Must a divorced dad cover adult kids? Will Medicare pay for infusion therapy?

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This week, I answered questions from readers about the obligation of ex-spouses to provide children with health insurance once they’re adults, Medicare coverage of home infusion therapy and how to calculate eligibility for subsidies on the state marketplaces.

Q. My ex-husband has been responsible for providing health insurance for our kids until the age of majority. My sons are now 21 and almost 18.

My ex has family coverage for himself and his new wife, but he wants me to put the kids on my insurance now that they have reached the age of majority.

Covering the kids doesn’t cost him anything extra, but for me to switch from a single plan to a family plan is an extra $175 a month and I can’t afford it.

Since the age of majority for health insurance is now 26, is it possible he still is required to keep them on his insurance? Continue reading

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Health Care For $4: Are You Ready For Walmart To Be Your Doctor?

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Walmart logoAfter years of “Will they or won’t they?” discussion, Walmart is making its long-awaited move into delivering primary care: The retailer has quietly opened a half-dozen primary care clinics across South Carolina and Texas, and plans to launch six more before January.

via Health Care For $4: Are You Ready For Walmart To Be Your Doctor?.

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Cut the Crapshoot | RAND

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From the RAND Corporation:

U.S. policymakers need to counteract the perverse financial incentives that induce inventors and investors to bet big on new medical technologies that offer the highest payouts without substantially improving health.

Dice pair

Costly new technology is a primary driver of health care spending. This should come as no surprise, because all players in the dicey U.S. market for new medical technologies — inventors, investors, payers, providers, and patients — face long odds if they want to put money on products that could curb health spending while also boosting health.

The rules of the game need to change.

via Cut the Crapshoot | RAND.

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If you have a stroke, better it should be in Paris

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Frank Browning (Photo by Christophe Sevault)

Frank Browning. (Photo by Christophe Sevault)

Frank Browning writes from Paris
KHN

I had a stroke last month, oh boy.

It’s just that I didn’t know it. Here’s what happened:

Only after three days of flashing, floating visual squiggles — commonly known as ocular migraines that usually last 20 minutes — do I email my old friend Dr. John Krakauer, who helps run stroke recovery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

After a few questions he told me to get an MRI scan as soon as possible.

In the U.S. that could involve the emergency room (with its hours-long wait) or a complicated process of getting the referral — and then finding a radiologist who would take my coverage.

Here in France, it is so much simpler. Continue reading

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Health news headlines – August 11th

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Global health news – August 11th

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Health Law calls for some workers to be automatically enrolled in coverage

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Newly hired employees who don’t sign up for health insurance on the job could have it done for them under a health law provision that may take effect as early as next year.

But the controversial provision is raising questions: Does automatic enrollment help employees help themselves, or does it force them into coverage they don’t want and may not need?

A group of employers, many of them retail and hospitality businesses ,want the provisions repealed, but some experts say the practice has advantages and is consistent with the aims of the health law. Continue reading

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Credit: Dan Shirly

Credit: Dan Shirly

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When health care prices stop being hidden, and start getting real – Vox

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Twenty-dollar bill in a pill bottleOver the past two years the Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans have been running a quiet experiment, to see what would happen if prices became available in some cities but not others. And they found that just the act of making prices available can have a really dramatic impact on what they had to spend to get patients a very basic procedure.

via When health care prices stop being hidden, and start getting real – Vox.

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Short-term health plans might offer some relief but they have significant gaps

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Consumers who missed open enrollment on the state health insurance marketplaces this spring or who are waiting for employer coverage to start don’t have to “go bare.”

Short-term policies that last from 30 days up to a year can help bridge the gap and offer some protection from unexpected medical expenses.

But these plans provide far from comprehensive coverage, and buyers need to understand their limitations.

Continue reading

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Health news headlines – Augusts 9th

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