Capsules: Patients Often Don't Realize Preventive Care Is Free; Hospice Rules May Keep Patients Away; State Insurance Officials Raise Concerns About 'Rate Shock' For Young People

Now on Kaiser Health News' blog, Jay Hancock reports on a study examining what patients realize about the costs of preventive care: "A survey of hundreds of Californians enrolled in health savings accounts, one type of high deductible plan, showed that fewer than one member in five understood that preventive care was free or almost free. A fifth of those surveyed said they had avoided preventive examination or treatment because of cost" (Hancock. 12/3).

Also on Capsules, Jordan Rau reports on new findings related to hospice enrollment policies: "Hospice is one of the fastest growing segments of Medicare, and many health policy experts laud it as a humane and cheaper way to care for people in the last half-year of life. But in surveying hospices, the new study warns Medicare's method of paying a fixed daily fee to hospices may be discouraging many from taking on patients with expensive needs" (Rau, 12/3).

In addition, Susan Jaffe writes about the idea of insurance "rate shock" for young people: "If young adults can't afford health insurance policies available in 2014 under the health care law, state insurance officials are worried they won't buy them. And that could drive up the cost of insurance for the mostly older, sicker people who do purchase it. That's a potential problem even in states like California and Rhode Island, which are moving ahead to carry out the law, state officials told representatives of the Obama administration Friday at a meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners" (Jaffe, 12/4). Check out what else is on the blog.

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