News for Insurers
Top stories summarized by our editors
1/17/2020

A measure from Democratic Alaska state Rep. Matt Claman would require school health curricula to include mental health instruction. The bill looks to foster discussions about mental health and erase the stigma.

1/17/2020

A study in JAMA Network Open found implementing the Smart Snacks in School standards in 310 US public schools was associated with a mean decrease of 53.9 kilocalories per day from solid fats and sugars. Students in states with Smart Snacks in School laws consumed fewer kcals from solid fats and added sugars, compared with students in states that did not have laws requiring implementation of the program.

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US
1/17/2020

A study in Health Affairs found Medicaid coverage loss and disruptions dropped 4.3% among low-income adults in states that expanded the program following the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Men, people of color and those who don't have chronic conditions who live in expansion states saw the biggest improvements in coverage disruption and loss rates, according to the study.

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FierceHealthcare
1/17/2020

The number of sepsis cases around the world in 2017 was estimated at 48.9 million, and the infection killed 11 million people that year, accounting for 19.7% of all global deaths, researchers reported in The Lancet. The study also found that youths younger than 5 accounted for 20.3 million cases of sepsis in 2017 and 2.9 million sepsis-related deaths.

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CNN
1/17/2020

A report from the Urban Institute found premiums for the cheapest 2020 silver Affordable Care Act plans dropped by 3.5% to $426 on average, suggesting that ACA markets are stabilizing. Premiums for the lowest-cost silver plans fell in 31 states, but costs still vary among states, ranging from $298 in Minnesota to $871 in Wyoming.

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HealthLeaders Media
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Urban Institute
1/17/2020

A joint FDA advisory committee advised against approval of Intellipharmaceutics' Aximris, an extended-release opioid, the third pain drug rejected by the panel this week. Nektar Therapeutics' oxycodegol, and a drug combination of tramadol and celecoxib, also failed to gain the panel's support.

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Politico
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tramadol
1/17/2020

A Commonwealth Fund report found racial and ethnic disparities in access to health care have narrowed since enactment of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, especially in states that expanded Medicaid eligibility, but improvements in coverage gaps have stalled among blacks and Hispanics since 2016. The percentage of black adults without health insurance fell to 14.4% in 2018 from 24.4% in 2013, while the percentage of uninsured Hispanic adults declined to 24.9% from 40.2%, the report found.

1/17/2020

BioMarin Pharmaceuticals' experimental gene therapy for an inherited form of hemophilia could be priced between $2 million and $3 million if it receives FDA approval, a price tag that would make it the world's priciest drug. BioMarin's CEO said the company has talked with insurers about the target price and said the company would consider alternative payment models for covering the drug.

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The Motley Fool
1/17/2020

Research found that a 401(k) match is an effective way to encourage employees to save, writes Peter Orszag, CEO of Lazard. It has been found that automatic enrollment in a savings plan also had a significant effect, but not as much as a match, Orszag says.

1/17/2020

The IRS has created the Gig Economy Tax Center on its website to help gig economy workers understand their tax obligations. The IRS says any income, including in virtual currencies, is subject to taxes.

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Forbes