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Fear of Losing Health Insurance Keeps 1 in 6 U.S. Workers in Their Jobs

Many American workers remain in jobs they'd rather leave -- simply because they don't want to lose their health insurance, a new Gallup poll reveals.

That's the situation for 16% of respondents in a nationwide poll of more than 3,800 adults conducted March 15-21.

The fear is strongest among Black workers. Pollsters found they are more likely to keep an unwanted job at 21% than Hispa...

When Drug Companies Raise Prices, Patients' Out-of-Pocket Costs Rise

THURSDAY, May 6, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- When prescription drug "list" prices go up, patients often take a hit in the wallet, a new study shows.

Researchers found that while some people are buffered against drug price hikes by their health insurance plan, many are not.

Those in plans that require co-insurance or a deductible for prescriptions typically watch thei...

When Cancer Strikes Those Under 40, Race Matters

WEDNESDAY, April 28, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Young Black and Hispanic cancer patients face poorer survival odds than their white counterparts, even from some cancers that are highly curable, a new study finds.

It's well known that the United States has long-standing racial disparities in cancer survival.

The researchers said the new findings bolster evidence tha...

Buying Your Own Health Insurance Just Got Way Less Expensive

Tens of millions of Americans will find it substantially more affordable to buy their own health insurance starting this month, thanks to generous financial help included in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) signed by President Joe Biden in March.

That includes many people who've already bought a plan for this year, as well as people who don't have insurance right now.

Health poli...

Vision Problems Are On the Decline for American Seniors

Serious vision problems among older Americans have declined sharply, and the improvement has been greatest among women, folks over 85 and seniors who are Black or Hispanic, a nationwide study shows.

"The implications of a reduction in vision impairment are significant," said study first author ZhiDi Deng, a pharmacy student at the University of Toronto in Canada. "Vision problems are a ma...

If Protections Expire, COVID Patients Could Soon Face Big Medical Bills

Older Americans on a Medicare Advantage plan could face hospital bills of $1,000 or more if private insurers start charging out-of-pocket costs for lifesaving COVID-19 care, a new study warns.

Cost data show that Medicare Advantage patients pay an average $987 out-of-pocket when they are hospitalized with the seasonal flu, and about 3% pay more than $2,500, according to the report.

...

Pandemic Has Affected Kids' Dental Health: Poll

Could the COVID-19 pandemic be taking a toll on kids' teeth?

A new, nationwide poll found the pandemic has made it harder for parents to get their kids regular dental care. But on the other hand, many say their youngsters are now taking better care of their teeth.

The C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health at Michigan Medicine surveyed almost 1,900 parents ...

Too Many Kids With Special Needs Are Going Without Adequate Support

As many as one in five U.S. children has special health care needs, and some of their caregivers are struggling to get them the support, care and services they need, new research shows.

Kids with special health care needs may have physical conditions (such as asthma or diabetes), mental health issues (including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or anxiety), developmental disorders ...

Are Pricey Air Ambulance Rides Really Saving More Lives?

Air ambulance service is pricey, but promises lifesaving speed by providing rapid straight-line helicopter transport for critically ill patients.

But a new study out of Denmark questions whether that expensive haste winds up saving more lives.

Researchers found no statistically significant difference in the death rate between people transported by ground ambulance or helicopter, acc...

Even Rich Americans Don't Get World-Class Health Care: Study

THURSDAY, Dec. 31, 2020 -- Even the most privileged people in the United States with the best access to health care are sicker and more likely to die than average folks in other developed nations, a new study finds.

People living in the highest-income counties in the United States are, on average, more likely to die from a heart attack or cancer, during childbirth, or to lose an infant th...

Support for Obamacare Grows as Biden Takes Control: Poll

The popularity of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, continues to grow, with nearly two-thirds of Americans saying they want the law to remain as is or be improved, a new Harris/HealthDay poll shows.

About 34% of U.S. adults think the Affordable Care Act should remain in place, and another 28% believe it should stay but have some parts changed, according to poll results taken...

Almost Half of Americans Worry About Surprise Medical Bills: Poll

Nearly half of Americans fear unexpected medical bills and 44% say they couldn't pay a $1,000 surprise bill, a new poll shows.

Those fears aren't unfounded. Among those with private health insurance, 68% have received unexpected medical bills and 33% couldn't pay them on time, while 23% said they haven't paid them yet.

Many Americans (81%) want Congress to pass laws to end surp...

Obamacare Boosts Colon Cancer Diagnosis, Care: Study

Colon cancer treatment for low-income Americans has improved with Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, a new study says.

