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Oct 30, 2015

The average premiums of popular health insurance plans sold on will rise much more rapidly next year than in 2015. HHS maintains that people will still have plenty of affordable options, but some locales will see higher prices and less competition than others.

“As with all markets, health insurance marketplaces will ebb and flow,” Richard Frank, HHS' assistant secretary for planning and evaluation, said on a call with reporters Friday. “But (the federal exchange) is...

Oct 30, 2015

Gunnar Ebbesson is used to paying a lot for health insurance, but the small business owner from Fairbanks got a shock recently when his quote came in for next year’s coverage.

“I don’t understand who can afford this? I mean who really can afford this?” he says.  “I can pay it, but I can’t afford it.”

The premium for his family of five came to more than $40,000 a year. That’s for a bare bones plan with a $10,000 deductible that he buys through the marketplace set up by the...

Oct 30, 2015

Global biopharmaceutical company AbbVie reported Friday a hefty gain in its third-quarter profit as the result of increasing sales of Humira, a prescription drug that treats rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease and similar inflammatory disorders.

Global Humira sales grew 19.6% in the company's third quarter, ended Sept. 30, which resulted in earnings that more than doubled profit in 2014.

“We delivered another quarter of strong performance with third quarter results well ahead...

Oct 30, 2015

Enrollment Season

Looking for health insurance? Enrollment season is here, and here’s what you need to know:

KHN’s Mary Agnes Carey appeared on PBS NewsHour to talk about the impending open enrollment season to buy health insurance coverage on and online state marketplaces.

Consumers can buy plans starting Sunday.

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Oct 30, 2015

Whoever is elected governor of Kentucky on Tuesday will determine whether the state continues its expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and maintains its insurance exchange, which has been praised as one of the most successful state-run marketplaces.

Recent polls show Democratic candidate Jack Conway, the state's attorney general, with a slight edge over Republican Matt Bevin, who has vowed he would reverse the Medicaid and exchange programs implemented under the...

Oct 30, 2015

The planned breakup of Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare is the latest example of how the demographics of declining religious orders remains a major factor driving healthcare delivery system consolidation.

The Wheaton Franciscan sisters, who founded the now 14-hospital Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, announced a letter of intent Thursday to transfer its Southeast Wisconsin hospitals to Ascension, the nation's largest Catholic health system. Meanwhile, Mercy Health Network will acquire...

Oct 30, 2015

(This story was updated at 12:40 p.m. ET.)

More than 450 hospitals have settled with the government for more than $250 million as part of a yearslong, nationwide investigation into the suspected overuse of implantable cardiac devices, the U.S. Justice Department announced Friday.

The hospital systems involved include many of the country's largest, such as Adventist, Ascension Health, Banner Health, Catholic Health Initiatives, Community Health Systems, HCA, Tenet Healthcare...

Oct 30, 2015

Covered California still faces major challenges in enrolling African-Americans and Latinos as the state’s health insurance exchange launches its third open enrollment period Sunday.

“We know we’ve come up short in who’s enrolled today,” Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee said at a recent media briefing on the exchange’s marketing and outreach plans. “Of those who are still uninsured, we want to make sure we reach them.”

About 2.4 percent of the exchange’s...

Oct 30, 2015

A selection of opinions on health care from around the country.

The New York Times' Taking Note: Undeserved Payments To Hospitals
The American Hospital Association is attacking a bipartisan budget deal that would serve the American people well. ... The association’s complaint is that the bill ... would reduce a rapidly-growing source of unjust payments to hospitals. ... Section 603 of the bill would effectively force hospitals to stop pretending that physician offices and...

Oct 30, 2015

The agreement with the UAW, which still awaits a union ratification vote, provides better coverage for the 11,000 people who were hired since October 2007. But the union members could face higher costs if the plan is affected by the "Cadillac" tax scheduled to take effect on generous health plans in 2018.

Detroit Free Press: UAW-GM Deal Would Improve Newer Workers' Health Plan
UAW negotiators bargained significantly better health care coverage for about 11,000 General...