A new working paper from Truven Healthcare’s Teresa Gibson, Harvard’s Michael Chernew and the University of Michigan’s A. Mark Fendrick released by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) finds that as health insurance co-payments increase, worker productivity drops. This decrease in productivity is likely to related to employees forgoing medical care.
The paper focuses on employees with chronic pain like arthritis. The authors examined how much employees had to pay for prescription medication under their diverse benefit plans. Past research has found that as the cost of health care services increases, usage decreases. The paper found that employees suffering from chronic pain averaged 76.7 hours absent from work. With every $5 increase in cost-sharing for pain medications, they saw an increase in absenteeism somewhere between 1.3 to 3.1 percent. Although the percentage appears small, the consequences could be significant, and enough to offset any savings derived from hiking up premiums.
April 22, 2014
A new study released
by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) indicates that including adult dental benefits in Medicaid plans can have a multitude of positive results. The study, How Do Providers Respond to Public Health Insurance Expansions? Evidence from Adult Medicaid Dental Benefits
, found that covering dental benefits resulted in more dentists participating in Medicaid without decreasing the number of privately insured patients these dentists see. Additionally, the study reported that dentists participating in Medicaid were able to make greater use of dental hygienists while only mildly increasing patient wait times.
May 1, 2012
The Urban Institute recently released
a report documenting the potential savings available in prevention of avoidable chronic illness. The high and rising prevalence of chronic disease represents a substantial burden on the medical care system and a major cost for society, leaving aside its toll on individuals. The burden presents as rising rates of obesity, increased prevalence of diabetes, greater incidence of disability, and the rising cost of medical care and other disease-related costs. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reports that medical spending on obese adults is 38 percent higher than on their normal-weight counterparts. The cost of cardiovascular disease in medical treatment and lost productivity has been estimated at $400 billion per year, of which about one-quarter comes from lost productivity.
The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) health program covers...
October 31, 2011
A new report commissioned by the insurance industry and authored by Oliver Wyman, "Estimated Premium Impacts of Annual Fees Assessed on Health Insurance Plans," quantifies the impact of insurer fees on private and public sector coverage. According to the report, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) have both concluded that such fees will increase insurance premiums. The analytical data presented in the report estimates that the insurer fees will increase premiums in fully insured coverage markets by an average of 1.9% to 2.3% in 2014. This translates into a $2,800 average increase in individual coverage cost, and $6,800 for a family over a 10-year period, beginning in 2014.
September 30, 2011
In their 2011 Employer Health Benefits
survey, the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) found
that annual insurance premiums for family coverage were over $15,000 this year, which is up more than 9% since last year. This increase is also significant because it outpaced both general inflation and workers' wages. The survey also found that 1 in 4 workers (23%) are members of health insurance plans that changed their cost sharing requirements for preventive services as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and 31% of workers are enrolled in plans that changed the preventive services offered because of the ACA. Additionally, 2.3 million young adults have been added to their parents' insurance plans in accordance with the provision in the ACA allowing children to be covered on their parents' plans until age 26.
December 10, 2012
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) included health insurance market reforms designed to ensure that individuals and small businesses could not be denied coverage or be charged significantly higher premiums because of an individual’s health status. While some of the market reforms enacted in the ACA were designed to go into effect shortly after enactment (e.g., requiring issuers and employer-sponsored plans to cover adult children up to age 26 on a parent’s health plan, and limiting pre-existing condition exclusions) the most sweeping reforms...
September 2, 2011
This Update is the third in a series on a group of three regulations, all of which are summarized at HealthReformGPS.org. Together the rules are designed to implement both the Medicaid eligibility expansions, the process of determining eligibility for premium tax credits and cost sharing assistance in the Exchange individual market, and standards for employers purchasing coverage in Exchanges. Collectively, the rules are designed to allow individuals and families to acquire and keep coverage and move more seamlessly among publicly-supported sources of health insurance as family income and circumstances change.
June 3, 2011
An earlier Implementation Brief provided an overview of the Disclosure and Review of Unreasonable Health Insurance Premium Rate Increases, which was established by §1003 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by adding §2794 to the Public Health Service Act (PHSA). On May 23, 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a final rule (with comment period) establishing a rate review program of “unreasonable” health insurance premium rate increases and implementing requirements for health insurance issuers regarding the disclosure and review of such unreasonable premium increases.
April 14, 2011
Over the past decade, health insurance premiums have doubled (with particularly sharp increases in the small group and individual markets), making insurance coverage unattainable for millions of Americans. News stories have reported that some health insurers have sought to increase premium rates as much as 50 percent.