April 14, 2016
ISSUE | HEALTH CARE Doctors' role is key Dr. Peter Ubel's commentary about the complexity of health-insurance plans made the important point that caregivers are unprepared to help patients make cost-conscious decisions about their care ("Choices, plans overwhelming for patients," Friday). Yet many employers that adopt consumer-driven coverage pay little attention to the evidence that employees with high-deductible plans tend to cut back on beneficial as well as wasteful care. That jeopardizes patients' health and could undermine employers' savings when poorly managed health results in high-cost care or disability leaves.
April 11, 2016 |
Faculty members at 14 Pennsylvania state universities have opted against going on strike this school year, despite frustrations over ongoing contract negotiations, the union representing them announced Saturday. If there is no progress at the bargaining table, members could take a strike authorization vote either over the summer or in September, the Association of Pennsylvania State Colleges and University Faculties (APSCUF) said in a statement. "In the end, my colleagues believed that a strike at the very end of the semester would unfairly burden students and their families," the union's president, Kenneth M. Mash, said in the release.
April 1, 2016
Six years into Obamacare, its critics still see the Affordable Care Act as a sign of the apocalypse. All three Republican candidates for president have vowed to repeal it if elected. Their obstinacy is a reminder of past naysayers who similarly predicted that Social Security and Medicare would destroy the fabric of America. Actor and budding politician Ronald Reagan, in a speech recorded in 1961 for the American Medical Association, called Medicare "socialized medicine. " Were Medicare to become law, he said, "One of these days, you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in America when men were free.
March 25, 2016 |
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania this spring, Kriya Patel will spend up to three years helping women newly released from prison get their health and medical needs in order. Meanwhile, Vaishak Kumar will travel to India, where he aims to teach farmers how to increase their yields. And Melanie Mariano will work with the Free Library of Philadelphia on giving patrons access to health information. The three will be able to achieve their goals with the help of a President's Engagement Prize, which gives each $100,000 to help pay for the project, and $50,000 for living expenses.
March 19, 2016
ISSUE | HEALTH CARE Premium shock I have seen increases in health-insurance premiums and deductibles for my family. I have no idea why there was a huge increase over last year's rates ("In Pa. and N.J., Affordable Care Act is anything but," Monday). Certainly the old method of "let the insurance companies decide" didn't work. Now the Affordable Care Act isn't working. Is "Medicare for all" worth a try? |Diane Doyle, Quakertown, email@example.com
March 19, 2016 |
Delaware Valley Accountable Care Organization and UnitedHealthcare will make a concerted effort to coordinate care and make it easier to share health information for 17,000 people in the Philadelphia with employee-sponsored health insurance from UnitedHealthcare, the companies said. Under the program, Delaware Valley Accountable Care's hospital owners and participating physicians will share in savings generated through better coordination of care, especially for people with complex or chronic illnesses.
March 15, 2016
By Nathan Nascimento What good is health-insurance coverage if you can't afford to use it? That's not a rhetorical question. It's the reality facing thousands of people who are required to purchase health insurance on the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) exchanges. As if rising premiums - which increased by an average of 14.6 and 13.1 percent in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, respectively, in 2016 - weren't already hard enough, skyrocketing deductibles have rendered many plans "all but useless," according to a recent report in the New York Times.
March 12, 2016 |
Insurance that helps pay expenses for nursing care or other help in old age sounds like a great idea. But when companies started selling long-term-care insurance policies decades ago they did a poor job of figuring out how much to charge, forcing them to repeatedly raise rates to consumers. That pattern earned four insurers, which requested premium increases this year up to 130 percent, invitations to a Pennsylvania Insurance Department hearing Thursday in Harrisburg. "The public needs to know that we're carefully reviewing the information that is sent to us," commissioner Teresa Miller said of the requests for often large rate increases.
February 19, 2016
DEAR ABBY: My 16-year-old perfect kid came to us, very adultlike, saying it was time for her to go on the pill. We knew she had a boyfriend, but didn't realize it was this serious. Despite my initial impulse to kill him and stick my daughter in a convent, we discussed it as a family and agreed she would see a gynecologist. She also had a long talk with her mother about sex, and with me a few days later. When I sat down alone with her, she was embarrassed, but I don't care - I'm her father.
February 11, 2016
By Stuart H. Shapiro With so many Republican and Democratic presidential hopefuls still looking for ways to separate themselves from crowded fields and pull ahead in the polls and the primaries, you would think they would try harder to appeal directly to the 80 million baby boomers who will help decide this election. For Pennsylvania and New Jersey, whose primaries come later, this is especially important. Yet so far, after about a dozen debates and a lot of bobbing and weaving on mostly trivial issues, none of the candidates has addressed the serious question of how we will provide and pay for the long-term-care needs of our rapidly aging population.