The Open Enrollment Mixing Bowl

The Host

Autumn is for pumpkins and raking leaves — and open enrollment for well being plans. Medicare’s annual open enrollment started Oct. 1 and runs via Dec. 15. It is going to be adopted shortly by the Reasonably priced Care Act’s annual open enrollment, which begins Nov. 1 and runs till Jan. 15 in most states. However what was once a reasonably easy annual activity — renewing an current well being plan or selecting a brand new one — has change into a complicated, time-consuming mess for a lot of, as a consequence of our convoluted well being care system.

In the meantime, Ohio would be the subsequent state the place voters will determine whether or not to guard abortion rights. These on either side of the controversy are gearing up for the November vote, with anti-abortion forces hoping to interrupt a shedding streak of state poll measures associated to abortion for the reason that 2022 overturn of Roe v. Wade.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KFF Well being Information, Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Faculty of Public Well being and Politico, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, and Lauren Weber of The Washington Publish.

Among the many takeaways from this week’s episode:

  • The U.S. Home of Representatives has been with out an elected speaker since Oct. 4. Meaning lawmakers can’t conduct any legislative enterprise, with a number of essential well being payments pending — together with renewal of the favored worldwide HIV/AIDS program, PEPFAR.
  • Open enrollment isn’t just for folks trying to change medical insurance plans. Plans themselves change, and those that do nothing danger persevering with in a plan that now not meets their wants.
  • A brand new spherical of lawsuits has sprung up associated to “abortion reversals,” a controversial apply through which a affected person, having taken the primary dose of a two-dose abortion remedy routine, takes a excessive dose of the hormone progesterone reasonably than the second remedy that completes the abortion. In Colorado, a Catholic-affiliated well being clinic says a state legislation banning the apply violates its non secular rights, whereas in California, the state lawyer normal is suing two faith-based chains that function being pregnant “disaster facilities,” alleging that by promoting the process they’re making “fraudulent and deceptive” claims.
  • The most recent survey of employer medical insurance by KFF exhibits annual household premiums are once more escalating quickly — up a median of seven% from 2022 to 2023, with even bigger will increase anticipated for 2024. It’s not clear whether or not the already excessive value of offering insurance coverage to staff — an annual household coverage now averages slightly below $24,000 — will dampen firms’ enthusiasm for offering the profit.

Additionally this week, Rovner interviews KFF Well being Information’ Arielle Zionts, who reported and wrote the most recent KFF Well being Information-NPR “Invoice of the Month” characteristic in regards to the large value variation of chemotherapy from state to state. When you’ve got an outrageous or inscrutable medical you’d prefer to ship us, you are able to do that right here.

Plus, for “further credit score,” the panelists counsel well being coverage tales they learn this week they assume it’s best to learn, too:

Julie Rovner: NPR’s “How Gasoline Utilities Used Tobacco Techniques to Keep away from Gasoline Range Laws,” by Jeff Brady.

Lauren Weber: KFF Well being Information’ “Docs Abandon a Analysis Used to Justify Police Custody Deaths. It May Dwell On, Anyway,” by Markian Hawryluk and Renuka Rayasam.

Joanne Kenen: The Washington Publish’s “How Lunchables Ended Up on Faculty Lunch Trays,” by Lenny Bernstein, Lauren Weber, and Dan Keating.

Alice Miranda Ollstein: KFF Well being Information’ “Pregnant and Addicted: Homeless Girls See Hope in Road Drugs,” by Angela Hart.

Additionally talked about on this week’s episode:

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