That includes earlier diagnosis, increased access to treatment and better surgical care, according to the researchers.

They compared data for more than 4,400 patients in 19 states that expanded Medicaid in January 2014 and more than 6,000 patients in ...

Obamacare's Birth Control Coverage May Have Reduced Unplanned Pregnancies

When Obamacare made contraception affordable, the rate of unplanned pregnancies among poor Americans declined, a new study reports.

The Affordable Care Act's (ACA) elimination of out-of-pocket costs for birth control was tied to fewer births in all income groups, but especially among poorer women, the new research found. In fact, the lowest income group had a 22% decline in births after t...

COVID-19 More Common in Pregnant Hispanics Than Other Moms-to-Be: Study

Hispanic mothers-to-be in the southern United States are almost twice as likely to have COVID-19 as non-Hispanic women, a new study finds.

The researchers also found that those with government health insurance were more likely to test positive for the coronavirus than women with private insurance.

For the study, pregnant women were routinely tested for COVID-19 as they wen...

Insured Patients Are Getting Surprise Bills After Colonoscopies

Many Americans who get recommended colon cancer screening may end up with "surprise" medical bills, a new study suggests.

Looking at insurance claims for more than 1.1 million elective colonoscopies, researchers found that 12% involved out-of-network charges.

That's concerning, the study authors said, because those patients may well have faced bills averaging $400 for a...

Health Coverage Takes Big Hit With Pandemic-Related Job Cuts

Up to 7.7 million U.S. workers lost jobs with employer-sponsored health insurance during the coronavirus pandemic, and 6.9 million of their dependents also lost coverage, a new study finds.

Workers in manufacturing, retail, accommodation and food services were especially hard-hit by job losses, but unequally impacted by losses in insurance coverage.

Manufacturing accounted ...

Obamacare Means 2 Million Fewer Americans Face Catastrophic Medical Bills Each Year

Since the passage of "Obamacare," fewer Americans are facing insurmountable medical bills -- but the benefit does not seem to be reaching people with private insurance, a new study shows.

Researchers found that after the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was implemented, the number of Americans incurring "catastrophic" health care expenses each year dropped -- from 13.6 million in 2010 to 11....

Obamacare Cut Out-of-Pocket Costs, But Many Families Still Struggle: Study

High out-of-pocket health care costs for low- and middle-income Americans with kids have fallen due to "Obamacare," but more needs to be done to reduce their medical-related financial struggles, a new study claims.

The researchers examined data from 2000 to 2017 on more than 92,000 U.S. families with one or more children under 18 and one or more adult parents or guardians.

F...

Many Americans Struggling to Afford Health Care in Pandemic

More than two in five working-age U.S. adults didn't have stable health insurance in the first half of 2020, while more than one-third struggled with medical bills, according to a new survey.

"The survey shows a persistent vulnerability among U.S. working-age adults in their ability to afford coverage and health care. That vulnerability could worsen if the COVID-19 pandemic and relat...

Americans Lag Behind Brits When It Comes to Health

Health care in the United States is often touted as the best in the world, but Americans seem to be in worse health than their British peers, a new study shows.

Even the richest Americans in their 50s and early 60s had higher rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis and mental health problems than their wealthy British counterparts.

Those who were in the top 10%...

Breast Cancer Caught Earlier in U.S. States With Expanded Medicaid: Study

Early-stage breast cancer is more likely to be diagnosed in U.S. states that have expanded Medicaid coverage under Obamacare than in those that haven't, researchers say.

Their new study looked at a database of more than 71,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer in 31 states that expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act and 14 states that did not.

In the expan...

How Insurance Plans Keep Black Patients From Cancer Care

Health insurance plans with high deductibles may be taking a financial toll on Black patients, according to a new study of cancer survivors.

The researchers said the findings point to yet another reason for racial health disparities in the United States: High deductibles may make it harder for Black patients, in particular, to afford medications or see a doctor.

"Just becaus...

High Costs Lead Millions of Americans to Shop Abroad for Rx Drugs

More than 2 million Americans buy prescription drugs from other countries as a way around rising prices in the United States, a new study finds.

The analysis of nationwide survey data showed that 1.5% of adults got their prescription meds from outside the United States between 2015 and 2017.

Immigrants and people who were older or who had inadequate health insurance cov...

Pandemic Job Losses Leaving Many Americans Uninsured: Survey

Furloughs and layoffs stemming from the coronavirus pandemic have left many Americans without health insurance, a new survey reveals.

