GlaxoSmithKline Ends Payments to Doctors

Pharmaceutical companies make lots of money and spend lots of money, including lavish payments to doctors for consulting; expenses-paid conferences, cruises and other events for doctors; and bonuses for sales reps who exceed sales targets, even if that means pitching a drug for uses the Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved. Over the past three years, the investigative journalists at the nonprofit ProPublica, along with its news media partners, have been writing about these practices in the series Dollars for Doctors …

Comparing New Health Insurance Plans Made Easy

Call it HealthCare.gov lite. HealthSherpa, the new website’s real name, helps you sort through plans offered by the health insurance marketplace. You can’t actually purchase a plan on HealthSherpa, but as its name suggests, it can be a helpful guide. You simply answer a few key questions – your zip code, whether you smoke, what level of coverage you want – and boom, HealthSherpa delivers an important service that the website for the Affordable Care Act has infamously failed at. …

Obama Eases Rules on Canceled Health Plans

President Barack Obama will ease rules that were causing some people to lose their health insurance under the health care law, he announced Nov. 14. Obama had repeatedly promised that consumers who like their health insurance plans could keep them under the new system. But some people who buy their own insurance – as opposed to getting it through an employer – found their plans canceled by insurers in recent weeks because they didn’t meet the minimum standards the law …

Medicare Spam Increases 10-Fold

During Medicare Open Enrollment,  which started Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7, there’s usually an uptick in online spam pitching supplemental plans. But this year, it’s gone epidemic — with a 10-fold increase compared to recent months in these always annoying and sometimes risky offers, reports messaging security firm Cloudmark. >> Sign up for the AARP Money newsletter The reason may go beyond just the calendar: It looks like spammers are exploiting confusion over the Affordable Care Act – and how it …

Don’t Trust the Government? Join the Club

Public trust in the government is near an all-time low – not exactly a shock for a survey taken during a shutdown of the federal government. Sign up for the AARP Money Matters newsletter. Only 19 percent of American adults trust the federal government to do what’s right just about always or most of the time, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. More than four-fifths of respondents said they are …

Study: 5.2 Million Americans Will Fall Into Medicaid ‘Coverage Gap’

By Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health News About 5.2 million poor, uninsured adults will fall into the “coverage gap,” created by 26 states choosing not to expand Medicaid under the federal health law next year, according to a study released today by the Kaiser Family Foundation. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the foundation.) Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter These people are projected to have incomes too high to qualify for their state’s existing Medicaid programs, but below the federal poverty …