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The Open Enrollment Mixing Bowl

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Autumn is for pumpkins and raking leaves — and open enrollment for well being plans. Medicare’s annual open enrollment started Oct. 1 and runs by means of Dec. 15. It will likely be adopted shortly by the Inexpensive Care Act’s annual open enrollment, which begins Nov. 1 and runs till Jan. 15 in most states. However what was once a reasonably easy annual activity — renewing an present well being plan or selecting a brand new one — has develop into a complicated, time-consuming mess for a lot of, attributable to our convoluted well being care system.

In the meantime, Ohio would be the subsequent state the place voters will resolve whether or not to guard abortion rights. These on each side of the talk are gearing up for the November vote, with anti-abortion forces hoping to interrupt a dropping streak of state poll measures associated to abortion because the 2022 overturn of Roe v. Wade.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KFF Well being Information, Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg College of Public Well being and Politico, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, and Lauren Weber of The Washington Publish.

Among the many takeaways from this week’s episode:

  • The U.S. Home of Representatives has been with out an elected speaker since Oct. 4. Meaning lawmakers can not conduct any legislative enterprise, with a number of necessary well being payments pending — together with renewal of the favored worldwide HIV/AIDS program, PEPFAR.
  • Open enrollment is not only for folks seeking to change medical health insurance plans. Plans themselves change, and those that do nothing threat persevering with in a plan that not meets their wants.
  • A brand new spherical of lawsuits has sprung up associated to “abortion reversals,” a controversial apply through which a affected person, having taken the primary dose of a two-dose abortion treatment routine, takes a excessive dose of the hormone progesterone somewhat than the second treatment that completes the abortion. In Colorado, a Catholic-affiliated well being clinic says a state regulation banning the apply violates its spiritual rights, whereas in California, the state lawyer common is suing two faith-based chains that function being pregnant “disaster facilities,” alleging that by promoting the process they’re making “fraudulent and deceptive” claims.
  • The most recent survey of employer medical health insurance by KFF reveals annual household premiums are once more escalating quickly — up a mean of seven% from 2022 to 2023, with even bigger will increase anticipated for 2024. It’s not clear whether or not the already excessive value of offering insurance coverage to staff — an annual household coverage now averages just below $24,000 — will dampen corporations’ enthusiasm for offering the profit.
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Additionally this week, Rovner interviews KFF Well being Information’ Arielle Zionts, who reported and wrote the most recent KFF Well being Information-NPR “Invoice of the Month” characteristic in regards to the huge value variation of chemotherapy from state to state. When you have an outrageous or inscrutable medical you’d prefer to ship us, you are able to do that right here.

Plus, for “further credit score,” the panelists counsel well being coverage tales they learn this week they suppose it is best to learn, too:

Julie Rovner: NPR’s “How Gasoline Utilities Used Tobacco Ways to Keep away from Gasoline Range Rules,” by Jeff Brady.

Lauren Weber: KFF Well being Information’ “Medical doctors Abandon a Analysis Used to Justify Police Custody Deaths. It Would possibly Dwell On, Anyway,” by Markian Hawryluk and Renuka Rayasam.

Joanne Kenen: The Washington Publish’s “How Lunchables Ended Up on College Lunch Trays,” by Lenny Bernstein, Lauren Weber, and Dan Keating.

Alice Miranda Ollstein: KFF Well being Information’ “Pregnant and Addicted: Homeless Ladies See Hope in Avenue Medication,” by Angela Hart.

Additionally talked about on this week’s episode:


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