“Though full details won’t be released until later this month, some information is starting to trickle out about what Illinois residents will and won’t find when they shop for health insurance on the state’s Affordable Care Act exchange.
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“Cigna (NYSE: CI), already a leading provider of employer-sponsored group health plans in Illinois and across the United States, is introducing new individual and family medical plans in the Chicago area, both on and off the federal public marketplace. The new plans, called Cigna Connect, will take effect on January 1, 2017.
“States are facing a shortage of physicians in primary care, psychiatry, obstetrics and gynecology, and general surgery, according to a new AHIP data brief. This analysis looked at the ratio of these physicians to the population and found several U.S. states currently have physician supply rates that fall well below the national average.
According to the data brief, these provider shortfalls may be even more severe in rural areas. While close to a quarter of Americans live in rural areas, only 10 percent of physicians practice in those geographies. For example, most surgeons in Idaho are practicing in urban areas (25 per 100,000 urban population) rather than in rural areas (14 per 100,000 rural population).
“The Obama administration on Monday unveiled an ambitious plan to control health costs by moving the $2.9 trillion U.S. health systems away from costly fee-for-service medicine, beginning with the Medicare program for the elderly and disabled.
By the end of 2018, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell told reporters that 50 percent of traditional Medicare’s $362 billion in annual payments would go to doctors, hospitals and other providers that participate in alternative payment models which emphasize cost containment and quality of care.
“Reports from consulting firms don’t normally make national news. Then again, most such reports don’t predict the downfall of the American health care system.
Earlier this month, the consulting group McKinsey projected that tens of millions of Americans could find themselves without the health coverage they now get through their employers.
McKinsey is only the latest organization to make a mockery of President Obama’s solemn promise to Americans that “[i]f you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period.”
” A $1,000-per-pill drug that insurers are reluctant to pay for has quickly become the treatment of choice for a liver-wasting viral disease that affects more than 3 million Americans.
In less than six months, prescriptions for Sovaldi have eclipsed all other hepatitis C pills combined, according to new data from IMS Health. The prospect of a real cure, with fewer nasty side effects, is enticing thousands of patients to get treated for the first time.
J.D. Power Reports: The Uninsured Remain Underserved by Health Exchanges, As Many Continue to Struggle to Enroll in Healthcare CoverageMonday, July 21st, 2014
“While the Affordable Care Act is designed to reduce cost and increase access to health insurance, many U.S. citizens still are uninsured and underserved due to obstacles not based on cost, such as technical problems and lack of information from health insurance companies and health exchanges, according to the inaugural J.D. Power 2014 Health Insurance Marketplace Shopper StudySM released today.
“Some consumers who bought insurance under President Barack Obama’s health care law are experiencing buyer’s remorse after realizing that their longtime doctors aren’t accepting the new plans.
Before the law took effect, experts warned that narrow networks could impact patients’ access to care, especially in cheaper plans. But with insurance cards now in hand, consumers are finding their access limited across all price ranges — sometimes even after they were told their plan would include their current doctor.