Blue Cross of Idaho Sells Plans Outside of Obamacare’s Requirements

Blue Cross of Idaho Sells Plans Outside of Obamacare’s Requirements

Updated 5:30 p.m. Blue Cross of Idaho announced on Wednesday that it will begin offering insurance plans in the state that do not meet Obamacare’s requirements.  The announcement comes in the wake of a controversial executive order from Governor Butch Otter that allows plans that do not meet all of the federal law’s requirements to be sold in the state. Governor Otter’s plan is to bring less expensive options to the state.  He says Obamacare plans are too expensive and…

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According to Former Medical Director, Aetna, Nation’s Third Largest Insurer, Doesn’t Review Medical Records When Deciding Whether to Approve or Deny Coverage

According to Former Medical Director, Aetna, Nation’s Third Largest Insurer, Doesn’t Review Medical Records When Deciding Whether to Approve or Deny Coverage

California’s insurance commissioner has launched an investigation into healthcare provider Aetna after a former medical director testified under oath that he never looked at patients’ records when deciding whether to approve or deny care.  The former Aetna official said that per the company’s training, he relied on nurses who reviewed individual patients’ records and made recommendations to him. Dr. Jay Ken Iinuma served as medical director for Aetna for Southern California from March 2012 to February 2015.  In that time,…

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85% of Voters Say Lowering Prescription Drug Prices Should be a Priority for Congress

85% of Voters Say Lowering Prescription Drug Prices Should be a Priority for Congress

According to a new poll released Monday, 85% of voters believe lowering drug prices should be a priority for Congress.  The poll, conducted by GS Strategy Group, shows that 85.5% of registered voters think that lowering the cost of prescription medication should be a “top priority” or an “important priority” for Congress. Only 9.6% of respondents said lowering drug prices is not “too important of a priority” while 2.1% said prices should not be lowered. The polls showed that the…

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Nine States Considering Individual Mandates for Healthcare

Nine States Considering Individual Mandates for Healthcare

Nine states are considering instituting their own healthcare mandates less than two months after Congress repealed Obamacare’s individual mandate as part of their tax overhaul package.  Proposals being considered in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia, would require residents, by law, to purchase health insurance. The Affordable Care Act, the healthcare law known as Obamacare required adults to purchase health insurance or pay a fine.  Proponents said…

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Amazon, JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway Team Up to Tackle Healthcare

Amazon, JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway Team Up to Tackle Healthcare

Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway are teaming up to provide better healthcare solutions for their employees, the companies said.  The goal is to provide a better healthcare option for their U.S.-based employees.  The three mega-companies will be creating a separate company to provide healthcare for employees that will be “free from profit-making incentives and constraints,” a statement released by the three companies read. Warren Buffet, the wunderkind billionaire investor from Omaha, says the company’s focus will be the skyrocketing…

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Record Number of Generic-Drug Approvals Seen in Trump’s First Year

Record Number of Generic-Drug Approvals Seen in Trump’s First Year

President Trump’s first year in office has seen a record number of generic drugs approved for sale, according to a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services.  The Food and Drug Administration approved 1,027 generic drugs in 2017.  The previous record of 800 approvals was set in 2016. The FDA has been trying to allow drugs to enter the market faster as a way to lower costs and provide more options for patients, according to Scott Gottlieb,…

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Bipartisan Group in Congress Set to Hand Big Pharma Rare Defeat

Bipartisan Group in Congress Set to Hand Big Pharma Rare Defeat

In a rare show of bipartisan pushback against the pharmaceutical industry, Congress is poised to pass a bill that makes it easier for generic drugs to compete against brand names.  The bill, known as the Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples Act, will prevent drug companies from using tactics to delay cheaper generic versions of popular drugs from coming to market. Big Pharma is pushing back and lobbying against the bill.  They argue it will imperil patients’ safety…

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