Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Beware of high-deductible plans on Obamacare exchanges – they could make you sick

Thursday, October 29, 2015, 3:42 PM
Open enrollment begins November 1 for insurance shopping on the ACA exchanges (healthcare.gov in Pennsylvania). You can switch plans or enroll in one for the first time. Many plans offer lower premiums in return for higher co-pays and deductibles. However, new research suggests this may be a bad... Read more

Of Cadillacs, Coinsurance, and the ACA’s tax on expensive insurance policies

Friday, October 23, 2015, 1:40 PM
There has recently been considerable criticism of the ACA’s “Cadillac tax,” which imposes a 40% levy on the excess premiums of high-cost group health plans. These are expensive plans with low cost sharing, access to the most expensive providers, and few limits on access to costly... Read more

ACA insurance rates for 2016: how much more will you have to pay?

Monday, October 19, 2015, 11:30 AM
The Pennsylvania Insurance Department just announced the 2016 rates for insurance purchased through the ACA exchange in Pennsylvania. The changes vary widely from an increase of 26.7% to a decrease of 2.4%. Insurers added four new plans and dropped two others. (To see the complete list, click here... Read more

Voters want ACA opponents to end their fixation on repeal

Wednesday, October 14, 2015, 6:00 AM
Is the Affordable Care Act still widely unpopular? Apparently not. Poll results reported this week by nonpartisan public policy firm PerryUndem Research/Communication show that a majority of likely voters in five key battleground states – Florida, Nevada, Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania –... Read more

Taking the glamour out of guns will save lives

Monday, October 12, 2015, 6:00 AM
The mass shooting at Umpqua Community College is just the latest in a seemingly unending litany of horror. The depressing frequency of these horrific events was noted by President Obama and has dominated media coverage and commentary. The responses are rote. One side reissues calls for more gun regulation... Read more

The surgery was successful but the patient died – make sure this isn’t you

Thursday, October 8, 2015, 6:00 AM
“The surgery was successful but the patient died.” Those are words no one wants to hear. Yet, each year in United States, there are 1.7 million health care associated infections (HAIs) of which surgical site infections are the most common, accounting for 31 percent. Many of these infections... Read more

A simple proposition to give veterans the health care they deserve

Tuesday, October 6, 2015, 6:00 AM
Two sets of facts have converged to create a remarkable opportunity to improve the economics and quality of healthcare in the United States. Fact 1: The Veterans Administration (VA) System has failed to meet the promise made to our veterans in need of healthcare services. This problem is not new: ... Read more

Hold onto your wallet: Surprise medical bills and what to do about them

Thursday, October 1, 2015, 9:35 AM
The Pennsylvania Insurance Department is holding a hearing on October 1 to consider the plight of patients who receive surprise medical bills. Those are bills for services the patient thought were covered by insurance but are not. Consumer advocate Antoinette Kraus and Hospital and Healthsystem Association... Read more

Get ready for 'Trumpcare'

Tuesday, September 29, 2015, 9:00 AM
Guess who supports universal health coverage? “Everybody’s got to be covered,” declared Donald Trump in an interview Sunday night on CBS’s 60 minutes. The Donald, always full of surprises, promised, “I am going to take care of everybody. I don't care if it costs me votes... Read more

An exciting new cholesterol drug is way overpriced - why that might be good news for insurers

Friday, September 25, 2015, 11:47 AM
Praluent, a new cholesterol-lowering drug for people who need more than a statin, has been priced at about $40 a day by its suppliers, Regeneron and Sanofi. This compares to about $8 a day for Crestor, the most recent statin on the market, and pennies a day for generics. The introduction of a blockbuster... Read more
About this blog

Do you have a large bill from a provider you didn’t expect? A claim that was denied without explanation? A change in your insurance plan you don’t understand? Do you need help sorting through data on the quality of your doctor or hospital or figuring out what your care will cost?

“Health Cents” will point you toward answers, while also offering insights on government health policy and political debates. Read more about our panel of bloggers here.

This blog is produced in partnership with Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health-policy research and communication organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Portions of this blog may also be found on Inquirer.com and in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section.

Robert I. Field, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H. Professor, Drexel University Kline School of Law & Dornsife School of Public Health
Jeffrey Brenner, MD Founder of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, Medical Director of the Urban Health Institute at Cooper University Healthcare
Andy Carter President & CEO, The Hospital & Healthsystem Assoc. of Pa.
Robert B. Doherty Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs & Public Policy American College of Physicians
David Grande, MD, MPA Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Tine Hansen-Turton Chief Strategy Officer of Public Health Management Corporation
Drew A. Harris, DPM, MPH Director of Health Policy Program at the Jefferson College of Population Health
Antoinette Kraus Director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network
Laval Miller-Wilson Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Health Law Project
David B. Nash, MD, MBA Founding Dean of the Jefferson College of Population Health
Mark V. Pauly, Ph.D. Professor of Health Care Management, Business Economics and Public Policy at The Wharton School
Howard J. Peterson, MHA Managing Partner of TRG Healthcare, a national healthcare consulting firm
Paula L. Stillman, MD, MBA Healthcare consultant with special expertise in population health and disease management
Elizabeth A. W. Williams Senior Vice President & Chief Communications Officer for Independence Blue Cross
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