Sign-ups during the first two weeks of open enrollment for 2020 Affordable Care Act exchange coverage are trailing last year’s numbers. According to the CMS, about 932,000 people selected a health plan in the first two weeks of open enrollment, which kicked off on Nov. 1. That’s about 244,000 fewer people than in the first two weeks of last year. Some experts say technical difficulties on HealthCare.gov during the first day of open enrollment may have contributed to the lower signup tally. So far, most of the people who selected a plan are renewing their coverage. A little more than a quarter are new customers who did not have a HealthCare.gov plan last year. Open enrollment ends Dec. 15 in HealthCare.gov states. The average premiums for the most popular exchange plan are about 4% lower in 2020 than in 2019, though they’re still very expensive for people who don’t qualify for a federal subsidy.
In week two (Nov. 3-9) of the 2020 Open Enrollment, 754,967 people selected plans using HealthCare.gov. Enrollment weeks are measured Sunday through Saturday. Consequently, the cumulative totals reported in this snapshot reflect one fewer day than last year. The weekly snapshot reports only new plan selections and active plan renewals; it does not report the number of consumers who paid premiums to effectuate their enrollment. ARTICLE
We love our excuses. They provide us all the reasons we need not to be or not to do something. Your disempowering stories about your life prove that no one should expect you to be able to do something based on past events and the all-too-handy labels society provides for you, should you accept them. We keep the story alive because it absolves us of responsibility to be something more or do something more, something bigger, something more significant. How long will you define yourself by what you can’t do because something happened in the past, or you allowed someone to provide you with an identity based on something they believe – and something you could easily reject?
More than half of seriously ill Medicare beneficiaries face financial hardships with medical bills, with prescription drug costs the leading problem, according to a study published Monday. All told, 53% of seriously ill Medicare patients said they had major trouble paying their medical bills. More than a third reported using all or most of their savings to pay medical bills; 27% said they were contacted by a collection agency; and 23% were unable to pay for basics such as food, heat and housing.
“Out-of-pocket costs are very concentrated,” said Anne Kyle, lead author of the study. “The sickest population is also getting the biggest bills. Especially if you are sick over time, you are slowly draining your bank account.”
The average person with traditional Medicare coverage paid $5,460 out of her own pocket for health care in 2016, according to a new KFF analysis and interactive tool. This $5,460 includes about $1,000 in out-of-pocket spending for long-term care facility services, averaged across all traditional Medicare beneficiaries. Such services are used by only 5% of beneficiaries in Medicare. For the 95% of beneficiaries living in the community, average out-of-pocket spending on health care was $4,519 in 2016. But some beneficiary cohorts spent substantially more than others.
Beneficiaries who were likely to spend more out of pocket include women, people in older age groups, those who had been hospitalized, people in poorer self-reported health, and those with multiple chronic conditions.