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THURSDAY, June 10, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- The color of your skin may very well determine how your headache gets treated, a new study warns.

The same percentage of white, Black and Hispanic Americans — about 15% — suffer from severe headaches and/or migraines, the investigators noted.

But the current analysis, conducted by 16 headache disorder experts, found ...

COVID-19 could be a much more expensive experience for folks who fall ill this year, thanks to the return of deductibles and copays, new research suggests.

Most folks who became gravely ill with COVID last year didn't face crushing medical bills because nearly all insurance companies agreed to waive cost-sharing for coronavirus care during the height of the pandemic, explained Dr. Kao-Pin...

About 1 in 10 U.S. cancer survivors delays follow-up care because they can't afford associated medical bills, even if they're insured.

That's the conclusion from an analysis of data from more than 5,400 survivors of various cancers. Most were insured, college-educated and had annual incomes above the national average. Their average age was 67, and most were female and white.

Up to 1...

Patients facing relatively simple outpatient surgeries are nonetheless being told to undergo a number of preoperative tests that just aren't necessary, a new study reports.

More than half of a group of patients facing low-risk outpatient surgery received one or more tests -- blood work, urinalysis, an electrocardiogram (EKG), a chest X-ray -- prior to their operation.

One-third of p...

TUESDAY, May 18, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. hospitals have been required to make their prices public since 2019, but 18 months into the rule more than half weren't doing it, a new study finds.

In 2018, the Trump administration issued a rule requiring hospitals to publish their "chargemasters" on their websites. A chargemaster is a rundown of a hospital's services, al...

WEDNESDAY, May 12, 2021 (HealthDay News) – When people with low incomes are asked to help pay for their health insurance, some drop their coverage, even when bills as low as $20 per month arrive.

That's the upshot of a new study of Medicaid expansion in the state of Michigan.

Leaving the insurance plan means people may miss out on preventive care or timely treatment of illnesses. ...

Many American workers remain in jobs they'd rather leave -- simply because they don't want to lose their health insurance, a new Gallup poll reveals.

That's the situation for 16% of respondents in a nationwide poll of more than 3,800 adults conducted March 15-21.

The fear is strongest among Black workers. Pollsters found they are more likely to keep an unwanted job at 21% than Hispa...

When prescription drug "list" prices go up, patients often take a hit in the wallet, a new study shows.

Researchers found that while some people are buffered against drug price hikes by their health insurance plan, many are not.

Those in plans that require co-insurance or a deductible for prescriptions typically watch their out-of-pocket expenses rise, according to the study.

Young Black and Hispanic cancer patients face poorer survival odds than their white counterparts, even from some cancers that are highly curable, a new study finds.

It's well known that the United States has long-standing racial disparities in cancer survival.

The researchers said the new findings bolster evidence that those disparities are not confined to older adults, who account...

Tens of millions of Americans will find it substantially more affordable to buy their own health insurance starting this month, thanks to generous financial help included in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) signed by President Joe Biden in March.

That includes many people who've already bought a plan for this year, as well as people who don't have insurance right now.

Health poli...

Serious vision problems among older Americans have declined sharply, and the improvement has been greatest among women, folks over 85 and seniors who are Black or Hispanic, a nationwide study shows.

"The implications of a reduction in vision impairment are significant," said study first author ZhiDi Deng, a pharmacy student at the University of Toronto in Canada. "Vision problems are a ma...

Older Americans on a Medicare Advantage plan could face hospital bills of $1,000 or more if private insurers start charging out-of-pocket costs for lifesaving COVID-19 care, a new study warns.

Cost data show that Medicare Advantage patients pay an average $987 out-of-pocket when they are hospitalized with the seasonal flu, and about 3% pay more than $2,500, according to the report.

...

Could the COVID-19 pandemic be taking a toll on kids' teeth?

A new, nationwide poll found the pandemic has made it harder for parents to get their kids regular dental care. But on the other hand, many say their youngsters are now taking better care of their teeth.

The C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health at Michigan Medicine surveyed almost 1,900 parents ...

As many as one in five U.S. children has special health care needs, and some of their caregivers are struggling to get them the support, care and services they need, new research shows.

Kids with special health care needs may have physical conditions (such as asthma or diabetes), mental health issues (including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or anxiety), developmental disorders ...

Air ambulance service is pricey, but promises lifesaving speed by providing rapid straight-line helicopter transport for critically ill patients.

But a new study out of Denmark questions whether that expensive haste winds up saving more lives.

Researchers found no statistically significant difference in the death rate between people transported by ground ambulance or helicopter, acc...

THURSDAY, Dec. 31, 2020 -- Even the most privileged people in the United States with the best access to health care are sicker and more likely to die than average folks in other developed nations, a new study finds.

People living in the highest-income counties in the United States are, on average, more likely to die from a heart attack or cancer, during childbirth, or to lose an infant th...

The popularity of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, continues to grow, with nearly two-thirds of Americans saying they want the law to remain as is or be improved, a new Harris/HealthDay poll shows.

