. About 85% of HealthCare.gov consumers received a premium tax credit, which reduced their average net premium increase to 4%, or $4, the report adds.
According to the authors, consumers’ actual health insurance premiums are lower than insurers’ proposed rates because “public rate review can bring down proposed increases, shopping gives all consumers a chance to find the best deal, and tax credits reduce the cost of coverage for the vast majority of Marketplace consumers.” The report also lists the number of health insurance issuers and health plans in the 38 states using HealthCare.gov for their 2016 Health Insurance Marketplace.
For 2014 health plans serving the individual market, the Affordable Care Act’s risk adjustment program worked as intended to shift funds from insurers with low-cost enrollees to insurers with high-cost enrollees, according to a report released April 12 by the American Academy of Actuaries’ Risk Sharing Subcommittee. Still, loss ratios varied among insurers due to differences in premiums and how well they tracked claims experience, administrative costs and other factors, the report adds.
“If actual experience suggests that the risk model systematically over- or under-compensates for certain conditions, or the lack of conditions, the risk weights should be reviewed and adjusted as appropriate,” the authors write. They say it also may be appropriate to adjust the program’s risk model for high-cost outliers, socioeconomic status and partial-year enrollees, and to base risk adjustment transfers on the claims-related portion of the state average premium.
Nearly 15 million people enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program between Oct. 1, 2013 and Jan. 31, 2016, increasing total enrollment in the programs by 26.5% since the start of the first open enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace, according to a report released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The preliminary estimate is based on 49 states reporting both January enrollment data and baseline data from July through September 2013.
Nearly 72.4 million people were enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP in those states as of Jan. 31, with Medicaid expansion states showing a 35.5% increase and non-expansion states showing a 10.4% increase. The Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplace launched its first open enrollment period in October 2013, and its third open enrollment period ended this January.
Individuals can apply for Medicaid and CHIP through the Marketplace or their state’s Medicaid/CHIP agency. Medicaid and CHIP enrollment continues year round.
On April 4, the Obama administration released a final report projecting the impact of climate change on U.S. public health. The anticipated health risks include increased air pollution and allergens, premature deaths from extreme heat, Lyme disease, water-related illnesses and food contamination, according to climate change and public health experts.
The nation faces a shortage of between 61,700 and 94,700 physicians by 2025, according to updated projections by the Association of American Medical Colleges. The projected shortfalls range from 14,900-35,600 for primary care physicians and 37,400-60,300 for physicians in non-primary care specialties. The findings are largely consistent with projections reported by the association last year.
“These updated projections confirm that the physician shortage is real, it’s significant, and the nation must begin to train more doctors now if patients are going to be able to receive the care they need when they need it in the near future,” said AAMC President and CEO Darrell Kirch, M.D.
America’s 65-and-over population is projected to nearly double by 2050 to 88 million, according to a report on global aging released this week by the National Institutes of Health. The global population of people aged 80 and older is expected to more than triple over the period, while global life expectancy at birth is projected to increase by almost eight years, to 76.2.
The report was prepared by the Census Bureau for the National Institute on Aging. “We are seeing population aging in every country in every part of the world,” said John Haaga, acting director of NIA’s Division of Behavioral and Social Research. “…Since population aging affects so many aspects of public life – acute and long-term health care needs; pensions, work and retirement; transportation; housing – there is a lot of potential for learning from each other’s experience.”
Almost 28% of uninsured U.S. residents under age 65 are eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, while 21% are eligible for premium tax credits through the Health Insurance Marketplaces, according to a new report by the Urban Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The findings are based on March 2015 data from the Current Population Survey.
The authors suggest that targeting additional outreach and enrollment efforts to uninsured people who are eligible for Medicaid/CHIP or substantial premium tax credits holds the most promise for further expanding coverage.
Medicare spent $473.1 billion less on personal health care expenditures between 2009 and 2014 than what would have been spent if the 2000-2008 average growth rate had continued through 2014, according to a report released recently by the Department of Health and Human Services.
“Using data from the Treasury Department on Medicare benefit outlays in 2015, we estimate that per enrollee spending growth will continue to be low at around 1%, leading to a cumulative reduction in spending of approximately $648.6 billion between 2009 and 2015,” the report states. “To put this in context, this reduction in spending represents an amount that is greater than total Medicare spending on personal health expenditures in 2015.”
The study also found that Medicare spending on inpatient care and post-acute care remained flat in 2014.
The report updates numerous previously reported figures, including updated baseline budget projections for 2016, based on estimates of the number of people under age 65 who have health insurance from various sources and projections of the federal subsidies associated with health insurance coverage. The report also contains extensive data on how the CBO and JCT determined the projections.
Key projections for the 2017–2026 period include:
The number of individuals under age 65 with health insurance coverage (from any source) is expected to grow from 246 million to 253 million.
The number of uninsured individuals is also expected to rise, from 26 million to 28 million.
The portion of the under-65 population without insurance is projected to remain at about 10 percent.
The projected net subsidy cost for health insurance coverage for under-65 individuals is $8.9 trillion.
The number of individuals with employer-based coverage is projected to decline to 152 million in 2019 and to stay at that level through 2026.
The number of noninstitutionalized individuals who receive full benefits from Medicaid in any given month is projected to grow to 69 million individuals.
The number of individuals under age 65 who are covered by Medicare is projected to remain stable at 9 million individuals.
The report also notes that generating estimates regarding the effects of the ACA’s insurance coverage provisions on the federal budget is becoming more difficult and less meaningful. Therefore, in the future the CBO will only attempt to estimate the cost of legislation to amend or repeal the ACA if it is called upon to do so. In the future the CBO will simply present its projections of overall insurance coverage levels and related subsidies, penalties and taxes under current law.
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