Health

The editorially independent news organization delivers important coverage of health care policy and politics for older Americans.

Head of Connecticut Health Exchange to Lead Healthcare.gov

By Jeff Cohen, WNPR, and Diane Webber, Kaiser Health News This story is part of a partnership that includes WNPR, NPR and Kaiser Health News. Kevin Counihan, the head of Connecticut’s health insurance marketplace, will be the new CEO of healthcare.gov, the website that 36 states use to sell insurance under the Affordable Care Act, the administration announced Tuesday. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell tapped Counihan to lead the site as part of a revamped …

How Medicare Might End Surprise Nursing Care Penalties

By Susan Jaffe for Kaiser Health News Medicare officials have allowed patients at dozens of hospitals participating in pilot projects across the country to be exempted from the controversial requirement that limits nursing home coverage to seniors admitted to a hospital for at least three days. The idea behind these experiments is to find out whether new payment arrangements with the hospitals and other health care providers that drop the three-day rule can reduce costs or keep them the same …

Survey: Most Buyers on Insurance Exchanges Were Uninsured

By Julie Appleby, KHN Staff Writer, Kaiser Health News Nearly 6 in 10 Americans who bought insurance for this year through the health law’s online marketplaces were previously uninsured – most for at least two years, according to a new survey that looks at the experiences of those most affected by the law. That finding is higher than some earlier estimates and counters arguments made by critics of the law that most of those who purchased the new policies were previously insured. The survey also found that consumers …

Just How Strong Did Healthcare.gov Finish?

By Phil Galewitz, Senior Correspondent, Kaiser Health News Obama administration officials predict that health insurance premiums will be stable next year despite concerns that not enough young and healthy people signed up through the online insurance exchanges. “The risk pool is fundamentally large and varied to support that kind of pricing … in every state,” said Mike Hash, the director of the Health and Human Services Department’s office of health reform. “We believe … premiums will be stable.” The upbeat …

Who Really Pays for Health Care? It’s Not Who You Think

By Jay Hancock, Staff Writer, Kaiser Health News Eight million Americans have signed up for private health insurance – much of it government subsidized – under the Affordable Care Act. Millions more obtained new coverage through Medicaid, the government-sponsored insurance program for low-income people. The full implementation of the law – along with its wider coverage, new taxes and shifting subsidies – has brought renewed discussions and debates over the winners and the losers in the new health care landscape. Here are …

How Smart Phone Apps Help Doctors Track Your Health

By Daniela Hernandez, Kaiser Health News Staff Writer, produced in collaboration with Wired Eric Topol, a cardiologist at the Scripps Clinic in San Diego, knows when his patients’ hearts are racing or their blood pressure is on the rise, even if they’re sitting at home. With high-risk patients hooked up to “personal data trackers” – a portable electrocardiogram built into a smartphone case, for instance – he and his researchers can track the ups and downs of patients’ conditions as they …