Access To Care

Insurers Restrict Access To Pricey, Less Addictive Painkillers

Sep 25, 2017

This story was co-published with The New York Times.

At a time when the United States is in the grip of an opioid epidemic, many insurers are limiting access to pain medications that carry a lower risk of addiction or dependence, even as they provide comparatively easy access to generic opioid medications.

cgpgrey.com

The GOP’s latest Obamacare overhaul proposal could significantly reduce funding for state Medicaid programs and turn expansion plans — including Indiana’s HIP 2.0 — on their heads.


Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA/Side Effects Public Media

When Sarah Scantling went into labor this summer, she had to drive 30 miles and across state lines.

Three years earlier, the only maternity ward where she lives in Pemiscot County, Missouri closed down. Scantling had to choose between a handful of other hospitals in the region between 20 and 70 miles away. She chose to give birth in the hospital in Dyersburg, Tennessee.


Open enrollment for Affordable Care Act insurance doesn't start for another six weeks. But the quirky insurance startup Oscar Health is launching an ad campaign Monday aimed at getting young people to enroll.

The company is boosting its ad spending after the Trump administration announced it would slash its ACA advertising budget by 90 percent.

Without Price Breaks, Rural Hospitals Struggle To Stock Lifesaving Drugs

Sep 18, 2017
Sarah Jane Tribble / Kaiser Health News

Hospital pharmacist Mandy Langston remembers when Lulabelle Berry arrived at Stone County Medical Center’s emergency department last year.

Berry couldn’t talk. Her face was drooping on one side. Her eyes couldn’t focus.

“She was basically unresponsive,” Langston recalls.

Uninsured Rate Falls To Record Low

Sep 15, 2017

Three years after the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansion took effect, the number of Americans without health insurance fell to 28.1 million in 2016, down from 29 million in 2015, according to a federal report released Tuesday.

A Dress Rehearsal For Treating Transgender Patients

Sep 14, 2017
Alex Stern / WHYY

Bianca Leigh is playing a character named Tia Lopez.

“Tia Lopez is a 36-year-old woman of trans experience. She works as a bartender. She’s in a two-year relationship with her boyfriend, and she has come for her annual physical,” Leigh explains.

Diabetics Protest Rising Insulin Prices At Drug Company Headquarters

Sep 11, 2017
Jill Sheridan / Indiana Public Broadcasting

More than half a million Hoosiers have been diagnosed with diabetes, and many of them rely on insulin to live healthy lives. But patients say the skyrocketing price of the medicine —which more than doubled from 2002 to 2013 — is squeezing them to the point of outrage.

With insurance premiums rising and national efforts at health reform in turmoil, a group of 50 state bureaucrats whom many voters probably can’t name have considerable power over consumers’ health plans: state insurance commissioners.

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