About 34% of U.S. adults think the Affordable Care Act should remain in place, and another 28% believe it should stay but have some parts changed, according to poll results taken...

Nearly half of Americans fear unexpected medical bills and 44% say they couldn't pay a $1,000 surprise bill, a new poll shows.

Those fears aren't unfounded. Among those with private health insurance, 68% have received unexpected medical bills and 33% couldn't pay them on time, while 23% said they haven't paid them yet.

Many Americans (81%) want Congress to pass laws to end surp...

Colon cancer treatment for low-income Americans has improved with Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, a new study says.

That includes earlier diagnosis, increased access to treatment and better surgical care, according to the researchers.

They compared data for more than 4,400 patients in 19 states that expanded Medicaid in January 2014 and more than 6,000 patients in ...

When Obamacare made contraception affordable, the rate of unplanned pregnancies among poor Americans declined, a new study reports.

The Affordable Care Act's (ACA) elimination of out-of-pocket costs for birth control was tied to fewer births in all income groups, but especially among poorer women, the new research found. In fact, the lowest income group had a 22% decline in births after t...

Hispanic mothers-to-be in the southern United States are almost twice as likely to have COVID-19 as non-Hispanic women, a new study finds.

The researchers also found that those with government health insurance were more likely to test positive for the coronavirus than women with private insurance.

For the study, pregnant women were routinely tested for COVID-19 as they wen...

Many Americans who get recommended colon cancer screening may end up with "surprise" medical bills, a new study suggests.

Looking at insurance claims for more than 1.1 million elective colonoscopies, researchers found that 12% involved out-of-network charges.

That's concerning, the study authors said, because those patients may well have faced bills averaging $400 for a...

Up to 7.7 million U.S. workers lost jobs with employer-sponsored health insurance during the coronavirus pandemic, and 6.9 million of their dependents also lost coverage, a new study finds.

Workers in manufacturing, retail, accommodation and food services were especially hard-hit by job losses, but unequally impacted by losses in insurance coverage.

Manufacturing accounted ...

Since the passage of "Obamacare," fewer Americans are facing insurmountable medical bills -- but the benefit does not seem to be reaching people with private insurance, a new study shows.

Researchers found that after the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was implemented, the number of Americans incurring "catastrophic" health care expenses each year dropped -- from 13.6 million in 2010 to 11....

High out-of-pocket health care costs for low- and middle-income Americans with kids have fallen due to "Obamacare," but more needs to be done to reduce their medical-related financial struggles, a new study claims.

The researchers examined data from 2000 to 2017 on more than 92,000 U.S. families with one or more children under 18 and one or more adult parents or guardians.

F...

More than two in five working-age U.S. adults didn't have stable health insurance in the first half of 2020, while more than one-third struggled with medical bills, according to a new survey.

"The survey shows a persistent vulnerability among U.S. working-age adults in their ability to afford coverage and health care. That vulnerability could worsen if the COVID-19 pandemic and relat...

Health care in the United States is often touted as the best in the world, but Americans seem to be in worse health than their British peers, a new study shows.

Even the richest Americans in their 50s and early 60s had higher rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis and mental health problems than their wealthy British counterparts.

Those who were in the top 10%...

Early-stage breast cancer is more likely to be diagnosed in U.S. states that have expanded Medicaid coverage under Obamacare than in those that haven't, researchers say.

Their new study looked at a database of more than 71,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer in 31 states that expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act and 14 states that did not.

In the expan...

Health insurance plans with high deductibles may be taking a financial toll on Black patients, according to a new study of cancer survivors.

The researchers said the findings point to yet another reason for racial health disparities in the United States: High deductibles may make it harder for Black patients, in particular, to afford medications or see a doctor.

"Just becaus...

More than 2 million Americans buy prescription drugs from other countries as a way around rising prices in the United States, a new study finds.

The analysis of nationwide survey data showed that 1.5% of adults got their prescription meds from outside the United States between 2015 and 2017.

Immigrants and people who were older or who had inadequate health insurance cov...

Furloughs and layoffs stemming from the coronavirus pandemic have left many Americans without health insurance, a new survey reveals.

"Here in the fourth month of COVID-19-related job losses, a growing number of people won't be able to afford health care in the midst of the worst public health crisis in modern times," said report author Sara Collins, vice president for health care cov...

Seattle resident Michael Flor's heart nearly stopped when he received a $1.1 million dollar hospital bill for months of COVID-19 treatment.

The 181-page bill listed nearly 3,000 itemized charges -- and didn't include other items likely to make Flor's bill even higher, the 70-year-old told Time.

But one fact provided Flor some solace: Kaiser Permanente, the health care...

Beginning next year, people on some Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage Plans who need insulin will be able to access the lifesaving medication for just $35 a month, according to a new plan announced by the White House.

In some cases, the cost may be even lower, President Donald Trump said at a Rose Garden news conference on Tuesday.

