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Many people who get coverage through their jobs also must select a plan at this time of year, and their decisions could be affected by new ACA rules.

Open enrollment for people who buy health insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces begins Nov. 1, and even though much of the coverage stays the same from year to year, there are a few upcoming changes that consumers should note. Read more»

Congress and administration policy rule makers expected that the insurer data would be overwhelming and that private firms and researchers would step in to do the deep analysis and data production.

Health insurers are complying with federal rules aimed at price transparency that took effect July 1 and posting negotiated rates for just about every type of medical service - but it could be weeks before tech firms put the data dump of enormous proportions into usable forms. Read more»

Public health experts worry the ruling that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had overstepped its authority in requiring masks on public transportation, unless overturned, will hamper the agency’s ability to respond to future virus outbreaks. Read more»

Si bien la prueba de antígenos en el hogar para la COVID-19, que toma alrededor de 15 minutos, sigue siendo una herramienta útil y subutilizada para frenar la pandemia, a menudo se usa incorrectamente y puede brindar una falsa confianza. Read more»

While COVID-19 home antigen testing, which takes about 15 minutes, remains a useful and underutilized tool to curb the pandemic, it is often misused and may provide false confidence - and a single negative result is no guarantee that a person is not ill or carrying the virus. Read more»

The No Surprises law is designed to address a common practice: providers sending large, unexpected bills to patients who receive out-of-network care from physicians, laboratories, hospitals or air ambulance services.

Two of the largest lobbying groups representing physicians and hospitals filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging a Biden administration decision on how to implement the law shielding patients from most surprise medical bills. Read more»

Service providers can connect with patients in satellite locations or at a patient's home, expanding access to rural communities.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, people often relied on telemedicine for doctor visits; now, insurers are betting that some patients liked it enough to embrace new types of health coverage that encourages video visits — or outright insists on them. Read more»

Some employers are reluctant to set vaccination edicts because they fear losing employees, particularly in areas already suffering shortages, such as nursing homes.

With the Delta variant surging, a growing number of employers are tiring of merely cajoling workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and are following the protocol for federal workers: Either show proof of vaccination, or mask up and get regular testing if you want to work on-site. Read more»

Hospitals say the transparency push alone won’t help consumers much, because each patient is different — and individual deductibles and insurance plans complicate matters.

Under a Trump administration price transparency rule that took effect at the start of this year, hospitals are required to post a range of actual prices, but some hospitals bury the data deep on their websites or have not included all the categories of prices required. Read more»

'It's very unlikely that a first-generation vaccine will be something like a measles vaccine (97% effective),' notes Dr. Amesh Adalja, a physician with expertise in infectious diseases and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security.

Dozens of vaccine candidates are in various testing stages around the world, with 11 in the last stage of preapproval clinical trials — including four in the U.S. One or more may prove safe and effective and enter the market in the coming months. What then? Read more»

A machine at the UW Medicine Virology laboratory in Seattle extracts genetic material called RNA from patient samples to allow the analysis of potential COVID-19 cases on March 11.

After a slow start, testing for COVID-19 has ramped up in recent weeks, with giant commercial labs jumping into the effort, drive-up testing sites established in some places and new types of tests approved under emergency rules set by the Food and Drug Administration. Read more»

In one of the first looks at privately insured patients with opioid problems, researchers paint a grim picture: Medical services for people with opioid dependence diagnoses skyrocketed more than 3,000 percent between 2007 and 2014. Read more»

Consumers using the federal healthcare.gov website when open enrollment begins next month should expect a faster website with a shorter application form and features making it easier to use on mobile devices, Obama administration officials said Wednesday. Read more»

The most satisfied were those who received subsidies; the least satisfied had their previous plans canceled, according to a new survey that looks at the experiences of those most affected by the new health law. Read more»

Many insurers are encouraging the use of less-costly regimens and paying the same for drugs, whether they’re given in hospital outpatient settings or doctors’ offices. Read more»

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