Phil Galewitz covers Medicaid, Medicare, long‐term care, hospitals and various state health issues. He has covered the health beat for nearly two decades. He is a board member of the Association of Health Care Journalists. In 2004‐05, he was a Kaiser Media Fellow and wrote about community solutions to the uninsured. Before coming to KHN, he was at The Palm Beach Post and was a national health industry writer for the Associated Press and The Patriot‐ News in Harrisburg, Pa. He has a BA in health planning and administration and a master's in public administration with an emphasis in health policy. | Contact: PGalewitz@kff.org
Comparing plans can save hundreds of dollars for some consumers but many people are overwhelmed at the prospect of making such a change. Seniors have until the end of the year to revise their coverage.
While much of the attention paid to the Senate health reform bill has been about the public option or financing, there are many lesser-known provisions that would affect consumers.
The Senate and House health bills differ in important ways. We ask and answer questions consumers might have about the bills.
Levies on liposuction, breast augmentation and other cosmetic procedures would generate billions of dollars to help cover the uninsured.
Majority Leader Harry Reid added new taxes and modified major provisions of health bills passed by two Senate panels in a health bill unveiled Wednesday night.
At Hillcrest Medical Center, which is testing a "bundled" Medicare payment system, some seniors get paid up to $1,157 for having surgery. The pilot program aims to save money and improve care by paying doctors and hospitals a lump sum and rewards the patients with part of the savings.
The Senate Finance Committee calls for cuts in private Medicare plans to help pay for health reform. Some senators on the panel, worried about the 10.5 million seniors in the plans – and the possible political consequences – cushioned the impact on some constituents, according to a KHN analysis.
Makers of generic drugs say it's unfair to make them pay $460 million to help fund health care overhaul legislation. They warn consumer prices could rise if Congress approves the 10 years of increased Medicaid discounts included in the bill passed by the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday.
Even as Congress moves to expand health insurance coverage to millions of Americans, it's doing little to ensure there will be enough primary care doctors to meet the expected surge in demand for treatment. One prediction: the shortage of family doctors will reach 40,000 by 2019, as medical schools send about half the needed number of graduates into primary care medicine.
Miami seniors will still pay nothing for coverage; rates to rise in New York and Philadelphia.