Julie Appleby reports on the implementation of the health care overhaul law, the interplay of health care treatments and costs, trends in health insurance, and policy issues affecting hospitals and other medical providers. Her KHN stories have appeared in USA Today, the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer and MSNBC, among others. Before joining KHN in March 2009, Appleby spent 10 years on the health care industry and policy beat for USA Today. She also worked at the San Francisco Chronicle
, the Financial Times
in London and the Contra Costa Times
in Walnut Creek, Calif. She serves on the board of the Association of Health Care Journalists and her education includes a Master of Public Health degree. | Contact: JulieA@kff.org | @Julie_Appleby
Businesses want employees to be more sensitive to the cost of medical care, but consumer advocates worry that decisions will be based on price, not quality.
Employers struggling to keep down insurance costs are increasingly requiring workers to pay a percentage of high-cost drugs rather than a modest co-pay.
The federal health care law gives officials new tools to help hold down rates, but states’ authority and political will still vary widely.
As debt limit talks drag on, lawmakers are eying possible changes in Medicare supplemental plans - moves that could increase seniors’ out-of-pocket costs.
Industry and consumer groups are poring over more than 200 pages of long-awaited proposed federal rules on state-based insurance exchanges, a critical element of the federal health law.
Many hospitals are performing unusually large numbers of a type of CT scan experts say should be done sparingly.
Blue Shield of California’s decision to cap profits at 2 percent was widely applauded, but other health insurers aren’t likely to follow suit.
The Obama administration issued final rules Thursday requiring insurers to justify rate increases of 10 percent or more.
Nine states are pushing the Obama administration to ease a requirement that insurers spend 80 percent of their premium revenues on medical care – or pay back consumers.
Entrepreneurs create new private marketplaces – years ahead of similar exchanges called for in the health law – in a move that could save employers money but continue to shift cost and responsibility to employees.