"Here in the fourth month of COVID-19-related job losses, a growing number of people won't be able to afford health care in the midst of the worst public health crisis in modern times," said report author Sara Collins, vice president for health care cov...

Another COVID Plague: Big Surprise Medical Bills for Survivors

Seattle resident Michael Flor's heart nearly stopped when he received a $1.1 million dollar hospital bill for months of COVID-19 treatment.

The 181-page bill listed nearly 3,000 itemized charges -- and didn't include other items likely to make Flor's bill even higher, the 70-year-old told Time.

But one fact provided Flor some solace: Kaiser Permanente, the health care...

White House Announces Plan for Medicare Recipients to Get Insulin at $35 Per Month

Beginning next year, people on some Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage Plans who need insulin will be able to access the lifesaving medication for just $35 a month, according to a new plan announced by the White House.

In some cases, the cost may be even lower, President Donald Trump said at a Rose Garden news conference on Tuesday.

"I'm proud to announce that we have r...

Breaks in Health Insurance Hurt Cancer Care, Survival

Health insurance disruptions are never a good thing, but for people with cancer it can lead to poor care and lower odds of survival, a new study finds.

This could prove ominous for the many Americans who have lost health insurance due to coronavirus-related layoffs.

"Our findings were consistent across multiple cancer sites, with several studies finding a 'dose-response' r...

Obamacare May Help Many Laid-Off Workers Get Health Insurance

Millions of Americans in industries hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic could be eligible for financial help with health insurance, a new study says.

Many of the newly unemployed might not know they can get public insurance or subsidies for coverage through the Affordable Care Act's insurance marketplaces, according to an analysis published this month by the Urban Institute, a Wash...

As Unemployment and COVID-19 Cases Rise, Who Will Pay for Care?

The coronavirus pandemic is spreading across the United States at the same time that millions have been laid off from their jobs.

That raises the obvious question -- how will those newly unemployed folks pay for medical care if they become infected with the coronavirus?

Recent bills passed by Congress ensure that people won't have to pay out of pocket for any COVID-19 testin...

Racial, Ethnic Gaps in Insurance Put Moms, Babies at Risk: Study

Though they are at a higher risk of childbirth complications and pregnancy-related death, women who are black, Hispanic or indigenous are less likely than white women to be insured, new research shows.

The study revealed that almost half of black, Hispanic and indigenous women had disruptions in insurance coverage between preconception and post-delivery compared to about one-quarter o...

Young Breast Cancer Patients Struggle Financially, Even When Insured

Financial struggles are common among young breast cancer patients in the United States, even if they have steady jobs that provide health insurance, new research shows.

The study included 830 women, aged 18 to 39, in California, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina who were diagnosed with breast cancer between January 2013 and December 2014.

Nearly half (47%) of the women...

After 10 Years of Obamacare, Racial Gaps in Coverage Persist: Study

Obamacare narrowed racial and ethnic gaps in access to health insurance and care, but it didn't eliminate them, a new study reports.

University of Michigan researchers analyzed data gathered from 19- to 64-year-olds nationwide between 2008 and 2017. They found that before Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance programs went into effect in 2010, nearly 25% of blacks and 40% of His...

Fewer American Families Weighed Down by Medical Bills

The number of people struggling to pay their medical bills declined dramatically during the last decade, as the Affordable Care Act expanded health insurance coverage and financial protection for the sick.

The percentage of families who had problems paying medical expenses in the previous year declined from about 20% in 2011 to 14% in 2018, according to a new report from the U...

1 in 5 Insured Hit With Surprise Bills for Surgery

You scheduled your surgery and made sure both your doctor and hospital are in your insurer's approved network of providers. Everything went without a hitch -- until a whopper of a bill showed up in the mail for "out-of-network" care during your operation.

The average out-of-network surprise bill tops $2,000, a new study finds. And about 20% of patients who had surgery using a doc...

2 Million Lost Health Coverage or Access in Trump's First Year

Two million more Americans didn't seek health care from late 2016 through 2017 because they couldn't afford it and/or lacked insurance, new research shows.

The analysis of data from 2011 through 2017 also found that health care coverage and access improved with implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but reversed after President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans bega...

HIV Drug Costs Soaring, Jeopardizing Effort to End Epidemic

The U.S. government aims to end the HIV epidemic by 2030, but skyrocketing medication costs may make that a pipe dream, a new study suggests.

Since 2012, the cost of antiviral treatment for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, has jumped 34%. That's nearly four times the inflation rate.

Even with new generic options, initial treatments now top $36,000 per patient per year,...

