State-run marketplaces / exchanges have more flexibility in terms of when they make new plans available for browsing. For example, Your Health Idaho, the state-run exchange in Idaho, debuted window-shopping for 2018 plans on October 2, 2018, nearly a month before the start of open enrollment, just as they did the year before. And Covered California is starting their open enrollment period (not just window shopping) two weeks early, on October 15. This will be the schedule they use in future years as well.
That will continue to be the case in 2019, and the disproportionately large subsidies will be available in more places (for example, Vermont and North Dakota didn’t allow insurers to add the cost of CSR to premiums for 2018, but are allowing them to add the cost to silver plan rates for 2019, resulting in much larger premium subsidies. Colorado and Delaware required insurers to spread the cost of CSR across premiums for all plans in 2018, but are allowing the cost to be added only to silver plans for 2019, resulting in larger premium subsidies). So don’t pass up the opportunity to get a subsidy! Even if you’ve checked your eligibility before, make sure you do so again for 2019. As the poverty level rises each year, the income cap on subsidy eligibility also rises; it will be above $100,000 for a family of four in 2019.
Clinical EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is an evidence-based method that combines acupressure with elements drawn from cognitive and exposure therapies. The approach has been validated in more than 100 clinical trials. Its efficacy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been investigated in a variety of demographic groups including war veterans, victims of sexual violence, the spouses of PTSD sufferers, motor accident survivors, prisoners, hospital patients, adolescents, and survivors of natural and human-caused disasters. Meta-analyses of EFT for anxiety, depression, and PTSD indicate treatment effects that exceed those of both psychopharmacology and conventional psychotherapy. Studies of EFT in the treatment of PTSD show that (a) time frames for successful treatment generally range from four to 10 sessions; (b) group therapy sessions are effective; (c) comorbid conditions such as anxiety and depression improve simultaneously; (d) the risk of adverse events is low; (e) treatment produces physiological as well as psychological improvements; (f) patient gains persist over time; (g) the approach is cost-effective; (h) biomarkers such as stress hormones and genes are regulated; and (i) the method can be adapted to online and telemedicine applications. This paper recommends guidelines for the use of EFT in treating PTSD derived from the literature and a detailed practitioner survey. It has been reviewed by the major institutions providing training or supporting research in the method. The guidelines recommend a stepped-care model, with five treatment sessions for subclinical PTSD, 10 sessions for PTSD, and escalation to intensive psychotherapy or psychopharmacology or both for nonresponsive patients and those with developmental trauma. Group therapy, social support, apps, and online and telemedicine methods also contribute to a successful treatment plan. Full article
But if you’re uninsured, it’s important to understand that you could have to wait up to two months from the time you enroll until the time your new plan takes effect. If you’re in that situation and fairly healthy, a short-term plan can bridge the gap for you. Short-term plans are available in nearly every state, and the coverage can take effect as soon as the day after you purchase your plan. So if you’re enrolling in an ACA-compliant plan on November 1, you can also enroll in a short-term plan on the same day. Your short-term plan will cover you until the end of the year, providing peace of mind just in case you end up with an unexpected emergency between now and then (you can click on your state on this map to see how short-term plans are regulated and which options are available to you).
We present a precision medical perspective to assist in the definition, diagnosis, and management of Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS)/chronic Lyme disease. PTLDS represents a small subset of patients treated for an erythema migrans (EM) rash with persistent or recurrent symptoms and functional decline. The larger population with chronic Lyme disease is less understood and well defined. Multiple Systemic Infectious Disease Syndrome (MSIDS) is a multifactorial model for treating chronic disease(s), which identifies up to 16 overlapping sources of inflammation and their downstream effects. A patient symptom survey and a retrospective chart review of 200 patients was therefore performed on those patients with chronic Lyme disease/PTLDS to identify those variables on the MSIDS model with the greatest potential effect on regaining health. Results indicate that dapsone combination therapy decreased the severity of eight major Lyme symptoms, and multiple sources of inflammation (other infections, immune dysfunction, autoimmunity, food allergies/sensitivities, leaky gut, mineral deficiencies, environmental toxins with detoxification problems, and sleep disorders) along with downstream effects of inflammation may all affect chronic symptomatology. In part two of our observational study and review paper, we postulate that the use of this model can represent an important and needed paradigm shift in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic disease. Full article
Most aspects of private health insurance in Australia are regulated by the Private Health Insurance Act 2007. Complaints and reporting of the private health industry is carried out by an independent government agency, the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman. The ombudsman publishes an annual report that outlines the number and nature of complaints per health fund compared to their market share 
It’s true that there will be more loosely-regulated coverage options available in 2019, thanks to the expansion of short-term plans, association health plans, and state-based alternatives to ACA-compliant plans. And there will no longer be a direct penalty for relying on those types of coverage. But they all have drawbacks, so read the fine print carefully if you’re considering them.
Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) is frequently used as a treatment for acute hypercapnic respiratory failure (AHRF) in hospitalised patients with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD). In the UK, many patients with AHRF secondary to AECOPD are treated with ward-based NIV, rather than being treated in critical care. NIV has been increasingly used as an alternative to invasive ventilation and as a ceiling of treatment in patients with a ‘do not intubate’ order. This narrative review describes the evidence base for ward-based NIV in the context of AECOPD and summarises current practice and clinical outcomes in the UK. Full article
That's the market that was most in need of reform before the Affordable Care Act, and it's the market segment that was most heavily affected by the ACA (the small group health insurance market also saw some significant reforms, but not as much as the individual market). Not surprisingly, it's also been the market that has seen the most change over the last several years and has been in the spotlight each year when rate changes are announced.
