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Unexpected medical bills and high health care costs are dominating an election where kitchen table economic problems weigh heavily on voter's minds, a new KFF poll has found.

Voters struggling to pay their monthly bills are most eager to hear presidential candidates talk about economic and health care issues, according to the latest KFF Health Tracking Poll.

Nearly three in four adu...

People with diabetes have to spend a ton of money to stay healthy, a new study reports.

Total and out-of-pocket costs for diabetics run hundreds to thousands of dollars more than regular medical expenses for people without diabetes, researchers found.

Type 1 diabetes costs nearly $25,700 a year to properly manage, with out-of-pocket charges running more than $2,000 for patients, res...

Millions of Black and Hispanic middle-class adults won't be able to afford senior housing and health care expenses as they grow old, a new study warns.

The number of middle-income older adults of color is expected to double within the next decade, rising from 12% in ...

Dementia care can eat through the savings of cash-strapped seniors, a new study warns.

The average senior with dementia in non-nursing residential care facilities spent 97% of their monthly income on long-term care, researchers found. Meanwhile, those living in nursing homes spend nearly 83% of their monthly income on their care, results show.

“Because dementia is such an expensiv...

Medical tourism to Mexico for cosmetic procedures exposed Americans to a deadly fungal infection last year, a new report shows.

An outbreak of Fusarium solani meningitis occurred at two clinics in Matamoros specializing in elective cosmetic procedures like breast augmentation, liposuction and Brazilian butt lifts.

The new report, published Feb. 8 in the

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • February 9, 2024
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  • Folks squeezed financially may find themselves shut out from medical care, leading to delayed cancer diagnoses, a new report finds.

    A full third of cancer patients suffered some form of recent financial hardship -- a bankruptcy, lien or eviction -- prior to their diagnosis, according to research led by the American Cancer Society and the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

    These patient...

    Americans pay nearly three times as much for their prescription drugs as residents of other nations do, new research shows.

    Drug prices in the United States average nearly 2.8 times those seen in 33 other countries, the report from RAND Health Care found.

    Brand-name drugs are even more expensive, with U.S. prices...

    Ever glance at your paycheck and wonder why your take-home pay is so much less than you'd expect?

    The rising cost of employer-sponsored health insurance is a major reason why, a new study argues.

    The cost of employer-sponsored health benefits increased much faster than workers' pay since the late 1980s, and likely reduced wages by an average of about $9,000 a year by 2019, the study...

    A record-breaking 20 million Americans have already signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, the Biden administration announced Wednesday.

    "Today, we hit a major milestone in lowering costs and ensuring all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care: a record-breaking 20 million Americans have enrolled in health care coverage through the Affordable Care ...

    HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a lifeline for Americans, many of them gay men, who are at high risk of contracting the virus that causes AIDS.

    But a case that is winding its way through the court system might push the cost of PrEP to levels that are unaffordable for many -- and that could cost lives, the authors of a new study warn.

    “Our findings suggest that out-of-pocket...

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday gave the nod to a Florida plan to import drugs from Canada at much lower prices than in the United States.

    The approval could prove to be a major turning point for the United States' prescription drug market.

    U.S. residents can now buy directly from Canadian pharmacies out of their own pockets, but state Medicaid programs have not been...

    The average cost of hospital care for COVID-19 patients skyrocketed during the pandemic, outstripping what might be expected under inflation, a new study shows.

    Average hospital costs for COVID patients increased five times faster than the rate of medical inflation through the first two years of the pandemic, researchers have found.

    This is at least partly due to the pricey medical ...

    Over 15 million Americans have signed up for health insurance using the Affordable Care Act's federal marketplace, a 33% increase from the year before, preliminary government data shows.

    On Dec. 15, the deadline for coverage that starts Jan. 1, a whopping 745,000 people picked their health insurance plan using the healthcare.gov website, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (H...

    An overwhelming majority of older Americans think health insurers and Medicare should cover the cost of weight-loss medications like Ozempic, Wegovy or Zepbound, a new survey has found.

    More than four out of five older adults (83%) think insurance companies should pay for drugs that help obese people manage their weight, according to poll re...

    The Biden administration is flexing some federal muscle in its push for lower drug prices, warning pharmaceutical companies that it might use its authority to cancel patent protections if a medication costs too much.

    Federal law allows the government to grant patent licenses if taxpayer dollars were used in the development of inventions -- including drugs.

    In a

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • December 7, 2023
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  • A new 'technopill' can safely monitor a person's vital signs from inside their bodies, researchers report.

    The vitals-monitoring (VM) Pill works by tracking the small vibrations in the body associated with lungs breathing and the heart beating.

    It can detect if a person stops breathing, which gives it the potential to provide real-time information about patients at risk of opioid ov...

    If you need medical care, you're more likely to skip it due to cost issues if you're American than if you're Australian, Canadian, British or French, a new report finds.