"I'm proud to announce that we have r...

Health insurance disruptions are never a good thing, but for people with cancer it can lead to poor care and lower odds of survival, a new study finds.

This could prove ominous for the many Americans who have lost health insurance due to coronavirus-related layoffs.

"Our findings were consistent across multiple cancer sites, with several studies finding a 'dose-response' r...

Millions of Americans in industries hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic could be eligible for financial help with health insurance, a new study says.

Many of the newly unemployed might not know they can get public insurance or subsidies for coverage through the Affordable Care Act's insurance marketplaces, according to an analysis published this month by the Urban Institute, a Wash...

The coronavirus pandemic is spreading across the United States at the same time that millions have been laid off from their jobs.

That raises the obvious question -- how will those newly unemployed folks pay for medical care if they become infected with the coronavirus?

Recent bills passed by Congress ensure that people won't have to pay out of pocket for any COVID-19 testin...

Though they are at a higher risk of childbirth complications and pregnancy-related death, women who are black, Hispanic or indigenous are less likely than white women to be insured, new research shows.

The study revealed that almost half of black, Hispanic and indigenous women had disruptions in insurance coverage between preconception and post-delivery compared to about one-quarter o...

Financial struggles are common among young breast cancer patients in the United States, even if they have steady jobs that provide health insurance, new research shows.

The study included 830 women, aged 18 to 39, in California, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina who were diagnosed with breast cancer between January 2013 and December 2014.

Nearly half (47%) of the women...

Obamacare narrowed racial and ethnic gaps in access to health insurance and care, but it didn't eliminate them, a new study reports.

University of Michigan researchers analyzed data gathered from 19- to 64-year-olds nationwide between 2008 and 2017. They found that before Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance programs went into effect in 2010, nearly 25% of blacks and 40% of His...

The number of people struggling to pay their medical bills declined dramatically during the last decade, as the Affordable Care Act expanded health insurance coverage and financial protection for the sick.

The percentage of families who had problems paying medical expenses in the previous year declined from about 20% in 2011 to 14% in 2018, according to a new report from the U...

You scheduled your surgery and made sure both your doctor and hospital are in your insurer's approved network of providers. Everything went without a hitch -- until a whopper of a bill showed up in the mail for "out-of-network" care during your operation.

The average out-of-network surprise bill tops $2,000, a new study finds. And about 20% of patients who had surgery using a doc...

Two million more Americans didn't seek health care from late 2016 through 2017 because they couldn't afford it and/or lacked insurance, new research shows.

The analysis of data from 2011 through 2017 also found that health care coverage and access improved with implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but reversed after President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans bega...

The U.S. government aims to end the HIV epidemic by 2030, but skyrocketing medication costs may make that a pipe dream, a new study suggests.

Since 2012, the cost of antiviral treatment for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, has jumped 34%. That's nearly four times the inflation rate.

Even with new generic options, initial treatments now top $36,000 per patient per year,...

Despite spending far more on health care than other wealthy nations, the United States has the lowest life expectancy and the highest suicide rate, new research shows.

For the study, researchers at The Commonwealth Fund compared the United States with 10 other high-income nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) -- Australia, Canada, France, Germany,...

Advanced-stage colon cancer diagnoses declined after Massachusetts expanded health insurance coverage, a new study finds.

In 2006, state legislators passed a health insurance reform law with the aim of providing health care access to nearly all residents.

"Colorectal cancer frequently occurs in adults under 65 who are not yet eligible for Medicare. And we know from previous ...

Many American cancer survivors struggle to pay for their medical care and have to cut back on spending, dip into their savings, or change their living situation.

These problems are more common among those under 65 than among older survivors, a new survey reveals.

Researchers focused on 401 cancer survivors, ages 18 to 64, and 562 who were 65 and older.

Among the you...

Little Johnny's cough has lasted for days, leaving Mom and Dad wondering if the symptoms warrant a trip to the doctor. A new study suggests that such parents may choose to skip that standard pediatric sick visit.

Overall visits to the pediatrician in the United States dropped by 14% between 2008 and 2016. Sick visits were down 24%.

At the same time, well-child visi...

Minority women with breast cancer are less likely to have insurance, which could lower their odds of survival, researchers say.

"Having adequate health insurance for all could reduce the persistent racial outcome disparities in breast cancer," said study lead author Dr. Naomi Ko, assistant professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine.

She added that early d...

The Medicaid expansion brought in by Obamacare may have prevented thousands of deaths from opioid overdoses, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that in U.S. states that expanded their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act, fatal opioid overdoses dipped by 6%, compared to states that opted out. That included an 11% lower death rate from heroin overdoses, and a 10...

Medical paperwork cost the United States $812 billion in 2017 and accounted for more than one-third of total spending for doctor visits, hospitals, long-term care and health insurance, according to a new study.

However, reducing medical paperwork expenses to the same levels as in Canada -- which has single-payer universal health care -- would have saved the nation more than $600 billi...