Federal subsidies, known as cost-sharing reductions (CSRs), have been critical to ensuring that over 2 million lower-income adults ages 50 to 64 who purchase coverage through health insurance Marketplaces can afford health care.  Despite the subsidies’ crucial role, the Administration announced yesterday that it will terminate payments for CSRs. The announcement—which comes less than 3 weeks before millions of Americans who buy insurance on the individual market start shopping for 2018 health coverage— is bad news for older adults and people of all ages.
Consider this: An older patient visits the dentist. The treatment she needs is expensive and not covered by Medicare. So the dentist offers her financing, on the spot, through a credit card plan. She accepts and gets the work done right away. When she gets the first month's bill, she's stunned to learn that the financing plan carries an interest rate of 30 percent.
Last week the Obama administration started publishing comparative data on what more than 3,000 hospitals across the nation charge for services - information that has long been hidden from consumers. And the results were pretty shocking.
Higher charges by doctors, hospitals and drug companies have resulted in healthcare costs that have risen even faster than the rate of inflation, according to a survey released today by the Health Care Cost Institute, a nonprofit research organization in Washington DC.
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