    Rising costs aren't just causing poorer Americans to forgo needed care: The Commonwealth Fund report found higher-income people often doing the same.

    "Adults in the United States with lower and average incomes are m...

    WEDNESDAY, Nov. 8, 2023 (Healthday News) -- A new drug to treat postpartum depression will cost nearly $16,000 for a 14-day course of treatment, a price tag that has doctors worried that some patients won't be able to afford the medication.

    Zurzuvae (zuranolone) was first ...

    Gun violence causes a ripple effect that creates a lasting impact on young people lucky enough to survive being shot, as well as their families, a comprehensive new study finds.

    Child and teenaged gunshot survivors carry the physical and emotional scars of violence, and their families suffer even more dramatic aftereffects, the Harvard-associated researchers found.

    “The unspeakabl...

    A growing number of people have become unpaid caregivers for loved ones, and a new report says many are overlooking the financial consequences of their selflessness.

    One in five adults now provide uncompensated care to family and loved ones with health problems, according to the

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • November 7, 2023
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  • Soon, you may be able to step out on your front porch and wait for your prescription medication to drop from the sky.

    On Wednesday, Amazon Pharmacy announced that it is starting to test speedy prescription drug delivery by drones in selected locations.

    “We're taught from the first days of medical school that there is a golden window that matters in clinical medicine,”

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • October 19, 2023
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  • Dementia can take a big bite out of an American's bank account, robbing 60% of a patient's net worth in the eight years after a diagnosis, a new study says.

    The average dementia patient will also see a doubling of out-of-pocket health care expenses in those first eight years, said researchers who studied thousands of seniors with and without the brain disorder.

    “We found a pr...

    Pharmaceutical companies that make the 10 prescription drugs chosen to be the first for price negotiations for Medicare patients have agreed to talks with the government.

    The Biden administration announced Tuesday that the drugmakers, including Merck, Bristol Myers Squibb and Johnson & Johnson, will take part in price negotiations despite ongoing lawsuits over this same requirement, N...

    In yet another reminder of the psychic toll the pandemic has taken on young people, new research shows spending on mental health services for U.S. children and adolescents has risen sharply since 2020.

    It climbed 26% for youths aged 19 and younger between March 2020 and August 2022, the RAND Corp. study found. Among a large group whose families had employer-provided insurance, use of ment...

    Despite reports of trouble last week where some people may have been denied insurance coverage while seeking COVID shots at pharmacies, the Biden administration said Thursday those issues have been ironed out.

    That issue is "largely, if not completely," resolved after U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Secretary

    New parents bringing home their bundle of joy often carry something else with them as they leave the hospital: medical debt.

    That's according to new research from Michigan Medicine that found postpartum women are more likely to have medical debt than those who are pregnant.

    The researchers studied this by evaluating collections among a statewide, commercially insured cohort of more ...

    Americans seeking out the new COVID boosters are finding themselves held back by insurance entanglements and supply delays.

    Some insurers have balked at covering the vaccines, with people arriving at shot appointments only to be told that they'll have to pay $100 or more out of pocket for the jab.

    And in other places, booster appointments simply aren't available due to supply short...

    Helping undocumented immigrants in the United States connect with primary care doctors could be a money-saver, substantially reducing emergency department use and lowering health costs, a new study finds.

    The findings are from a New York City program that helped arrange medical appointments from May 2016 to June 2017 for undocumented immigrants with limited incomes.

    The data showed ...

    As people age, health issues tend to mount, but roughly a quarter of low-income adults over 65 have no medical insurance.

    That's the age when most Americans become eligible for Medicare, the federal health insurance for seniors. But many of the uninsured seniors are Hispanic Americans who aren't eligible for that coverage, or lower income people who may not be able to afford Medicare prem...

    Red tape is getting in the way of cancer patients receiving the treatment they crucially require, a new study has found.

    Patients were 18% more likely to experience cancer care delays or be unable to stick to a treatment plan if they had to fill out a lot of paperwork, compared to patients who faced less red tape, the researchers found.

    Results also showed that the more paperwork a ...

    The Biden administration on Tuesday named the first 10 medicines that will be subject to price negotiations between Medicare and participating drug companies.

    The list represents the first step in a landmark program aimed at reducing the government's drug spending, and potentially U.S. drug prices in general. However, six major drug companies are already challenging the program in court.<...

    Large numbers of Americans who were dropped from Medicaid this spring lost their coverage because of paperwork problems, and not because they weren't still eligible for the public health insurance program.

    “I am deeply concerned about high rates of procedural terminations due to ‘red tape' and other paperwork issues,” Health and Human Services Secretary

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • July 31, 2023
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  • When they need health care, Americans can be slapped with surprise medical costs because of loopholes in the law and “junk fees,” according to the White House.