The universal compulsory coverage provides for treatment in case of illness or accident and pregnancy. Health insurance covers the costs of medical treatment, medication and hospitalization of the insured. However, the insured person pays part of the costs up to a maximum, which can vary based on the individually chosen plan, premiums are then adjusted accordingly. The whole healthcare system is geared towards to the general goals of enhancing general public health and reducing costs while encouraging individual responsibility.
The Commonwealth Fund completed its thirteenth annual health policy survey in 2010. A study of the survey "found significant differences in access, cost burdens, and problems with health insurance that are associated with insurance design". Of the countries surveyed, the results indicated that people in the United States had more out-of-pocket expenses, more disputes with insurance companies than other countries, and more insurance payments denied; paperwork was also higher although Germany had similarly high levels of paperwork.
Background: With the recent increase use of observation care, it is important to understand the characteristics of patients that utilize this care and either have a prolonged observation care stay or require admission. Methods: We a conducted a retrospective cohort study utilizing 5% sample data from Medicare patients age ≥65 years that was nationally representative in the year 2013. We performed a generalized estimating equation (GEE) logistic regression analysis to evaluate the relationship between an unsuccessful observation stay (defined as either requiring an inpatient admission from observation or having a prolonged observation stay) compared to having successful observation care. Observation cut offs of “successful” vs. “unsuccessful” were based on the CMS 2 midnight rule. Results: Of 154,756 observation stays in 2013, 19 percent (n = 29,604) were admitted to the inpatient service and 34,275 (22.2%) had a prolonged observation stay. The two diagnoses most likely to have an unsuccessful observation stay were intestinal infections (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.32–1.83) and pneumonia (OR 1.26, 95% CI 1.13–1.41). Conclusion: We found patients placed in observation care with intestinal infections and pneumonia to have the highest odds of either being admitted from observation or having a prolonged observation stay. Full article
The ACA’s premium subsidies are designed to increase to keep pace with the cost of the benchmark plan in each area. As premiums grow, so do premium subsidies. But starting in 2018, premium subsidies became disproportionately large in many areas, due to the way states and insurers handled the loss of federal funding for cost-sharing reductions (CSR).
A high deductible health insurance plan has higher deductibles and lower premiums than most other health insurance plans. This means you pay a smaller fixed amount every month, but it will take a longer time for insurance to kick in and begin cost-sharing (meaning you will pay your percentage of coinsurance for every bill). You might benefit from this plan if you don’t require many doctor’s visits or other healthcare benefits. Look at quotes for high deductible health insurance plans to figure out if this plan is right for you.
If you go on HealthCare.gov prior to that, you’ll have the option to create an account — complete with your personal data — and then log back into it between November 1 and December 15, when you’re ready to enroll in a plan. You’ll also be able to see what health insurance would have cost you in 2018 (including premium subsidies if you’re eligible for them), and see which insurers are offering plans in your area. In several states, additional insurers are joining the exchanges for 2019 though, so you may see more options available once the 2019 rates are loaded into the system. That typically happens around October 25 on HealthCare.gov.
The Trump Administration was repeatedly threatening to cut off funding for cost-sharing reductions, and that issue wasn't resolved until October, when the funding was officially eliminated (insurers in most states have added the cost of CSR to silver plan premiums, which although it drives up average premiums, also results in larger premium subsidies and more affordable after-subsidy premiums for many enrollees).
This has been very controversial. On one hand, people in that situation (i.e., having to pay full price for a health insurance policy in the individual market, which can easily cost 20+ percent of a person's income if they're just a little over the income limit for subsidy eligibility) are desperate for lower-cost alternatives. And if they're healthy, they may very well be willing to take a gamble and settle for a less robust plan that's easier to fit into their budget.
So it does not benefit insurers to just raise rates and pocket the additional premiums. And when it became clear that the premiums for 2018 had been set too high in many cases, the insurers proposed rate decreases for 2019 (or, in some cases, would have proposed rate decreases if not for the factors described above that are pushing premiums higher than they would otherwise have been for 2019).
Australian health funds can be either 'for profit' including Bupa and nib; 'mutual' including Australian Unity; or 'non-profit' including GMHBA, HCF and the HBF Health Fund (HBF). Some, such as Police Health, have membership restricted to particular groups, but the majority have open membership. Membership to most health funds is now also available through comparison websites like moneytime, Compare the Market, iSelect Ltd., Choosi, ComparingExpert and YouCompare. These comparison sites operate on a commission-basis by agreement with their participating health funds. The Private Health Insurance Ombudsman also operates a free website which allows consumers to search for and compare private health insurers' products, which includes information on price and level of cover.
Hospital and medical expense policies were introduced during the first half of the 20th century. During the 1920s, individual hospitals began offering services to individuals on a pre-paid basis, eventually leading to the development of Blue Cross organizations. The predecessors of today's Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) originated beginning in 1929, through the 1930s and on during World War II.
When the cost of the benchmark plan in a given area increases, premium subsidies in that area have to increase as well in order to keep the net premiums at an affordable level. But when the cost of the benchmark plan decreases, premium subsidies decrease too, since the subsidy doesn't have to be as large in order to get the benchmark plan's net premium down to an affordable level.
There are new insurers joining the exchanges in many states, and the slight decrease in benchmark premiums means that your after-subsidy premium might be higher than it was in 2018 if you just keep your current plan. Switching to a lower-cost plan might be an option for many enrollees, although there's not a one-size-fits-all answer there either, since it will depend on the provider network, overall benefits, and covered drug lists for the alternative plans you're considering.