Archive: August, 2013
Robert I. Field, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H., Professor, Earle Mack School of Law & Drexel School of Public Health
Two major organizations announced significant changes in their health insurance benefits last week. They will no longer cover the spouses of employees who are eligible for benefits from their own employer.
United Parcel Service will implement the change for white-collar workers. The University of Virginia will implement it for everyone.
The reason given for the moves? Obamacare, of course.
One of the biggest challenges facing disabled people is how to enter the workforce and still maintain the health care coverage they need.
According to the 2000 Census, there are 33.1 million working age people with disabilities between the ages 16 and 64 in the United States. For those individuals, the current framework of health care coverage provides a disincentive to work.
Public health insurance for the disabled is usually contingent on not working. In Pennsylvania, a disabled person seeking coverage under Medicaid must be receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. An individual only qualifies for those benefits if they maintain no more than insubstantial work activity. In other words, because of the link to SSI, individuals with disabilities who need Medicaid coverage often have to choose between working and having insurance.
The Obama Administration announced another delay in implementing a part of the Affordable Care Act. And as if on cue, the criticisms came flying in. This time the concern is one of widespread fraud and abuse.
The problem lies in the delay of verification provisions for subsidies for policies purchased on the insurance exchanges. For the first year, the IRS will not verify incomes to ensure that applicants are in fact eligible for the subsidies they claim.
Exchanges are marketplaces designed to offer insurance to individuals who don’t have it and aren’t eligible for an affordable employer plan. If an individual has an offer of affordable health insurance from their employer, they do not qualify for a subsidy in the form of a federal tax credit to help them buy it on an exchange.
Cancer screening isn’t working. That’s what a study panel from the National Cancer Institute concluded in a new article published recently in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Cancer kills thousands of people in the United States each year. A total of 580,350 cancer deaths are projected to occur in the United States in 2013. That comes to about 1,600 people per day.
Early detection resulting from some cancer screening tests (like mammography) has dramatically increased public awareness of the disease. However, screening has also increased findings of “incidentalomas”. That is the name given to incidental findings of cancer-like conditions detected during screening that are unlikely to cause harm.