This piece originally appeared on the Health Affairs Blog.
Affordability may be the most ubiquitous buzzword in health reform. In repeated surveys, Americans cite the affordability of health care as their top financial concern. Despite their handwringing, politicians often avoid defining what constitutes “affordable” health care, and both non-experts and seasoned policymakers seem to lack robust measures of affordability. How can the most important crisis in health care lack reliable metrics?
Editor's Note: On November 7, 2017, University of Notre Dame employees received an email saying that contraceptive coverage will continue for health care plan members at no cost, because the third-party administrator will continue to provide the coverage free of charge.
Reforming Medicare to protect the health of an aging and vulnerable population is a pressing policy concern. To share some perspective, Dr. Mary Naylor led a panel entitled “Shaping the Future of Medicare” at Penn LDI’s 50th Anniversary Symposium.
The panelists addressed several core themes, including cost-effective personal care in the home, end-of-life care, Medicare payment reforms, and reimagining care for families of an aging population.
October 16, 2017 [cross-posted from the Health Cents blog on philly.com]
The American College of Physicians (ACP), representing 152,000 internal medicine physicians and medical students, has been front and center in the national debates on health care reform, according to Robert Doherty, the ACP’s Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs and Public Policy. The ACP is the largest physician specialty society and second largest medical organization in the United States.
September 22, 2017 [cross-posted from the Health Cents blog on philly.com]
It’s called “adverse tiering” and it’s a benefit strategy designed to dissuade patients with expensive chronic conditions from enrolling in marketplace plans. The ACA prohibited plans from refusing to cover patients with pre-existing conditions and from charging them higher premiums. To avoid high-cost patients, some plans have structured their formularies to require substantial cost sharing for drugs in a certain class, particularly for expensive conditions such as HIV/AIDS.
The package of Essential Health Benefits (EHBs) ushered in by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been under attack in the GOP-led Congress. The latest incarnation of the Senate health reform plan includes the Cruz amendment, which would allow insurers to offer plans that do not cover all ten categories of EHBs.
Forty economists and health policy experts, including Dan Polsky and Zeke Emanuel, have signed a strongly worded letter opposing the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), the Senate proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
[Reposted: Clifford Marks, Janet Weiner, and Daniel Polsky. Confronting the Trade-offs in Health Reform: What We Learned From the ACA, Health Affairs Blog, June 7, 2017. http://healthaffairs.org/blog/2017/06/07/confronting-the-trade-offs-in-health-reform-what-we-learned-from-the-aca/: Copyright ©2017 Health Affairs by Project HOPE – The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.]
After the House passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA), I asked a few of our Senior Fellows to comment on the economic problems the AHCA is designed to fix, and the economic problems it might cause, all politics aside. Dan Polsky immediately pushed back on the premise of 'politics aside':
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has an “empty shelf” problem: consumers can use their premium subsidies only on the public health insurance exchanges, but insurers are not required to offer any plans on these exchanges.
[cross-posted from the Health Cents blog on philly.com]