That's all great news. But the average benchmark premium is decreasing by quite a bit more than the average overall premium. That means subsidy amounts will fall by more than the average premium amounts, and people who don't shop carefully during open enrollment could find that their coverage, after their subsidy is applied, is more expensive in 2019 than it was in 2018. 

In countries which operate under a mixed market health care system, some physicians limit their practice to secondary care by requiring patients to see a primary care provider first. This restriction may be imposed under the terms of the payment agreements in private or group health insurance plans. In other cases, medical specialists may see patients without a referral, and patients may decide whether self-referral is preferred.

Can anyone address the elephant in the room: as medical therapeutics change and biologics are available and more appropriate for various conditions it is noteworthy to realize that these costs are often not covered by many government insurers and not eligible for foundations grants (as are sometimes offered in the form of copay cards, or copay assistance). I’m talking 20% out of pocket cost for a biologic can run 1500-2000 out of pocket after insurance. If you happen to get one of these rheumatologic or immunologic diseases, Medicare is NOT going to cut it. Are people folding in these possibilities into their projected costs in retirement. How does the FIRE community think about these things (I mean the medical FIRE community…I don’t think the non-medical FIRE community is even aware of these nuances unless they’re already dealing with a chronic or rare disease under treatment).
Medicare Levy Surcharge: People whose taxable income is greater than a specified amount (in the 2011/12 financial year $80,000 for singles and $168,000 for couples[11]) and who do not have an adequate level of private hospital cover must pay a 1% surcharge on top of the standard 1.5% Medicare Levy. The rationale is that if the people in this income group are forced to pay more money one way or another, most would choose to purchase hospital insurance with it, with the possibility of a benefit in the event that they need private hospital treatment – rather than pay it in the form of extra tax as well as having to meet their own private hospital costs.
The School-Based Health Centre (SBHC) model of healthcare delivery in community health is designed to address the unique needs of adolescents. Through a collaborative interprofessional approach, they aim to provide comprehensive care with the goal of reducing health disparities in underserved, at-risk adolescents. Integration of sports medicine health professionals is a novel approach to increasing available services, as well as patient utilization, while addressing multiple public health issues, including lack of athletic training services for youth athletes. Full article
Sepsis, a syndrome characterized by systemic inflammation during infection, continues to be one of the most common causes of patient mortality in hospitals across the United States. While standardized treatment protocols have been implemented, a wide variability in clinical outcomes persists across racial groups. Specifically, black and Hispanic populations are frequently associated with higher rates of morbidity and mortality in sepsis compared to the white population. While this is often attributed to systemic bias against minority groups, a growing body of literature has found patient, community, and hospital-based factors to be driving racial differences. In this article, we provide a focused review on some of the factors driving racial disparities in sepsis. We also suggest potential interventions aimed at reducing health disparities in the prevention, early identification, and clinical management of sepsis. Full article
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.
Many Americans get their healthcare coverage by purchasing their own health insurance plans. There are several places to purchase plans, including public exchanges, HealthCare.gov, private exchanges, directly with insurance companies or through brokers. If you’re buying a health insurance plan on your own, below are some helpful content from our affiliated site, HealthCare.com, to guide you through the process.
 An important note about Avera Health in South Dakota. Avera Health declined to renew our contract to offer their ACA plans in 2019. When we inquired as to why, we received this reply on 10/18/18: “RVers… I am sorry, but a narrow network product does not fit well for the members. We want to be able to take care of our members when they have an accident or illness. We do not have any providers or facilities outside of SD and NW Iowa, which makes us not the best fit for RVers.” While we agree that their plans are not a great fit for RVers, it seems it should be left to the members to decide if they are willing to risk traveling with their coverage. Nevertheless, it looks like RVers are not welcome to enroll with Avera Health for 2019.

eHealth is a free service, with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, providing easy-to-use-and-understand plan finders and comparison tools. Plans sold through eHealth won't cost more than if you buy directly from one of our providers. eHealth will recommend plans that are best suited to your needs and budget, whether it's during the annual open enrollment period or if you have a qualifying life event. In certain states, eHealth can even help you apply for the Affordable Care Act tax credit offered by the government. eHealth is proudly invested in helping you with all your medical insurance questions and concerns, including:


The national system of health insurance was instituted in 1945, just after the end of the Second World War. It was a compromise between Gaullist and Communist representatives in the French parliament. The Conservative Gaullists were opposed to a state-run healthcare system, while the Communists were supportive of a complete nationalisation of health care along a British Beveridge model.
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Louise Norris is an individual health insurance broker who has been writing about health insurance and health reform since 2006. She has written dozens of opinions and educational pieces about the Affordable Care Act for healthinsurance.org. Her state health exchange updates are regularly cited by media who cover health reform and by other health insurance experts.
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