RISE looks at the latest headlines that impact the health care industry.
Humana error leaves MA seniors in Florida, Texas without coverage
A “computer glitch” has left as many as 60,000 Humana Medicare Advantage enrollees without coverage and unable to fill their prescriptions, according to Shannon Behnken, consumer reporter for WFLA-TV in Tampa, Florida. Humana told Behnken that while converting to the new 2020 plan year, the insurer “inadvertently removed coverage” from several thousands Humana Medicare Advantage members in Florida and Texas and are working to quickly reinstate their coverage. The error could end up costing Humana: Seniors have until March 31 to switch to another Medicare Advantage plan under the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period.
Democrats push Supreme Court to expedite ACA case
The Supreme Court has given Affordable Care Act (ACA) opponents until Friday to respond to a Democratic coalition petition to expedite the case to overturn the health care reform law. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is leading a coalition of states defending the ACA, has asked the Supreme Court to hear the case after an appeals court recently ruled that a key element of the law is unconstitutional. The coalition, which aims to get a ruling from the Supreme Court before the November presidential election, says the ruling warrants an immediate and expedited review. Although the Supreme Court has given the Republican attorneys general, the plaintiffs in the case, until Friday afternoon to respond, it’s not clear that the high court will take on the case, according to Kaiser Health News. Meanwhile, the Kaiser Family Foundation has published a report that looks at the key provisions of the law, their impact, and public opinion.
Report: U.S. health system costs four times more to run than Canada’s single payer system
A new study published by the Annals of Internal Medicine indicates the United States may be better off with a single payer model similar to the one that Canada has implemented. The report said that the U.S. could have saved more than $600 billion in 2017 if it were able to cut its administrative costs to match Canada’s. U.S. health insurers and providers spent $812 billion on administration in 2017, representing more than a third of national health expenditures, or double the 17 percent that Canada spends under its system. The U.S. administrative costs were nearly $2,500 per person compared to Canada, which only spent $551 per capita. But America’s Health Insurance Plans told the Los Angeles Times that administrative practices aren’t the blame for escalating costs. The group pointed to a recent Medicare Payment Advisory Commission report that showed privately administered Medicare Advantage plans deliver benefits at 88 percent of the cost of traditional Medicare.