Michelle Andrews

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The contraceptive mandate hasn’t stopped some employers from limiting access to birth control

The contraceptive mandate hasn’t stopped some employers from limiting access to birth control

August 22, 2014 9:35 am by | 0 Comments

How much leeway do employers and insurers have in deciding whether they’ll cover contraceptives without charge and in determining which methods make the cut? Not much, as it turns out,…


‘Parallel review’ pilot by FDA, CMS will speed up Medicare coverage for new cancer test

‘Parallel review’ pilot by FDA, CMS will speed up Medicare coverage for new cancer test

August 15, 2014 10:53 am by | 0 Comments

Medicare beneficiaries may get speedier coverage for a newly approved screening test for colorectal cancer under a pilot project in which two federal agencies reviewed the product at the same time…



Consumers beware: Short-term health plans aren’t held to same standards as exchange plans

Consumers beware: Short-term health plans aren’t held to same standards as exchange plans

August 8, 2014 2:03 pm by | 0 Comments

Consumers who missed open enrollment on the state health insurance marketplaces this spring or who are waiting for employer coverage to start don’t have to “go bare.” Short-term policies that…


Some workers set to be automatically enrolled in health plans under controversial Obamacare provision

Some workers set to be automatically enrolled in health plans under controversial Obamacare provision

August 5, 2014 2:53 pm by | 0 Comments

Newly hired employees who don’t sign up for health insurance on the job could have it done for them under a health law provision that may take effect as early…


In Medicare pilot project, some patients don’t have to choose between palliative care or treatment

In Medicare pilot project, some patients don’t have to choose between palliative care or treatment

July 29, 2014 12:09 pm by | 0 Comments

Diane Meier is the director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care, a national organization that aims to increase the number of palliative care programs in hospitals and elsewhere for patients…


Arkansas may become the next state to make Medicare members contribute to HSAs

Arkansas may become the next state to make Medicare members contribute to HSAs

July 22, 2014 12:51 pm by | 0 Comments

If all goes according to plan, next year many Arkansas Medicaid beneficiaries will be required to make monthly contributions to so-called Health Independence Accounts. Those that don’t may have to…


Advocates accuse insurers of discriminating with high cost-sharing for chronic disease drugs

Advocates accuse insurers of discriminating with high cost-sharing for chronic disease drugs

July 8, 2014 4:59 pm by | 0 Comments

Four Florida insurers allegedly discriminate against people with HIV/AIDS by structuring their prescription drug benefits so that patients are discouraged from enrolling, according to a recent complaint filed with federal officials. The complaint,…



Proposed ‘copper plans’ for penny-pinchers aren’t popular with health policy experts

Proposed ‘copper plans’ for penny-pinchers aren’t popular with health policy experts

July 1, 2014 11:11 am by | 1 Comments

If you offer it, will they come? Insurers and some U.S. senators have proposed offering cheaper, skimpier “copper” plans on the health insurance marketplaces to encourage uninsured stragglers to buy….


Advocates worry Connecticut decision may chip away at hard-won gains for autism coverage

Advocates worry Connecticut decision may chip away at hard-won gains for autism coverage

June 24, 2014 10:58 am by | 0 Comments

Today, many families with autistic children count on their insurance coverage to help pay for the often expensive, long-term treatment their kids need. But advocates and public policy experts say a…


Pilot programs give school nurses access to EHRs to help kids manage chronic diseases

Pilot programs give school nurses access to EHRs to help kids manage chronic diseases

June 10, 2014 8:51 am by | 0 Comments

Although the school nurse is a familiar figure, school-based health care is unfamiliar territory to many medical professionals, operating in a largely separate health care universe from other community-based medical services. Now,…


In some states, sexual assault victims bear the burden of certain medical bills

In some states, sexual assault victims bear the burden of certain medical bills

June 3, 2014 1:01 pm by | 0 Comments

The effects of a sexual assault can be long-lasting, but the medical bills shouldn’t be. Yet a new study finds that despite federal efforts to lift that burden from rape…


Medicaid expansion: One way to help college students pay for health insurance?

Medicaid expansion: One way to help college students pay for health insurance?

May 27, 2014 12:01 pm by | 0 Comments

Some students headed for college this fall will get top-drawer health coverage at little or no cost, because Medicaid will pay the premium for the college’s student health plan. The…


Will smoking e-cigarettes affect health insurance premiums? The rules aren’t yet clear

Will smoking e-cigarettes affect health insurance premiums? The rules aren’t yet clear

May 16, 2014 8:41 am by | 0 Comments

A. The rules aren’t clear, but some insurers may try to do so. Under the health law, insurers who sell plans on the individual market can take into account only…


Will ‘defined contributions’ become the post- ACA incarnation of employer-sponsored health plans?

Will ‘defined contributions’ become the post- ACA incarnation of employer-sponsored health plans?

May 13, 2014 11:01 am by | 0 Comments

What if employers started giving workers a chunk of cash to buy health insurance on their own instead of offering them a chance to buy into the company plan? Are…


Yes, there is some life for health insurance exchanges between open enrollment periods

Yes, there is some life for health insurance exchanges between open enrollment periods

May 9, 2014 11:01 am by | 0 Comments

Q. If someone will be seeking insurance options on a health care exchange before the next open enrollment period because her COBRA plan is expiring, where does she find information…