    The Biden administration is taking action on several fronts to deal with these unexpected costs.

    “Evading the law and playing games to charge crazy, outrageous prices has to end,” President Joe Biden said in remarks o...

    New federal initiatives could help save Americans money on health care costs.

    President Joe Biden announced plans Friday to target surprise medical bills, scam insurance and third-party credit cards and loans that carry high interest charges, the Associated Press reported.

    Limiting “junk” insurance plans is a key initiative. These are short-term policies that people som...

    A new study shows that older Americans with health issues are now staying with their Medicare Advantage managed plans, rather than swapping them for traditional plans through a health insurer.

    Although Medicare Advantage has been criticized in the past for “cherry-picking” healthy patients, that's no longer the case, according to the research.

    "This is not what a lot of people w...

    Cancer affects families in numerous ways, and kids whose parents have had cancer are more likely to be hungry and to go without everyday essentials than their peers, a new American Cancer Society study reveals.

    “Cancer is a life-threatening disease, and parents with a history of cancer are often saddled with worry about paying for food, the rent or mortgage, and other monthly bills,” ...

    Folks living in Massachusetts, Hawaii and New Hampshire may be among the nation's healthiest, according to a new scorecard that ranks how well the health care system in each U.S. state is working.

    By contrast, people in Mississippi, West Virginia and Oklahoma fare the worst when it comes to access to quality care and overall health and well-being.

    Released each year by the Commonwea...

    A majority of insured Americans have struggled with a wide array of stumbling blocks when trying to get coverage for their health care needs, a new national survey shows.

    All told, the KFF report uncovered numerous obstacles to coverage with all types...

    How prohibitive is the cost of diabetes care?

    For American patients, including those with insurance, the full scope of related expenses is often so onerous that some have turned to crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe as a way to raise cash for care, new research shows.

    Despite the fact that insulin is largely free or low-cost for many, the price of many other basics of diabet...

    Folks who are loaded down with medical debt are less likely to survive a bout of cancer, a new study reports.

    Researchers found that U.S. counties where more residents have medical debt in collections also had more cancer deaths, compared to counties with less medical debt.

    “This association was seen for all cancers combined, and the five major cancer types: lung, colorectal, panc...

    Money woes have long been linked to worse health care. Now, a new study finds financially strapped patients often put off cancer screenings -- only to learn they have the disease when it's advanced and tougher to treat.

    Researchers studied the financial background of nearly 102,000 patients diagnosed with cancer between 2014 and 2015. More than a third had previously experienced at l...

    An exceptionally pricey gene therapy cure for sickle cell disease could soon be available, but it's not clear whether insurance companies will balk at the cost and deny coverage.

    On the surface, the gene therapy does not appear as cost-effective as the grinding medical care that sickle cell patients now receive, according to a new analysis.

    Gene therapy applied just once to a sickle...

    Many seniors skip or stretch prescription medications due to costs despite being insured by Medicare, a new U.S. study finds.

    Roughly 20% of older adults reported taking less medication than prescribed or not taking medication because of cost, the researchers found.

    "We also found that most respondents wanted to talk with their doctors about medication costs and would want their d...

    New IRS guidance will allow older couples in the United States to contribute more than $10,000 to tax-free health savings accounts (HSA) next year.

    Under the new guidelines announced this week, for folks under 55, individuals can contribute up to $4,150 annually to their HSAs, NBC News reported Friday. That's a 7.8% increase.

    Families can contribute a maximum of $8,300 ann...

    Pollutants produced by the U.S. oil and gas industry cause thousands of deaths and cost the country tens of billions in health care expenses, a new study reports.

    Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), fine particulate matter and ozone all contribute to air pollution, and all are emitted as part of oil and gas production, the researchers said.

    The new study estimates that the oil and gas industry ...

    While COVID-19's toll on health and wellness has been obvious, the virus has also hit people in the wallet.

    A new study links surviving COVID to financial challenges later, especially for folks who were hospitalized with the virus.

    “More than half of Americ...

    Menopause symptoms are costly business, with billions spent on treating hot flashes, night sweats and lost sleep, a new study finds.

    The research, published Wednesday in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, found that women living with these symptoms nee...

    The company that makes the opioid overdose nasal spray Narcan plans to have it available in pharmacies and online by late summer for a price of less than $50.

    Emergent sent a response letter Thursday to Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, who had sent a

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • April 21, 2023
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  • Hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought illegally to the United States as children may soon be eligible to receive federally funded health care.

    President Joe Biden on Thursday announced...

    Getting care in the United States for lingering COVID-19 symptoms can be challenging, affecting long-term health and ability to work, a new study finds.

    Adults with so-called long COVID have had greater challenges with health care access and affordability than other adults, and these barriers to care have implications for their well-being, said lead researcher

  • Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter
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  • April 12, 2023
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