U.S. Spends Trillions on Health Care, But Health Stats Remain Low: Study

Despite spending far more on health care than other wealthy nations, the United States has the lowest life expectancy and the highest suicide rate, new research shows.

For the study, researchers at The Commonwealth Fund compared the United States with 10 other high-income nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) -- Australia, Canada, France, Germany,...

Massachusetts' Health Reforms Helped Catch More Cancers Early

Advanced-stage colon cancer diagnoses declined after Massachusetts expanded health insurance coverage, a new study finds.

In 2006, state legislators passed a health insurance reform law with the aim of providing health care access to nearly all residents.

"Colorectal cancer frequently occurs in adults under 65 who are not yet eligible for Medicare. And we know from previous ...

For Cancer Survivors, Financial Hardship Is Common: Survey

Many American cancer survivors struggle to pay for their medical care and have to cut back on spending, dip into their savings, or change their living situation.

These problems are more common among those under 65 than among older survivors, a new survey reveals.

Researchers focused on 401 cancer survivors, ages 18 to 64, and 562 who were 65 and older.

Among the you...

Why Are Fewer U.S. Kids Going to Pediatricians?

Little Johnny's cough has lasted for days, leaving Mom and Dad wondering if the symptoms warrant a trip to the doctor. A new study suggests that such parents may choose to skip that standard pediatric sick visit.

Overall visits to the pediatrician in the United States dropped by 14% between 2008 and 2016. Sick visits were down 24%.

At the same time, well-child visi...

How Lack of Insurance Affects Breast Cancer Survival

Minority women with breast cancer are less likely to have insurance, which could lower their odds of survival, researchers say.

"Having adequate health insurance for all could reduce the persistent racial outcome disparities in breast cancer," said study lead author Dr. Naomi Ko, assistant professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine.

She added that early d...

Obamacare May Have Prevented Many Opioid-Related Deaths

The Medicaid expansion brought in by Obamacare may have prevented thousands of deaths from opioid overdoses, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that in U.S. states that expanded their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act, fatal opioid overdoses dipped by 6%, compared to states that opted out. That included an 11% lower death rate from heroin overdoses, and a 10...

Medical Paperwork Costs U.S. $812 Billion a Year

Medical paperwork cost the United States $812 billion in 2017 and accounted for more than one-third of total spending for doctor visits, hospitals, long-term care and health insurance, according to a new study.

However, reducing medical paperwork expenses to the same levels as in Canada -- which has single-payer universal health care -- would have saved the nation more than $600 billi...

Young Cancer Patients Fare Better on Private Insurance

The odds of surviving childhood cancer may be influenced by the type of health insurance a young patient has, researchers say.

In a new study, children and young adults covered by Medicaid or other government agencies were less likely to be alive five and 10 years after their cancer diagnosis than those with private insurance.

"Patients with Medicaid have less access to prim...

Out-of-Pocket Costs for Medicare Recipients Will Rise in New Year

Seniors on Medicare are going to take a hit to the pocketbook in 2020, with premiums and deductibles set to increase on coverage for medical services and prescription drugs.

The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B will rise $9.10, to $144 a month, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced.

The annual deductible for Part B also will increase...

'Prehab' Before Surgery Helps Speed Seniors' Recovery

"Training" for surgery can improve seniors' outcomes and reduce insurance costs, a new study says.

It included 523 Medicare patients in Michigan, average age 70, who exercised, ate a healthy diet and practiced stress reduction techniques for at least one week before a major operation. It's a process the researchers called prehabilitation, or prehab for short.

These patients...

As Diabetes Costs Soar, Many Turn to Black Market for Help

Skyrocketing prices and insurance limits are driving many people with diabetes to seek medications and supplies from an underground supply chain, a new study found.

"The cost of insulin, which is required in type 1 diabetes and a subset of type 2 diabetes, has increased substantially over the last decade. As the price of insulin rises and insurance premiums and deductibles go up, too...

Survey Shows Americans Feel Stressed

Mass shootings, health care and the 2020 presidential election are significant causes of stress for American adults, a new survey finds.

The poll of more than 3,600 U.S. adults found that 71% of them said mass shootings are a major source of stress, an increase from 62% in 2018. Hispanics were most likely to say mass shootings are a significant source of stress (84%), foll...

Screening  Truckers for Sleep Apnea Cuts Health Insurance Costs

Requiring drivers to get treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) saved a trucking company a large amount in insurance costs for other health conditions, a new study shows.

People with apnea repeatedly stop breathing and wake partially during the night, resulting in poor sleep that can worsen other medical conditions.

Researchers noted that even though OSA has been linked...